Zach Wilson is the man once again for the New York Jets. After Aaron Rodgers was acquired by the Jets in the offseason, Wilson was prepared to be his backup for possibly the next few seasons.
However, things changed quickly in New York after Rodgers tore his left Achilles tendon in the team’s season-opening win over the Bills on Monday night.
Now, it’s Wilson’s turn again to show the Jets why they should have selected with the second pick in the 2021 draft.
In 2022, Wilson got chance after chance to prove himself, but after a bad performance against the Patriots late in the season, he was benched for Mike White. Ultimately, he would get another shot following an injury to White, but he wasn’t very good.
Some believe Wilson, who will lead the way for the Jets when they travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys on Sunday, has to gain the trust of teammates, but according to the 24-year-old, that’s not the case.
“I don’t think I need to think of it like that,” he said Thursday. “I think how I can go out there and play football, and I will earn that trust back from those guys. I would say I have a really good relationship with everybody in this locker room, you know, we joke around, we eat lunch together, we go out for O-Line, QB dinners, and so I would always feel like the guys in this locker room have my back just like I have their back no matter what.”
The third-year quarterback spent a decent amount of time around Rodgers in the offseason, and he feels being around the four-time league MVP has made him a better player.
“Absolutely,’ Wilson said. “I feel like I’ve been trying to copy every little thing he’s doing, from his footwork to the coaching tips he’s given us. He does an amazing job, more than we could ask for as quarterbacks.”
On Tuesday, Jets head coach Robert Saleh said the Jets are Zach Wilson’s team, which made Wilson feel good.
“It’s good to know he’s(Saleh) got a lot of trust in me,” Wilson said. “As a quarterback, when you’re stepping in, and you feel the belief of the guys around you, it makes you want to go out there and do everything that you can for them, and I think that’s what’s so special about this team. We’re very tight right now, and everything’s been rolling smoothly.”
The Jets look loaded on defense and appear to have a very good team; this is a great opportunity for Wilson, and he knows it.
“Yeah, it’s a special opportunity,” he said. “I’m excited to be a part of this team, man. These guys are very special, so doing my job and allowing the guys around me to do theirs.”
Undisputed 168-pound undisputed champion Canelo Álvarez has never really ducked or dodged a challenge. In fact, he runs right into it.
That mentality continues to be on full display as Alvarez(59-2-2, 39 KOs) will battle undisputed 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo(35-1-1, 19 KOs) on Saturday, September 30 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas(Showtime PPV).
Whether it’s Jermall or Jermell Charlo, both fighters have tried to get their hands on Alvarez, and according to the Mexican star, he will show the Charlo brothers all the things he brings to the table.
“I always want to make the best fights out there,” Canelo said at his virtual media workout in Lake Tahoe on Wednesday. “I’m excited to be in this fight. This is a fight that people have talked about for a while. I’m excited to show the Charlos my skills. Now Jermell is gonna feel my skills.
“I think Jermell Charlo is the perfect fight right now. He’s been calling me out for a long time, and I never forget. He’s said a lot of things. He never believed in my skills, but he’s gonna find out soon. Him and his brother didn’t believe in my skills, and that motivates me for this fight.”
Charlo is moving up two weight classes, which is something Alvarez did when he fought and stopped Sergey Kovalev at 175 pounds in 2019. Canelo thinks Charlo won’t have any issues with the weight.
“Charlo will be good at 168 pounds,” Alvarez said. “I’ve made that jump before, so I know. I think that when you’re a great champion like he is, it doesn’t matter.
“These kinds of fights motivate me. I like being underestimated. That’s what makes me excited for this fight.”
In his last fight in May, Alvarez defeated John Ryder by unanimous decision; however, he wasn’t at his best. For this training camp, the 33-year-old Alvarez says he’s healthy and convinced that this has been one the best training camps of his career.
“I feel great,” he said. “This is really one of the best camps I’ve ever had. I feel great to be able to train 100% now with my left hand. That’s made me more confident. When you train knowing that you’re healthy, you’ll be more confident in the fight.”
Canelo can add yet another benchmark to his already historic career with a triumph over Charlo and, in doing so, become the first man during the four-belt era to defend all four titles successfully three consecutive times.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed Sharife Cooper, Pete Nance, and Justin Powell, the team announced on Wednesday.
With these additions, Cleveland has 20 players on its training camp roster.
Cooper, 22, appeared in 25 games (all starts) last season with the Cleveland Charge(Cavs’ G League team, averaging 21.3 points, 6.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 0.84 steals in 32.4 minutes. The 6-1 guard was named All-NBA G League Second Team and was also selected to the 2023 NBA G League Next Up Game during NBA All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City.
During the 2023 Summer League in Las Vegas, he appeared in four games (all starts) for the Cavaliers, averaging 13.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in 21.5 minutes while helping the Cavs win their first Summer League Championship. Cooper was drafted 48th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks after one collegiate season at Auburn (2020-21).
The 23-year-old Nance, who reportedly signed an Exhibit 10 team with the team in June, went undrafted after one season at the University of North Carolina (2022-23) and four seasons at Northwestern University (2018-22), averaging 9.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 25.3 minutes in 137 games (104 starts) during his collegiate career.
A Cavaliers 2023 Summer League Championship team member, the 6-11 forward appeared in all six games, averaging 7.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 20.4 minutes. Nance is also the son of former Cavs star Larry Nance Sr., and the brother of Cavs forward Larry Nance Jr.
Powell, 22, also went undrafted after playing three seasons collegiately at Auburn, Tennessee, and Washington State, with career averages of 7.8 points, 2.2 assists, and 3.2 rebounds in 25.0 minutes.
The 6-6 guard appeared in two games for the Miami Heat at the 2023 Summer League in Las Vegas and one game at the California Classic in Sacramento.
On Wednesday, the Philadelphia 76ers announced that they are signing Danny Green.
According to reports, it’s a one-year deal.
The 34-year-old, who spent two seasons with Philadelphia(2020-22), reunites with 76ers head coach Nick Nurse. The two were together during the 2019 championship season in Toronto.
During his time with the 76ers, he produced 7.8 points on 40.5% shooting, 3.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.2 steals in 131 games (97 starts) while ranking ninth on the franchise’s all-time list with a 39.5% three-point shooting mark.
Green tore his ACL and LCL in the playoffs in 2022 with the 76ers and was traded to the Grizzlies at the end of that season.
Last season, the 14-year veteran spent time with the Grizzlies and Cavaliers. With the Cavs, Green played in four postseason games.
Originally selected by Cleveland with the 46th pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, Green has produced 8.7 points on 42.1% shooting (40.0% 3-PT), 3.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steals, and 25.2 minutes across 830 career games (709 starts) with the Cavaliers, San Antonio, Toronto, the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia, and Memphis. He is one of four players in league history to win NBA titles with three different franchises, joining Robert Horry, LeBron James, and John Salley.
Depending on what he has left in the tank, Green should give Philly some depth off the bench.
Undisputed junior middleweight world champion Jermell Charlo held a live streamed media workout on Monday and previewed his upcoming showdown against undisputed super middleweight world champion Canelo Álvarez topping a SHOWTIME PPV Saturday, September 30 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Houston’s Charlo will look to earn undisputed status in a second weight class with a career-defining triumph over Canelo in the first showdown between two reigning male undisputed champions in the four-belt era.
Here is what Charlo had to say Monday from his training camp in Houston:
“I’ve been doing this my whole life and now it’s time to put on for my city. Put up or shut up and do what I do. I’m facing one of the best fighters in the world, you have to be excited for this moment.
“Now is the right time for this fight. We’re in our primes and at our best. I wanna shake the doubters off and prove to the world why I’m in this position. There’s a reason I made it this far. I’m gonna show what I’m made of. Everything I’ve done since I was eight years old, I’m putting it all on the line now.
Photos; Andrew Hemingway/SHOWTIME
“I’m not going to have to worry about losing too much weight. I’ve been sparring bigger guys for a very long time and now it’s about bringing that same mindset that I have at 154-pounds and bringing it up with me to 168-pounds.
“Of course there’s pressure. We have to be dominant and not just rely on a knockout. I have to beat him for 12 rounds. I have to do what I have to do in the ring to protect myself while still being vicious.
“This is a dream come true, just like winning undisputed, winning a world title and making it out the mud was. Once you get this far and see yourself prospering, you just want to keep bringing it. I’m staying focused on handling business.
“We’ve done so much sparring and conditioning. I’m working on the mental as well, because I know it’s not only about the physical. I’ve been training 14 weeks and making sure I do everything I need to.
“I just have to stay hungry. And I’ve been hungry. I would’ve fought Canelo years ago, and it probably wouldn’t have been as big as it is now. But I’m not too focused on being in the ring with Canelo, I’m just hungry. I want to win this fight for my city.
“If I accomplish this massive goal, it’ll be hard to top. I’ll be in the record book with the greats of boxing for a long time.
“I’m so dialed in as far as my team and everyone around me. I just need to get in the ring and do what I have to do.”
The New York Jets started the season with a big win over their division rival, the Buffalo Bills, in exciting fashion after Xavier Gipson had a walk-off 65-yard punt return to propel New York to a 22-16 win in OT at MetLife Stadium on Monday night.
However, there was a more significant story. Four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers played only four snaps after he tore his Achilles tendon while being sacked by Bills DE Leonard Floyd on the team’s first offensive series.
The 39-year-old is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh says he’s happy about the win but feels for Rodgers.
“I’m going to enjoy this win,” Saleh said after the game. “Winning in the NFL is hard regardless of who the quarterback is. Personally, I don’t hurt for me. I don’t hurt for our locker room. I hurt for Aaron and how much he has invested in all of this. I’m still going to say a prayer. I’m still going to hold out hope, but my heart is with Aaron right now and no one else.”
Without Rodgers, Jets third-year quarterback Zach Wilson played the rest of the way, and he did just enough. Wilson finished the game by completing 14 of 21 passes for 140 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.
Like Saleh, Wilson feels sorry for Rodgers.
“I have so much love for Aaron (Rodgers), so my heart goes out to him,” Wilson said. “I have no idea what’s happened. I have to see what happened for a second, but I know he’ll find a way to keep working to get back, but it’s tough. That hurts us as a team, but my job as a quarterback is it’s my job to step up, and I’ve got to be able to be as efficient as I can in that offense.”
On Tuesday, Saleh made it clear that the Jets were Wilson’s team going forward.
“We are going to look through some things, but I do want to make it very clear: Zach (Wilson) is our quarterback,” he said. “We got a lot of faith in Zach. We’re really excited about his opportunity, but we’re rolling with Zach and excited for him and, like I said, this opportunity he’s going to get.”
You have to feeL for Rodgers. At this point, his career could be in jeopardy. It will be challenging for the 19-year veteran to return from this injury.
Regarding Wilson, this is why you drafted the 24-year-old with the second overall pick in the 2021 draft. However, time will be the judge whether or not he’s ready to lead the way for New York. As we saw on Monday night, the Jets’ defense is as advertised, as they forced four turnovers against the Bills, and it appears to be championship caliber.
New York will probably add another quarterback at some point, and it should be interesting to see what direction they will go in, but at this point, they are all in on Wilson, for better or worse.
A familiar face is back in Cleveland.
The Cavaliers have signed forward/center Tristan Thompson, the team announced on Tuesday.
According to reports, it’s a one-year deal.
Thompson, a vital figure on Cleveland’s 2016 championship team and a part of the Cavs’ teams that went to four straight NBA Finals, was selected fourth by the Cavs in 2011 and spent the first nine seasons of his career in Cleveland.
Last season, the 12-year veteran signed with the Lakers in April and appeared in six postseason games.
“Tristan embodies every trait we want as part of our team culture, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring his experience and character back into our franchise,” Cavs president of basketball operations Koby Altman said in a press release. “His impact both on and off the court is immeasurable, and his history with our team adds a layer of familiarity, leadership, and physicality that will undoubtedly make a positive impact with our younger players. An integral part of our four consecutive NBA Finals trips and an NBA Championship in 2016, Tristan represented the organization with the utmost charm and professionalism during his nine seasons in Northeast Ohio. We are thrilled to reunite with Tristan and welcome him and his family back to the Cavaliers family.”
Thompson still ranks among the franchise’s all-time leaders in offensive rebounds (second, 2,115), total rebounds (third, 5,393), defensive rebounds (fifth, 3,278), blocks (sixth, 447), games played (seventh, 619) and minutes (eighth, 17,373). His 447 consecutive regular season games played from Feb. 10, 2012, to April 4, 2017, remains the longest streak in Cavaliers history. Additionally, Thompson holds the franchise record for most offensive rebounds in a single season with 306 in 2012-13.
Over his career, Thompson has played in 730 regular season games (478 starts) for Cleveland, Boston, Sacramento, Indiana, and Chicago, with averages of 9.0 points on .519 shooting from the field and 8.4 rebounds in 26.8 minutes per contest. Thompson is one of only four players in franchise history to accumulate at least 5,000 points and 5,000 rebounds, joining LeBron James, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Brad Daugherty.
Thompson is a fan favorite and brings postseason experience to Cleveland, and he could give the Cavs solid minutes off the bench.
The Philadelphia 76ers have officially signed guard David Duke Jr., the team announced Monday.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer Gina Mizell, it’s an Exhibit 10 deal.
Duke Jr., 23, appeared in 23 games with the Brooklyn Nets last season as a two-way signee, averaging 3.7 points (46.2% FG) and 1.3 rebounds in 9.9 minutes. He posted season highs in points (15), rebounds (eight), and steals (three) while dishing out a career-best four assists against the 76ers on April 9.
Across his two professional seasons, both with the Nets from 2021-23, the Providence, R.I. native has produced 4.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 12.6 minutes in 45 NBA games.
The second-year guard has also appeared in 35 career regular season games (all starts) for Brooklyn’s NBA G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, posting averages of 20.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.7 steals.
He led the team and ranked fourth across the G League with 23.0 points in 22 games last season, finishing third in the 2022-23 Kia NBA G League Most Valuable Player award voting.
Two thrilling World Title fights and two more championship bouts will light up Monte Carlo in a night of elite boxing on Saturday November 4(DAZN).
Welsh hero Joe Cordina will defend his IBF Super-Featherweight World Title against highly-rated American rival Edward Vazquez at the famous Casino de Monte Carlo.
Undefeated Cordina (16-0, 9 KOs) is widely regarded as one of the best British fighters today, a two-time champion of the world in just 16 fights, and returns to the ring following his breathtaking victory last April over Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov. And Cordina makes his way back to Monaco where he overcame Mario Enrique Tinoco in November 2019.
The Tony Sims-trained champion, 31, will face a tough challenge in Vazquez (15-1, 3 KOs), who gets his first-ever World Title shot thanks to a four-fight winning streak. The 27-year-old Texan’s only career loss to date was a split decision defeat by Raymond Ford in May 2022.
Another all-action World Title fight is in store when South Africa’s Sive Nontshinga puts his IBF Light Flyweight championship on the line against Mexico’s Adrian Curiel Dominguez (22-4-1, 3 KOs).
The ‘Special One’ Nontshinga (12-0, 9 KOs) makes the second defence of his IBF crown, which he won in a fight of the year contender against Hector Flores Calixto in 2022, and this bout promises to be another enthralling 12-round fight.
The future of French boxing will be on display too as Souleymane Cissokho defends his WBC Silver Welterweight Title against Isaias Lucero.
The 2016 Olympic Bronze medallist is undefeated as a professional (16-0, 9 KOs), and will be looking to put on another strong showcase of his incredible talents on home soil when he collides with hard-hitting Mexican, Lucero (16-1, 10 KOs).
The inspirational Ramla Ali will seek redemption as she looks to avenge her only professional loss to date in a rematch with Julissa Guzman for the IBF Inter-Continental Super-Bantamweight Championship. Mexican Guzman (13-2-2, 7 KOs) sensationally stopped Ali (8-1-0, 2 KOs) in round eight when they met in New Orleans back in June.
Campaign activist Ali, who fled war-torn Somalia as a refugee at the age of 12 to move to the UK, was selected as one of Time Magazine’s Women of the Year for 2023 and is a global ambassador for UNICEF along with Cartier and Christian Dior. A win over rival Guzman will reignite her dream of becoming a future World Champion.
More unmissable bouts will be confirmed in due course, along with ticket details.
“I’m excited to be fighting at the Casino de Monte-Carlo for a second time as I put my iBF Super-Featherweight World Title on the line against Edward Vazquez,” said Cordina. “I have happy memories of fighting in Monte Carlo, landing the WBA Continental Title in my first outing down at Super-Featherweight, and I’m looking to put on another explosive performance on November 4 as I continue to work towards unifying the division. Tune in live on DAZN.”
“We’re delighted to be returning to beautiful Monte Carlo for another stacked night of World Title action,” said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn. “This will be our first fight night in Monte Carlo since 2019 and I’m thrilled to be returning with a huge World Title double-header featuring IBF Super-Featherweight World Champion Joe Cordina defending his crown against Edward Vazquez and IBF Light-Flyweight World Champion Sive Nontshinga putting his belt on the line against Adrian Curiel Dominguez.
“The stunning Casino de Monte-Carlo is a special and unique setting within boxing and we have a thrilling night of championship action in store for fight fans around the world on DAZN. Ramla Ali looks exact revenge over Julissa Guzman and French star Souleyman Cissokho continues his climb up the Welterweight ladder as he faces Isaias Lucero, with more fights to be announced soon.”