Kevin Knox Inks Deal with Puma

According to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, Kevin Knox, the New York Knicks lottery selection in the 2018 NBA Draft, has agreed to sign a multiyear contract with Puma Basketball. It has yet to be reported how much his deal is worth.

Puma has signed a plethora of first rounders from his draft class, and continue to improve their brand recognition by adding Knox to the mix. Before this deal, they had already signed the top two picks in the draft (DeAndre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III) as well as two mid-round selections in Michael Porter Jr. and Zhaire Smith. Knox brings the total up to five of the draft’s top 16 picks. Puma also struck deals with Terry Rozier and Rudy Gay.

Puma had made it known they were after Knox by posting on twitter to advertise their interest in the young small forward from Kentucky.

The Summer League standout may have dropped a hint to show his fans that his intention to join Puma when he wore a shirt repping the company during an interview on First Take with Stephen A. Smith.

Puma Basketball is making a splash after almost 20 years of silence. Their last sponsored player before this year was Vince Carter in 1998. However, the company is attempting to revitalize their brand by hiring Jay-Z as the creative director.

Knox averaged 23.3 points per game in Summer League Action, and if he continues to progress as expected, this could be a solid addition to the Puma Family.

 

Featured Image via Flickr/FuFu Wolf

Jacob deGrom ties MLB record with 25th straight starts allowing three runs or fewer

Jacob deGrom has been outstanding this season, maintaining a 1.68 ERA to go along with 230 strikeouts. He continued his historic campaign last night by making MLB history, tying the record for 25 straight starts allowing three runs or fewer, a record that dates back to 1913.

Despite this accomplishment, deGrom remains focused on the task at hand: winning baseball games.

“I honestly have not been looking at stuff like that, just trying to get ready for my next start,” deGrom said. “I am out there trying to put this team in a position to win. I don’t like giving up runs.”

Mickey Calloway likes what he sees from his ace, but is even more impressed by his attitude when he takes the field. “He’s been the best pitcher in all of baseball,” Callaway said. “It’s grit and determination. He just won’t be beaten.”

As usual, deGrom didn’t pick up the win. He went six strong innings against the Dodgers while striking out six and allowing only two hits and one earned run. However, the Mets only offered the All-Star one run worth of run support, so he got the typical no decision he is used to. That one run also came off his own bat when he drove in Jay Bruce with a single that put his club on the board.

His teammates feel for deGrom as he deserves to have a better record than 8-8. “It is what we come to expect from Jake every time. It is almost not fair. We expect him to go out there and pitch seven innings and give up zero or one run every time. For him to keep doing that and then not get these W’s is unfortunate.”

Every time people doubt his abilities and argue that he shouldn’t win the Cy Young Award, the young pitcher gives them a reason to reconsider.

 

Featured Image via Flickr/slgckgc

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone Suspended One Game

New York Yankees Manager Aaron Boone has been suspended one game and fined an undisclosed amount for his conduct during the team’s 7-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Josh Bard is expected to serve as the organization’s manager while Boone serves his time.

He had made contact with home-plate umpire Nic Lentz while arguing balls and strikes, causing him to be promptly ejected from the ball game. Boone put on quite a show for the fans of the Bronx Bombers as he showed the umpire his best catcher impression.

After the game, Boone was asked about the entire encounter, to which he replied, “”I hadn’t stretched yet, so I wanted to make sure I was good and loose. I guess, [it was about] giving my kids something to make fun of me about.”

At only 45-years-old and in the midst of the first managerial campaign of his career in baseball, Boone still has a lot to learn on how to conduct himself both on and off the field. You are expected to set a good example for your team, and this display did not accomplish that.

Because he is a first-year manager, his behavior could be attributed to the fact that he has yet to develop the mindset of a leader and still holds onto the attitude he had as a player.

Aaron Boone was an MLB third basemen for twelve seasons which included 54 games as a member of the Yankees. He was named to the only All-Star game of his career that very season as he put up rather impressive numbers by hitting .267 with 24 home runs and 96 RBIs for the Yankees and the Reds that year.

Nevertheless, Yankees players were glad that he stepped in to defend his club. “He protected all the guys, for sure,” said Gleyber Torres. “He’s the manager. He does a good job, and we’re proud for that. After that, we started [to get] a little more excited, and we tried to win.”

Boone will be able to be back in the dugout by the time the Yanks take on the Oakland Athletics on Monday.

 

Featured Image via Flickr/Ben Mortimer

 

 

The Yankees Acquire 5-Time All-Star Andrew McCutchen

The San Francisco Giants have traded Andrew McCutchen to the Yankees in exchange for Abiatal Avelino and Juan De Paula.

This move is likely to offer a temporary replacement in the outfield while All-Star right fielder Aaron Judge recovers from a fractured wrist. The timing of this trade suggests that Judge is not close to a return, which is a cause for concern within the Yankees organization.

McCutchen isn’t the player he once was but is still productive nonetheless. He has maintained a .255 batting average to go along with 15 home runs and 55 RBIs in 130 games with the Giants this season. However, MLB fans are used to seeing much more from the former All-Star center fielder.

“Cutch” experienced his glory days as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates when he started for the club from 2009-2017. He always hit for a good average, but he really came into his own between 2011-2015. In that span, McCutchen was named to five All-Star games, awarded four Silver Slugger Awards, and was even bestowed with the Roberto Clemente Award for his tremendous sportsmanship and community involvement. He was also honored with the most coveted awards on both the offensive and defensive ends of the field, winning the NL MVP Award in 2013 as well as the Gold Glove Award in 2012. His best season from a statistical standpoint came in 2012 when he hit a career-high .327 with 31 homers and 96 RBIs.

The Yankees hope a change of scenery will be able to revitalize his career as he is having a subpar season. He has struggled to get hits like he used to, which could be attributed in part to the fact that AT&T Park is so spacious. However, Yankee Stadium is much smaller so you can expect to see a bit of a spike in his home run totals.

It remains to be seen if McCutchen can get back to where he once was, but its hard to doubt a guy who has been named the Most Valuable Player in years past.

 

Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons

 

Teddy Bridgewater Traded to the Saints

After Sam Darnold showed signs of excellence in his preseason play for Gang Green, the Jets organization has shown a sign of faith in his abilities as a potential starter by trading away Teddy Bridgewater to the New Orleans Saints.

The Jets will receive a third-round pick as compensation in the deal, which could go a long way for a franchise that is still trying to assemble a championship contender.

It’s always hard to hear that you have been traded, but Teddy found out he had been dealt in one of the most demoralizing ways possible. The team was on a bus on their way to Philadelphia when he was told he had been traded to New Orleans. At this point, the bus stopped and made him get off. He waved goodbye to his teammates and friends, and the team continued to their destination.

General manager Mike Maccagnan made a statement in regards to the trade, saying that “In his time with us, Teddy was the consummate professional, a great teammate and a tremendous leader. He worked diligently with our medical staff and made tremendous strides along the way. We wish him nothing but success in the future.”

While Bridgewater will remain a backup quarterback behind Drew Brees, the young quarterback could eventually become the 11-time Pro-Bowler’s successor as he will be turning 40 in a few months.

Bridgewater showed his potential early in his career while he was a member of the Minnesota Vikings. During his rookie campaign in 2014, the former first-round draft pick threw for 2,919 yards and 14 touchdowns. This display of proficiency was recognized by many and led to him being named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year. He would continue on his path to success in 2015 when he connected on another 14 touchdowns and added 3,231 yards to his career total, earning him a spot on the Pro-Bowl roster. However, an ACL injury left him sidelined for an extended period in 2016 which would eventually make him lose favor in the eyes of the Vikings’ coaching staff, opting to start Sam Bradford and Case Keenum at the quarterback position for the next two seasons.

Now, he will have a chance to get back on track as he heads to NOLA and has the utmost confidence that he will once again be a force to be reckoned with on the football field. “I’m very confident,” said Bridgewater. “I’m confident in myself, confident in the athletic training staff and the coaching staff here that they can eventually get me back to the player I once was.”

 

Featured Image via Flickr/Keith Allison

Odell Beckham Jr. Secures the Bag

New York Giants standout receiver Odell Beckham Jr. finally got the compensation he was looking for. Reports indicate that the Giants organization and OBJ have agreed to terms on a 5-year, $90 million mega contract extension, $65 million of which is fully guaranteed. The contract also stipulates that he could earn up to $5 million in additional incentives.

This deal makes him the highest paid wide receiver of all-time, and the Giants have no problem with securing their star wideout for the long term.

“You can’t force things, it’s a negotiation. It’s a back and forth, both sides have to be intentional and thoughtful, which we were,” said Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman. “It was great negotiating, it was a very good give and take with Kevin (Abrams) and Zeke (Sandhu). We got to the right answer as far as I’m concerned.”

OBJ has been saying for a long time that he wanted to be the highest paid receiver in the league, and it seems as though he spoke this goal into existence.

He spoke a bit on how he felt after signing the extension in the Giants press release:

“Honestly, I don’t even know how to explain it,” Beckham said. “I don’t know if it’s a relief, I don’t know – it’s a combination of everything. You’ve worked all your life to get to this point and it’s finally here. I have to thank Mr. Mara, Steve Tisch, Mr. Gettleman, coach (Pat) Shurmur, Eli (Manning), all the guys I played with in the past years. Everybody was really a part of this—my mom, my dad, my family, everybody who was supporting me through this. It’s just such an amazing feeling, I can’t even explain. Most importantly, I have to thank God for being able to put me back together mentally, physically, spiritually. This is just truly amazing; I don’t even know the right words to describe.

He now tops Antonio Brown as the wealthiest wide receiver in the NFL and has undoubtedly earned his cash. In his first three NFL seasons, the three-time Pro Bowler totaled 1,300+ yards, 90+ receptions, and 10+ touchdowns, surpassing several league records in the process.

After the deal went down, OBJ and his teammates had a field day. They couldn’t hold in their excitement as their teammate and friend made NFL history.

The future is certainly bright for this 25-year-old star, who still has lots of time left to earn his new contract after an injury-plagued 2017 campaign.

 

Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons

Giants TE Evan Engram Placed on Concussion Protocol

Evan Engram left Friday’s preseason contest early in the first half after suffering a concussion, causing him to miss the remainder of the game. Despite the absence of their starting tight end, the Giants were able to win the game by a score of 22-16.

Engram suffered the head injury after he caught a pass before he was squashed between Jets linebackers Darron Lee and Avery Williamson in the second quarter. Engram lost control of the ball after the collision which was picked up by Gang Green. However, the ruling on the field of a fumble was eventually overturned after a review of the play.

Not only did the Giants lose Engram, but tight end Rhett Ellison also went down with an eye injury.

When asked about the injury to Engram, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur replied, “He’s in the protocol. We’ll just see where he’s at. I really don’t want to add anything to that, but nothing’s really changed from last night. We’re moving him through the protocol.”

Engram was everything the Giants hoped for in his rookie season after being taken by the team with the 23rd pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He totaled 722 yards on 64 receptions, along with six touchdown receptions.

Engram broke several NFL records during his first season as a pro, including the most consecutive games with 4+ receptions, 50+ receiving yards, 1+ TD by a rookie tight end (3). He also broke the Giants record for the most touchdowns in a season by a rookie tight end (6) and the most games with 30+ receiving yards, 1+ TD by a rookie TE (6).

He has proved to be a threat on the offensive end time and time again, and with young players on the rise like Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard in the mix, the organization’s offense could shape up to be one of the best in football.