Players, not a brand agency, will make the New York Knicks cool again

The New York Knicks are rebuilding is all areas of their organization.  They’re rebuilding their team, coaching staff and now their marketing strategy.

According to the Daily New’s Stefan Bondy, the Knicks have hired Translation.  They’re a brand agency looking to give the team a “media makeover.”  Translation will be looking to make the Knicks brand more fun, exciting and entertaining.

The one thing that really stood out from Translations CEO Steve Stoute was, “Winning cures a lot of problems.  Great marketing and exciting entertainment cure all problems.”  He went onto say that the Knicks and Madison Square Garden are already “iconic” brands.  Stoute also has a good relationship with Knick President Steve Mills, explaining the hire.

If the Knicks and MSG are already “iconic” brands then why is a branding agency necessary here?  Fans are going to still love and support the New York Knicks regardless of their record.  So, trying to re-brand their brand seems unnecessary.

Instead of worrying about the branding and marketing side, the organization needs to focus on players.  Why great marketing and entertainment might help the problem, it’s not going to solve it.  A great marketing campaign is not going to help Knicks players on the court.  That’s on the coaches and players.

Stoute was correct on one part, “Winning cures a lot of problems.”  The Knicks haven’t been doing a lot of winning but constantly sell out the Garden.  That means the brand is strong, no matter what people or Kevin Durant may say.  Durant was on record saying the Knicks were “uncool.”

The Knicks need to turn their concentration on player development instead of branding.  The team could go win-less and the fans will still be there.  The brand will still be strong because they’re in the biggest market with the biggest fans.  The brand is fine, it’s the constructing a competitive team that needs to be the main focus.

Two massive offensive lineman the New York Giants could target in 2020 NFL Draft

New York Jets, Mekhi Becton

With the 2020 NFL Draft creeping up on us, the New York Giants have already begun their player evaluations and breakdowns of their most pressing needs. Aside from the defensive holes they must fill this offseason, the offensive line remains a problematic unit, lead by the overpaid Nate Solder at left tackle.

Solder had a lackluster 2019 campaign, and it might have cost him his spot on the line. However, his contract indicates that he will remain with the Giants next season ($19.5 million cap hit, $13 million dead cap hit if cut). Retaining him seems like the only logical decision, but the Giants could elect to swap him over to right tackle, where they can draft a young player to fill the void on the left side.

Here are two offensive tackles the New York Giants should look at:

1.) Mekhi Becton

Coming in at 6-foot-7, 369 pounds is Louisville slugger, Mekhi Becton. The Junior tackle is rated as one of the best options available in the upcoming draft, thanks to his incredible size and mobility.

Becton’s stock has continued to rise, especially after NFL.com analyst, Daniel Jeremiah, mocked him to the Giants with the 4th overall pick. Most didn’t consider him a 4th overall talent, but his ceiling justifies the logic.

The reality is, the Giants are keen on upgrading their run-game, and it starts with the offensive line. Saquon Barkley is one of the most versatile backs in the NFL, and giving him a solid front-five to block must be a priority. If GM Dave Gettleman is ready to take his own advice, we should expect some significant changes on the line this offseason.

Becton fits the “hog molly” role perfectly, displaying incredible power and mobility for his size. Moving defenders out of his way and pushing them into oblivion is his trademark, but he also has a solid base and anchors well in pass protection.

2.) Trey Adams

While Adams doesn’t have the 369-pound frame Becton possesses, he’s an athletic tackle that excels in run-blocking. While his pass-blocking could use some work, his ability to get to the second level and move linebackers out of the way is a trait that would improve the run-game for the Giants.

Adams’s injury history is his biggest turnoff. Suffering a torn ACL in 2017 and sitting out most of 2018 with a back injury have hurt his development, but he made it through 2019 completely healthy, which is a good sign as he enters the NFL Draft. When healthy, Adams is a top-flight tackle prospect, and one the Giants could probably land in the second round. Keep an eye on him as the draft nears.

New York Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton is ripped ahead of 2020 spring training (WATCH)

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Santon

With spring training right around the corner, the New York Yankees are prepared to enter the next stages of offseason baseball, but for most players, it’s just a continuation of their routine. Wake up, work out, practice, prepare.

It’s no different for slugger Giancarlo Stanton who has worked tirelessly to return from injury bigger and better in 2020. Lately, he’s taken his workouts to an even more intense level, using a sledgehammer to batter a tire to build core muscle strength. This is part of his routine to ensure baseballs leave the ballpark rather quickly.

Check out this latest video of Stanton being ripped:

While Stanton only appeared in 18 games last season, totaling three homers over 59 at-bats, he looks healthy and ready to go for spring training.

Can we expect Stanton to return to form for the New York Yankees?

Overall, losing Stanton for the post-season was significant, as it hurt the Yankees’ run-production and slugger presence. His lack of availability during the regular season didn’t seem to be much of a burden considering the team reached 103-wins. However, Giancarlo’s influence extends far beyond the regular season, his efficiency in the home run department is essential to the Yankees, as they’ve adopted a style that relies heavily on the long-ball.

Not having arguably their best home run hitter in the lineup proved to be a factor that led to their exit in the ALCS against the Houston Astros. Not to mention the Astros cheated their way to the World Series (again), but who knows if Stanton’s influence would have improved the Bomber’s chances.

Gaining him back healthy will give the team a huge boost, and mitigating any concern over past ailments will be the priority. Thankfully, the hiring of new strength and conditioning coach, Eric Cressey, should play a big part in Stanton’s return to form.

Brooklyn Nets: The Trade Deadline Approaches – where do the Nets sit?

Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving

We are within the last few weeks of January, and the NBA Trade Deadline is fast approaching. February 6th is right around the corner, and it seems as though the Brooklyn Nets need more work than we would’ve thought.

True, there have been a plethora of injuries, but I’m sure many Nets fans, as well as those in the Nets front office, thought the team would be further along. On top of all that, Kyrie Irving released comments basically saying that this is not yet a championship roster. He doubled down, saying this was a glaring fact. So with these things in mind, I’ll be looking at potential trade moves that the 18-23 (at the time of my writing this) Brooklyn Nets could make.

But before we go into the potential trade of this article, I’d like to assess the most crucial needs for the team.

  • -Point Guard Depth
  • -3&D Wings
  • -Athleticism
  • -Stretch Bigs
  • -Shot Creators/Playmakers
  • Shooters

With this established, the first team that came to mind to look to trade with would be the Detroit Pistons. After years of mediocrity and injuries, the Pistons’ front office looks as though they are trying to start from scratch yet again. There is news of them strongly considering to move the talented Blake Griffin, and there were already rumors swirling of them shopping Andre Drummond around the league (the New York Knicks were one of the teams who were deemed interested). With the Pistons blowing it up, look for them to be sellers at the trade deadline.

And this is where we could possibly help one another out.

How do one of these trade variations look:

Derrick Rose

for

Dzanan Musa, Garrett Temple, and a second-round pick

A rebuilding Pistons team does not need a veteran of Derrick Rose’s caliber. They also get back a professional player in Garrett Temple to mentor the youth on the roster and in the future. Dzanan Musa is a player who is thought to be oozing with potential. In Detroit, he will have more opportunities to reach that potential with more consistent playing time. The second-round pick adds to the Pistons draft capital, which they are no doubt hoping to expand. Detroit also gets some small change off their cap.

In Derrick Rose, the Brooklyn Nets get a former NBA MVP. Derrick rose checks off a couple of boxes. He can create his own shot. Check. He can play make for others. Check. He answers the problem of point guard depth. Check. He’s still relatively athletic. And although he’s never been a great shooter from beyond, Derrick Rose has come a long way with his outside shot. Last year he shot 37% from beyond. This year he’s a peg under 32%, but he’s a decent enough threat from there. He does bring another consistent mid-range scorer and someone who can get to the rack with ease.

If the Brooklyn Nets Brass could also get Thon Maker out of the Pistons in this same trade, even better, then Maker would be an athletic stretch big who is still super young despite being in the league for five seasons.

New York Giants: Joe Judge Talks Garett Hiring, Avoids Team Assessment

New York Giants, Joe Judge

Both the New York Giants coaching staff and roster are shaping up in the first offseason under head coach Joe Judge, and as more hirings happen, it’s becoming clearer what the Giants are trying to do and what their staff will look like for the 2020 season. We also have some more information now about the reasoning behind one of the more controversial hires, the one that brings former Dallas head coach Jason Garrett to the Giants as an offensive coordinator.

Judge spoke to Newsday about the reasoning behind the hire, and about some other things such as his thoughts about the roster that’s now under his watch.

“Look, it’s a quarterback-driven league. Someone who’s worked successfully with multiple quarterbacks and had developed them over time, who has vast knowledge himself as a player in this league in different systems under different coordinators and playing with other great players, that’s definitely something that’s going to add to this organization and this offense,” Judge said, in explanation of bringing in Jason Garrett.

Of course, the Cowboys under Garrett were in a similar situation to Judge with the Giants – they had a promising young quarterback with a star young running back, and they managed to make it work while balancing both parts of their offense. However, they did have one of the top offensive lines in the NFL, and the lack of that for the Giants could prove challenging in recreating the success Dallas had.

However, Judge is seemingly confident so far about the roster that the Giants have. “To be honest with you, after watching them, I’m very excited about working with our team. I was excited before I saw them and I’m even more excited now,” he continued. Interestingly enough, though, Judge and his staff are still waiting to do a fuller evaluation before making more statements about the team’s progress.

“I’m not going to make any public evaluations on these guys right now… Part of it is evaluating what you need to fix, what you need to adjust, and that’s what we’re looking at right now as coaches on how we can build this system to immediately build this foundation and move forward with these guys,” Judge said.

While it may sound contrary to logic to be happy about receiving less info, this is something Giants fans should definitely be glad for. It means that the coaches are taking a more serious look at the talent and a more patient approach rather than repeating offseason platitudes about how the team is ready to take big steps forward – something they’ve failed to do under either of their past two head coaches.

It will take time to see just where Judge ends up compared to Pat Shurmur or Ben McAdoo, but it is encouraging that already, there’s multiple differences between them that can be pointed out. And with the coaching staff being quickly filled out, it won’t be long before the intrigue around the Giants shifts from these hires to the draft and free agency, where the organization will really show it if can take a step forward or not this offseason.