Jonathan Lee’s Sports Recap: July 6-10

As a little kid playing football, you might dream to one day make it to the pros, and play for your favorite NFL team.  If you actually make it, you might wonder about the legacy you will be leaving as a player.

Steve McNair, former quarterback for the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens, left his final mark on the game he loved so much, when he was shot and killed Saturday by girlfriend Sahel Kazemi. Kazemi was also found dead alongside McNair.  The police confirmed Thursday that the case was being called a murder-suicide, after police found that Kazemi had purchased the gun two days prior to the murder along with other evidence.  McNair who lead his team to a near comeback drive in Super Bowl XXXIV, to send the game to overtime against the St. Louis Rams only to fall a yard short, will forever be remembered for his leadership on and off the field. A husband and father to four, he is now dead at the age of 36.

The news of McNair’s death came as a sudden shock to NFL players who were preparing for the start of Training Camp.

In terms of players getting into camp, Cardinals Darnell Dockett will report to Training Camp, and not allow his contract woes to affect his play on the field.  Dockett has three years remaining on his contract.

A judge ruled in favor of Defensive linemen Pat Williams and Kevin Williams, blocking the NFL from suspending them until the trial is over.  Both tested positive last summer for diuretic, which can be used to hide steroid usage.  A court date is set for July 22nd.

Following Yahoo suing the NFLPA last month, saying they should not have to pay royalties for player information, the parties reached a settlement Tuesday.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The off-season for NBA teams is progressing, with the free-agents beginning to sign with their respective teams.  Following Ben Gordon and Ron Artest changing uniforms next season, another group of free agents had a change in scenery this week.   Former Bulls and Hornets guard Jannero Pargo signed with the Bulls Wednesday.  Pargo will offer some scoring help, which was lost when Gordon signed with Detroit.

The Pistons lost Rasheed Wallace to the Boston Celtics Wednesday, when he decided to sign with the club following strong persuasion by both players and owners of the Celtics.  They also lost Antonio McDyess, when he signed with the Spurs Wednesday.  The Pistons—who seem to be quite busy this off-season—finished the week by coming to terms with Cavalier assistant John Kuester. He will become the next head coach of the Pistons after the firing of Michael Curry.

The Pistons were not the only teams to make a splash this week.  The Toronto Raptors resigned Andrea Bargnani.  Bargnani signed an extension for five years reportedly worth $50 million.  Jason Kidd decided to re-sign with the Mavericks for 3 years worth over $25 million.   Anderson Varejao reportedly agreed to a six-year deal worth $50 million.  Some rookies to sign this week were number one pick Black Griffin, Tyler Hansbrough of the Pacers, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Jodie Meeks of the Milwaukee Bucks, Rodrigue Beaubois of the Mavericks, and Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings.

The biggest story of the week for NBA fans was the four-way deal among the Dallas Mavericks, Toronto Raptors, Memphis Grizzlies, and Orlando Magic.  The deal will send Shawn Marion, Kris Humphries, and Greg Buckner to the Mavs. Toronto will receive Hedo Turkoglu, Devean George, and Antoine Wright. The Grizzlies will receive Jerry Stackhouse, draft rights, and cash considerations, while Orlando will receive $7 million as part of the trade exception for Hedo Turkoglu.

As teams begin to make moves this off-season, they will have to take notice of the changes that have been made.  The salary cap was announced Tuesday night, and was set at $57.7 million for the 2009-10 season, which was $1 million less than last year’s amount.  The NBA is adjusting to the current economic downturn, so the cap is expected to drop even more next year.

With center Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets expected to miss next season with his foot injury, the NBA granted the Rockets the injury exception of $5.7 million dollars, which they used to sign free agent Trevor Ariza.

An agreement was made in principal during the week to sell the Cubs.   The Tribune Co. reportedly agreed to sell the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley field to Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade.  The deal is said to be worth close to $900 million, but is not finalized.

A New York fan who sued the Yankees and the City of New York for religious and political discrimination for being kicked out of the game after he left his seat to go to the bathroom during the song, “God Bless America,” reached a settlement this week. Bradford Campeau-Laurion, the fan who was thrown out of the game, will receive $10,001 as part of the settlement.

Lenny Dykstra, former Mets outfielder filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday.  Dykstra reportedly has $31 million in debts, while generating only $50,000 in income.

Fans of the FIFA World Cup, which is supposed to take place next year in South Africa, may have to wait longer than expected with World Cup construction workers going on strike.  70,000 workers halted their duties, and are demanding a 13.4% increase in pay or they will continue their strike.  The negotiations seem to be at a deadlock.

Defenseman for the United States, Oguchi Onyewu, signed a 3-year deal with AC Milan, one of the top Italian Premier Leagues.  Details on the deal were not disclosed.

The Mountain West Conference agreed to a BCS television deal with ESPN, following controversy over the flawed system.  The Mountain West went all the way to Congress to fight the system, only to come out of it empty handed.  They will continue to fight the highly criticized system.

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