Josh Helmuth delivers the top sports stories of the week.
Los Angeles hosted the summer X-Games this past weekend. Nash Herrington and I were there to cover all the action. A few highlights include 35-year-old Bob Burnquists fourth Big Air Gold, 40-year-old Jamie Bestwick completing the 6-peat in on BMX vert, the 6 story high hot wheels double loop dare, and summer block-buster type drama in rally cross. Before world champion Sebastien Loeb took the gold in easy fashion, winning by more than 12 seconds. There was a heated argument in the pits after Andy Scott rammed Travis Pastrana into the wall on the very first turn during one of the earlier heats on Sunday. It was the very first turn all day for Pastrana, and he got taken out, literally T-boning into the wall. You can imagine his frustration. But preceding that crash were two major accidents during practice runs on Friday and Saturday, both Finnish drivers. Friday afternoon displayed a very scary moment when Toomas Heikenen came up short on the 50 foot jump. We were just feet away as it happened. Luckily Heikenen only suffered a broken ankle and is doing OK. The crash did prompt X-Games personnel to insert a base in the middle of the jump as a safety precaution. And on Saturday, Marcus Gronholm clipped an exposed light post base after clearing the jump. Totally unconscious at the scene, Gronholm had to be transported to a nearby hospital as well where he is still undergoing tests and treatment as of Monday…. they call it x games for a reason.
Moving on, we're in full swing as far as NBA free agency goes. Starting with Dwight Howard drama. Howard now says that it's Brooklyn or bust! He wants to be traded to the Nets, as they are the only team on his 'list.' He said if it doesn't work out he'll play out his last year in Orlando this upcoming season and then explore free agency again. So he says. The kicker is that Nets star point guard Deron Williams is also exploring his free agency. He's supposed to meet with the Dallas Mavericks very soon. Also the Raptors have offered a 3-year contract to Steve Nash worth 36 million bucks. The Heat are in hot pursuits (pun intended) of Ray Allen. And Lamar Odom is back in Los Angeles as a Clipper, the same team that drafted him over a decade ago.
And the best boys of summer have been announced. Of course I'm talking about the MLB all-stars. American League all-stars include first timers Mike Napoli of the Rangers and Chris Sale of the White Sox, Robbie Cano, Adrian Beltre, Curtis Granderson, Jose Bautista, Felix Hernandez and Jered Weaver are all making their third appearance. Derek Jeter, this will be his 13th! And in the National League, Giants players Buster Posey and Melkey Cabrera are making their first go at the All-star game, veterans Carlos Beltran will make his 7th, Ryan Bruan his 5th, and David Wright will make the squad for the 6th time.
Derek Jeter tied Cal Ripken Jr. for 13th place on baseball's all-time hit list. Tiger Woods won at Congressional on Sunday, moving him into second place all-time in PGA Tour victories. Aaron Hill hit for the cycle for the 2nd time in 12 days. He's only the fourth player to ever do it twice in one season. And fellow Kentucky stars, Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd Gilchrist were taken back to back in the NBA draft. Davis to the Hornets at number one overall, and Kidd-Gilchrist to the Bobcats at two.
There's your sports update for this week. Be sure to check out the CraveOnline Sports page all week long for more X-games coverage. I'll see you next week here at Sports Fix.