Read in Browser

Sports Section


After two more American swimming golds and Suni’s stunner this morning, Team USA takes a seven-medal lead into Day 7. And get the double-screens ready — it’s NBA Draft night, too.

Superstar Suni

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Everybody expected an American to win the gold medal in the women’s Olympic gymnastics all-around.

Nobody expected it to be Sunisa Lee.

With Simone Biles pulling out of the individual all-around to tend to her mental health, the 18-year-old Lee carried on America’s dominance, narrowly beating out Brazilian Rebeca Andrade and Russian Angelina Melnikova.

  • Became the fifth straight American woman to win gold in all-around
  • Competition-high 15.3 in uneven bars
  • Second-best 13.8 in balance beam
  • Fifth-best 13.7 in floor
  • Fifth-best 14.6 in vault

The Minnesota native is now in position to become the new face of gymnastics, following in the footsteps of the last four all-around gold medalists: Carly Patterson, Nastia Liukin, Gabby Douglas, and Biles.

Biles’ dominance is legendary. The only major international competition she hadn’t won since 2013 was the 2017 world championships, when she chose not to compete after taking time off following Rio 2016.

The $37,500 bonus for winning gold isn’t life-changing, but a repeat performance by Lee at the 2024 Olympics in Paris could lift her into the rarefied air of her teammate in terms of marketability: Biles’ endorsements have contributed to her $6 million estimated net worth.

And even with an uncertain future, Biles’ sponsors — Athleta, Core Power, Visa, Nabisco, and Uber Eats, among others — have made it clear they remain fully supportive of her as an athlete whether she competes or not.

Cade’s Earning Potential

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons have confirmed their intention to take Cade Cunningham at No. 1 in Thursday’s NBA Draft, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

That means the Oklahoma State guard will nab the biggest available rookie contract.

From the top pick all the way down to No. 30, first-year contracts are slotted based on draft position and correspond to a specific percentage of the annual salary cap.

The payouts have risen considerably over the last six years, from the $70 million cap in 2015-16 to $109 million last season.

  • 2015: Karl-Anthony Towns: four years, $25.7 million
  • 2016: Ben Simmons: four years, $26.6 million
  • 2017: Markelle Fultz: four years, $37.4 million
  • 2018: Deandre Ayton: four years, $40.3 million
  • 2019: Zion Williamson: four years, $44.3 million
  • 2020: Anthony Edwards: four years, $44.3 million

Even before the Pistons’ decision, Nike had already committed to Cunningham.

The footwear giant inked Cade to a multiyear endorsement deal this week that Woj reported could be the highest-earning shoe deal in this draft class.

Two other projected lottery picks — Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs — signed with adidas.

That’s a great sign for top rookies — as well as the industry — after Edwards failed to land a shoe deal heading into the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign.

Only LaMelo Ball (Puma) and R.J. Hampton (Li-Ning) signed shoe deals prior to the start of the season.

The Draft starts at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

MLB’s Hottest Streak

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Since the All-Star break, young lefties Shohei Ohtani (27) and Juan Soto (22) have continued their hot streaks, as expected.

In the last week, no one has been hotter than 37-year-old Joey Votto.

The first baseman homered twice against the Cubs on Wednesday for the second straight night. He’s now hit seven long balls in his last five games — a first for the 15-year vet.

Votto’s resurgence is even more remarkable considering he missed over a month with a broken left thumb before returning in early June.

  • Prior to his stint on the injured list, Votto was hitting .226 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 29 games.
  • Since coming off the IL, Votto has posted a stunning 14 home runs and 39 RBIs in 44 games.
  • In the 12 games since the All-Star break, he’s hit .372 with a 1.468 OPS, eight HR, and 16 RBI.

You can practically hear the sighs of relief from Reds management now that Votto has resumed putting up numbers worthy of his 10-year, $225 million contract extension from 2012, which runs at least two more seasons.

Votto is due $25 million in 2022 and 2023. The Reds can pick up his option in 2024 for $20 million or buy him out for $7 million.

For now, Votto’s power surge has the second-place Reds at 53-49 — still with a fighting chance to overcome their seven-game deficit with the Brewers in the NL Central.

Making Headlines

Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Olympics: Caeleb Dressel won his first individual gold medal — and second of the Games — in the 100-meter freestyle, setting the Olympic record in the process. Also: Bobby Finke won gold in the 800-meter free; Daniil Medvedev was upset by Pablo Carreno Busta in the tennis quarterfinals, while Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, and Karen Khachanov also reached the semis; and Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova made it to the women’s final.

Updated Medal Count:

  1. USA 🇺🇸: 38 (14 gold, 14 silver, 10 bronze)
  2. China 🇨🇳: 31 (15 gold, 7 silver, 9 bronze)
  3. ROC: 28 (8 gold, 11 silver, 9 bronze)
  4. Japan 🇯🇵: 25 (15 gold, 4 silver, 6 bronze)

NHL: The Devils handed defenseman Dougie Hamilton a seven-year, $63 million contract on the first day of free agency, the largest deal for any player who changed teams. Today, the Blues signed Brandon Saad — one of the top remaining free agents — to a five-year, $22.5 million deal.

Today’s Guest Writer Jimmy Greenfield is a former Chicago Tribune sportswriter who is the author of “100 Things Cubs Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.” His favorite: Winning another World Series before 2124.

You can reach Jimmy at or follow him on Twitter.

Today's Action

*All times are EST unless otherwise noted.
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.