The Latest In Sports: Euro 2016
The Latest In Sports: Euro 2016
NPR's Lynn Neary speaks with Andrea Kremer of HBO's Real Sports, about the European soccer finals happening Sunday, and whether Cristiano Ronaldo can win the trophy for Portugal.
LYNN NEARY, HOST:
And time now to find out what's happening in the world of sports.
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NEARY: This week we're joined by Andrea Kremer, Emmy Award-winning correspondent for HBO's "Real Sports" and the NFL Network. Hi, Andrea.
ANDREA KREMER: Hi, Lynn. How are you doing today?
NEARY: Good. We have some big news about Serena Williams. She's won her 22nd Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. That means she's matched Steffi Graf's record. And that's really a big deal, right?
KREMER: It's a huge deal. It was just an absolute sublime performance. Just watched the whole match. It was her seventh Wimbledon title. It - she was dominant. She had - remember, she had lost the previous three Grand Slams, so she's been trying to tie Steffi Graf's amazing Open-era record for, you know, for months now.
But she served 13 aces, completely dominant in the service realm. And she faced only one break point, and she proceeded to serve a pair of aces to get out of that. It was just a magnificent performance by really, arguably, the greatest female athlete of our generation.
NEARY: Yeah, I missed it, but I saw the photographs of her, and she looks like one happy tennis player, I have to say (laughter).
KREMER: Yeah, well, she really earned this one, that's for sure, Lynn.
NEARY: Let's talk about soccer, too. In European soccer, Portugal takes on the home team of France in tomorrow's final. What should we be watching for in that?
KREMER: You know, Lynn, I love story lines. And in Euro '16, the one that I'm looking at is about Cristiano Ronaldo. He has had league titles, Player of the Year honors, but this would be his first ever major title with his national team of Portugal. And look, this is one of the flashiest players in the world, both on and off the field, but he hasn't just been the glamorous scorer in this tournament. And believe me, he's got a record nine goals already in Euro '16. But he's done what they call the dirty work. He's scratched and clawed his way in really leading the team of Portugal.
NEARY: Well, speaking of superstars, the big news in this country in the NBA is that free agent Kevin Durant is leaving Oklahoma City to join the Golden State Warriors. Now, didn't the Warriors already have enough amazing players?
KREMER: Well, this is an example of if you can't beat them, join them. Kevin Durant, four-time NBA scoring champion - remember his team, the Oklahoma City Thunder - they lost to the Warriors in the Western Conference finals. So he ends up taking his talents out to the Bay Area. What's going to be interesting is Golden State - as you alluded to, they have four all-stars, all in their prime, ranging from the ages of 26 to 28. And this is a team with really amazing chemistry. And how Kevin Durant fits into that - how he's accepted by the two-time MVP Steph Curry and his whole crew - is going to be absolutely fascinating 'cause remember, as they say, there's only one basketball to go around.
NEARY: (Laughter) Is this like LeBron James leaving Cleveland for Miami a few years ago?
KREMER: Well, look, they had a couple of the perfunctory burning of the number 35 jerseys, but, you know, let's put it this way. Thunder Chairman Clay Bennett wrote a letter to the fans acknowledging what Durant meant to the foundation of the franchise and its success. That's a far cry from six years ago when LeBron James left Cleveland to go to Miami and the owner - then-Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert - wrote a letter to the fans that had the words narcissistic and cowardly betrayal. Not the vitriol involved in Kevin Durant moving from the Thunder to the Golden State Warriors.
NEARY: OK. Andrea Kremer of HBO's "Real Sports," thanks so much.
KREMER: All right, Lynn. Thanks a lot.
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