Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports headlines from Wednesday, highlighted by the anticipation growing for tonight’s NBA Draft where the New Orleans Pelicans are expected to select Duke phenom Zion Williamson with the first pick.
We also take a look back on Max Scherzer’s all-time gutsy performance of striking out ten Phillies with a broken nose and black eye, and NBA and WNBA star power joining LeBron James in the cast of “Space Jam 2.”
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Thursday!
All Eyes on Tonight’s NBA Draft as the Zion Williamson Class is Ushered Into the League
The NBA Draft is set to take the world by storm Thursday night from Brooklyn’s Barclay Center (7pm ET, ESPN), and the spotlight will shine bright on Zion Williamson, who is expected to be the first overall pick selected by the New Orleans Pelicans.
Listed at 6’7, 285 pounds, Zion is a once in a generation prospect and was the talk of the college basketball world since he stepped on Duke’s campus last fall. He was named AP Player of the Year as he led Duke to the elite 8 in this past season’s NCAA Tournament. The multi-faceted, transcendent talent of Williamson led to him joining Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis as the only freshman in college basketball history to tally 500 points, 50 steals, and 50 blocks in a single season. The 18-year-old phenom is the most hyped prospect heading into an NBA Draft since LeBron James in 2003.
After the Zion show, the Memphis Grizzlies will have the number two overall pick and the New York Knicks will select third. These two picks are expected to target more superstar potential in Murray State’s Ja Morant and Duke’s R.J. Barrett. Morant’s star shined bright on the big stage during March Madness, as he recorded a triple-double in a first-round upset of Marquette.
Meanwhile, R.J. Barrett, who was the number one prospect in the class of 2019 coming into last season, was Duke’s steady force throughout the year, leading them to an ACC Tournament Championship and #1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that the Knicks remain “locked on” Barrett with the #3 pick.
After the first three picks are selected, this draft is wide open. There’s a big question mark of what the Pelicans will end up doing with the fourth overall pick that they obtained over the weekend from trading Anthony Davis to Los Angeles. They currently own two out of the first four picks in tonight’s draft. Will there be a ground-shaking deal made on draft night? We’ll have to tune in and see.
For a full mock draft, check out the Ringer’s NBA Draft Guide.
Gutsy Performance of the Night: Max Scherzer Strikes Out Ten, Dominates Despite Broken Nose & Black Eye
If there was a definition of beast mode, you wouldn’t have to look further then Tuesday night’s Max Scherzer start to find it. The three-time Cy Young Award Winner struck out 10 and threw seven shutout innings to lead the Washington Nationals to a 2-0 win over the Phillies, a night removed from breaking his nose during batting practice.
Prior to the previous night’s game, Scherzer took part in a bunting exercise and ended up deflecting a ball off his face.
Pitching with a swollen nose and a large bruise under his right eye, Scherzer dominated the Phillies on Wednesday night, averaging 96.2 mph with his fastball. Scherzer’s start came in the nightcap of a doubleheader sweep of Philadelphia.
Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, Chris Paul and Diana Taurasi to Join LeBron James in ‘Space Jam 2’
It looks like Anthony Davis will be joining forces with LeBron James on the court and off it as well. According to multiple reports, the new big man in Los Angeles will be teaming up with James, as well as Klay Thompson, Chris Paul and Damian Lillard as a part of the cast of “Space Jam 2.”
It was reported that WNBA stars Diana Taurasi and the Ogwumike sisters, Nneka and Chiney, will also have a role in the movie, which is expected to begin filming during this NBA offseason. The cast was first reported by LakeShowWorld.com.
This new film will be a remake of the 1996 hit that featured Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny.
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Sports Headlines
- Wild brawl breaks out between parents at 7-year-olds’ Little League game
- David Ortiz shooting was the result of a mistaken identity, say Dominican officials
- Utah Jazz land Mike Conley in trade with Memphis Grizzlies
- Tampa Bay Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov wins Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP
- C.C. Sabathia picks up milestone 250th career win, Yankees sweep Rays
- ESPN bans LaVar Ball after he makes inappropriate comment to anchor Molly Qerim on ESPN’s First Take, per report
WHAT’S ON TAP TODAY
2019 NBA Draft
With phenoms Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett on the board, all eyes will be on the Barclays Center in Brooklyn tonight, as the future of the NBA is laid out at the NBA Draft.
Time: 7pm ET
FIFA Women’s World Cup: U.S. vs. Sweden
The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team play their final match in the group phase against Sweden this afternoon. Both teams have won their first two matches at the 2019 World Cup.
Time: 3pm ET