What an amazing sports month June just delivered us.
Before we stroll into a lackluster July in a non-Olympic, non-World Cup year, let's bask in an incredible 30 days that brought us the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, and Confederations Cup, plus a number of great records broken by you, the fans. June is always our most action-packed month, so settle in for a ton of goodness!
In fact, for a more in-depth look at the first Stanley Cup between Original Six teams since 1979, as well as highlights from the longest marathon playing wiffleball, be sure to watch our accompanying video embedded at the end of this post.
A BASKETBALL HEAT-PEAT
In one of the most entertaining and technically gifted series we'll ever see, Miami outlasted San Antonio this month to take the NBA Finals in seven games. It marked a second straight title for the Heat and a cascade of amazingly punny headlines (like ours above and, a personal favorite, "Miami Twice").
But it also brought a slew of records (as well as this amazing NBA micro-movie of Game 6. Spoiler alert: the Ray Allen shot will give you goosebumps. I would vote this thing for an Oscar).
First, where it all begins for the Heat: LeBron James. The four-time NBA MVP delivered when called upon, following up a Game 6 triple-double (seriously, how insanely great was Game 6?) with 37 points in Game 7. James' 34.5 ppg is the highest career scoring average in NBA Playoffs Game 7s. Remember when people used to say he'd never be clutch?
That wasn't for San Antonio's lack of effort. The Spurs hit not only the most 3-pointers in a single NBA Finals game (16 in Game 3), but role player Danny Green sank the most 3s in a Finals series, finishing with a net-burning 27 across the seven games. Green's 2-of-11 from deep in Games 6-7 is one reason San Antonio didn't earn the ring, but he'll at least have his place here at GWR.
Two final tidbits from the NBA: Miami's Ray Allen - whose record Green broke - has now appeared in the most NBA Game 7s, with 11 to legend Bill Russell's 10. And youth was served in this Finals on the sidelines. The age gap between Spurs coach Gregg Popovich (64) and Heat man Erik Spoelstra (42) was the largest between NBA Finals coaching adversaries, with the younger obviously prevailing.
AROUND THE WORLD OF SPORTS
The Confederations Cup in Brazil satiated our top-flight international soccer appetite this month, with the hosts taking the silverware. The Canarinho romped through all their matches with wins, earning records for most consecutive Confederations Cup victories (12) and longest unbeaten streak (13) in the process - as well as the the most wins of the Confedarations Cup, both in total and consecutively! …Meanwhile, Spain's 10-0 win over Tahiti in the competition's opening round was the largest margin of victory in any FIFA men's tournament finals (excluding qualifiers). It bested Hungary's 10-1 drubbing of El Salvador from the 1982 World Cup. …In women's soccer, America's Abby Wambach raised her career international goals total to 160 this month. That's the most international tallies ever scored - male or female. …A first-round flameout at Wimbledon soured his June, but Rafael Nadal started the month winning the French Open again. He owns records for the most wins of a single Grand Slam (8), by way of his most French Open trophies (8, naturally).
WHAT YOU DID THIS MONTH
And now to highlight a few great athletic achievements by readers like you in June.
The highest hippy jump on a skateboard measured 132 cm (51.9 in) by Pim Heijink (above, Netherlands) at the Real-X skate park in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. Personally, I love his swag friend in the background.
The fastest marathon dribbling two basketballs was 4 hr 39 min 12 sec by Darren "Doctor Dribble" Weissman (USA) at the Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.
The fastest 100 km run barefoot was 10 hr 47 min 40 sec by Sridhar M. Reddy (USA) at Jalagam Vengal Rao Park in Hyderabad, India. He beat the previous mark by 23 min 23 sec.
And for more on a 25-hour-long game of wiffleball, plus the Stanley Cup finals, don't forget to catch our June Sports Vlog here:
Hat tip to fellow GWR sports aficionados Ralph Hannah and Tom Ibison for their help gathering the information above.
Get ready for what's in store for July. See you next month!