Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Wednesday, highlighted by the Clippers officially welcoming Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with an introductory press conference that featured their owner hyped beyond belief over the acquisition of the superstar duo.
We also will span the top sports headlines including the miraculous story of a horse being rescued from a sinkhole and going on to win a horse race less than two weeks later.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Thursday.
Kawhi Leonard Thanks Raptors Fans; Clippers Owner Gets Fired Up At Introductory Press Conference
The new era of Los Angeles Clippers basketball got underway on Wednesday as superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were officially introduced with a bit of flare.
The Clippers owner Steve Ballmer kicked things off, serving as the hype man for his new squad and showed his unparalleled excitement over his new dynamic duo.
“I have these notes but I have to say I’m fired up to be here today,” Ballmer said. “Most of all, I’m pumped! To say hello as Clippers to Paul and Kawhi. Come on! Come on! Get up! Yeah!,” the exuberant owner shouted as he implored everyone in the room to stand and cheer for his two new star acquisitions.
Leonard, the reigning NBA Finals MVP who led the Raptors to their first-ever championship, thanked the Raptors fans, the city of Toronto and the country of Canada for the amazing season.
The 28-year-old, who grew up in the Los Angeles area, spoke about being a fan of his new team as a kid and their opportunity to make history.
“I grew up a Clippers fan,” said Leonard. “I loved the Clippers as a kid. …It’s an opportunity for us to build our own and make history. They haven’t been to a Finals and haven’t won a Finals and that was something exciting for me to make my decision.”
The other half of the superstar duo, George, spoke about when he came close to playing with Leonard back when he was on the Indiana Pacers and the Pacers drafted Leonard with the 15th overall pick in 2011, but would ultimately trade him to San Antonio.
“But fast-forward, knowing that the player I am and the player he developed into, I wish we would have kept that pick and we could have [grown] together,” said the six-time NBA All-Star, George. “It seems like this was destiny that we were supposed to play together.”
Jerry West, a member of the Clippers executive board, perfectly summed up the acquisition of the two superstars. “Sometimes you get Christmas presents in the middle of the year,” said West. “And that’s what we got.”
More from Heavy.com: Lakers fan crashes Leonard and Paul’s Mural Reveal
WILD & WACKY: Horse Wins Race 12 Days After Being Rescued From Sinkhole
Mr Changue, a six-year-old racehorse, went from nearly dying in a freak incident to triumphing on the track in less than two weeks’ time.
The horse was swallowed by a sinkhole while grazing on July 11th at Fort Erie Race Track in Ontario, Canada. The hole was caused by a water main break near the horse stables, according to reports.
A collection of people including trainers, track workers and the Fort Erie Fire Department rallied to rescue Mr Changue from the hole that buried everything but his head.
In miraculous fashion, just 12 days after almost being buried alive, Mr Changue returned to the track this past Tuesday and won an undercard race in the Prince of Wales Stakes.
Talk about a comeback!
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Sports Headlines
- WATCH: Nineteen-year-old swimmer Kristóf Milák breaks Michael Phelps’ 200-meter butterfly world record, which stood for 18 years
- Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr says Anthony Davis’ demand to be traded was ‘Bad for the League’
- Zion Williamson lands richest rookie shoe deal in NBA history, per source
- Red Sox play game under protest after array of Rays’ substitutions
- Green Bay Packers cut long-time defensive tackle Mike Daniels
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD ON THURSDAY
MLB: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
The Yankees and Red Sox resume their storied rivalry with a four-game set this week at Fenway Park. The Yankees have a sizable 10-game lead in the American League East, while the Red Sox are in a battle in the American League Wild Card race, trailing Oakland by two games for the last playoff spot.
When: Tonight, 7:10 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network (Out-of-market only)
CYCLING: Tour de France
The critical mountain stages that will go a long way in determining this year’s Tour de France begin on Thursday. Julian Alaphilippe maintains his overall lead, with five riders separated by only 39 seconds, chasing him.
When: Today, 5 a.m. ET (NBC Sports Gold); 6:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN)
GOLF: World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
TPC Southwind in Memphis will host this week’s World Golf Championship event, which was previously held at Akron’s Firestone Country Club. Forty-six of the world’s top 50 players have committed to play in this week’s no-cut event, including Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and defending champion Justin Thomas.
When: Today, 2 p.m. ET
TV: Golf Channel
Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here for it.