Posts Tagged ‘Chicago News’

CHICAGO — There’s little doubt Yoán Moncada has put up All-Star-worthy numbers during the first half of the 2019 season.

But the White Sox third baseman has no disappointment over not being selected to play this Tuesday for the American League in Cleveland.

“No, not really. I did all that I had to do,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “That was something I couldn’t control. It wasn’t on me. I had a very good first half. That’s what mattered for me. I’m very happy with it.”

Moncada, 24, struck out a Major League-leading 217 times and posted a .714 OPS during his first full season in the Majors in 2018. Although he knocked out 17 home runs, 32 doubles, and six triples, the young switch-hitter was determined to put in the work this offseason to improve.

That work has definitely paid dividends. Moncada closed out the first half slashing .308/.364/.544, with 18 doubles, 16 homers, 48 RBIs and 49 runs. Over his last 14 games, Moncada has featured a .385 average.

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.@ymoncada19 extended his career-high hitting streak to 13 games this afternoon. His streak is the longest active hitting streak in Major League Baseball.

“I put my best effort in the first half. I worked hard. I was able to carry over all the work that I put in during the offseason,” Moncada said. “I worked a lot than to have a better season overall, not just the first half. And I’m very confident I’ll be able to carry this to the second half, too.

“I’ve said this before, and everything is part of the process. You need to keep learning every day because every day you learn something new. Every time you learn something new, you try to apply it the next day. That’s what I’ve been doing. I’m just trying to learn as much as I can every day.”

So what’s the next part of the process for Moncada? He has a couple of pretty basic but elite goals.

“Being an All-Star. We couldn’t do it this year. Maybe next year,” Moncada said. “And of course, be a champion.”

The next couple months around the NBA will be filled with teams attempting to dethrone Kevin Durant and the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors.

After that, it’s going to be all about free agency. Durant joins a stacked group of impending free agents that includes teammate Klay Thompson as well as All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard, among others.

It’s been widely speculated that Durant might leave Golden State for the bright lights of NYC— passing up on the opportunity to play in San Francisco’s brand new Chase Center in the process.

While Durant has not wanted to talk about his FA, he has seemingly dropped a few hints.

Here’s the latest example of that.

The reigning NBA Finals MVP was just featured on a video presented by his Thirty Five Ventures showing the forward driving around some of the iconic sights in San Francisco.

It’s his comments about the community that are rather interesting.

“I WAS WATCHING THIS JANIS JOPLIN DOCUMENTARY LAST YEAR, AND IT WAS TELLING ME HOW ROCK AND ROLL AND JUST THE HIPPIE MOVEMENT KIND OF STARTED HERE, RIGHT IN SAN FRANCISCO,” DURANT SAID IN THE VIDEO. “AND I WAS JUST LIKE, MAN. TO KNOW THAT MUCH CULTURE AND HISTORY IS IN THE SAME CITY THAT I’M ACTUALLY PLAYING AND LIVING IN, THAT MADE ME FEEL REAL PROUD TO BE A PART OF THIS COMMUNITY.”

Does that sound like a man that’s ready to leave a community he has embraced for nearly the past three years? We’re not too sure. Though, it’s cryptic messages like these that can play into a thought process. It’s also possible to read too much into this.

The funny thing here is that Durant and his Warriors don’t play in San Francisco quite yet. They are relocating from Oakland next season.

Only time will tell on this front. For now, Durant’s focus is on bringing a third consecutive NBA championship to the Bay Area. Whatever happens after that is anyone’s guess.

Adam Silver still thinks the NBA All-Star Game needs a dramatic overhaul, and this year’s exhibition in Charlotte didn’t change his mind.

“The All-Star Game didn’t work,” the commissioner said at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday, adding that the game was “an afterthought” of the weekend, according to the Associated Press.

“I get it. We put an earring on a pig.”

Silver brought up the possibility of a midseason tournament replacing the All-Star Game if the league cuts the regular-season schedule down to roughly 70 games.

New York City hoops legend and former Nets star Kenny Anderson suffered a stroke this weekend and is currently hospitalized, according to former NBA guard Ron Harper.

“Let’s say a prayers for my guy [Kenny Anderson] who is [in] the hospital after having a stroke over the weekend. You’re in my thoughts my brother,” Harper wrote of the Queens native.

Anderson, 48, played for nine franchises in his 14-year career.

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Kevin Durant’s desire to be mentioned with the GOATs might result in him leaving the comfort of the Warriors’ super team and embark on a quest to win a title on his own.

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According to The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss, Durant “believed” beating the Cavaliers during the 2017 Finals would allow him to dethrone King James and become the new face of the NBA. Yet, although Warriors won the championship, KD was still in LeBron’s shadow. This is because despite Durant gaining the Final’s MVP, James averaged a triple-double and was still seen as the series best player. To add insult to ego, Durant’s second place standing didn’t change even after sweeping the Cavs in the finals the following year.

The reason for this is rooted in his teammates. While his controversial decision to join an already stacked Golden State Warriors team proved fruitful in terms of championships, it has been detrimental to Durant’s legacy. He needs to start building with another team before being considered a GOAT. Jordan is still and forever will be the Goat. END OF STORY!

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Vince Carter turns 42 years old on January 26th. He is the definition of a veteran, a man who has changed his game so much from his younger days in order to stay in the NBA. Carter has played for eight teams during his career, but many remember him primarily as a member of the Toronto Raptors.

Carter played it the first six-and-a-half seasons of his career in Canada, and he was one of the defining players of a young generation entering the league at the end of the 1990s. Carter left Toronto after a tumultuous final run that saw him benched at times, butting heads with Raptors management and coaching.

Fans in Toronto have come to re-embrace Carter in the years since his departure, and many seem to hold a soft spot for him.

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The NBA is just starting to flush out the poor contracts signed in an over-splurging summer of 2016, with the likes of Nicolas Batum, Evan Turner, and others receiving a handsome sum for little return in productivity. Yet one of the executives who spoke with Bleacher Report’s Ken Berger said Kevin Love’s four-year, $120 million extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers and John Wall’s four-year, $170 million extension with the Washington Wizards are “the two worst contracts in the league.”

Both contracts will pay these players a hefty sum of money into their mid-30s, but that is hardly the worst part of it. Love and Wall have been plagued by injuries during their respective careers, and while neither of them is currently enjoying the money from their extensions, they are currently out of action.

Love recently took back a presumed return date and is now noncommittal on a return, as the Cavs now boast the worst record in the league after LeBron James’ exit left them with a hollowed-out roster. Once a double-double machine, Love is no longer the board-inhaling, box-out bandit or the outlet pass king that made him a nightly triple-double threat as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves.