What a whirlwind Thursday. During the Olympics, we normally lead off with them and their headlines as the top story, but Thursday threw something dffierent. The Stack is here with that and more so let's take a look and see what made "the stack" for today, Friday, August 10:
Dwight Howard is a Laker
Finally, after many weeks of wondering what was going to happen, after hours of talk, much of it empty, Dwight Howard has finally been traded. The Orlando Magic traded him to the Los Angeles Lakers in a four team deal. The other teams included in the trade are the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia 76ers. Here's what each team got:
- Lakers- Dwight Howard
- Nuggets- Andre Iguodala
- 76ers- Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson
- Magic- Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless and 3 protected first round draft picks (one from each team).
A few thoughts. Obviously, the Lakers are big winners for trading Howard and keeping Pau Gasol. He had been in and out of trade talks and was finally excluded in the final trade. Big plus for the Lakers. The Lakers and Thunder are head and shoulders better than every other team in the western conference with the Clippers a distant third. The Lakers will look vastly different this year having traded for Steve Nash earlier in the offseason.
But the Lakers may not be the biggest winners in this trade. I love what the 76ers have done, bringing in Bynum who, although injured and maybe doesn't give maximum effort all the time, has the potential to be a dominant center in this league. Plus Jason Richardson, great move by the 76ers who easily have vaulted themselves into the top half of the eastern conference.
And the Magic are losers in my opinion in this trade. You couldn't keep Howard and you didn't get a decent center to replace him. Why wouldn't you demand getting Bynum and try to persuade him to sign a long term contract with you? No Pau Gasol? The peices the Magic got may help them in the future, but they didn't get nearly what they should have.
It is going to be a very interesting year in the NBA.
Day 13 Olympic highlights
Does any day of the Olympics not carry impressive feats and storylines? I don't think so. Once again, we were treated to some very great competition and if you're a fan of team USA (I hope most everyone who reads this blog is), it was a great day as America won all kinds of medals. Here are some of the highlights:
- Team USA will go for the gold in women's basketball following their 86-73 win over Australia in the semifinals. They'll face France. I'll bet my savings the USA wins gold.
- In the inaugural year of Olympic women's boxing, American Claressa Shields made history by winning gold medal in the 75kg finals. Congrats Claressa. Way to go!
- Team USA redeemed their championship world cup match from last year, defeating Japan 2-1 to win the gold medal in women's soccer. Hope Solo made some brilliant saves. Carli Lloyd scored both goals for the US. The US did get lucky when they weren't called for a handball that would have given Japan a golden opportunity to tie the game up. But the US was able to hang on and avenge their loss to Japan in last year's world cup. What a great effort by team USA. And perhaps it is a farewell to Abby Wambach. She was great in uniform for the US. We'll wait and see.
- Another women's team won gold yesterday. That would be the women's water polo team which beat Spain 8-5 to win the gold medal. Congrats team. You played great the entire Olympics.
- The US women's indoor volleyball team is headed to the gold medal match where they will face Brazil following their 3-0 victory over South Korea. The US is looking really good right now. I think they'll win gold.
- And what a day on the track. In the men's long jump, Americans won gold and silver with Christian Taylor winning gold and Will Claye winning silver.
- Americans also went one-two in the men's decathlon. Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee were brilliant over the combined ten events winning gold and silver respectively.
- Kenya's David Rudisha set a new world record in the men's 800m with a time of 1:40.91. He was great and it meant so much to him to win not just for his country but for his tribe as well. And Botswana's Nijel Amos made history with his silver medal, winning Botswana its first ever Olympic medal. What a great race.
- Finally, the last shall be first, at least for Usain Bolt who raced to gold in the 200m, becoming the first player in Olympic history to win the 100m and 200m in back-to-back Olympics. Jamaica also became the second country ever in Olympic history to go gold-silver-bronze in the 200m. Bolt won gold with Yohan Blake winning silver and Warren Weir winning bronze. And Bolt says he wants to do it again in four years in Rio. What an exciting night night on the track.
- The medal count is now in clear USA control with 90 medals (ten more than China) including 39 golds (two more than China). Way to go USA!
For everything Olympics go to http://www.nbcolympics.com/index.html
Thursday NFL preseason week 1 thoughts
Here are the scores from Thursday...
Washington 7 Buffalo 6 Baltimore 31 Atlanta 17 New England 7 New Orleans 6
Philadelphia 24 Pittsburgh 23 San Diego 21 Green Bay 13 Denver 31 Chicago 3
To the big news from Thursday, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick hurt his left thumb (throwing hand) and left the game, but x-rays came back negative. That's good news for Vick and the Eagles that he escaped serious injury, but this has to be a concern for the Eagles, especially with the high hopes that they have.
In that same game, Eagles fans gave Eagles head coach Andy Reid a standing ovation and chanted "Andy! Andy!" It was great for Eagles fans to warmly welcome Reid back. He said it meant a lot to him. Good job Eagles fans.
Peyton Manning looked alright as he made his Denver Broncos debut last night against the Chicago Bears. He went four for seven for 44 yards though he was picked off once. The pass was deflected. He didn't try throwing any deep balls, but those will come. This is a work in process. It's still just weird to see him in a jersey other than a Colts.
A couple of big injuries last night that may cost two guys their season or at least part of the season. New Engladn Patriots linebacker Dane Fletcher tore his ACL Thursday night and will miss the season. Green Bay also lost a linebacker, Desmond Bishop when several players landed on top of his extended knee. At this point, we don't know how much time he'll miss, but he had to be helped off the field. The injury did not look good. And the San Diego Chargers are in some trouble at the running back position as Ryan Mathews broke his clavicle and will be out four to six weeks. He has had a rough start to his NFL career. So much for being a top fantasy pick.
Finally to the replacement officials. They were decent. Took a little longer to make some calls. Missed some, made some questionable calls which is to be expceted. Overall grade: C-. Get the regular refs back in the game NFL. It's just not good enough. The integrity of the game is in question and the regular refs do a better than average job. Give them their raise and get them back on the field.
Friday's schedule includes:
NY Jets @ Cincinnati Bengals 7:30 PM ET Cleveland Browns @ Detroit Lions 7:30 PM ET
Tampa Bay @ Miami 7:30 PM ET NY Giants @ Jacksonville Jaguars 7:30 PM ET
Arizona Cardinals @ Kansas City Chiefs 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 49ers 9:00 PM ET
Before we go...
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says that if a new CBA deal is not reached by September 15, the NHL and the owners will lock out the players. With only a little over a month left to work out a deal and both sides divided on a number of issues, the pressure is on to reach a deal. The NHL has taken great strides since the 2004 lockout wiped out the entire season, but it took a while to get back there and win fans back. To have another lockout would cripple the NHL. Surely both sides know that. Right?!! Come on NHL. Don't do this. Get a new deal done.
And a surprise name is atop the leaderboard at the end of the first round of the PGA Championship. Carl Pettersson is first at six under (-6) with four other players including Rory McIlroy one shot back at five under (-5). Tiger Woods is three shots back. And John Daly is two shots back at four under (-4). Looks like I was wrong about the course being too difficult and the final score would be two under (-2). Eh, it could still happen. Expect to see some great golf this weekend and an exciting finish on Sunday.
Coming up Monday: Final Olympic thoughts, more preseason impressions and PGA Championship excitement.