From epic matches down under to one of the longest games in NBA history, here are my five stories from this past weekend.
1) Roger Federer Takes Australian Open Final Over Rafael Nadal: The two greatest male tennis players of all-time played a match for the ages to close out the Australian Open. While Nadal had taken six of the previous eight Grand Slam finals between the two, Federer clawed back from a break down in the fifth set to hoist the trophy. The match swung back and forth, and Federer came agonizingly close to breaking Nadal several times before finally succeeding and eventually winning with a final score of 6–4, 3–6, 6–1, 3–6, 6–3. The win marked Federer’s fifth Australian Open title and first major since 2012. Heartbreak for Nadal, but what an incredible match from both sides.
2) Hawks Beat Knicks 142-139 in 4OT: For just the 13th time in NBA history on Sunday, a game reached four overtimes. Although eventually falling by three points, the Knicks simply wouldn’t die- Carmelo Anthony dropped 45 points and hit shots in the final seconds of regulation and the first overtime to extend the contest, while Courtney Lee drilled a deep three to send the game to a third OT. Five players fouled out in total, including Dwight Howard, Kristaps Porzingis, and Anthony, while Paul Millsap posted 37 points and 19 rebounds while playing for 60 minutes. The teams combined for 160 rebounds, and should be relieved they don’t have a back-to-back.
3) Vijayaram’s $1.6 Million Score: While Federer was winning his 18th major, Shurane Vijayaram was also making history in Melbourne. The local amateur poker player, making his first ever live cash, only earned a seat in the $10,000 Aussie Millions Main Event by winning a $135 satellite tournament. Vijayaram made the most of his opportunity, beating out 724 other entrants to and a strong final table including, among others, Fedor Holz, likely the best player in the world, to win $1.6 million. To top it off, the final hand featured one of the greatest hero calls I’ve ever seen. Only in poker can someone’s life change instantly like this.
4) LeBron Hits 20,000 Mark With Cavs: King James became the first player in Cavaliers franchise history to score 20,000 points for the team. He currently sits in 8th place on the all-time scoring list with 27,938 points. I’ve haven’t heard people talking about it much, but let’s float out a question: could LeBron finish his career as the top scorer in NBA history? Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 currently hold the top spot, but I think it’s certainly within reach. He’d need to stay healthy, but despite playing in his 14th NBA season, LeBron is only 32. At 25 points per game, LeBron would have the record by the end of the 2021-22 season.
5) Mayweather-McGregor Continue Fight Talks: Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor have continued to tease the media with talks of a what McGregor believes could be the first billion-dollar fight in history. Of course, I have to be skeptical about the idea of this match between a UFC fighter and boxer taking place. However, these guys both have huge egos and love giving their fans a show. Here’s the deal- Mayweather turns 40 next month, and McGregor is in the prime of his career- things need to happen fast, unlike the years-long scheduling nightmare of Mayweather-Pacquaio. Should the fight occur, I believe Mayweather would patiently dominate.
What are your thoughts? Can LeBron catch Kareem? Will the Mayweather-McGregor fight happen, and if so, who would win? Comment below.