It’s the calm before the storm.
The football season is just around the corner and teams are starting to either get very excited or extremely nervous about their personnel. One AFC West team has a true conundrum on their hands as they wait for their dude to arrive.
Elsewhere around the U.S. sports spectrum, two sisters meet once again, an NBA star expands his horizons, a champion flexes his muscles, and the eyes of the country are upon college football.
Here’s a recap of the past seven days around the American sports landscape.
1. Khalil Mack extends holdout
The 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year still hasn’t shown up to the Raiders facilities as he continues to hold out for a better contract. Mack is in the final year of his rookie deal and scheduled to make $13.8 million this season.
But he is searching for much, much more and he is willing to be fined to get it. Mack was reportedly fined $814K for simply not showing up at camp before Oakland’s first preseason game.
He clearly knows what he wants and will be patient to get it, but while he waits, other teams are looking into acquiring the man who has 40 1/2 sacks in 64 career games. Four teams are supposedly looking to pick him up, but the Raiders are being wishy washy with his market.
NFL Network reported Oakland is looking for two first-round picks in return for the 2014 first-round pick, but at the same time have no interest in dealing him.
The #Raiders have received a bunch of calls in recent days about trading Khalil Mack, but other teams have gotten the impression the price would be at least two first-round picks. No sense they‘re motivated to do a deal. @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/OUsqtMQyKu
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 29, 2018
The Raiders are in a tough spot as they don’t want to deal Mack, but they have to do something otherwise they could lose him entirely in free agency for nothing next year. This could be a story that takes a while.
2. Williams sisters set for another matchup
There may be no more iconic sibling duo in all of sports than Serena and Venus Williams.
The two sisters have combined to win 30 grand slam titles, and 14 together as doubles partners.
This week, they will match up again, this time in the U.S. Open. They will face off for the 30th time in competition Friday at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.
Serena currently leads 17-12 in the head-to-head matchups.
“Cheer for me…or Venus..either one will work.”@serenawilliams shares a few words about her upcoming clash against Venus…
We’ll be on the edge of our seats in the meantime.https://t.co/zUjH8xQd4X pic.twitter.com/qyOVtJjrVf
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 30, 2018
3. LeBron James’ “The Shop” premieres on HBO
LeBron James is more than an athlete, he’s an entrepreneur, activist, father and more. He drove that point home Tuesday as his new show “The Shop” premiered on HBO.
In the show, James spoke about many topics with athletes from across the spectrum including Odell Beckham Jr. of the Giants, Draymond Green of the Warriors and Candace Parker of the Sparks.
This show has been in the works for a while and simply adds to an already impressive resume of James, who also helped fund a school for underpriveledged students in Ohio this year. He has also spent time in acting as he took on a role in Amy Schumer’s comedy “Trainwreck.”
Draymond on LeBron being the best player #TheShop pic.twitter.com/WkhZncVwa1
— BATTLES NBA™ (@BattlesNBA) August 29, 2018
4. Astros back on top in American League West
The Astros have kind of flown under the radar in recent weeks as they fell into a tie with the Athletics for first place in the American League West.
But the team got Jose Altuve and George Springer back from injury this week allowing manager A.J. Hinch to put together a lineup featuring Springer, Carlos Correa and Altuve for the first time since June.
What resulted was a series win over the Athletics mid-week and Oakland’s first series loss since July. Tyler White’s walk-off home run Wednesday sealed a 5-4 victory and the series win.
?️?️?️ LET’S GOOOOO pic.twitter.com/DxJh9AsD8f
— Houston Astros (@astros) August 29, 2018
Houston now has a 2 1/2 game lead over the A’s in the AL West as it heads into a matchup with the Angels this weekend.
Oakland will face off with the Mariners in a three-game series between the teams in second and third in the AL wild-card race.
5. Buildup to College Football
The college football season officially started last week when North Carolina A&T faced off with Jacksonville State, but the true grind starts Thursday when the University of Central Florida takes on Connecticut.
Even better though, the weekend will feature top-15 matchups between No. 6 Washington and No. 9 Auburn and No. 14 Michigan and No. 12 Notre Dame.
There is no rest for anyone this season in their non-conference schedule as every Power 5 team will try to make a statement win before getting to conference play. The two games above are perfect opportunities for that and No. 8 Miami will attempt to do the same when it faces off with SEC stalwart No. 25 LSU.
There’s no turning back after this weekend, college football will be in full swing and there will be no stopping it.