As a brutal summer winds down, we try not to hit 120 degrees on the thermometer and football edges ever closer, it’s time to review what’s transpired during a very eventful June and July.
1. Who’s the biggest winner of the summer?
Bohls: By far, the biggest winner was, oh yeah, the team that’s already won big. The Golden State Warriors got better. By adding another All-Star in DeMarcus Cousins, the NBA champions got even better, which has to scare the daylights out of Adam Silver. Landing the best big man in the game — even if it’s February or March before he’s ready — the Splash Brothers may morph into the Cannonball Brothers. Go ahead and FedEx ’em another trophy for next year.
Golden: It has to be the Dubs. Kevin Durant, Steph Curry. Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson just got their repeat and they’re going to have at least one more year together. That’s great for the city of Oakland which got to celebrate another title before the team leaves for San Francisco.
2. Who’s the biggest loser?
Bohls: Relatively speaking, I’m giving the crying towel to the Arkansas Razorbacks. Dave Van Horn’s baseball team was one precious out away from its first ever College World Series championship, but three Hogs players couldn’t corral one foul ball, eventually lost the game and the title game as well the next night to Oregon State. That has to leave one humongous mark at the end of a magical season.
Golden: Jordan Spieth entered the final round of the British Open tied for the lead at 9 under par but left a great opportunity to win a fourth major before the age of 24 get away when he blew up with a 76, a brutal collapse for the defending champion.
3. Will the San Antonio Spurs make the playoffs next season?
Bohls: Of course. Don’t they always? They won 47 games without whatzisname, and now they have a healthy All-Star DeMar DeRozan to take the place of the biggest crybaby in sports. Put ’em down for 50 wins and a top four playoff berth in the West, but don’t expect ’em to go too far in the playoffs.
Golden: Does Gregg Popovich hate third-quarter sideline interviews? Sure they will, but they won’t be around for long. The Western Conference is a beehive and the Kawhi-less Spurs will be lucky to make it out of the first round.
4. Will Kawhi Leonard ever reach his MVP status again?
Bohls: Sure he will. Has any superstar even been as rested from, yes, a quad injury that didn’t even require surgery? He’ll beat up on inferior East teams and vault himself back into MVP contention so long as his uncle doesn’t make him go to his room without his supper.
Golden: He will in 2019 when he joins the Lakers. He will use his lone year with the Toronto Raptors to rediscover his rhythm before heading West.
5. Who’s the 2019 MVP of next year’s Texas baseball team?
Bohls: I’d take Mr. Long Ball, Zach Zubia, who can mash with the best of them. He could hit 25 homers next year.
Golden: Leadoff man David Hamilton will be even better. He hit .291 and stole 21 bags last season. Expect him to top .300 and swipe 30 bags.
6. How many more majors will Serena Williams win?
Bohls: Maybe one. Two tops. I think she’s totally smitten with motherhood, and that’s a serious distraction from the courts for a 36-year-old. Besides, what else does she have to prove? She’s the best women’s tennis player ever and could win another five or six if she desires, but may lose interest.
Golden: Three or four assuming the over-the-top drug testing doesn’t run her out of the game. As long as she has that serve, she will remain a contender in every tournament she plays.
7. Will LeBron win another title with the Lakers?
Bohls: No, he will not. He couldn’t encourage Paul George or Chris Paul to join him in La La Land, and he’s destined to finish his career as playoff fodder for the Warriors, Rockets, et al, in the West.
Golden: Sure, if the Golden State Warriors are forced to leave the planet. James is the second best player to ever lace them up but he can’t do it alone, especially in the West. Even when Kawhi gets there, the Lakers still won’t be ready to top the Warriors or Rockets.
8. Can any team dethrone the Astros?
Bohls: No one can match Houston’s terrific combination of starting pitching, athleticism and power. OK, so maybe the Boston Red Sox could top the Astros, but they can’t pitch Chris Sale every game.
Golden: Did I miss the fact that Boston has the best record in baseball? The Red Sox are older with a smaller championship window but have an elite pitcher in Chris Sale and enough offense to bang with Houston.
9. What should the Rangers do before the trading deadline?
Bohls: Trade every player, fungo bat and batting cage and begin to restock. Without question, they should sell off Hall of Fame third baseman Adrian Beltre (as a rental Texas could then re-sign in the offseason), ace Cole Hamels, closer Keone Kela, and any of three infielders Elvis Andrus, Jurickson Profar or Rougned Odor.
Golden: Say ‘uncle’, ‘aunt,’ or whatever else comes to mind for a lost season. Seriously, they should trade third baseman Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus if they can get prospects that will aid in the rebuild.
10. Was France the best team in the World Cup?
Bohls: Yes. Don’t tell Kylian Mbappé otherwise. Maybe Croatia could have won a best of three series if rested, but the team was too burned out by its late gantlet of shootouts down the stretch. Vive la France.
Golden: They won it, right?
11. Will Dez Bryant be on an NFL roster for the start of the season?
Bohls: Of course. It may not be an NFC East team like he’d hoped, and the Cleveland Browns could be a landing spot, so he will swallow his pride and sign for a lesser amount with someone desperate for an aging, possession receiver.
Golden: With Josh Gordon’s status up in the air entering training camp in Cleveland, the Browns should sew up Dez ASAP. If they don’t, someone else will.
12. What was your favorite sports moment of the summer?
Bohls: I watched nearly every minute of the John Isner-Kevin Anderson “How’s the Weather Up There?” semifinal match at Wimbledon, but I really couldn’t get enough of the tense Anderson-Roger Federer quarterfinals, which was fabulous. I didn’t think I’d ever see the day Federer would drop a match point that would have given him a straight-sets victory and eventually lose.
Golden: Watching Steph Curry get up close and personal with thousands of fans during Golden State’s championship parade. Curry is a great example of a superstar giving back to the fan base.
13. What was your least favorite sports moment?
Bohls: Besides the barrel rolls of the hypochondriac Neymar and the lopsided Wimbledon finals for men and women, I’d pick the colossally boring NBA Finals.
Golden: Watching Chris Paul pull up lame at the end of Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals against Golden State. The Rockets would have won Game 7 with a healthy Paul and gone on to beat Cleveland for a third world championship. Tough break.
14. How many more majors, if any, will Tiger Woods win?
Bohls: One. I bet he’ll win another Masters because of his muscle memory and familiarity with and love for the Augusta National course. But he turns 43 this year, he won’t touch Jack Nicklaus’ 18 majors, and too many elite players stand in his way.
Golden: He has two more in him. He showed at The Open that he can still play at a high level if he can find the fairways. The new putter has been a successful change, and he finally put four good rounds together at a major. He’s back in the mix.
15. What advice would you give NFL holdout Le’Veon Bell?
Bohls: Count your money and be thankful for your blessings. You’re rich beyond imagination. Quit pouting and show up for work.
Golden: Get your money. You’re the best player on your team and one of the most hit. Elite players have to strike while the iron is hot.