Casual Friday | The Wanderer Sports

THE WANDERER ONLINE PROVIDES READERS with a quick look at the week that was in sports. With Suter and Parise now off to the Twin Cities, what happens with Shea and Semin? Is the Dwight Howard saga on its last legs? And Major League Baseball is actually moving into the twenty-first century with its technology? Sit down, relax and rewind with The Wand’s Casual Friday.

CC photograph courtesy of Chris (http://www.flickr.com/people/dcmaster/) on Flickr, taken on November 19 2011.

NHL

The Minnesota Wild were the lucky winners of the NHL’s free agency, signing Ryan Suter and Zach Parise to identical 13 year, $98 million contracts.  Hard to say what the end game for the Wild will be, but as we’ve seen recently all that matters in the NHL is qualifying for the tournament. The two biggest questions that stem from this are a) what does Nashville now do with Shea Weber and b) who is going to panic and overpay Alex Semin[1]?

Nothing significant emerged concerning the new CBA, and it remains painfully obvious that there will be a lockout next year.

NBA

NBA free agency also started on July 1st, and has been infinitely more entertaining.  To get things started the newly-christened Brooklyn Nets acquired Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson (and his hilariously large contract) for a whole slew of role players and a lottery-protected first round pick, and then re-signed point guard Deron Williams to a max contract. Many pick and rolls are to follow.  Cap issues aside, the Nets got what they really needed:  a reason for the fans to show up.  While the Nets won’t be challenging Miami for a title with their current roster, they will be in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference.

Atlanta followed up the Johnson move by sending Marvin Williams to the Utah Jazz for Devin Harris and his expiring contract.  These moves rid the Hawks of two horrific contracts and let them enter the vaunted Dwight Howard sweepstakes.

Dwight Howard still wants to be traded, but also wants to be loved by everybody (incidentally I want to be paid a lot of money and not work for it – we’ll see whose plan works out first).  This act is tired, and has been tired since last year (when Howard accepted the one-year option in his contract and then asked to be traded, again).  The interested teams appear to be Atlanta (not in a trade but through free agency come next offseason), Dallas (as a package deal with Deron Williams… oops), Houston (who, as always, have collected an abundance of assets to move), Brooklyn (uh… Brook Lopez?[2]) and the Los Angeles Lakers (who can offer either Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum).

Speaking of Los Angeles, the Lakers blew up the twittersphere yesterday when it was announced that Steve Nash had been acquired as part of a sign-and-trade.  It was thought that Nash was headed to either New York or Toronto, but the Lakers quietly swooped in and found their point guard[3].  The move to Los Angeles allows Nash to stay near his kids, continue his film career[4], and move from a bad Phoenix Suns team to play with Kobe Bryant.  Things could have turned out worse for the former two time MVP, even if he is now coached by Mike Brown.  Boy, isn’t it great that we had this lockout to prevent stars from joining each other in big markets?

MLB

Prepare for a statement that has previously yet been written:  congratulations to Major League Baseball for getting ahead of the technology game[5].  While its stance on the use of instant replay is still somewhere between archaic and FIFA, the Twitter world was afire today as voting for the final All-Star Game spot was conducted through the use of memes.  I love this idea, and the trending topics were dominated by all-star talk.  Kudos, Bud, now use replay on fair or foul calls!

Tennis – Wimbledon

Serena Williams is through to the final and on the men’s side Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic play in one semi-final for the right to trounce Andy Murray in the final.

MMA

The long-awaited and much-hyped rematch between Champion Anderson Silva and “Champion” Chael Sonnen falls this Saturday at UFC 148 on PPV.  Silva won their first bout via submission using a triangle choke in the fifth round after Sonnen had dominated the entire fight.  Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin headline the co-main event despite the fact that it’s 2012 and not 2008.  The PPV begins at 10:00 ET.



[1]Which is a hard question to answer now that Kevin Lowe isn’t a GM.

[2]More like Brook LOLpez.  Nailed it!

[3]RIP the Ramon Sessions era.  Never forget.

[4]Nash recently directed a documentary titled “Into the Wind” for ESPN’s superb 30 for 30 series.

[5]No, actually.

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