1. NBA Finals – One of the more bizarre NBA finals in recent history is headed to at least 6 games. The Boston Celtics, who have dominated in stretches but not consistently, are poised to win their 2nd championship in three years. Bolstered by their tenacious defense, they have the defending champs on the ropes. Meanwhile, Kobe has played up to his normal high standard, but the league’s highest paid backup dancers aren’t getting it done. With the legacies of almost everyone involved hanging in the balance, be sure to tune in Tuesday and if it makes it that far Thursday.
2. World Cup – The biggest sporting event in the world kicked off over the weekend, literally. Starting with a tie between Mexico and South Africa, many of these games have been exciting including Ghana’s 1-0 victory over Serbia with a penalty kick late in the game. The U.S. received one of the biggest gifts ever, when the English goalie allowed a ball he deflected to slip past him, helping the US tie and possibly putting England’s team on the ropes. The games are currently airing on ESPN, ABC and ESPN3.com
3. Thank Me Later – The most anticipated album of the year finally drops Tuesday. Since the album has been on the streets for over two weeks, all eyes will be on Drake’s numbers. Can he move units despite the leak? A leak didn’t stop his label mate Weezey from moving major units with The Carter III and I have a feeling Drake will do well. The album is strong and so is his fan base.
4. Kanye to return at BET awards – Mr. West came back off hiatus with ‘Power’ and it appears like he’s going to perform at the BET Awards on Sunday June 27th. Kanye is usually one of the flashiest performers in the game and with everything he’s been through I’m sure he has something crazy up his sleeve.
5. USC sanctions – One of the biggest surprises in the sports world was how hard the NCAA came down on USC. The Trojans had to vacate the majority of the wins from the Reggie Bush era and our down 30 scholarships for 3 years. The biggest blow to the program, though, is the 2 year postseason ban. I don’t think anybody expected the NCAA to keep one of its biggest draws and most profitable programs out of the postseason at all, let alone for two years. Juniors and Seniors can leave without having to sit out a year, putting the program in limbo. Carroll looks like a snake, Kiffin looks like an idiot, and all eyes are on players like Matt Barkley.
6. College Football conference expansion – Perhaps a bigger story than the USC sanctions is the craziness around conference expansion. The Pac-10 added Colorado and could add up to five more teams. Nebraska left the Big-12 as well, joining the Big Ten and leaving the Big 12 in limbo. Boise State finally jumped to the Mountain West and rumors are flying all over the place. This will be the most prominent college football story between now and kickoff in September.
7. Karate Kid and the A-Team – Two more summer blockbusters debuted over the weekend, but one stood out. The Karate Kid – a remake of the 80s classic starring Will and Jada’s son Jaden and Jackie Chan – brought in over $50 million crushing expectations. With two blockbusters already under his belt, the 11 year old Smith is now a full fledged star and is starting to break out of his parent’s shadows.
8. Steve Strasburg debuts – The most hyped prospect in MLB history debuted last week and actually beat expectations. 14Ks and no walks in his first seven innings. He’s 2-0 and has already helped Washington and Cleveland draw two of their biggest crowds of the season. The better he plays, the more of a must see event he’s going to become. He has four devastating pitches and already looks like one of the best in the business.
9. Izzo to Cavs – It’s taken a good NBA Finals, the World Cup, NCAA nuttiness and Steven Strasburg to finally get the LeBron watch off the top of the sports radar. So you might not have noticed, but it’s starting to look like Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo is going to take the Cavs job. This would be a huge steal for the Cavs in their hopes of bringing back LeBron.
10. Stanley Cup – Quick shoutout to the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. The Flyers played hard and gave them all they could handle, before losing in the first few minutes of Overtime.