This Week in US Sports: NFL trade deadline heating up, Nationals in control of World Series

By Sports Desk October 24, 2019

The NFL trade deadline is just around the corner and there are notes galore.

The Washington Nationals are up 2-0 in the World Series and the best team in baseball are on the ropes.

And Conor McGregor said he has a fight lined up but Dana White will not confirm it.

It has been a full week in U.S. Sports.

 

1. NFL teams making moves as trade deadline approaches

The NFL trade deadline is 16:00 ET on Tuesday and things are starting to heat up.

First, there have already been several moves as the Atlanta Falcons have traded wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to the New England Patriots, the Oakland Raiders have moved cornerback Gareon Conley to the Houston Texans and the Denver Broncos have dealt wideout Emmanuel Sanders to the San Francisco 49ers.

But that is not all. The Patriots have also placed wideout Josh Gordon on injured reserve with a knee injury, but the expectation is he will be cut once he is healthy and will pass through waivers to be picked up by another team.

This is only the beginning. After the NFL moved the trade deadline back from Week 6 to Week 8 in recent years, there has been a lot more action around the final date. This season expects to be the same as there are even rumours of the Broncos moving Pro Bowl corner Chris Harris in the coming days. We have an exciting weekend ahead of us.

 

2. Nationals lead Astros in World Series

Not a lot of people saw this coming. Some individuals who knew the Nationals might not have been surprised at Washington taking one of two games in Houston or possibly even both, but very few saw a 2-0 lead heading into Game 3 in D.C. and a 12-3 blowout in Game 2.

The Nationals have beaten Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander in back-to-back games, marking just the third time that has happened all year and the first time it has occurred at Minute Maid Park. 

And now, Washington have Anibal Sanchez on the bump for Game 3 and Patrick Corbin lined up for Game 4, while the Astros are almost certain to go with a bullpen game in two days, possibly with their postseason lives on the line.

This one almost looks in the bag for Washington as teams that have gone up 2-0 in the World Series are 22-3 in the last 25 occurrences. The Astros may be done, but Zack Greinke will do all he can to keep that from being inevitable in Game 3 on Friday.

 

3. NBA season starts without Williamson

The NBA season is underway as the Los Angeles Clippers dropped the Los Angeles Lakers in the opener, Kyrie Irving scored 50 points in his Brooklyn Nets debut which ended in a loss, and the Kemba Walker era began with the Boston Celtics being thoroughly handled by the Philadelphia 76ers.

But as the festivities begin, some of the lustre is off the opening of the season as top pick pick Zion Williamson will not be playing for six to eight weeks while he is dealing with a knee injury.

Williamson was the prohibitive favourite to win the Rookie of the Year Award, but now the honour is wide open for Ja Morant, RJ Barrett or even PJ Washington to take control.

While that award has somewhat been put on hold, we wait for the inevitable arrival of New Orleans Pelicans sensation Williamson and the obvious hype to come with it.

 

4. McGregor continues to blow smoke

The former two-class UFC champion claimed he has a fight lined up for January 18 and plans to make his return to the Octagon against an unnamed opponent.

This comes less than a week after he "set up" a fight with Frankie Edgar on Twitter only to see UFC president Dana White shoot it down almost immediately.

White said after McGregor's declaration that he had a January 18 fight set up that nothing was even close to being done but he is targeting that date for a return.

We will see what actually happens in the long run, but here us hoping Justin Gaethje gets that shot. 

Related items

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    Antonio Brown remained wanted by police in the United States on Thursday on charges of burglary with battery and criminal mischief.

    The former NFL star, who has been without a team since his release by the New England Patriots in September last year, was being sought after allegations made against him late on Tuesday.

    The Florida-based Hollywood Police Department issued a statement that said: "On January 21, 2020 at approximately 9:30pm, an arrest warrant was issued for Mr Antonio Brown who has been charged with one count of burglary with battery, one count burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, and one count of criminal mischief less than $1,000.

    "On January 21, 2020, at approximately 2:00 pm, officers of the Hollywood Police Department received a 911 call for a possible disturbance which occurred at 3600 Estate Oak Circle. When officers arrived on scene they made contact with the alleged victim who stated he was battered by Mr Antonio Brown and Mr Brown’s trainer, Mr Glenn Holt.

    "While on scene, officers made contact with Mr Holt who was subsequently taken into custody without incident. Mr Holt was charged with one count of burglary with battery. Officers attempted to make contact with Mr Brown but were unsuccessful."

    Wide receiver Brown has not yet commented on the allegations. CNN and other media said the property in question is 31-year-old Brown's home in South Florida.

    Police have not detailed the nature of the incident. CNN said it involved a dispute over the delivery of items to Brown's house.

    Brown, a seven-time Pro Bowler, left the Patriots amid allegations of sexual assault and rape, which he strenuously denies.

    He was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Oakland Raiders in March 2019 after a tumultuous 2018 campaign; however, Brown did not play a game for the Raiders before moving on to his brief stint with the Patriots.

  • How Zion Williamson's debut compares to LeBron James, Michael Jordan and other NBA greats How Zion Williamson's debut compares to LeBron James, Michael Jordan and other NBA greats

    Zion Williamson certainly announced his arrival to the NBA on Wednesday night.

    The first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft had 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 18 minutes of action for the New Orleans Pelicans in their 121-117 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

    Williamson had been sidelined since preseason due to a knee injury but dazzled in his debut, scoring 17 straight points at one point and hitting all four of his three-point attempts.

    But how did other NBA greats fare in their first games?

     

    Bill Russell - 6 points, 16 rebounds, one assist (December 22, 1956)

    Prior to Russell's NBA debut, the Boston Globe had asked whether it was possible to "be too good to be overrated". No pressure, kid. 

    Russell did not make any of his four free throws and went 3-of-11 shooting in 16 minutes. However, a man who would go on to be an 11-time NBA champion shone in other facets, grabbing 16 boards and blocking three straight Bob Pettit shots.

    Wilt Chamberlain - 43 points, 28 rebounds, one assist (October 24, 1959)

    A star at high school and college, the 7ft 1in center's bow for the Philadelphia Warriors was eagerly anticipated and he did not disappoint, racking up the points and rebounds.

    It was a sign of things to come and Chamberlain won both the Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in his first season.

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - 29 points, 12 rebounds, six assists (October 18, 1969)

    The broadcast of this debut included the line "the whole country has waited for it", a reflection of the attention the 7ft 1in Milwaukee Bucks center commanded at the time.

    Abdul-Jabbar, then known as Lew Alcindor, scored 29 of his NBA record 38,387 points that night and he went on to be named to 19 All-Star Games.

    Magic Johnson - 26 points, eight rebounds, four assists (October 12, 1979)

    The first overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft came to a Lakers team that featured Abdul-Jabbar, and it was the veteran's buzzer-beater that delivered the win against the San Diego Clippers.

    A pumped-up Johnson certainly impressed, though, and his zeal for the game was evident when he jumped on Abdul-Jabbar amid wild celebrations at the end.

    Larry Bird - 14 points, 10 rebounds, five assists (October 12, 1979)

    Johnson was not the only future Hall of Famer debuting on that night in October 1979 as Celtics great Bird was also making his first appearance.

    The Lakers man might have had more points, but Bird had the double-double and he, not Johnson, would go on to be named Rookie of the Year. Both men won three MVPs and were named to 12 All-Star Games.

    Michael Jordan - 16 points, six rebounds, seven assists (October 26, 1984)

    There was little indication of what was to come when Jordan put up solid but not spectacular numbers against the Washington Bullets.

    He would soon find his groove, though, averaging 28.2 points in a campaign that ended with the Rookie of the Year award. Five MVPs and six championships would follow for perhaps the greatest of them all.

    LeBron James - 25 points, six rebounds, nine assists (October 29, 2003)

    A man well-versed in dealing with insane hype, James' NBA debut for his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers was delayed because another game went into overtime and ESPN did not want TV audiences to miss a second of the 18-year-old's bow.

    Cleveland lost but 'The Chosen One' delivered exactly what the television executives were looking for, a steal and a dunk providing the first of many highlight-reel plays the four-time MVP would produce.

  • LeBron laughs at suggestion of joining son Bronny James at Knicks LeBron laughs at suggestion of joining son Bronny James at Knicks

    LeBron James reminded reporters his son Bronny is in the ninth grade and any NBA plans are a long way off.

    NBA great LeBron has spoken in the past of the possibility of playing alongside Bronny, who is currently at Sierra Canyon High School.

    But after scoring 21 points in a Los Angeles Lakers win at Madison Square Garden, the four-time MVP was taken aback by a question about the possibility of the two linking up for the New York Knicks down the line.

    LeBron was asked if he would consider a switch to the Knicks if Bronny, still just 15, was drafted by New York in years to come.

    The 35-year-old laughed and replied: "My son's in ninth grade, man.

    "We're trying to worry about what project we're turning in tomorrow. That's what we're worried about now.

    "That's what's most important: school, home, and being the best big brother he can be."

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