Between the wild World Cup finishes, the crowning of Wimbledon champions, and the starting gun firing on the most anticipated free agency in NBA history, there was always something to talk about this week.
We'll start with the NBA. I'm not a fan of wild speculation, so here's what's actually happened so far:
Pierce agreed to a 4-year, $61 million deal with the Celtics
Dirk agreed to a 4-year, $80 million deal with the Mavs
Joe Johnson agreed to a 6-year, $119 million deal with the Hawks (more on this later)
As of now, everyone's in the exact same place. Look for this trend to continue with one exception: Chris Bosh will get paid more than he deserves by a team that isn't located in Canada. NHL free agency also kicked off. I'll be honest, I have no idea what's happening on that front. But if you're into that kind of thing, read about it here.
Now then, on to South Africa, where shit hit the fan. The Netherlands kicked off a wild quarterfinal round by coming back to beat Brazil 2-1. And then we saw the most incredible, head-scratching, heart-stopping finish of the tournament. A handball to knock out a sure game-winner? A PK to win it on the last play of the game? A MISS??? I've got goosebumps all over again. On day 2 of quarterfinal action, Germany blew Argentina out of the water, and Spain won in typically unimpressive but still dramatic fashion.
In Wimbledon, we saw Nadal and Serena hoist the trophy after straight set victories. (Oh my god no way!)
Now that you're all caught up on the news, here are this week's winners and losers:
Netherlands - What a win we saw. Whether you think they just outplayed Brazil or the men in yellow (I guess this time blue) simply unraveled, you have to applaud the Dutch. Now there's something you don't hear every day.
Thomas Berdych - I know what you're thinking: "Didn't this guy lose? What is this, tennis for first graders where everyone gets a trophy just for trying?" But hear me out. We knew Nadal would win this tournament from the get-go. But Berdych worked his way through #1 Federer in 4 sets and #3 Djokovic in a straight set win. He may not get the title, but the man at least deserves a high five.
Joe Johnson - Someone call the Atlanta PD, because this guy is stealing $119,000,000 from the Hawks. What? They gave it to him willingly? Yikes.
Tennis - As a longtime James Blake fan (um, what?), I've always loved rooting for the underdog. But if Federal or Nadal is going to win in the end, then let them play in the final. In every grand slam this year, Federer or Nadal has won the title by beating a lesser player in straight sets. And it's really f*cking boring.
Asamoah Gyan - Senior year of high school, I missed a PK in a regular season game in front of 2 dozen or so fans. It was 0-0 at the time, but we went on to lose 3-0. I spent the next 4 hours refusing to move off the couch. Gyan missed a PK for a guaranteed win in the world's most prestigious tournament with all of Africa rooting for him and millions of people watching. Don't be surprised if this guy refuses to get off his couch for the next 4 months.
Kobayashi - You can't make this stuff up.