“It’s the Year of the Big Man in men’s college basketball!”
That was the phrase being uttered ahead of last year’s college hoops season, and for good reason. Heading into last year, with reigning national player of the year Oscar Tshiebwe returning to lead a cast that included Drew Timme, Zach Edey, Adama Sanogo, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Armando Bacot, Hunter Dickinson, Ryan Kalkbrenner and Azuolas Tubelis, the momentum surrounding the center position was clearly the headline across the country.
As a result, five of the 10 players named to the first and second AP All-America teams last year played the center position (Edey, Jackson-Davis, Timme, Tshiebwe and Tubelis).
But big men headlining college basketball is not a one-hit wonder, instead, it will be a theme in the sport this season and for many to come. While calling last year “The Year of the Big Man” was understandable, this trend is going to continue because as it stands right now for traditional post players, or most centers for that matter, it is more beneficial to stay in college than attempt a jump to the NBA.
Name, image and likeness.
The ability of a traditional big man to profit off his success and brand outweighs the benefits of going pro and either spending time between the G League and maybe the NBA, or playing overseas. Big men who are dominant at the college level can certainly get paid in both avenues, but the latter options are always going to be there. College eligibility is precious for players like Bacot, who told FOX Sports that he will “easily” make seven figures in NIL dollars in his fifth and final season at North Carolina.
It’s not a coincidence that Edey is the second straight reigning national player of the year who chose to return for another season. Before Tshiebwe did it last year, that had not occurred since Tyler Hansbrough did so in 2008, leading North Carolina to a national championship and cementing his legacy as one of the greatest players in college basketball history. That’s now the task for Edey, who looks to lead Purdue from an all-time low in the NCAA Tournament to redemption and that elusive Final Four run in the Matt Painter era.
So, not only are the big men across college basketball talented, but they are also featured in some of the very best storylines that the sport has to offer again this season.
[10 burning questions for the 2023-24 college basketball season]
With that in mind, we at FOX Sports present …
THE BIG MAN LADDER.
This series will be rolled out monthly throughout the season to update you on the sport’s best big men, featuring interesting numbers, exclusive interviews and more.
The criteria for our featured big men are as follows: We are zoning in on players who stand 6-foot-10 or taller and are making significant contributions for ranked teams across the country. This list can be adjusted as the year goes on. As Edey showed last season, you could go from being a notable big man entering the season to the best player in the sport. If someone’s impact calls for attention, we’ll add another rung to the ladder!
Edey’s numbers last season were simply incredible. When you combine those figures with the fact that he’s entering only his seventh year of playing the sport after not picking up a basketball until his sophomore year of high school, that makes his whole story even more unbelievable.
The Boilermakers’ star big man enters his senior year of college already in a class of his own, as he is the only player in the history of the sport to record 750 points, 400 rebounds, 70 blocks and 50 assists in a single season. Last year, Edey joined Michael Beasley and Kevin Durant as the only high-major players in the last 20 years to rank in the top 10 nationally in both scoring and rebounding in the same season.
Edey was a dominant force every time he stepped onto the court last season. He doesn’t have a perimeter game — that’s up to Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer — but the fact that he could somehow be better this year, something Matt Painter said at Big Ten media day, is wild to think about. How he handles ball screens defensively is a big key to Purdue’s season because teams will try to exploit Edey on that end of the floor with spacing. But overall, we should appreciate the fact that we get to watch the reigning national player of the year for another season in West Lafayette.
Bacot passed Hansbrough last year as UNC’s all-time leading rebounder with 1,335 and counting. Add that to the fact that he also owns the program record for double-doubles with 68, and it becomes quite clear that his career numbers are up there with the best to ever wear Carolina blue. But for Bacot, this upcoming season isn’t about what he does individually. All of those records are great, but as he told me in an exclusive conversation, it’s about charging North Carolina to a second Final Four in the last three years and shedding away the bad taste the Tar Heels had in their mouths last season.
When North Carolina reached the national championship game in 2022, Bacot became the first player in college basketball history to notch six double-doubles in one NCAA Tournament. He is made for the March stage. This upcoming season, his fifth in Chapel Hill, is about getting there again.
Hubert Davis has star guard RJ Davis back to charge the backcourt, while he and his staff crushed it in the transfer portal with Cormac Ryan and Harrison Ingram coming in from Notre Dame and Stanford, respectively. If five-star freshman Elliot Cadeau comes in and makes an immediate impact as a ball handler, watch out. This UNC team could get to Arizona in April.
In my opinion, Hunter Dickinson is the biggest name to enter the transfer portal in its history. The fact that a former All-American and three-time All-Big Ten selection, who has averaged over 18 points and nine rebounds per game in the last two seasons, left Michigan to go to another program instead of the pro ranks, is really something.
The fact that Dickinson is now pairing up with Hall of Fame head coach Bill Self, who is an offensive mastermind, is scary for the rest of the Big 12 and college basketball. Dickinson joins a Jayhawks program that is setting aim on a second national championship in the last three years. He joins a group that has Dajuan Harris Jr. back at point guard and fellow returnees Kevin McCullar Jr. and KJ Adams in the fold as well.
This feels like a match made in heaven between Dickinson and Self, who called the big man the best offensive post player he’s ever worked with.
[40 players, coaches who will shape the 2023-24 men’s college basketball season]
Filipowski was the third-highest-ranked recruit in Jon Scheyer’s 2022 class, but he quickly established himself as the alpha of that group, going off for 17 points and 14 rebounds in his third college game against Kansas. Filipowski’s versatility and length make him a tough cover for opposing defenses, which led to him recording 16 double-doubles last season. He could have been a top-20 NBA Draft pick had he left after his stellar freshman campaign. Instead, the Duke sensation is back with classmates Tyrese Proctor and Mark Mitchell on a Blue Devils team that ranks No. 2 in the FOX Sports Preseason Top 25.
Filipowski could go from a middle first-round pick in the draft to a top-10 selection if his jumper can evolve. As a freshman, he shot 28% from 3-point range. But more than anything, he’s back at Duke to lead the Blue Devils in their quest to win their first national championship since 2015.
Last season, Kalkbrenner joined Allen Iverson, Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo and seven others as one of only 11 players in the history of the Big East to be named the conference’s defensive player of the year twice. The 7-1 senior is an invaluable rim protector that has totaled 161 rejections over the last two seasons. Being a part of six NCAA Tournament wins at Creighton, more than any player in program history, he averaged 20 points and six rebounds per game during the Jays’ first Elite Eight run in modern tournament history this past year. Not only is he a force on defense, but what stands out about Kalkbrenner is his efficiency. He is adding a 3-pointer, but the way he can play above the rim and execute in screen-and-roll situations is tremendous.
Kalkbrenner led the Big East in field goal percentage in each of the last two seasons, and his 67% clip would be sixth all time in NCAA history for a career. He will be at the forefront of a Creighton team that is ranked No. 6 in the FOX Sports Preseason Top 25. When you combine the guard play of Baylor Scheierman, Trey Alexander and Steven Ashworth with Kalkbrenner, that’s a lethal formula. His presence means everything to what Greg McDermott wants to do.
Arizona head coach Tommy Lloyd, who has gone 61-11 in his first two seasons on the job, unlocked something out of his frontcourt duo of Tubelis and Ballo last year. They combined for 34 points and 17.7 rebounds per game, with Tubelis being named a second-team All-American and becoming one of the best players in the country. This year, Ballo goes from Robin to Batman in Tucson, and the Mali native will look to form a new dynamic pair with San Diego State transfer Keshad Johnson, who was a starter on the national runner-up Aztecs team last season.
[FOX 2023-24 college basketball schedule: 10 dates to circle, how to watch]
Ballo’s evolution has already been really impressive, having more than doubled his numbers from the 2021-22 season when he averaged 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, which led to him being named Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year. Possessing a 7-6 wingspan, Ballo is also an NBA Academy Latin America alum who led Mali to its best finish in the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup. His athletic ability and strength has always been present, but it’s the different ways he can impact the game offensively that is a direct reflection of what Lloyd and his staff are able to do with talent. The Wildcats will have a backcourt filled with options featuring North Carolina transfer Caleb Love, rising star Kylan Boswell, Alabama transfer Jaden Bradley, and returnee Pelle Larsson. Ballo won’t have to fight with Tubelis for touches this year. It’s his show on the interior, and that’s why he is a FOX Sports preseason third-team All-American.
Those numbers don’t look gaudy, but Clingan did that while playing 13.1 minutes per game, serving in a critical role to back up Sanogo on the national championship Huskies team last season. By every account in Storrs and beyond, the sophomore from nearby Bristol, Connecticut is poised for an All-American type season for the Huskies.
Clingan returned to practice this past week after missing the previous four weeks with a right foot strain. His strength, finishing ability around the rim and an emerging 3-point shot make him a really scary player for opposing teams this year. Is he going to be the next great UConn big man? All signs point to that happening, provided the foot doesn’t cause any injury flare-ups.
John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.
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Travel is part of life for footballers, and commercial opportunities have taken plenty of teams to the land down under in recent years, even if they are playing in exhibition competitions rather than the Australian league.
It is always interesting to have a peek at the kind of things the players do off the pitch, and the culture (plus the weather) in Australia is certainly different from that in Europe, where most pros still play. Encounters with kangaroos, jungle antics, and casino gambling are all part of the hobbies and activities that players have explored when they are in Australia.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Casino Gambling
Cristiano Ronaldo is not just one of the best footballers ever, he’s a global superstar and a household name. A lot of casino brands as well as other businesses have taken advantage of his mass following, signing Cristiano up as an ambassador. Multiple casino brands have done exactly this as the Portuguese star has a reputation for gambling at the tables.
This includes when the former-Madrid star is in Australia, as Ronaldo plays poker plus other casino games, and has been seen playing at the Crown Casino in Melbourne during his downtime during a tour, back when he was a Real Madrid player. He was in Australia for the International Champions Cup which was a pre-season tournament hosted by Australia and China. There were some big teams involved and Madrid played AC Milan, Roma, and Manchester City.
As well as being spotted at in-person casinos in Australia, many football superstars play online at a live casino in Australia to enjoy the anonymity of playing online but also be able to play their favorite games. They’re not going to get bombarded with paparazzi by logging into an online poker game or connecting to a live dealer on a casino site.
Australia allows casino gambling and there aren’t the same sort of strict restrictions we sometimes see in other countries, so some of the players who have been to Australia on pre-season tours take advantage of the fact that online gambling and pokies are widely available.
Harry Kane and James Maddison – Golf
Australia is the home of Spurs head coach Ange Postecoglu, and he took his Tottenham team back to Australia on a pre-season tour before leading them into his first Premier League season.
Star players Harry Kane (before his move to Munich) and James Maddison decided to take part in a round of golf, and when their friendly competition took a turn for the weird, they decided to share it on Instagram.
The bizarre occurrence they won’t have been expecting? A kangaroo boxing match right in the middle of their game, which the soccer stars definitely found comical judging by their reactions.
We know that golf is popular among footballers anyway and Australia has some superb (if roasting hot) golf courses that people can enjoy when they get some downtime, there have been many footballers heading to the links when not playing matches.
Heading to the Jungle
“I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here!”
This is a massive hit show and plenty of footballers (plus people related to the football industry) have been in the jungle to undertake the crazy bushtucker trials and the tribulations of weeks in the jungle eating rice and beans.
Among the players who have been in I’m a Celebrity’s reality show are Ian Wright, David Ginola, and Kieron Dyer, and they’ve definitely had some mixed experiences, with some of the players not really enjoying the experience. Ian Wright said about his time in the jungle:
“They let me down by not showing the whole picture of who I am. I’m never far away from feeling like I could cry. I have very deep feelings that I’ve had to learn to deal with, but I still have my moments.”
David Ginola was one of the fan favourites, and in a recent series, it was Lionesses footballer Jill Scott who gained the nation’s love, as she was named Queen of the Jungle in spite of being less famous than many of her competitors. Scott had only recently retired after winning the Euros with England Women, and since going on the show she has carved a career in punditry both for the men’s and women’s games, this was an incredibly smart career move for her as she showed her charisma and gained the love of the nation.
Footballers will be footballers, and you might not see many of them in Aussie cultural hotspots, snorkelling, or visiting the Opera House, but there are certain hobbies footballers seem to be drawn to including casino gaming and golf. Footballing A-listers like Ronaldo and Harry Kane draw a lot of attention wherever they go and Australia is no different, so there are always stories about the casinos they’ve visited or the games they’re playing off the pitch.
Saint Louis (Mo.) University High wide receiver Ryan Wingo remains the only uncommitted five-star in the 2024 class making his recruiting battle one of the most highly contested in the nation. Wingo keeps his intentions relatively close to the vest and maintains that he is still wide open with his recruitment – leading to much speculation about which schools really stand at the top. The latest buzz is that Texas and Missouri could be the schools to beat with the latter receiving a game day visit for Saturday’s showdown between the in-state Tigers and LSU.
Following his return from Columbia, Wingo caught up with Rivals to recap the game day visit and discuss where he stands with his recruitment.
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Questions have been asked over the scheduling of the ICC Cricket World Cup after the tournament opener was welcomed by thousands of empty seats.
For the first time since the 1996 World Cup, the host nation did not participate in the first match of the tournament, as England and New Zealand faced off in Ahmedabad.
The match lacked the buzz of a World Cup opener, with thousands of seats inside the 132,000-seater Narendra Modi Stadium vacant as England came out to bat.
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It prompted former England captain Michael Atherton to pose a question while on commentary.
“Do you not think it’s sensible the hosts should start?” Atherton asked co-commentator and Indian great Ravi Shastri.
“Because you’re guaranteed a full house and an immediate lift for the tournament.”
Watch every Australian Cricket World Cup match and other headline games live and free on Channel Nine and9Now
“Absolutely, especially on a ground like this,” Shastri replied.
“I understand you want one of the finalists to play or the former champion to play, but at all costs (you should) have a home team play.
“If this was India-England, you’re guaranteed a full house (or) at least 70-80,000 people, even on a working day.
“It just kicks off the tournament, gives it a buzz, there’s a build-up.”
Shastri and Atherton weren’t the only ones to notice the empty stands either, with fans on social media critical of the match being played in Ahmedabad as opposed to a smaller stadium elsewhere in the country.
After being sent in to bat, England finished its 50 overs on 9-282 with Joe Root (77 off 86) and skipper Jos Butler (43 off 42) leading the way.
Matt Henry (3-48 off 10 overs) and Mitchell Santner (2-37 off 10 overs) were the pick of New Zealand’s bowlers.
India, the sole host nation of this year’s World Cup, will not be in action until the tournament is three days on when it hosts Australia on Sunday night.
The Celtics are trading for former Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday afternoon.
The deal sends Holiday, a multi-time All-Star and All-Defensive First Teamer to Boston for Robert Williams III, Malcolm Brogdon, a 2024 Golden State Warriors First Round pick, as well as a 2029 unprotected Boston Celtics First Round pick.
Holiday was traded earlier this week to the Portland Trail Blazers in the deal that sent Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks. However, Wojnarowski reported that Holiday would be immediately shopped to several contenders as Portland looked to rebuild around its young core of guards.
After Lillard was traded to Milwaukee, the Celtics reported wanted Holiday to bolster their already formidable lineup with the now-reloaded Bucks looming. Along with Derrick White, Holiday will anchor one of the most dominant defensive backcourts in recent NBA history.
A career 16.4 points-per-game scorer, Holiday is often lauded as one of the league’s most underrated players and was the second-best player on a team that won the NBA Finals a mere two years ago.
By trading Williams, the Celtics lose significant depth in their Center rotation, with Kristaps Porzingis and Al Horford as the only remaining bona fide bigs on the roster. Brogdon was reportedly upset with the Celtics organization after he was almost traded to the Clippers earlier this offseason, so his inclusion in the trade is unsurprising.
Shubman Gill hit his fifth One-Day Internationals century during India’s Asia Cup match against Bangladesh at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
The 24-year-old struck six fours and four sixes on his way to the hundred, reaching the three-figure score in 117 deliveries. Gill, in the process, crossed 1000 runs in the format in the calender year 2023.
Opening the batting for India, Gill guided India’s chase and held one end even as wickets tumbled at the other. India still needed 78 runs to win off the last 10 overs with Gill and Axar Patel at the crease for India.
Shooting — and especially three-point shooting — has become a must in today’s pace-and-space game, which is why having one of the best NBA shooters in 2023-24 puts their respective teams in a privileged position. And while every team still needs to play some defense to go the distance, this is an offense-oriented league.
Top 10 NBA shooters in 2023-24
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the top-10 best shooters in the league ahead of the upcoming season, considering either volume, efficiency, or even form.
10. Kevin Durant
Our list of the best NBA shooters in 2023-24 starts with a proven veteran whose game keeps aging like a fine wine. Even if he’s struggled with injuries lately, Kevin Durant is still one of the most efficient scorers in the game, and his shot is just smooth and beautiful to watch.
Durant is one of the few guys who could legitimately shoot 50/40/90 from the floor year in and year out. He’s so good at getting to his spots, and his shot is usually money from all three levels. A guy his size shouldn’t be able to move and shoot the rock like he does.
9. Tyrese Maxey
Tyrese Maxey hasn’t fully embraced his potential as a sniper yet, but he’s been extremely efficient when he’s actually dared to pull up from beyond the arc. He’s coming off shooting 43.4% from three-point land, which was the fifth-best in the league.
Maxey has the potential to be one of the most complete and explosive scorers in the league. Perhaps he’ll finally take that leap forward this season.
8. Joe Harris
It’s been a while since Joe Harris was a factor on the court because of all the injuries. Nonetheless, the shot is usually the last part of the game to fade, and Harris has been one of the top-notch three-point shooters in the game for years now.
Even in limited action, Harris was quite solid for the Brooklyn Nets last season, shooting the rock at the eighth most efficient clip in the league at a whopping 42.6% from three. If you’re only good at one thing, you better be very good at it.
7. Luke Kennard
The fact that Luke Kennard got paid to such a big contract has one justification and one justification alone: He’s a very good three-point shooter. Even so, he doesn’t-bring that much more to the table, which is why he hasn’t been on the floor as often as one would think for a guy making that much money.
Being a solid three-point shooter can get you a lot of money in today’s game, and chances are his contract will be a huge liability under this new CBA. Even so, he was elite from beyond the arc last season, knocking down 49.4% of his attempts.
6. Buddy Hield
Even though Buddy Hield didn’t break out as the dominant scorer some thought he’d be when he was wreaking havoc in Texas, he’s made a name for himself in the league for the way he can get hot and knock down shots from beyond the arc.
Constantly tangled up in trade talks, it’s hard to think of a team that wouldn’t benefit from Hield’s sharpshooting skills. He was second in three-pointers made last season (288) all while shooting 42.5% from beyond the arc, the ninth-highest percentage.
5. Seth Curry
Seth Curry is no longer just Dell Curry‘s son and Stephen Curry‘s brother. It’s been a while since he established himself as one of the best shooters in the NBA, making a name for himself and getting himself a lot of money in the process.
Curry’s sweet jumper, wrist flick, quick release, and high arc might be in his genes. He’s obviously not as impactful as Steph, but that three-point shooting of his will grant him a roster spot for years to come.
4. Desmond Bane
Desmond Bane was one of the most improved players in the league last season. He put his head down, didn’t do a lot of talking — unlike every single one of his teammates on the Memphis Grizzlies — and just let his game speak for itself.
Bane is now considered one of the best shooters in the league, and that ability granted him one of the biggest contract extensions in his draft class. His wingspan continues to lead to multiple jokes, but his shooting is definitely on point.
3. Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard stole most of the headlines when it became public that he wants to leave the Portland Trail Blazers once and for all. But besides being in the news cycle 24-7, he also happens to be one of the top shooters in the NBA currently.
Truth be told, Lillard is actually the most efficient shooter when it comes to knocking down shots from 30+ feet, even ahead of Stephen Curry. Also, his ability to come up huge in the clutch makes him the kind of player who could elevate every single contender.
2. Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson seems to be the only guy who could go out there and break most of Steph Curry records on any given night, all while taking just a couple of dribbles. Simply put, he’s 1B to Stephen Curry’s 1A when it comes to the greatest shooters of all time.
Thompson has perhaps the most beautiful and mesmerizing shooting form this game has ever seen. He may not be the same player he used to be before those injuries, but his shot continues to be money, and he could play for another decade just out of shooting.
1. Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry isn’t only the greatest three-point shooter in the history of the game, he’s also one of the greatest point guards of all-time. Even if he’s not your average pass-first guy, he changed the way the game was played, even for defenders.
Curry has to be guarded across the whole court. He can pull up from — literally — anywhere, and he’ll shoot over 40% from three despite taking over ten triples a game. He’s the most efficient and dominant volume shooter we’ll ever see.
It has been a fascinating few years for Brad Stevens since he took over as Celtics GM and President of Basketball Operations. It’s an impossible job to do perfectly, but from the outside looking in, it’s easy to see that he has a knack for the job.
He’s made big trades, eclectic draft picks, but most importantly, he’s built elite rosters. With another offseason coming to an end, let’s look back at Brad Stevens biggest trades and see if he came out on top.
Kristaps Porzingis trade:
Boston Celtics acquired: Kristaps Porzingis, 2023 1st, top-4 protected 2024 1st Memphis Grizzlies acquired: Marcus Smart Washington Wizards acquired: Tyus Jones, Danilo Gallinari, Mike Muscala, 2023 2nd
We’ll start with the most recent headliner. Acquiring Kristaps Porzingis for Marcus Smart will likely go down as a defining trade moment for the Brad Steven’s Celtics. Not only are you moving on from a pillar of the organization in Smart, but KP signals a massive change in the way the Celtics will play basketball for the next couple seasons at a minimum.
Now, we’re in the business of giving grades and saying who won and lost a trade, so without basketball having been played, this remains an incomplete. On paper, acquiring KP for basically Smart, Gallinari, and Muscala is a pretty outstanding return. We won’t know about the metaphorical changes with Smart going until we, again, get into the season. For now, I say we give the Celtics the winning shade and adjust accordingly later.
We started with the most recent trade of Brad Stevens tenure, how about the first trade he made? Turning Kamba Walker’s contract and his knee issues into Al Hoford remains not only one the best trades of Steven’s career, but really of any trade made in the past few years. Horford has once again become an integral part of the Celtics rotation. His defense, 3-point shooting, and leadership are basically irreplaceable on this Celtics roster. It’s hard to imagine this team without him and re-acquiring him in the first place has proven to be a master stroke. This is a pretty easy A+ grade. Celtics come out as big winners.
The Derrick White deal was the first trade Stevens made that was met with a fair amount of initial backlash. Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, a 1st round pick, and another potential pick swap for just Derrick White was not initially popular among the masses. Hilariously, most people were worried about the pick swap six seasons in the future. Thankfully, there is nothing to worry about anymore. Derrick White has gotten better by the season and now enters his 2nd full season with the team, becoming the de facto starting PG with Smart out the door. His 3-point shooting and court vision have both improved since joining Boston, adding onto his already elite perimeter and rim defense. I think it’s safe to say that this is another A+ trade and a big win for Stevens.
Grade: A+ Winner: Celtics
Malcolm Brogdon trade:
Celtics acquired: Malcolm Brogdon Pacers acquired: Aaron Nesmith, Daniel Theis, Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan, 2023 1st
Looking back on this trade, it’s a bit shocking that the Celtics were able to acquire Brogdon for what ultimately became Aaron Neismith and a first round pick. Brogdon had a few seasons in a row with injury issues, so Stevens definitely took advantage of his price tag and got him for about 75 cents on the dollar. Brogdon was a big piece of the 2022 Celtics, but his injury issues caught up to him once again, as his elbow injury severely inhibited his play during the Eastern Conference Finals. This is a tough trade to judge. It was definitely a win of Stevens and the Celtics, but I’m not sure I’d call it the same level of success as the White or Horford trades. Let’s grade it a B/B+ for now and reevaluate once the reigning Sixth Man of the Year is healthy again.
We’ll keep it quick on this one. Muscala was the big ticket acquisition at the trade deadline for the Celtics and by “big ticket” I mean it was all they could acquire after trading their 1st round pick for Brogdon a few months earlier. Muscala barely played, but he did end up being a nice trade piece to use during the Kristaps trade. I think we can give this one a C and give the Thunder the win since they got a few assets for Muscala.
Grade: C Winner: Thunder
And that it’s so far! So far, Stevens has a 4-1 record in his trades with all four wins being major parts of his winning roster without giving up major long-term assets. For me, I say the Al Horford trade is still his finest. Flipping the Kemba contract to bring back a guy that has defined an era of Celtics basketball and him taking his game up another notch is a thing a beauty. It set the stage for the three other big trades he made and his handling of Horford the next few seasons will be a major part of the future of the Celtics roster. Anyway, it’s been a good start to Stevens tenure as Celtics GM. The KP trade starts the next chapter. Let’s see how it turns out for the boys in Green.
Joe Gomez has opened about how various injuries throughout his Liverpool career have impacted his mental health.
The defender joined Liverpool back in 2015 and, while he has made over 150 appearances for the club in that period, Gomez has spent a lot of time on the periphery due a number of injuries.
Gomez suffered a cruciate ligament injury early on in his Reds career, missing over 100 games due to the ailment, and has missed 129 games since then with various other problems.
Speaking with Jacamo and CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) as part of the launch of a new collection of adidas activewear, the England international has discussed how these injuries ended up rocking his world.
“Once I got injured, I had a lot of spare time, I think that’s the biggest thing you notice as a player, that when you’re on the pitch training you don’t have time to be thinking, you’re just in your subconscious enjoying the game,” he explained.
“I had a couple of little injuries and then my last one with my hamstring was a big one and sort of did rock my world. It made me up my appreciation.
“Once I got back into football, I had other battles with worrying about my body and things that I couldn’t control aside from doing the work I needed to do. It’s just appreciation and being thankful that I can do what I still do. And drawing on to that to keep me motivated to still do my gym sessions, even when we come back from an away game.
“I just remember in those moments where it was tough, aside from that, just enjoying it.”
Gomez is currently fully fit and a part of Jurgen Klopp’s squad. The defender came off the bench in the Reds’ 3-1 win over Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday.
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