A Weekend of Championship Superstar Performances
How can you sum up the past weekend of three superstar performances leading to a championship crown in hockey, tennis and basketball. It was a special culmination of humble athletes rising above their peers to display greatness and sports superior place in society.
Sidney Crosby remained humble after capturing the third Stanley Cup of his career.
Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain, is 29 years old and has proven himself a winner in his stellar NHL career. The Penguins beat the Predators 2-0 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Sunday, giving Crosby his third Cup. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP) for the second year in a row. Asked about his legacy after Game 6, Crosby put aside any ego and talked about sharing the spotlight with teammates.
“I don’t think of that a whole lot,” Crosby told NBC. “I think just to be able to share this with this group of guys — a good chunk we’re returning — it’s pretty special. Even for the new guys, just to be able to share that with this group, that was our goal at the start of the year. We knew it hadn’t been done in a long time. To be able to accomplish it is a great feeling.”
The Penguins became the first team to win back-to-back cups since the Detroit Red Wings in ’97-’98. In addition to his three Stanley Cups, Crosby has won two gold medals at the Olympics and captained Canada to gold at the World Cup of Hockey. A rather impressive resume from one of the best players of his era. He is moving up the charts when it comes to ranking the greatest hockey players of all time, but don’t expect him to remind you about it.
French Open Tennis
Rafael (Rafa) Nadal defeated Stan Warinka in straights sets on Sunday to win his record tenth French Open. It was no surprise to those who follow tennis as Nadal is the master of clay courts. A remarkable feat for Nadal, who has regained his previous winning form after a series of almost career ending injuries.
His 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 victory was a display of a superstar rising up again to claim his place in tennis history. He passes the great Pete Sampras for second most Grand Slam titles, trailing only Roger Federer. Nadal now has 15 titles and Federer has 18 titles. Federer and Nadal will be looking for their next title at Wimbleton.
Nadal had not won the French Open since 2014, as he battled injuries in this late stage of his career. But the 31-year-old King of Clay dominated through seven matches without dropping a single set.
Nadal may not be the dominant player he once was, but it’s nice to see he can still hit that high gear at his favorite tournament. A true champion with all the class and respect reserved for a superstar.
NBA Basketball Finals
Another superstar performance was the incredible play of Kevin Durant in the NBA finals. Seeing two superstars with LeBron James and Kevin Durant in the same championship series was a ratings bonanza. Both players were at their best, but Durant and the Warriors had too much firepower for James and the Cavaliers.
Watching Durant play was so unique for a big man to surpass the standard NBA big man role with versatility at the highest level. He is almost like the perfect player. Everything he did against the Cavs was flawless. How can any big man shoot the 3 pointer like Durant. Has there even been a big man in the history of the NBA to shoot from beyond the arc. His form and shooting touch are his superstar credentials. He run the floor like a thoroughbred race horse and was no match for his defenders. We all knew he was great with the Oklahoma Thunder, but he showed that he is beyond great in a level all his own.