February 14th, 2019
The Toronto Raptors signed anotha’ one. We’re shaking our heads at the Cleveland Browns. Learn about WTF esports are and spoiler alert... there’s A LOT of money in it. Marc Gasol is all of us. The new #RivalrySeries makes for a great V-Day present.Kyler Murray is the Arie of sports. See what’s up this weekend. And see what ~the stars~ are telling us.
Linsane in the Membrane
The GIST: The Toronto Raptors added yet another veteran superstar to their team on Wednesday, signing Jeremy ‘Linsanity’ Lin.
Who TF is Linsanity?: Lin has been in the NBA since 2010 but had his best season in 2011-12 when he led the New York Knicks to a very unexpected NBA Finals appearance. Hence the nickname ‘Linsanity’. Since then he’s jumped around a bit, playing for five different teams before landing in Toronto. We’re hoping he’s still got a little bit of that playoff magic left to help lead the dinos to an NBA Finals of their own.
How Did We Get Him?: Thanks to an Atlanta Hawks buyout. You might be thinking...WTF is a buyout? Well, once in a while a player and his team want to break up, which happens most often with veterans (like Lin) towards the end of a contract. Why? Because sometimes a player’s salary doesn’t match their performance or they no longer fit into the team strategy. The Hawks waived Lin on Monday, making him an unrestricted free agent able to sign with any team—in this case, that’s us—and that team typically pays the player’s remaining salary.
Okay, But Why Now?: Last week, the Raps traded away three players, including point guard Delon Wright, to get big-man Marc Gasol. Then, earlier this week, they lost point guard Fred VanVleet to an injured thumb. VanVleet is expected to be sidelined for at least five weeks while he recovers from surgery. With these losses, the Raps were more desperate than us this V-Day and needed to add some depth (players who come off the bench) to their point guard position behind starter Kyle Lowry.
Lin is in to Win: What’s great to see is that the dude is committed. Right after signing his new Raptors contract he immediately flew to the snow globe that is Toronto right now to make his debut in the same day. Last night he scored eight points and had five rebounds in a 129-120 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. Lin-credible. Also shout-out to young buck Pascal Siakam for scoring a career-high 44 points.
Uhhh Cleveland, WYD?
The GIST: The Cleveland Browns signed running back Kareem Hunt to a one-year deal on Monday which would be all well and good if the Kansas City Chiefs hadn’t dropped his @$$ halfway through the 2018-19 NFL season for attacking a woman.
Wait… WTF Happened?: Back in November, a video surfaced from an incident last February showing Hunt kicking and shoving a woman outside his Cleveland residence. His team at the time, Kansas City, took the incident seriously (duh?) and fired his @$$ released him. Hunt was also placed on the NFL’s exempt list, meaning he can’t play until the league gives their approval.
Okay so… WTF Browns?: Our thoughts exactly. It’s been only 10 weeks since news of the incident surfaced and although no charges have been filed, Hunt remains banned from practicing or playing until the end of the NFL’s investigation (which could land Hunt a suspension). Cleveland’s general manager (GM) John Dorsey said they ‘do not condone his actions’ and ‘did extensive due diligence’ before signing Hunt.
So Let’s Get This Straight: Unsigned quarterback (QB) Colin Kaepernick (pronounced CAP-ER-NICK) has yet to play in the NFL because he started #TakeAKnee—a protest against racial inequality and police brutality toward people of colour—but Hunt is able to (pending the NFL’s approval) return to football within a matter of weeks. We’re no accountants (wait…) but something here isn’t adding up.
The Dorsey Problem: This isn’t the first time Dorsey has been criticized for blatantly ignoring glossing over a history of violence for on-field gain. In 2016, when Dorsey was GM of the Chiefs, he selected wide receiver Tyreek Hill in the fifth round of the draft when no team was expected to touch him because of his recent domestic violence arrest. SMDH.
Esports: What Are They?
The GIST: Is it just us or does it seem like all of the youths these days (we’re talking about you, Gen Z’s) are talking about esports. And, TBH, we had no clue what TF they were talking about, so we did some digging on the topic ourselves. Turns out, esports is really cool. Esports, aka competitive video gaming, is a billion dollar industry (!!!) with an audience of more than 380 million people (!!!).
But is This Really a ‘Sport’?: You bet it is. Esports was featured as a demonstration sport at the 2018 Asian Games, a traditional sporting championship, and could soon be included as a demonstration sport at the Olympic Games. These athletes train, they practice, they compete and they win prizes (medals, trophies and money—a LOT of money). Intrigued? We thought so. Check out our GIST Guide to Esports here to get filled in on the basics. All the cool kids are doing it.
GIST Some Other Sh!t You Should Know
- Marc Gasol was relatable AF in his first game for the Raps on Monday. He missed the memo on Kyle Lowry’s pregame ritual and just stood around swaying (and we assume singing ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ in his head) as he watched his new teammates show off their secret handshakes. Come on, we’ve all been there.
- We’re definitely vibing with the hockey gods this week. The inaugural Canada vs U.S. #RivalrySeries started on Tuesday in London, ON in an epic three-game showcase of the two best women’s hockey teams in the world. The U.S. took the first game 1-0, but Canada has a huge chance to bounce back tonight in Toronto. The last match will go down February 17th in Detroit. And FYI, tickets are still availablefor tonight’s game if you’re looking for a last-minute, but also perfect, V-Day present.
- Sorry baseball, Kyler Murray is headed to the NFL. We first told you about Murray after the QB won the touted Heisman Trophy (MVP for college football) and declared for the NFL draft. HOW-EV-ER at that time, he’d already been drafted into the MLB by the Oakland Athletics. On Monday, Murray pulled an Arie when he told the worldthat he decided to focus on football. This means Murray is ditching the A’s (rude) and his $4.6M USD signing bonus (casual). But it’s probably not the money Murray is worried about. He’s projected to go in the first round of the NFL draft (maybe even No. 1) and make much, much more with a career in football.
- The CFL’s free agency period—when players with expired contracts either re-sign with their team or head to greener pastures somewhere else—opened on Tuesday with the Ottawa Redblacks getting hit hard. Four offensive starters cut ties with Ottawa, including star QB Trevor Harris and receiver Greg Ellingson, both headed to the Edmonton Eskimos. HOW-EV-ER, the Redblacks were able to lock up a QB of their own on Wednesday, signing veteran Jonathan Jennings to a one-year deal.
What’s Up This Week
Sunday: The NBA All-Star Game will feature the best of the best as Team Lebrontakes on Team Giannis at 8:00 p.m. ET. You’re also going to want to check out the skills competition the night before, Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET, featuring a three-point contest and—the pièce de résistance—a slam dunk competition where players are known for getting creative and going all out.
Thursday: MLB’s Spring Training games start February 21st! Spring Training is basically MLB preseason, with teams splitting into two major divisions: the Cactus League (games played in Arizona) and the Grapefruit League (games played in Florida and featuring our Toronto Blue Jays). This would all be a lot more exciting if some of baseball’s best talent, like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, were actually signed to teams rather than sitting around as free agents. Uhh, what TF is up baseball?
P.S. We're telling you this because it's Family Day on Monday. That means there will be no GIST newsletter until next Thursday. Enjoy the long weekend. We'll miss you.
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A Star is Born
The GIST: It looks like Kawhi Leonard wasn’t as sensitive as the stars had hinted. He got over his Cancer tendencies faster than we thought, adjusted to newcomer Gasol, and piled in 30 points on Monday night in the Raptors 127-125 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
Horoscope: The stars are giving us good vibes again! And they must be just as excited about the NBA All-Star slam dunk contest as we are. Keep your eye on John Collins (September 23rd), whose clever Libra traits will give him just the edge he needs to outwit, outplay and outdunk the three other competitors.