Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Thursday, highlighted by a massive NBA blockbuster deal made by the Thunder and Rockets, that sent superstar Russell Westbrook to Houston to join forces with former MVP teammate James Harden, and shipped Chris Paul and multiple draft picks to Oklahoma City in return.
Spanning the sports headlines, Serena Williams and Simona Halep cruise to decisive victories in their semifinal matches to set up a clash for the Wimbledon title this weekend and you’ve got to see this video of Redskins cornerback Josh Norman leaping over a bull in Spain.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Friday!
Russell Westbrook Traded to Houston Rockets For Chris Paul & Draft Picks in Blockbuster Deal
Just when you thought things had died down on the NBA offseason front, Thursday happened. Former NBA MVP award winner and 8-time All-Star Russell Westbrook was dealt to the Houston Rockets in the latest ground-shifting deal to hit the league this offseason, according to an ESPN report by Adrian Wojnarowski and Royce Young.
Russell Westbrook now reunites with former teammate and fellow MVP winner James Harden, while the Rockets part ways with nine-time All-Star Chris Paul who was shipped to the Oklahoma City Thunder along with two protected first-round draft picks (2024 and 2026) and two pick swaps (2021 and 2025).
Westbrook and Harden began their careers in Oklahoma City together and now form a lethal 1-2 duo in Houston that gives the Rockets a window to make a legitimate run at a championship.
Meanwhile, the Thunder have now added eight first-round picks in the last few weeks, while moving Paul George to the Clippers and Paul to the Rockets. The end destination may not turn out to be Oklahoma City for Paul, as league sources say that the Thunder could work to find a new team for him.
Westbrook leaves behind quite the legacy in Oklahoma City. He was drafted by the organization in 2008 (then the Seattle SuperSonics) and played 11 seasons for the team, ranking first in the franchise (including the Seattle teams) for points, second in assists, third in rebounds and steals and fourth in games played. Westbrook is currently tied for second with Magic Johnson for the most career triple-doubles in league history with 138, trailing only Oscar Robertson who had 181.
MORE coverage from Heavy on the blockbuster trade:
Serena Williams, Simona Halep Cruise Into Wimbledon Final With Straight Set Semifinal Wins
Serena Williams and Simona Halep had no problem on Thursday advancing to Saturday’s Wimbledon Final.
Williams dominated her opponent, Barbora Strycova from the Czech Republic, in straight sets 6-1, 6-2, while the No. 7 seeded Halep easily got by Elina Svitolina from the Ukraine, 6-1, 6-3.
Saturday’s final has the potential of producing history, as Williams is one Grand Slam title shy of tying Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles championships, which has stood since 1973. Williams has not won a major title since the Australian Open in 2017, coming close in 2018 with runner-up finishes at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. At 37 years old, Williams will be the oldest woman to play in a major in the Open era.
Halep will be looking to make history of her own, as she is the first Romanian woman to make a Wimbledon final.
Williams and Halep have met 10 times, with Williams taking 9 of those matches, including a win in their Australian Open contest this past January.
The men will take center stage on Friday for their semifinals. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will meet at Wimbledon for the first time since their legendary final back in 2008 when a 21-year-old Nadal won in a marathon five-set thriller.
The number one seed Novak Djokovic will take on Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in the other semifinal. The men’s final will be held on Sunday at the All England Club.
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Sports Headlines
- MUST WATCH: Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman jumps over bull in Spain
- Marcus Morris accepts one-year deal with Knicks after reneging on verbal agreement to sign with Spurs, per report
- David Ortiz undergoes third surgery as he continues recovery from last month’s shooting
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD
WIMBLEDON: MEN’S SEMIFINALS
All eyes will be on Wimbledon’s Centre Court on Friday, as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal renew their rivalry in the men’s semifinals. The number one seed Novak Djokovic will take on Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in the other semifinal.
When: Friday, 8 a.m.
WIMBLEDON: WOMEN’S FINAL
Serena Williams will look to tie the record for all-time Grand Slam singles titles on Saturday. Standing in her way in the Wimbledon final will be former world number one Simona Halep.
When: Saturday, 9 a.m.
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