Professional basketball underwent monumental landscape shifts while you were sleeping last night. NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard signed with the Clippers, Paul George (who finished in the top-5 of league MVP voting in 2019) will join him in a trade, and LeBron James is left holding the bag. Couldn’t happen to a better team!
Let’s move on to football things!
- Close your eyes and imagine pulling off a set of blockbuster deals in football that shifts the landscape of a division, swings the moods of multiple fan bases, and opens up a window of contention. I can’t even … oh wait. A trade that would fall into that category happened last summer. Thanks again, Raiders!
- Eddie Jackson still believes the Bears are going to win the whole stinkin’ thing:
— Bears Talk (@NBCSBears) July 4, 2019
- How can you not love the energy the Bears are bringing to the table? This team is exuding pride and confidence. They’re hyped. I’m hyped. Let’s all get hyped together! It’s easy to feel this way in July, but it’s still encouraging that this group is using last year’s short-comings as a motivating factor. I’m always going to rally around young and hungry whenever given the opportunity. And since we’re talking about young, hungry, and good, then you can count me as all-in. This is giving me me winter-2016 Cubs vibes and I dig it. Keep speaking excellence into existence, and good things will happen.
- Is asking for Robbie Gould to pull a Dexter Fowler and show at Bears camp out of the blue a little too much? (Answer: Of course not! I mean, didn’t we just ask for a landscape-changing trade a few inches above?)
- Two second-year players, a rookie, and a guy in his first year with the team are on Larry Mayer’s list of players to watch on offense during Bears training camp. Obviously, all eyes will be on every move Mitch Trubisky makes … but #TrubiskyWatch2019 is just the tip of the iceberg.
- Second-year standouts Anthony Miller and James Daniels crack the list, which makes a ton of sense. Miller and Daniels will have a strong say in how Trubisky performs this coming season. Trubisky and Miller hit it off (despite Miller playing with one healthy shoulder for most of the year). If Trubisky and Daniels can work it out when it comes to the center-quarterback snap exchange, then everything should flow from there.
- Andrew Dannehy (Da Bears Blog) foresees a future in which rookie running back David Montgomery gets a hefty workload in Year 1. It’s not all that uncommon that rookie backs become load-carrying backs out of the gates, but it’s fair to wonder if Matt Nagy’s offense will allow for it to happen. Having three versatile backs should keep everyone on the offense fresh and everyone trying to stop them guessing. Then again, Kareem Hunt became that premier running back option as a rookie, so it can’t be ruled out.
- The positive vibes surrounding Montgomery have been impossible to ignore. Montgomery has drawn favorable comparisons to Hunt as a running back, doesn’t feel pressure, and watches Walter Payton highlights to get hyped. He has “everything you look for” in a running back, owns an impressive highlight reel from his college days, and could be the next star back selected on Day 2 of the draft. The bar is set pretty high, but expectations are good.
- I get this (even though I’ve never watched a minute of the show):
- *Chef’s kiss*
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) July 5, 2019
- Having the first of many return touchdowns for Devin Hester come against the Packers was pretty sweet:
Devin Hester's first-ever return TD.
— NFL (@NFL) July 6, 2019
- Does the NFC North have the best fans in football? According to Mike Tanier’s re-ranking of a recent data-driven list, there’s an argument to be made that no one reps their squads like fans of the Bears, Vikings, Lions, and (sigh) Packers.
"WHAT IS THIS?!" pic.twitter.com/j9Ek09OEfr
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) July 6, 2019
- Brett pugged his favorite bag, which is also my favorite traveling bag:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) July 6, 2019
- I saw someone on my flight from Atlanta to Chicago rocking the bag, too. So you know it’s good!