▪ The weekend started with what was the historically somber news that the legendary Muhammad Ali died Friday night. Tributes, the likes of which could only seen for such an unparalleled sports and cultural figure, came rolling in from luminaries across the globe. Sportswriting shined, with heartfelt tributes pouring out the reporters’ notebooks who covered him and those who idolized him. The remembrance from the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke stood out, as his pieces have a tendency to do. One of the best, however, had to be from longtime sportswriter Dave Kindred, who started writing about Ali in 1966, covering 19 of his fights.
▪ On to what proved to be a big weekend of sports for the Bay Area. The Golden State Warriors appear to be well on their way to a second straight NBA title after dismantling LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night. And Joonas Donskoi seemingly saved the San Jose Sharks Stanley Cup hopes with an overtime goal for a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday in a raucous environment in what was San Jose’s first-ever home Cup match. Before that, Bay Area fans were resoundley disappointed when the U.S. national soccer team laid an egg in a 2-0 loss to Colombia in the opener of the Copa American Centenario at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The heat is flying head coach Jurgen Klinsmann after the listless performance, and for good reason. This is a pretty epic takedown:
▪ Sports fans usually have opinions. Sometimes those opinions can be downright mean. Jimmy Kimmel released the next installment of the video series “Mean Tweets,” this time starring current and former NBA players Jalen Rose, Klay Thompson, Blake Griffin, Andre Iguodala, Russell Westbrook, Reggie Miller, Doc Rivers, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Stephen Curry, DeAndre Jordan and Dikembe Mutombo, who each read mean tweets about themselves. Some players take it in stride, others look offended.
▪ New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey won his second game of May on Monday and promptly celebrated by golfing in the Bahamas on Thursday. He was joined by teammates Noah Syndergaard, Kevin Plawecki and Neil Walker at the Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club. Harvey has dropped the last four out of five starts but obviously felt he deserved a reward.
▪ A rain storm interrupted an MLS game on Thursday between the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas. The conditions weren’t, uh, ideal.
The game was delayed two hours to let the field drain before Dallas eventually came out on top 1-0.
▪ L.A. Clipper guard JJ Redick has a toddler who plays sports. Unfortunately, it appears as though his child didn’t inherit his father’s athleticism. As Redick said, maybe baseball isn’t his sport.
▪ The soccer rumor mill is churning this time of year, spitting out all kinds of dubious information. Here’s two rumors that you should listen to. Zlatan Ibrahimovic reportedly will be signed by Machester United for one year. The 34-year-old was rumored to by eying the MLS, but obviously that fell through.
Leicester City’s volatile forward Jamie Vardy is being chased by Arsenal. The Gunners reportedly triggered the 29-year-old’s £20 million release clause, meaning Vardy can sign with them. Considering Leicester will be hard pressed to replicate the success of last year by winning a Premier League title, moving to North London maybe the best move for a player on the brink of the wrong side of thirty.