The tumultuous Kyrie Irving era in Boston has come to an end.
The six-time NBA All-Star, who was obtained via trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017, signed with the Brooklyn Nets as soon as free agency began this summer, joining forces with Kevin Durant in a move that came as a surprise to very few.
In need of a point guard after Irving’s departure, the Celtics agreed to terms with Kemba Walker, who has played for the Charlotte Bobcats-turned-Hornets since being drafted ninth overall out of the University of Connecticut in 2011.
Walker will be the Celtics’s third starting point guard in five years. He joins a team with a plethora of young talent, including Jayston Tatum and Jaylen Brown, that is in desperate need of togetherness and leadership after a difficult end to Irving’s term.
And former NBA star and current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose says Walker is exactly the man for the job.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
This offseason, the NBA has officially become a league of duos — two superstars joining forces on one team in the hopes of winning a championship. With the dynastic Golden State Warriors falling to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 Finals and losing several key players to injury or free agency since, it feels like this upcoming season is anyone’s game.
Through all the max contracts and requested trades, however, ESPN analyst Jalen Rose says there’s one static pair that isn’t getting the attention they deserve: the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
“The problem is, they got to the playoffs the past few years and they got swept,” Rose told AOL.com of the Blazers, courtesy of Dick’s Sporting Goods. “What ends up happening is we dismiss what they do in the regular season and say, ‘Show us in the playoffs.’ Then this year, they made it to the Western Conference Finals.”
Youth sports across the nation are being threatened.
School budgets, family income and gender inequality are all putting American kids’ ability to participate in after-school sports at risk.
Currently, 24% of U.S. high schools don’t offer sports programs. Fees to play community sports are rising, and nearly two-thirds of school sports budgets are stagnant or decreasing, leaving families at a loss for how to get their children involved.
DICK’S Sporting Goods believes every kid deserves a chance to play and is stepping up to the plate to help turn those dreams into reality.
The company will be matching up to $1 million in donations made to the DICK’S Foundation at store checkouts from now until September 13, 2019, with the goal of providing access to sports for one million youth athletes over the next five years.
DICK’S will also be partnering with the Women’s Sports Foundation to expand research on the participation and retention of young girls in sports. As it stands now, 56% of teenage girls do not participate in any sport, compared to 48% of boys.
USWNT star and World Cup champion Alex Morgan, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and NBA star turned ESPN analyst Jalen Rose are among the famous faces supporting the cause. Former Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn also joins Fitzgerald and Rose on the DICK’S Sporting Goods Sports Matter Advisory Board.