The 24-year-old forward made a strong case for himself when he helped Milwaukee to the NBA’s best record at 60-22. His efforts — 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game — were enough to beat out Harden for the hardware.Harden, who has now been an MVP runner up three times in his career, netted a league-high 36.1 points per game for the second-most in one season in modern NBA history — behind only Michael Jordan, who averaged 37.1 in 1986-87.The Bucks were eliminated from the playoffs when they fell to the Raptors in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. “We’ll be back stronger and better,” Antetokounmpo wrote on Instagram after the loss. “Milwaukee thank you for supporting my teammates and I this entire season we couldn’t have done it without you all!”Antetokounmpo was unanimous selected to the All-NBA and All-Defensive first team. You can add MVP to the list of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s accomplishments.The star took home his first-ever Most Valuable Player award Monday at the NBA awards ceremony. NBA trade rumors: Bucks shed salary by sending Tony Snell, No. 30 pick to Pistons The 2018-19 #KiaMVP is… @Giannis_An34! #NBAAwards pic.twitter.com/kcJNji3dl8— NBA (@NBA) June 25, 2019Antetokounmpo, who finished his sixth season with the Bucks, was a favorite heading into the night, along with 2017-18 recipient James Harden. He became the youngest winner since Derrick Rose in 2010-11. Related News Giannis Antetokounmpo addresses loss to Raptors, says Bucks will ‘be back stronger and better’
MORE: SN staff predictions and picks for the 2020 MLB seasonJust three seasons ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the World Series favorites in 2020, went 51-9 from early June through mid August 2017, marking the best 60-game stretch for any team during any point in a season. Before then, however, teams have gotten close to 50 wins in their first 60 games many times.Here’s a look back at those hottest opening records ever, going back more than a century. This should give the Yankees and Athletics plenty of inspiration to try to dominate as contenders again in 2020:10 best 60-game starts in MLB history1. New York Giants, 1912Opening record: 48-11-1Final record: 103-48Just like the 2017 Dodgers, the 1912 Giants, well before relocating to San Francisco, couldn’t finish with a World Series title. Behind famed manager John McGraw and led by Hall of Fame pitchers Christy Mathewson and Rube Marquard, the Giants were NL juggernauts, but they lost a classic tight eight-game World Series to the Red Sox, 4-3-1 (including a tie in Game 5).2. Seattle Mariners, 2001Opening record: 47-13Final record: 116-46Lou Piniella managed this very talented team. They had great lineup balance with Ichiro Suzuki, Edgar Martinez, Bret Boone, Mike Cameron and John Olerud. They also had a strong rotation of versatile arms featuring unlikely late-career 20-game winner Jamie Moyer. Unfortunately, after getting through the Indians in the division series, they lost to the Yankees 4-1 in the ALCS, failing to reach the World Series.3. Chicago Cubs, 1907Opening record: 47-13Final record: 107-45This was the Cubs’ championship standard that stood for 108 years until the 2016 team made history. The double-play combination of Joe Tinker to Johnny Evers to Frank Chance was on the marquee, but pitchers Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown and Orval Overall were the true dominant forces. Chicago rolled through the NL and took care of Detroit 4-0-1 in the World Series.4. New York Yankees, 1939Opening record: 47-13Final record: 106-45This was one of the Bronx Bombers’ super teams, led by the two Joes, manger McCarthy and superstar DiMaggio. Joe Gordon, Bill Dickey, Lefty Gomez and Red Ruffing gave the Yankees four more future Hall of Famers. The seventh was Lou Gehrig, who was forced to retire after his ALS diagnosis at midseason, giving his inspiring address on July 4. They rolled through the AL and swept the Reds, 4-0, in the World Series.MORE: 2020 World Series odds, top player prop bets5. New York Yankees, 1998Opening record: 46-14Final record: 114-48The Yankees’ modern dynasty was stamped by this effort, setting the tone for the first of three consecutive World Series titles after they ended a long drought (for them) in 1996. Joe Torre and Derek Jeter had plenty of support from a loaded lineup to a mighty five-deep rotation to Mariano Rivera. With a great mix of youngsters and veterans, power and speed, offense and defense, starting and relieving, New York had no weaknesses all the way through sweeping the Padres 4-0 in the Fall Classic.6. New York Yankees, 1953Opening record: 46-14Final record: 99-52Here’s the Casey Stengel entry for the Yankees. Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle were the leaders here, with Whitey Ford serving as the unquestioned ace of the pitching staff. Despite the significant cool-off over the final two-thirds of the season, New York still padded its World Series haul by taking care of Brooklyn, 4-2.7. Philadelphia Athletics, 1929Opening record: 45-15Final record: 104-46This is the first of two Connie Mack teams on this list. Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Cochrane and Al Simmons had terrific offensive outputs together as future Hall of Famers, while Lefty Grove was just developing his legend on the mound. The A’s denied the Cubs 4-1 in the World Series.8. New York Yankees, 1928Opening record: 45-15Final record: 101-53The 1927 version of the Bombers gets romanticized for its offense more, but the follow-up season was almost identically strong, powered again by Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Miller Huggins easily managed the Yankees to a World Series repeat with a second straight sweep, only vs. the Cardinals instead of the Pirates.9. Philadelphia Athletics, 1913Opening record: 45-15Final record: 96-57Mack had a red-hot team 16 years before, too, although this one had to survive being below .500 after a sizzling start. Eddie Collins and Home Run Baker provided plenty of offense, but there were more future Hall of Famers on the pitching staff in Eddie Plank, Chief Bender and Herb Pennock. These A’s beat the then New York Giants 4-1, long before their Bay Area series sweep in 1989. 10. Detroit Tigers, 1984Opening record: 44-16Final record: 104-58Sparky Anderson managed the best MLB team of the 1980s, powered by intense leader Kirk Gibson and six All-Stars — Lance Parrish, Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Chet Lemon, Jack Morris and Willie Hernandez. Hernandez, a dominant left-handed reliever, won both the AL Cy Young and MVP awards. These Tigers didn’t let up until after they rolled through the Padres for what’s still the franchise’s most recent ring. There is no time for a team slumping to start the 2020 MLB season. With only 60 games on the schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic, that means every game counts as 2.7 games, magnifying every win — and every loss.Although the games are being played in July, August and September, there will be a feel of April and May with every team trying to get out of gate well to avoid stumbling before having a real chance to contend for the postseason. There’s also a chance more than one team can get red-hot and pull away comfortably before the final couple of weeks.
Share46Tweet6ShareEmail52 SharesJune 26, 2016; National Catholic ReporterPope Francis often makes news when conducting in-flight press conferences. Last weekend, on his return to Rome from Armenia (where he renewed the controversy of using the term “genocide” to describe the slaughter of Armenians during World War I by the then-Ottoman Empire, thereby offending Turkey), Francis said:The church must say it’s sorry for not having comported itself well many times, many times. […] I believe that the church not only must say it’s sorry…to this person that is gay that it has offended. But it must say it’s sorry to the poor, also, to mistreated women, to children forced to work.Francis spoke of “accompaniment” of “a person with that condition,” a theme he has repeatedly stressed during his pontificate. As NPQ has noted, the pope is advocating for a shift in emphasis away from condemnation of a person’s sin as a precondition for engagement with the church, preferring to meet someone “where they are” in their faith journey and helping them within the context of church doctrine. Confusion persists both within the Catholic Church and the general public because, while the approach is different, dogma and doctrine have not changed. Francis appears reluctant to change church teaching on subjects like homosexuality, families, and artificial contraception even as he encourages sustained dialogue on these subjects and others by theologians and church leaders. Put crudely, Francis’s apology comes down to a failure of customer service rather than an admission of mistaken dogma. He also is quick to distinguish between the church and Christians. “When I say the church: Christians,” Francis clarified. “The church is holy. We are the sinners.” The fact that the leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics speaks of an apology at all, however, is international news.—Michael WylandShare46Tweet6ShareEmail52 Shares