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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Stories by Steve DelVecchio:

Brooks Koepka gets kiss from girlfriend Jena Sims before US Open

Brooks Koepka girlfriend

Brooks Koepka was once again in contention at a major championship entering the final round of the US Open on Sunday, and there will be no talk about him snubbing his better half whether he wins or loses.

Prior to the PGA Championship last month, a moment between Koepka and his girlfriend Jena Sims went viral when the four-time major champion ignored Sims’ smooch attempt.

Sims must have seen all of the comments on Twitter, because she was sure to get a kiss from Koepka after he won. Then at Pebble Beach on Sunday, the two did not misfire.

Koepka entered the final round four shots back of the lead.

Report: Kyrie Irving wants to play with Anthony Davis

Kyrie Irving

The trade that sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday will have a ripple effect across the NBA, and one of the most interesting storylines to follow will be the potential impact it has on Kyrie Irving’s future. As of very recently, Irving reportedly expressed a desire to play with Davis.

David Aldridge of The Athletic reports that sources have told him “for months” that Irving wants to play with Davis. Of course, Davis is now teammates with LeBron James. The primary reason Irving forced his way out of Cleveland was that he was tired of being in LeBron’s shadow, but perhaps his mindset has changed after a tumultuous season with the Boston Celtics.

Irving’s top choice is said to be the Brooklyn Nets, but there has also been a lot of talk about him wanting to team up with Kevin Durant. With Durant expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season while rehabbing from a torn Achilles, it would not be a surprise if Irving adjusts his approach to free agency accordingly.

LeBron may have hinted on social media recently that he wants to play with Irving again, but it’s unclear if that feeling is mutual. A trio of LeBron, Irving and Davis would be tough for Western Conference teams to stop.

Patrick Beverley open to returning to Rockets

Patrick Beverley indicated a few months back that there is bad blood between him and the Rockets over the way his time in Houston came to an end, but that does not mean he is ruling out returning to the team.

Beverley, who is set to become a free agent this summer, was asked on Twitter over the weekend if he would consider playing for the Rockets again with rumors swirling that Chris Paul wants out of Houston. He said “anything could happen.”

Beverley told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt back in March that the word “pissed” comes to mind when he thinks about the Rockets. That likely has to do with them sending him to the Los Angeles Clippers as part of the Paul trade two years ago.

For what it’s worth, Beverley seems extremely proud about his time with the Clippers. His first choice would probably be re-signing with them, but it would be unwise to eliminate a potential suitor like Houston.

Yu Darvish feels vindicated after beating Dodgers

Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish had some trouble pitching at Dodger Stadium in his brief tenure with the team back in 2017, and the right-hander feels like he was finally able to atone for that with a strong performance on Saturday night.

Darvish allowed just two hits and one earned run in seven innings while leading the Chicago Cubs to a 2-1 win over the Dodgers. After the game, he spoke about how important it was for him to pitch well in LA.

Darvish started Game 7 of the 2017 World Series against the Houston Astros, and he lasted just 1 2/3 innings. He gave up four earned runs and never really gave the Dodgers a chance, and they ended up losing 5-1. While their offense is just as much to blame, Darvish knows he put them in a massive hole.

A strong performance in June is nothing in comparison to Game 7 of the World Series, but the solid game in addition to what Clayton Kersaw said about Darvish should make him feel a lot better.

LaVar Ball: Zion Williamson needs to learn how to play

LaVar Ball Lakers

Lonzo Ball has already had the privilege of calling LeBron James a teammate for a season, and he will soon be playing alongside a young superstar who many believe will be the next LeBron. Lonzo’s father LaVar clearly isn’t viewing it that way just yet.

With Ball having been traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis deal, LaVar Ball said he has no concerns because Lonzo can “play with anyone.” He also said Williamson has “gotta learn how to play.”

What LaVar probably means is that Williamson still has to prove he can play in the NBA, which goes without saying. However, he certainly didn’t feel that way about Lonzo when he was still playing at UCLA, and Lonzo’s ceiling is nowhere near Zion’s.

No matter what he says to the media, it sounds like LaVar did not take the trade well.

Patriots’ trade for Lions TE Michael Roberts voided

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots appeared to make a roster move earlier this week that would bring them some much-needed tight end depth, but the trade has been nixed.

The Detroit Lions announced on Friday that they are waiving tight end Michael Roberts after he was reverted back to their roster. The Lions and Patriots had agreed to a trade for Roberts on Thursday.

That likely means Roberts failed his physical, so it’s unclear what the future holds for him.

Roberts, a fourth-round pick in 2017, caught just nine passes for 100 yards last year, but three of them were touchdowns. While he was not expected to replace Rob Gronkowski’s production, he’s 6-foot-5 and could have provided the Patriots with a big body in the red zone. They will need to keep looking if they want to bolster the tight end position before the start of the season.

Kawhi Leonard bringing back his famous laugh after winning championship

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard finally seemed to let loose after the Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors to win their first championship in franchise history on Thursday night, and that means we may even catch some glimpses of his famous laugh.

Not long after the Raptors won Game 6, Leonard and Kyle Lowry sat down for an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. They were naturally in a good mood, and Kawhi’s uber-popular laugh made an appearance.

It happened again when Leonard joked that Lowry probably doesn’t want him back in Toronto next season.

As most of you know, Leonard’s robotic laugh became one of the best memes in internet history when he cracked a joke during his introductory press conference with the Raptors. Klay Thompson appeared to impersonate the chuckle during the Finals, and he certainly isn’t the only one who has done that.

Leonard has a reputation for being a boring guy because he is so focused and often shows little enthusiasm during interviews, but he had plenty of fun after the Raptors won it all. Being able to save the partying for the right moments is probably a big part of what makes him such a great player.

Watch: Ian Poulter cards disastrous quad-bogey at US Open

Pebble Beach is the type of golf course where you can ruin your entire weekend with one tough hole, but Ian Poulter can’t really blame the challenging layout for his embarrassing quadruple-bogey during the second round of the US Open on Friday.

Poulter got into some trouble on the 3rd hole when his ball ended up in an impossible spot near the green. That’s when he briefly turned into a casual weekend golfer and simply could not chip the ball out of the rough. His first attempt went literally nowhere, and the second went about two feet.

Poulter entered No. 3 with a score of 2-over for the tournament, and he ended up carding an 8. That could be the difference between him making and missing the cut. We have seen Poulter hit some incredibly lucky shots at major championships in the past, but that was not his finest moment.