Sports Highlights — July 1, 2021

AP Photo/Matt York

Scanning the wide, wide world of sports …

  • The Phoenix Suns will be going to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993 after defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 130-103 in Game Six of their Western Conference Finals. The Suns will take on whoever is left on the roster of either the Milwaukee Bucks, presently without their certified superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo (hyperextended knee), or the Atlanta Hawks, currently without their breakout superstar Trae Young (bruised foot bone), whose Eastern Conference Finals is presently tied at two.
  • The Montréal Canadiens have had their request to allow more fans to attend their Stanley Cup Finals home games against the Tampa Bay Lightning denied by sordid … er, assorted government agencies. Considering how the Canadiens have this far been straightforwardly overpowered by the Lightning, the latter enjoying a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, maybe Montréal should be grateful.
  • Back to Suns-Clippers for a bit: nice moment after the game between old friends Chris Paul, going to his first finals after fifteen NBA seasons, and Billy Crystal. See, cancel culture kids, this is how being a decent person is done.
  • On to baseball, where yesterday seven was not a lucky number. First, the Chicago Cubs scored seven runs in the top of the first against the Milwaukee Brewers … and lost 15-7. Next, the New York Yankees scored seven runs in the bottom of the first against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (or whatever they’re called these days) — off of Shohei Ohtani, no less — took an 8-4 lead into the top of the ninth … and then watched the Angels, without Ohtani or the injured Mike Trout in the lineup, score seven times en route to an 11-8 win. Oops.
  • In auto racing, current F1 points leader Max Verstappen has promised to never ever again celebrate a win following league officials severely scolded him following his burnout after the Styrian Grand Prix. In related news, in lieu of spraying everyone with champagne after a win, going forward all drivers on the podium will blow organic soap bubbles at those in attendance.
  • Some non-Stanley Cup hockey news: Nashville Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson is going to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a couple of draft picks. The trade makes sense for both teams; the Predators need to replenish their stock of players in the development pipeline, and the Kings add a player who despite an off-year in 2021 will likely regain his scoring touch once he discovers that during home games, whenever there’s a break in the action the PA will be pumping out Red Hot Chili Peppers instead of Florida Georgia Line.