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The Week In Sports


Time now for sports.


SIMON: Pow. Zap. Crunch. The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated a very game team, the Toronto Raptors, by 26 points last night. They're headed to the NBA Finals for the second straight time. But they may not beat the Golden State Warriors again. Our sports correspondent, Tom Goldman, joins us. Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hello. And, you know, listening to you there, I am just trying to imagine you, Scott, if the Cavs and the Cubs win titles this year.

SIMON: (Screaming).

GOLDMAN: (Laughter) Enough said, enough said.

SIMON: I know you don't want - LeBron James, though, headed to his sixth straight finals. Now, I know you don't want me to sing again, but, Tom, what do all little kids growing up on the skid say?

GOLDMAN: I don't know, Scott. What?

SIMON: Cleveland rocks. The Cavs were foundering in January. But they were fearsome last night, weren't they?

GOLDMAN: Yeah, but all due respect, which means I'm going to say something disrespectful about Toronto, the Raptors are not Golden State or Oklahoma City. And the Cavs will face one of them in the finals. And when they do, it's all hands on deck. As great as he is, LeBron James will not be willing his team to victory against the Western Conference champion.

SIMON: Best regular-season team in history is the Golden State Warriors. But they're on the ropes against Oklahoma City right now, aren't they?

GOLDMAN: They certainly are. And what they're facing tonight, not going to be easy with that crazy Oklahoma City crowd getting the Thunder amped up. And the Thunder have already been playing amped basketball. If Golden State wins tonight, it'll be remarkable, and you can put it on the remarkable list the Warriors have compiled over the past two seasons.

SIMON: If they do lose, particularly at this stage, how will history remember the Golden State Warriors and that record?

GOLDMAN: They'll be remembered as having the greatest regular season in history and perhaps being the most exciting regular-season team in history. But not getting the ring will be a mark against them. And, you know, sadly, I think it'll bring up the naysaying from last season, when, after they did win the title, they were still criticized by some because they didn't play the Clippers or the Spurs or the Thunder along the way. And in the finals, of course, they beat an undermanned Cleveland team, missing Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. So this whole magical ride may suddenly seem less magical.

SIMON: May I quote a great Talmudic philosopher?

GOLDMAN: Please do.

SIMON: Scottie Pippen, Shmuel (ph) Pippen as he's sometimes known, who said, "it don't mean a thing if you ain't got that ring."

GOLDMAN: (Laughter) Love it.

SIMON: I want to talk about Baylor. Just a damning report emerged on Thursday saying, essentially, the school failed to protect female students from sexual assault. They fired their very successful football coach, Art Briles, because a number of assaults, allegedly, were committed by football players. Is this a watershed moment for big-time college sports?

GOLDMAN: Well, I think it could be, but I don't think it is so far. You know, there's a lot of talk out there about the reaction to the report by the university being insufficient. The president of the university, Kenneth Starr, is being stripped of his presidency, but he's still being allowed to be chancellor and teach classes, law classes. They'll be taught by a man who presided over a university that didn't adhere to federal civil rights law called Title IX.

Starr said in a statement he didn't know about the assault allegations until last fall and then he started investigations right away. There's still so much we don't know. The 13-page report is lacking in detail. There are others at the university who were fired, but we don't know who or why. Until we have all the answers, Scott, this won't be a signature moment that other universities must avoid at all costs.

SIMON: Yeah. And, by the way, I'll tell you we've got 1:20 left until the end of the segment, OK...

GOLDMAN: Yes, sir.

SIMON: ...Enough time to talk about this - 150 top doctors and scientists from around the world signed a letter delivered to the World Health Organization yesterday saying the 2016 Olympics ought to be moved from Rio in August or at least postponed because of the threat of the Zika virus and half a million visitors who could bring it back home. Do you see any chance that would happen?

GOLDMAN: You know, the WHO has answered this letter by saying suspending the Olympics or staging them elsewhere would not significantly alter the spread of the virus, so, no, the WHO says it doesn't - the games don't have to be moved or postponed. And the International Olympic Committee has said it listens to the WHO and will obviously continue to do so now.

SIMON: But they're essentially saying we don't believe that scientific opinion.

GOLDMAN: I think they're saying that, you know? And they're finding it, you know - I think it's hard (laughter) to argue with 150 respected voices. Apparently they're saying no and the CDC - head of the CDC has said it shouldn't be moved either. But that's 150 voices and it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

SIMON: Tom Goldman, thanks so much.

GOLDMAN: You're welcome, Scott. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.