Giannis Antetokounmpo was officially named NBA MVP on Monday night, beating out James Harden and Paul George in order to become the third youngest in the last 40 years to win the award. In doing so, he became the fifth player born outside of the United States to take those honors, and he did so by grabbing 78 of the 101 first-place votes to win it in a landslide. The Greek Freak’s season included him being an All-Star captain as well as leading his Milwaukee Bucks past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001. He averaged 27.7 points and 12.5 rebounds over the course of the season, becoming the first since Shaq to pull that feat off. Luka Doncic took home Rookie of the Year, keeping up the European theme.
According to sources with inside knowledge of the New York Mets, the team’s front office is involved with making decisions in-game. The news comes as a major shock, since this is not the form for baseball by any means. Current GM Brodie van Wagenen, in his first season with the club, has denied that he has been doing such, but he did state that he was keeping an eye on medical reports and the like. This is such a strange, perplexing situation that it’s easy to believe this is one of the problems for them. Meanwhile, their crosstown rival Yankees had a player hit a home run in a 27th consecutive game, tying that record in a 10-8 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
The United States Women’s Soccer team didn’t have the easiest of times on Monday against Spain, but they figured out a way to grind and grit their way past the underdogs to win their Round of 16 clash 2-1 and set up an intriguing quarterfinal against hosts France on Friday. The Americans got an early goal via a Megan Rapinoe penalty kick, only to see Spain race back with a goal of their own through Jennifer Hermoso less than two minutes later. A physical hour or so would go by before the #1 ranked team and defending champions earned a second penalty kick, which was eventually put away by Rapinoe to ultimately send them to the last eight of the competition. Canada failed to make it two North American teams in the quarterfinal in the nightcap, losing 1-0 to Sweden.
For the second time in 20 years, Italy will play host to the Winter Olympics, as it was confirmed on Monday in Lausanne that it would be so. Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, precisely, will be the specific hosts, following up the 2006 edition that took place in Torino. The other contender, though most saw Milan as the leaders in the pack for quite a while, was Stockholm, Sweden. It didn’t lead to a lack of controversy, either, with the Swedish delegation verbally protesting whether the IOC wants a bid to be made by a fiscally responsible group or not. Guess we got our answer to that as they continue to go without hosting a Winter Games.