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The Kings are King … and Other Crowns!

June 12th, 2012

LA Kings' Simon Gagne with the Stanley Cup. Photo credit: Louis Lopez/Cal Sport Media via AP

It’s hard to look forward to the Olympics when there’s so much going on in sports right now! Hockey, basketball, and tennis below…

In hockey , the Kings finally get to wear their crown! The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup last night — the biggest championship in hockey. It’s the first time the LA Kings have ever won the Stanley Cup … in the 45 years since they’ve had a team. That’s still pretty good for a winter sport being played in sunny southern California! Not many predicted they would win.

They beat the New Jersey Devils in the final to win. The Devils have won 3 Stanley Cups in the past, all three with their legendary goalie Martin Brodeur. Brodeur is a bit older by hockey standards, he’s 40 years old, but he has tons of play-off experience in his 20-year career, all with the Devils. But it was the Kings’ much younger goalie, Jonathan Quick, who really shone. Quick had numerous shut-outs througout the play-offs, meaning that in some games, other teams couldn’t score on him at all.  Quick also won the Conn Smythe Award for the Most Valuable Player in the play-offs. Highlight’s from the final game are below:

To see the highlights of the trophy presentation you can click here for the NHL’s website. .

LeBron James. Photo credit: Flickr user Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

In basketball , the NBA Championship finals begins tonight! The Miami Heat will be playing against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Like hockey, it’s a best of 7 series, which means that the first team to win 4 games, wins.

And it’s another instance where there seems to be a “changing of the guard” — where newer players and teams are edging out the older, more established ones.

The Miami Heat with their stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh beat the Boston Celtics to make it to the finals. The Celtics have won the most championships in basketball history — 17 of them — so that was a good win for the Heat.

Oklahoma City has a young but ambitious team with their stars Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook. They beat a basketball dynasty, the San Antonio Spurs, to be in the finals.

The Heat’s LeBron James has a chance to win his first championship after high hopes, predictions (from him and others) and missed opportunities. But many believe the Thunder are the better team. It should be interesting! To follow along, you can click here to go to the NBA’s website (NBA stands for National Basketball Association).

In tennis , at the French Open, Spain’s Rafael Nadal made history over the weekend by winning his 7th French Open title — something no one has ever done before. Nadal beat Serbia’s Novak Djokovic (pronounced: Joke-uh-vich) in four sets. And it was quite a showdown!

On the one hand, Djokovic is the #1 men’s player in the world right now and is almost unstoppable these days. Had Djokovic won, he would have been the winner of all four grand slam events at once — the Australian Open, the U.S. Open, Wimbledon and the French Open. That’s really hard to do and very few people have done it. The last time was in 1968. The French Open was the only one he was missing … and the only one he’s never won.

On the otherhand, the French Open is played on red clay which is Nadal’s specialty. Some say Nadal is the greatest clay-court player of all time. He grew up playing on it and it suits his playing style. But others thought Djokovic’s time had finally come. Nadal, however, managed to hang on long enough to make his own history.

You can watch Nadal win below (Nadal is wearing red):

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