For an athlete, there are three stages in his or her career: the rise, the peak and the end. And we’ve witnessed all that in recent days throughout the sports world.
The NBA has named its top three finalists for the Rookie of the Year award, and the season certainly couldn’t get any better for those selected.
Meanwhile, we’ve seen Barcelona great Lionel Messi at his best again, this time conquering Europe for the prestigious Golden Shoe award.
Then there’s Radja Nainggolan who, despite his spectacular performance for Roma, retired from international football after being left out of the Belgium squad for the upcoming World Cup 2018 in Russia.
For today’s sports news and updates, us provides you with more details about the hottest stories in sports.
Mitchell, Simmons, Tatum named finalists for 2018 NBA ROY
It’s still up for debate on who will be crowned this year’s top NBA rookie
The NBA Rookie of the Year battle is now down to Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons and Boston’s Jayson Tatum.
Mitchell and Simmons have long been favoured to win the award, with most fans believing that it’s just a two-horse race between the two youngsters.
The 21-year-old Mitchell made a strong case for the award, thanks in large part to his eye-popping campaign with the Jazz. He averaged 20.5 points per game in the regular season, making him the first rookie to lead a playoff team in scoring since Carmelo Anthony did it for the Denver Nuggets in the 2003-04 season.
Meanwhile, Simmons has impressed with his all-around ability. He was red-shirted for a year—leading to some arguments that he’s not a true rookie and that he has the advantage of being more NBA-ready—but there’s no doubt he has been phenomenal.
He led all other rookies in rebounds, assists and steals while finishing second in scoring. He was also pivotal in helping the Sixers make the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
Tatum, meanwhile, has been a consistent contributor for Boston. However, his averages of 13.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game don’t quite hold up on the level of Mitchell and Simmons.
Moreover, although the 20-year-old forward has been playing well for the Celtics in the playoffs—even helping them reach the Eastern Conference Finals—it should be noted that the voters made their picks before the postseason.
The NBA awards night is scheduled on June 26 at 9:00 a.m. (GMT+8).
Messi bags European Golden Shoe for fifth time
Lionel Messi beats Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane to win his fifth Golden Shoe award
Lionel Messi showed European football fans once again why he is the best scorer in the continent.
The Barcelona star claimed the European Golden Shoe after finishing the La Liga season with 34 goals, leaving him well ahead of nearest challengers Mo Salah (32 goals) and Harry Kane (30 goals).
Messi’s goal tally translated to a Golden Shoe score of 68 points based on the league’s coefficient, while Salah ended with 64 and Kane at 60.
The Argentine was trailing Salah in April, but he scored eight goals in their last six league games to finish two ahead of the Egyptian King.
Salah, in contrast, failed to maintain his scoring form and scored just four goals for Liverpool after the end of March.
It’s Messi’s fifth time winning the award, more than any other player in history. He claimed the Golden Shoe last year, as well as in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who finished second in scoring in La Liga with 26 goals, is now behind Messi in the award tally. The Portuguese talisman has won it four times, in 2008 with Manchester United and in 2011, 2014 and 2015 with Los Blancos.
Nainggolan quits on international football after Belgium snub
AS Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan retires from international football following World Cup snub
Radja Nainggolan is done playing for Belgium.
The Roma midfielder announced his retirement from international football in the wake of his omission from the Red Devils’ squad that will be sent to Russia for this summer’s FIFA World Cup 2018.
Nainggolan helped Roma finish third in the Serie A and reach the Champions League semi-final, but his performance this season was not enough to convince Belgium coach Roberto Martinez that he is a right fit for the team.
Martinez, however, explained that the decision to leave Nainggolan is for “tactical reasons” and even went on to say that he visited and talked with the 30-year-old in Rome.
“Over the last two years, we have worked in a very attacking way, a very specific system and manner, and other players had those roles. Radja has a very important role in his club, and I don’t feel we can give him that in the national team. He’s not a player to be used in a small role,” Martinez added.