Hello sports fans and welcome to the first edition of the DJ Sports Show Mailbag! These mailbag articles will consist of at least three to five topics going on in sports in a written version, similar to how I cover topics going on in sports on my podcast. In the very first edition of my mailbag, I will be diving into each topic with a paragraph or two on each topic. In this first edition, I will be talking about A’ja Wilson winning her 2nd WNBA MVP, Lamar Jackson, Carlos Alcaraz, & more. Without further ado, let's get to it!
A’ja Wilson wins 2nd MVP & DPOY in the same season
On Wednesday it was announced by the WNBA that Las Vegas Aces star forward A’ja Wilson was named the MVP for the second time in her career with, stats of 19.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game on 50% shooting from the field and 37% from three. This honor makes her one of seven players in WNBA history to be named MVP multiple times, joining three-time winners Lauren Jackson, Lisa Leslie, and Sheryl Swoopes, as well as two-time recipients Candace Parker, Cynthia Cooper, and Elena Delle Donne.
The 26-year-old star was also named the Defensive Player of the Year as well, with averages of 1.4 steals and 1.9 blocks per game. Wilson's magnificent individual season has led to team success as well, helping lead the Aces to the WNBA Finals after closing out the Seattle Storm in the semifinal round in Game 4, where she put up 23 points,13 rebounds, and three blocks, impacting the game on both ends for her team.
Wilson joins a historic list of WNBA players to win MVP and DPOY in the same season: Jackson (2007), Swoopes (2000, 2002), Leslie (2004), and Yolanda Griffith (1999) are the only other players to achieve such a feat. Her next challenge is to lead the Aces to their first title in franchise history. Can she do it? We will find out starting with Game 1 on Sunday, September 11 as the Aces take on the Connecticut Suns, who finished with the second-best record in their respective conference this season.
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens fail to reach a contract extension
With Week 1 of the NFL underway, one question that has not been answered around the league is when the Baltimore Ravens will offer their superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson a contract extension. I recently did an article regarding the matter https://www.djssportsshow.com/post/will-lamar-jackson-the-ravens-come-up-with-an-extension, but it seems like the two parties have failed to reach an agreement before their season opener against the New York Jets.
Jackson had a deadline for reaching an agreement with the Ravens before Week 1 of the season. He now will be betting on himself this season with potentially suffering a significant injury to himself, which can definitely cost him millions if that were to transpire. Jackson has been representing himself in contract negotiations throughout the offseason, and there have been reports that the Ravens have made him multiple offers, including a $250 million deal, but he turned them all down.
Raven's general manager Eric DeCosta stated his opinions on the negotiations with Jackson, saying: "Despite best efforts on both sides, we were unable to reach a contract extension with Lamar Jackson, we greatly appreciate how he has handled this process and we are excited about our team with Lamar leading the way. We will continue to work towards a long-term contract after the season, but for now, we are looking forward to a successful 2022 campaign."
In an offseason that has seen a plethora of star quarterbacks getting paid from the Cleveland Browns paying Deshaun Watson, $230 million guaranteed despite his off the field issues to the Arizona Cardinals signing Kyler Murray to a big extension that includes $189.5 million guaranteed. The gap between Watson and Murray- who is the second-highest paid quarterback currently in the league is- $40.5 million! We also recently saw the Denver Broncos extend Russell Wilson to a five-year, $245 million deal with $165 million guaranteed.
Jackson, 25, will make $23.016 million in the fifth year of his rookie deal. The Ravens will have until March 7 to place a franchise tag on him to avoid him entering the market if the contract negotiations continue to stall. Jackson wants more money than the aforementioned quarterbacks is expected because he was the unanimous MVP in 2020, something Wilson, Watson, and Murray have never accomplished, and he has consistently carried the franchise to the postseason without many weapons in the passing game.
Will Jackson and the Ravens’ have a good season despite all the contract noise? Or will it become a distraction in the locker room and affect the quarterback and team's performance on the field? That will be a great storyline to follow throughout the season.
Here's Stephen A. Smith of First Take on the Ravens and Lamar failing to reach a deal.
19-year-old Spanish tennis phenom Carlos Alcaraz advances to U.S. Open final with a shot at No.1 ranking after defeating Frances Tiafoe in 5-set thriller
Every year, one of the biggest sporting events, the U.S. Open, dazzles us with mesmerizing performances of the world's best tennis players from both the men's and women's sides. Last year we saw the rise of British phenom Emma Raducanu win her first Grand Slam at just 18 years old in the women’s singles bracket at the U.S. Open with tremendous performances. This year is no different, as Spanish tennis phenom Carlos Alcaraz, 19, has taken the tennis world by storm after defeating No.22 ranked Frances Tiafoe in a 5-set matchup for the ages for a shot at the U.S. Open title against No.4 ranked Casper Ruud, who is a young Norwegian star at just 23-years old.
Alcaraz ended Tiafoe’s run at Flushing Meadows with a 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-3 victory on Friday night. The two were going back and forth in an unrelenting effort by both competitors. Tiafoe even stated how magical the match was despite coming up short, saying: "It was so electric. I mean, the tennis definitely matched the hype of the match. Unbelievable shot-making, gets, extending points, crazy shots ... at crazy times, Yeah, I was getting riled up."
Alcaraz was so preeminent at one point in the match that he grabbed nine of the ten games in one set, and could have concluded that match when he held match point in the fourth set. But Tiafoe displayed his inner determination by forcing a fifth set by saving the point, extending it to a U.S. Open record 8-0 in tiebreakers.
Alcaraz seemed indefatigable despite playing his third consecutive five-setter of the tournament with this match, including the quarterfinal round against Jannick Sinner, which lasted for over five hours! After two hours of defeating Tiafoe, Alcaraz stated "I feel great right now,” then added: "I mean, a little bit tired."
Alcaraz is now being talked about as the successor to the great Rafael Nadal for Spanish tennis players https://nypost.com/2022/05/15/carlos-alcaraz-earning-reputation-as-tennis-next-nadal/. He will need to continue to show that unwavering endurance he possesses against Ruud, as they will both be squaring off for a chance at the No.1 ranking and their first Grand Slam title.
Can Alcaraz continue his reign to capture his first Grand Slam? After the performances he has shown us, I wouldn’t bet against him.
Enjoy the utter brilliance that was displayed by Alcaraz & Tiafoe.