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Venus Williams leads Washington Kastles to another title

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Venus Williams leads Washington Kastles to another title

CHARLESTON, S.C. Right from the start, the Sacramento Capitals let the Washington Kastles know that defending their World Team Tennis title would not come easy. In the end, aided by the clutch play of seven time Grand Slam Champion, Venus Williams, the Kastles edged the Capitals 20-19 giving the squad back-to-back WTT titles.It was deja vu all over again, as the Kastles found themselves tied with their opponents going into the final event, women's singles. After battling it out to reach 4 all, Venus Williams and CoCo Vandeweghe headed to a tiebreaker. Sacramento would get an early 2-0 off of Williams's unforced errors, but Venus 'refusing to lose' won the next five consecutive points.As a result of her thrilling performance, Venus Williams, earned the tournaments Most Valuable Player honors.I have been waiting for this title for 12 years. When I was down 2-0 (in the tiebreaker), I was inspired by what I saw in my team. I could not let up. I was going to win that last point for the team. Its everything I imagined.Accolades also went to the Kastles regular closer Bobby Reynolds, who was named the 2012 WTT Male Most Valuable Player. Kastles Coach Murphy Jensen was selected as 2012 Coach of the Year, marking the second straight season.To bring the King Trophy back to DC is the best feeling of my life, said Kastles coach Murphy Jensen. This season and these players has shown the power of teamwork. We have truly become a family.This victory puts the Kastles in an elite category as the only team in professional sports (and WTT) history to have two consecutive perfect seasons. The team is also one win away from tying the all-time unbeaten major professional sports streak of 33 wins, set by the NBAs 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers.

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2017 NFL Power Rankings: Both conferences are wide open through six weeks

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USA TODAY Sports

2017 NFL Power Rankings: Both conferences are wide open through six weeks

Through six weeks of the NFL season, it's clear who the Super Bowl favorites are.

In the AFC, it's, um, well, OK, let's do the NFC first. In the NFC, you have to watch out for — actually, nevermind, this isn't that easy.

CLICK HERE FOR NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON'S UPDATED NFL POWER RANKINGS

The Chiefs and Eagles are the only two teams standing at 5-1, but there are quite a few 4-2 squads right behind them, as well as talented 3-win teams who can take any opponent down if they bring their best stuff. That means that as the halfway point approaches, both conferences are still open races.

And those races got a lot more interesting after a fun Week 6. The power rankings look a lot different than they did before the weekend because of Week 6's results, too.

So, click the link above or below to see who's moving up and who's sliding back. Or, in the case of the Browns, who's sliding but staying in the same spot simply because they can't be dropped any further.

CLICK HERE FOR NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON'S UPDATED NFL POWER RANKINGS

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Bradley Beal loves Sixers' Joel Embiid's trash-talking, just don't try it on the Wizards

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USA Today Sports Images

Bradley Beal loves Sixers' Joel Embiid's trash-talking, just don't try it on the Wizards

There may not be another athlete, regardless of sport, that is as good at social media as Sixers center Joel Embiid. It's partly why he has become so popular among fans and media despite only having 31 NBA games under his belt.

It has apparently even earned him a nickname as the 'Social Media King.' 

Everyone seems to be laughing, expect Heat center Hassan Whiteside perhaps. Embiid and Whiteside have been in an on-court and off-court beef for a while now. Last year Embiid called Whiteside "BBQ chicken" after one matchup, suggesting he 'cooked' him. Whiteside also made headlines for suggesting Embiid's social media prowess earned him All-Star votes.

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After a matchup between the two this preseason, Whiteside tweeted his team's record against Embiid's Sixers. So, Embiid fired back with a series of tweets, some of which were hilarious:

The Wizards host the Sixers for the regular season opener on Wednesday and, with Embiid's social media antics in the news, Bradley Beal was asked for his opinion after Monday's practice. He's amused.

"Jo-Jo is my boy. I like Jo-Jo. We have the same trainer and work out in the summers. That was crazy. That was really crazy. He was letting his feelings be known," Beal said. 

"But I like it, it keeps guys competitive. Same with Whiteside. I think that's what we need a little bit. I don't think there is necessarily going to be any fighting or any hands thrown or anything like that. It's a competition thing. Who is the better big and who is going to prove it?"

Beal enjoys Embiid's trash-talking from afar and considers him a friend. Just don't bring that stuff to D.C.

"When he plays us, we're going to try to shut him down as best as we can. We aren't trying to hear none of that talking and I'm gonna let him know about it, too," he said.

Markieff Morris may be out, but the Wizards have plenty of players who won't back down to trash-talking, Beal included.

[RELATED: HOW WILL WIZARDS GUARD BEN SIMMONS?]