+174 123 456 789 Tuesday - Jul 25, 2017

Sports

  • George Springer leaves game against Phillies with left quad discomfort

    The Astros’ centerfielder slipped during a play early in the game.

    Astros centerfielder George Springer has left Houston’s game against the Phillies with left quad discomfort. Springer slipped on a play in the field during the second inning which seemed to cause the discomfort, but that is all the team is saying about the injury as of now.

    Josh Reddick shifted from right field to center to replace Springer, with Nori Aoki subbing in at right for the time being.

    Springer has been on a bit of a tear lately, batting .400 over the last week and driving in four runs in the process. He’s batting .310 on the season with an OPS of .973 with 27 home runs and 66 RBI – second on the team in the latter category and leading the team in the former.

    With their other offensive might Carlos Correa on the disabled list until at least early September, Houston is surely hoping Springer’s injury is indeed only discomfort and that he’ll be back in the lineup soon.

  • Kyrie Irving has been awfully active on Instagram since requesting a trade *thinking face emoji*

    He’s on tour in Asia with Nike, so it could be contractually obligated, but also …

    Something surprising has been happening when I open up Instagram these days. My feed, which is normally filled with pictures of your perfect relationship, your adorable children, that huge piece of meat you grilled, and your delightful summer vacation of which I’m definitely not jealous at all, has been flooded with pictures from Kyrie Irving. The point guard for the Cavaliers is on a trip to Tokyo, Beijing, and a few other cities in Asia as a part of his deal with Nike. In four days, he’s posted 20 pictures and videos of himself and his fans as he galavants around on the other side of the world.

    It normally wouldn’t be shocking that an NBA star with a bajillion (OK, technically 9.7 million) followers would post a lot. Russell Westbrook puts up tons of pictures and I don’t blink twice as I scroll by photos of his abs and his child to get to videos of my friends’ really cute dog. But Kyrie hasn’t typically been a heavy social media user — he hardly ever puts anything on Twitter, and between June 22 and Feb. 17, he only posted seven photos on Instagram.

    @nikebasketball #KyrieWorldTour

    A post shared by Kyrie Irving (@kyrieirving) on Jul 19, 2017 at 11:44pm PDT

    So I probably would’ve noticed, regardless of external events, that our favorite flat-earth truther was getting more active on the ‘gram. Social media has rhythms. We all have that friend we expect to overshare (I’m so, so sorry if I am that friend), and we all have that acquaintance for whom putting up a single photo is A Big Deal. Whenever the daily churn of your feed changes, you’re likely to pick up on it.

    But it struck me as particularly noteworthy that Kyrie has increased his presence, because on July 7, he reportedly sat down with the Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and requested to be traded to another team. Last Friday, the news leaked that he no longer wants to play with LeBron James and would allegedly like to go somewhere he can shine without the King of Basketball’s shadow looming over him.

    This, to me, doesn’t make a ton of sense (but then again, I’m not in Kyrie’s head). As SB Nation’s own Tom Ziller pointed out in a great column this morning, Kyrie has managed to reflect a whole lot of light on his own, even with LeBron. He’s been to three straight NBA Finals, won a championship, boasts one of the highest-selling jerseys and pair of shoes in America, and was voted an NBA All-Star by the fans. I’m not convinced that going to the Timberwolves, the Knicks, the Heat, or the Spurs would make him a star the way he wants to be rather than continuing to play with the greatest non-ball hog of all time.

    That’s neither here nor there. What I’m here to talk about is how, in light of these rumors, I find Kyrie’s recent uptick on Instagram and increased social visibility interesting. Now, this could be a complete coincidence: I would imagine that Nike has probably asked Kyrie, as a part of his deal and this trip, to post about it. Maybe this isn’t his decision at all.

    Nike Harajuku store!! All love!! Very grateful

    A post shared by Kyrie Irving (@kyrieirving) on Jul 20, 2017 at 10:25pm PDT

    But I can’t help find it funny (even if this Instagram burst isn’t of Kyrie’s own free will) that before the rumors leaked he seemed fairly happy to let the basketball court be the place he was most seen. He hasn’t been like Westbrook, who used social media to make a petty, subtle, and highly-enjoyable-to-watch point about how he felt when Kevin Durant left for Oklahoma City.

    Kyrie’s most social media-y moment came last season when he maintained, for a fairly long amount of time, that he believes the world is flat (although he did make it very clear to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that not only did he go to Duke, he had to be admitted, which I personally took as a hint that he was trolling all of us). But none of that hullaballoo was due to anything Kyrie posted himself. The clips went viral on Twitter because one of the most famous basketball players in the world was staring centuries of scientific evidence and saying, “nah.”

    The NBA is the most entertaining professional sports league when it comes to interpersonal drama and social media feuds. It often feels like high school (or sports media Twitter), as guys take shots at each other in the comments of Instagram or clap back at people on Twitter. Players regularly use these feeds to fuel trade rumors (hello, Isaiah Thomas, lookin’ at you) and put on a side show for fans that’s almost as entertaining as the 2016 Finals’ Game 7.

    Maybe Kyrie’s recent barrage of posts mean nothing. Maybe they’re just something he has to do in order to keep his endorsement and make the head hanchos at Nike happy so that they feel they’re getting the most bang for their buck out of this trip as they can.

    But the timing sure is interesting. Especially for a guy who’s just asked to be traded in order to be more visible, in league where anything players post online often comes with a whole lot of subtext.

  • Steph Curry appeared on ‘Ballers’ with The Rock, and it was special

    Stephen Curry was on HBO’s Ballers for a brief moment on Sunday night and it was awesome. Here’s what you need to know:

    Steph’s nickname for The Rock’s character, Spencer Strasmore.

    Judging from the pre-call freak out, Spencer didn’t expect Steph to call him. Yet, when they connect Steph appears to know him so well he’s already devised a weird nickname for him.

    Curry explains his plans to Ayesha, which she’s not impressed with.

    Come on Steph. You don’t say this on the tarmac with people around. There are two guys standing there. The only two passengers on the private jet to the Bahamas will be Steph and Ayesha. How did he think they could hide this?

    Spencer becomes incensed that Riley Curry’s team made the basketball finals.

    Nobody has ever been this mad at Riley, ever.

    Sunday night was the season premiere, and it seems Curry will be a focal point — at least from the ebb and flow of this episode. Spencer is desperate to sign him as a client, and their meeting being delayed gives us the chance for more Curry.


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