What I Liked
USWNT Brings it Home: It's easy to be confident with the benefit of hindsight, but was there ever really any doubt that this team was going to win the World Cup? Sure, it wasn't exactly a cakewalk, but the U.S. looked like the best team on the field in every matchup, and most times by a wide margin. It was a truly dominant tournament run, and a historic one as well; the U.S. is now the only country with four Women's World Cup titles, and they're also the only team to ever win two back-to-back. Shoutout to the Golden Boot-winner Megan Rapinoe as well— here's hoping we haven't seen the last of her internationally.
The Return of Dynamic Duos (and Parity): Thank you, Kawhi Leonard, for not destroying the competitive balance in the NBA. There's no real way of knowing how close the soft-spoken superstar actually was to suiting up with LeBron and AD, but doing so would have effectively put the Lakers in the express lane to the Finals for the foreseeable future. Instead, Kawhi helped manufacture a wild turn of events that ended with both he and Paul George as members of the Clippers. The pair will share a home with the aforementioned Lakers duo, but LA is by no means the only city with a shiny one-two punch. Gone, apparently, is the era of the super-team; instead, Kobe and Shaq-style dynamic duos are the new wave. KD (eventually) and Kyrie, Giannis and Middleton, Simmons and Embiid, Kemba and Tatum, Harden and Paul, Dame and CJ— theres a decent chance no team in the league will have more than two All-Stars. Best of all, along with that distribution of talent comes a level of parity the league hasn't seen since LeBron joined the Heat. There are solid 10 teams with a legitimate shot at winning a title right now, and there are still moves to be made (Westbrook trade, anyone?). So buckle up, it's gonna be an unbelievable NBA season.
Others of Note: Coco Gauff looking like the future of tennis, the wild finish at the 3M Open
What I Didn't
Redundant Signings: I'm a sucker for the inner-workings of the NBA, and nothing grinds my gears more than boneheaded signings that make no plausible sense. NBA GMs are paid an exuberant amount of money to have at least a decent understanding of player personnel, so it blows my mind how many head-scratching decisions are made every single year. Like, why are the Magic, with their already overcrowded frontcourt, shelling out big bucks to Al-Farouq Aminu when they desperately need guards? I get that the Knicks didn't have the offseason they hoped for, but did they really have to overcompensate on three guys who all play power forward?
No Derby for Yelich: I am all-in on the somewhat-new Home Run Derby format, and it seems as if the players are too; the event's recent star-power has been awesome, and this year's lineup was no different. Unfortunately, arguably the biggest name in the field, MLB home run leader Christian Yelich, won't be able to participate due to a back issue. Underrated star Matt Chapman is a worth inclusion in his place, but Yelich will be missed.
Others of Note: Argentina's continued struggles, Zion missing the rest of summer league