This Week in US Sports: Nationals win World Series, Curry blow hurts wounded Warriors

By Sports Desk October 31, 2019

The Washington Nationals are the newly crowned world champions in baseball, the NFL's trade deadline is boring and an injury to Stephen Curry has left Golden State in a hole

A lot has certainly happened this week - learn more below.

 

1. Washington Nationals come from behind to win World Series

This was not supposed to happen. The Nationals started the year 19-31 but made the playoffs in the National League on a wildcard berth. But still, they had to face an Astros team with home-field advantage that won 107 games and 61 at home in 2019. Washington were not supposed to win a title.

But, after falling behind 3-2 in the series, the Nationals won two straight games over the Astros at Minute Maid Park coming from behind in both games to take the first championship in the history of the organisation.

The Astros won 117 games in total in 2019 but it just was not quite enough. Stephen Strasburg was named the World Series MVP after winning two games while Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto were huge contributors as well. Now the eyes of MLB turn to the postseason where Strasburg has a chance to be a free agent while Astros ace Gerrit Cole absolutely will be.

 

2. What a boring deadline

The NFL is not the NBA or MLB. The league does not have a crazy eventful trade deadline, but after a 2018 year full of moves we thought we were going to have some drama on Tuesday. Instead, when it was all said and done, there was just one trade made before things wrapped up.

There were plenty of trades that happened leading up to the deadline, as Jalen Ramsey went to the Rams and Marcus Peters went to the Ravens, but all in all, this one was kind of boring. Teams appear happy to stand pat and hope their rosters are good enough to win titles already.

 

3. Stephen Curry breaks hand

For the Golden State Warriors, this season just went from bad to worse. After starting out 1-2, Golden State were simply trying to get a win against a surprisingly competitive Phoenix Suns team in the early going. But what they actually got was a loss and an injury to their star player.

Stephen Curry broke his hand on a bad fall on Wednesday and he may be out for an extended period of time because of the injury. The Warriors were already going to be without Klay Thompsonfor the majority of the year, but now they will also be without the two-time MVP for an extended period of time.

D'Angelo Russell will likely have to lead a team of rookies and youngsters for the next few months, which is not the news the Golden State fans thought they were going to get before the year started.

 

4. UFC 244 already full of drama

While UFC 244 was actually pretty tame in the weeks leading up to it, with main event competitors Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal very respectful to each another, the drama really kicked up a notch in the last week.

First, Diaz announced he would not be fighting after he was told he tested for elevated levels of a banned substance. He said he would not compete if his name was not immediately cleared. Then, in the last couple of days, Liverpool's Darren Till ran into visa issues which put his fight with Kelvin Gastelum at risk as well.

But, it appears things have calmed down as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the UFC almost instantly cleared Diaz and Till has reportedly overcome his visa issues while landing in New York on Thursday.

It's been a very dramatic week ahead of what promises to be an awesome fight weekend.

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  • If it's harsh, stay the f*** out – Kyrie Irving defends his leadership If it's harsh, stay the f*** out – Kyrie Irving defends his leadership

    Kyrie Irving stands by his criticism of some Brooklyn Nets team-mates and defended his leadership style as he insisted he is not a "f****** a*****e".

    Irving – who joined the Nets as a free agent in the offseason – made headlines this week when he claimed the team had "glaring" needs following a 117-106 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

    However, the 27-year-old, a one-time NBA champion and a six-time All-Star, believes he was right to criticise his team-mates and cites his career achievements as the basis for taking a leadership role.

    "It's probably a tell-tale sign of the career that I've had, some of the moves that I've made individually as well as coming to different environments and organisations," Irving told reporters in a video shared by SNYtv.

    "At the end of the day, it's an entertainment league. We're drama-filled, everything revolves on these media platforms, which is part of society. I can't really do anything about it, except really be a pillar in our locker room and when I'm out there, winning, that's what it comes down to.

    "It's not like I'm a f****** a*****e shouting all of the time in the locker room.

    "I'm going to continue to push, demand greatness from my team-mates and we go from there. If it's harsh as a leader or it's too much for anybody, you're not in our locker room – stay the f*** out, it's as simple as that."


    Irving also insisted he has earned the right to be respected and listened to by his team-mates, as he attempts to propel the Nets towards a championship win.

    "At the end of the day, my name is in a lot of people's mouths all of the time," Irving added.

    "I've earned that respect because of how great I am as a player and there's still more goals I want to accomplish in this league and I can't do it without improving an organisation and winning a championship, and that's what it comes down to."

    The Nets are eighth in the Eastern Conference with an 18-22 record for the season, with pacesetters the Milwaukee Bucks next up on Saturday.

  • McGregor and Cerrone make weight ahead of UFC 246 McGregor and Cerrone make weight ahead of UFC 246

    Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone weighed in at the 170-pound limit ahead of their fight at UFC 246 on Saturday.

    Both fighters are considered natural lightweights and questions had been asked as to whether McGregor, who is making his return to the octagon after a 15-month absence since his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, would be able to hit his mark.

    However, the duo tipped the scales at 170lbs on Friday in Las Vegas.

    The fight is taking place at welterweight and McGregor hopes it will be the first of three bouts for him season, with his eyes seemingly set on Jorge Masvidal and a rematch with lightweight champion Khabib.

    The outspoken Irishman likely needs a positive result against Cerrone, the all-time wins leader in UFC, if he is to have a chance of making such ambitions a reality.

    McGregor's time away from mixed martial arts started with a six-month ban imposed after a post-fight brawl outside the cage marred his meeting with Khabib, and there was no escape from controversy in the intervening period.

    The 31-year-old was arrested and charged with strong-armed robbery and criminal mischief last March after it was alleged he took a man's phone and smashed it on the ground in Miami – the charges were later dropped over inconsistencies in the victim's testimony. In November, he was fined €1,000 after pleading guilty to an assault of a man at a pub in Dublin.

    McGregor went 1-1 in his two previous fights at welterweight, losing to Nate Diaz at UFC 196 before winning the rematch at UFC 202.

    Cerrone has won six of his 10 previous outings at 170lbs but lost his past two fights at lightweight.

  • McGregor eager to christen Las Vegas Allegiant Stadium with Pacquiao fight McGregor eager to christen Las Vegas Allegiant Stadium with Pacquiao fight

    Conor McGregor would be "honoured" to do battle with Manny Pacquiao in what he believes would be a blockbuster first fight at the Las Vegas Allegiant Stadium.

    McGregor will make his UFC return against Donald Cerrone in Las Vegas on Saturday, 15 months after he was beaten by Khabib Nurmagomedov in his last bout.

    The 31-year-old Irishman is also hungry to don the boxing gloves again and has called out Floyd Mayweather Jr, who he stopped in the 10th round of their fight in August 2017, for a rematch.

    McGregor this week revealed talks with another legendary veteran, Pacquiao, are ongoing and would relish the chance to do battle with the 41-year-old in 60,000 capacity Nevada venue that is still being constructed. 

    "It will be hard to leave the MMA game fully but I think a boxing world title is a great aspiration to have," said the mixed martial arts superstar.

    "What a feather in the cap it would be. I always want bigger and better and to reach for the stars.

    "I would love the rematch with Floyd Mayweather and I know the Manny one is there whenever I want it."

    He added: "I would be honoured and love to be the first combatant to fight in that arena and what a fight that would be against a small and powerful southpaw.

    "We would have to figure out the weight we do it at but it interests me, no doubt."

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