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Durant Replaces Young Fan’s Stolen Shoes with New, Signed Pair

If you haven’t heard it already, you should really check out the story of 13-year-old Anthony Cupp, and how he got to meet his favorite pro athlete, Kevin Durant.

Cupp lives in Warren, Michigan, a suburb north of Detroit. Times have been hard on the Cupp family, lately. Anthony’s mother, Janiesa, recently had surgery to remove a tumor and is still undergoing therapy, which puts a strain on the family’s finances. Anthony took a side job mowing lawns in his neighborhood so he could buy Durant’s signature KD7 basketball shoes.

When Anthony was walking home from school one day just before Thanksgiving, he was jumped by an older kid, who stole his shoes.

According to Janiesa Cupp, this was the first time Anthony walked home from school. She is usually able to give him a ride home, but their car had broken down.

The story ended up getting picked up by the local news station and spread throughout Michigan. The Pistons reached out to Durant and the Thunder who would be coming to town for a game not long after. The Pistons then called the Cupps and invited them to the Thunder game and asked Anthony to be the honorary ball-boy.

Before the game, Anthony got to meet and spend some time with his hero, Durant, and came away with some awesome keepsakes. Durant gave Anthony two pairs of KD7s, – one in Anthony’s size and one in Durant’s size, with Durant’s signature on them. Anthony also got a KD branded backpack and jacket.

If this wasn’t reason enough to admire Durant, just read what he said in a NewsOK story:

“We got such a big platform, man, and kids look up to us. To set a good example, we just have to show them that we’re human, too. They look at us as superheroes sometimes. So just to sit and talk to them, ask them how their day went, ask them where they’re from, make them feel like they are where they belong. We may seem untouchable, but we aren’t. That’s the biggest thing I wanted to show him. I’m a human just like you. I go through things just like you. Even though I play in the NBA, I’m here for you.”

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Kiper: No Franchise QBs in 2015 Draft

According to Jim Wyatt, who covers the Tennessee Titans for The Tennessean, ESPN’s NFL Draft expert, Mel Kiper Jr. does not believe any team will find a franchise quarterback in the 2015 draft.

Wyatt posted the following on Twitter today:

“ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. just said on ESPN conference call he doesn’t think there’s a franchise QB in the 2015 NFL Draft”

This statement may surprise some due to the fact that Kiper currently has Oregon quarterback and Heisman hopeful Marcus Mariotta as the No. 1 rated prospect on his board for the 2015 draft, with Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston a few spots behind at No. 6.

It is confusing to think about what Kiper may think of the rest of the 2015 draft class if two of his top prospects shouldn’t be considered franchise cornerstones.

It’s doubtful that Mariotta or Winston will put much stock into Kiper’s evaluation, however. Projecting prospects is not an exact science for anyone, and Kiper has been wrong on highly-touted quarterbacks before. Leading up to the 2010 draft, Kiper said of then-Notre Dame quarterback – and current Chicago Bears backup – Jimmy Clausen, “If [Jimmy Clausen] is not a successful starting quarterback in the NFL, I’m done. That’s it. I’m out.”

It’s easy to look back and call out people for being wrong about prospects in any sport. Hindsight is 20/20. But I’m sure Mariotta, Winston and the rest of the quarterbacks in the 2015 draft class will do their best to prove Kiper wrong.


Cubs, White Sox Make Big Moves for Starting Pitchers

Within the past 24 hours, both Chicago baseball teams – the Cubs and the White Sox – have made headline-grabbing moves to acquire a quality starting pitcher.

Late Tuesday night, word broke that the Cubs had beat the Boston Red Sox in the Jon Lester sweepstakes and were able to sign the left-handed pitcher to a six-year, $155 million deal. The contract’s average annual value of $25.8 million is second only to Clayton Kershaw’s $30.7 million annual average.

In 2014, Lester had a 16-11 record, a 2.46 ERA and 220 strikeouts with both the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics.

The White Sox made their move earlier on Tuesday when they traded for Oakland Athletics starter Jeff Samardzija. The six-player-deal saw the White Sox send four players to the Athletics while also receiving a minor league pitcher.

Samardzija played for the Cubs as recently as last year, and he spent six and a half seasons playing on the north side.

In 2014, Samrdzija posted a 7-13 record, 2.99 ERA and 202 strikeouts with both the Cubs and Athletics.

This is most welcome news for all Chicago baseball fans. Both the Cubs and White Sox could use a shot in the arm after a couple of rough seasons.


Will Bynum Signs with Guangdong of Chinese Basketball Association

Former Detroit Pistons point guard Will Bynum has signed a contract with the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).

The contract will keep Bynum with Guangdong for the rest of the season.

“This is a great move for Will and his career,” said a source close to Bynum. “He has always had a deep admiration for basketball fans in China, and he is excited for the opportunity to engage new fans there.”

Asked on how Bynum might fit in on his new team, the source said, “Will has played overseas before so that shouldn’t be a problem. He was a leader in the locker room when he was with the Pistons, and I’m sure he will have that same presence over there.”

This move was likely prompted by the recent injury of Guangdong guard Emmanuel Mudiay. CBA teams are only allowed two American players on their roster, so Bynum will be able to replace Mudiay (American) while he is out with his sprained ankle.

Bynum had spent the previous six seasons with Detroit, averaging 8.4 points and 3.4 assists per game.


TCU into Top Four, Leapfrogs FSU

The new College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday night, and there is a familiar face back in the top four – and in a possibly unexpected spot.

TCU is back in a coveted top-four spot, and find themselves ranked as the third-best team in the nation. This may come as a surprise to the previously third-ranked Florida State Seminoles, who have been bumped down to number four.

The reason for any surprise would be that Florida State is still undefeated, while TCU (and the other two teams in the top four) have a loss on its record. However, for the third week in a row, Florida State squeaked out an unimpressive win against an unranked opponent – leaving many to question how they would hold up against another team from the top four.

Florida State will have to prove it deserves a top four ranking this weekend, as they take on No. 11 Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship. No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Oregon will also be playing in conference championships, but TCU will not because the Big 12 does not have a conference championship. Instead, they will play 2-9 Iowa State.

This is a game they must dominate, because conference rival, No. 6 Baylor could overtake them in the rankings if they pull off a victory over No. 9 Kansas State this Saturday.


NBA, Adidas Unveil 2015 All-Star Game Jerseys

Tuesday morning, Adidas and the NBA unveiled the uniforms for the upcoming 2015 All-Star Game in February.

The uniforms are quite different from previous years. For instance, neither jersey bears the name of the conference that the players will be representing. The designs are fairly simple, the East will wear white, and the West black, with each uniform accented with red, white and blue trim. Also, the back of the jerseys will have the player’s first name above his number and his last name below it. You can check out the uniforms here.

The idea is for the jerseys to represent the basketball history of the host city, New York City.

“It’s simple and timeless,” said David Cho, who manages the NBA’s partnership with Adidas. “It’s a nod to the history, culture and style of New York City basketball.”

Another way the uniforms honor NYC is by the five stars adorning the jerseys, each in a style that represents one of the city’s five boroughs: the Unisphere for Queens, waves for Staten Island, a checkered taxi pattern for Manhattan, a vinyl record for the Bronx and brownstone bricks for Brooklyn.

The public will be able to purchase the jerseys and other All-Star Game apparel in January. The All-Star Game Weekend is February 13-15th and will feature events at both Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden.


Chicago Love Air Dates on Revolt TV

The can’t-miss documentary “Chicago Love” premieres tonight on Revolt TV at 10 PM ET/9 PM CT, so be sure to tune in! Remember that the only thing stronger than death is love.

In case you can’t catch the premiere, here are all the times (CT) “Chicago Love” will air on Revolt TV through Saturday:
11/26: 9 PM
11/27: 12 AM, 9:30 AM, 5:30 PM
11/28: 11 AM, 5:30 PM
11/29: 2 AM, 2:30 PM


REMINDER: “Chicago Love” Airs Tomorrow Night on Revolt TV

Don’t forget that “Chicago Love” is airing tomorrow night (Wednesday, November 26th) at 10 p.m. ET on the Revolt TV network. There will be an encore at 1 a.m. ET, as well.

“Chicago Love” is a documentary put together by Diddy’s company, Revolt, which focuses on violence in Chicago. Revolt goes to the Chicago streets to talk in-depth with artists, reporters and others about the street violence, economic violence and criminal violence that is occurring in the city. There is also discussion of the problems resulting from all of this violence and potential solutions to put an end to it.

Remember to tune in to this powerful and provocative documentary that takes a closer look at a problem that is plaguing Chicago and cities everywhere across the country.

To check if you currently get Revolt TV, what channel it is on or you want to know how to get it, click here.


Odell Beckham Jr.’s Ridiculous Catch

If you somehow still haven’t seen Odell Beckham Jr.’s amazing touchdown catch from last night’s game, go check it out now. Click this link.

Beckham’s catch was a spectacular one-handed catch that he made while leaping, his body twisting and making a full extension to reach back with his right arm to pull in Eli Manning’s pass. Pictures of the play seem to indicate that the New York Giants rookie wide receiver was able to make the catch with just three fingers on his right hand.

There have been tons of reactions on Twitter, including plenty of respect being given to Beckham from fellow pro athletes.

LeBron James: “Man I just witnessed the greatest catch ever possibly by Odell Beckham Jr! WOW!!!!”

Injured Giants receiver Victor Cruz: “That’s the best catch I’ve ever seen”

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman: “My Goodness…. That young man is bad!!!!”

Beckham’s night wasn’t done with just one highlight reel catch, however. He finished the game with 10 receptions for 146 yards and two touchdowns. If this young player is putting up these kinds of stats and highlights in his rookie season, it is very exciting to think about the player he may grow and develop into. In any case, all eyes will be on Beckham whenever he’s on the field from now on.


Wilson Chandler Playing Well Despite Slow Start for Nuggets

Wilson Chandler is starting off the 2014-15 NBA season strong for the Denver Nuggets.

Overall, the Nuggets have had a rocky beginning to the season, and they currently sit on a 4-7 record. However, two straight wins have the team feeling better, thanks in large part to Chandler.

Wednesday night, Chandler had a team-high 21 points and added nine rebounds in a 107-100 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. In all of Denver’s four wins, Chandler has averaged 13.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and shot 44 percent from the field. Chandler has also drawn the opposition’s toughest defensive assignment nearly every night. Players he has been matched up against so far this season include Rudy Gay, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Nicolas Batum.

Here are some of the things Chandler’s coaches and teammates had to say about his recent play:

“He’s getting more and more comfortable, more and more confident. And he’s doing a lot of different things – rebounding, pushing the ball himself, posting up, spotting up hitting jumpers, on the move and in catch-and-shoot situations. It’s what we need from him. Especially as (Danilo Gallinari) is trying to get his feet under him and get going. I can’t say enough about Wilson. He’s been good. He’s been one of our most solid and consistent players from training camp all the way until now.”
-Head Coach Brian Shaw

“Will has been playing good basketball all year long, just picking his spots, being aggressive offensively. He’s been given some tough defensive assignments as well. He’s been a complete player this early season. I’m happy for his progression.”
-Guard Arron Afflalo

Hopefully Wilson keeps up his great play at both ends of the court and continues to lead the Nuggets to more wins.

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