Johnny Knox isnt practicing yet and probably wont be for quite some time. Whether hes even on the 53-man roster when the season starts is problematic. He lost 30 pounds after surgery to repair a frightening back injury resulting from a hit taken in the Seattle Seahawks game last year.But Knox was at practice on Wednesday, wearing his familiar No. 13, and that alone was a highlight of camp.Im doing great,Knox said. Im feeling a lot better from day one. Getting stronger. Working on some things to get stronger in my lower body and my back. Most importantly, mentally, too.Knox has been allowed to do some jogging, working on muscle memory and the little things. But he is not in drills and isnt sure when hell be able to begin actual practices.They havent given me a timetable on that right now, Knox said. My main focus right now is just in that weight room, because if I dont get stronger in that weight room, I wont be able to come out here and practice with the team.And thats something everyone inside and outside the locker room will be looking forward to.
Zach LaVine is fed up with being underestimated and he’s going to do something about it. The Bulls guard has been having a strong pre-season so far but is looking to improve his skills as a two-way player.
“I’m just tired of people talking shit about my defense,” LaVine said. “I’ve always been a good on-ball defender. But there’s no reason I can be this good offensively and not be that on the defensive end.”
“I’m taking more pride in it,” he continued. “I’m pretty sure it’ll show. I’ll make sure of that.”
If you think LaVine sounds confident, he has good reason to be. Last season LaVine was one of only ten players to average at least 23 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists, making him stand out as an elite player in the company of MVPs and All-Stars. LaVine’s personal triumphs, however, were overshadowed by the Bulls abysmal 22-60 record last season.
So far, this preseason LaVine has been looking better on defense, averaging 1.3 steals per game through three preseason games. Any improvements on defense will greatly help LaVine’s All-Star case.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.
The Giants' search for a successor to now-retired manager Bruce Bochy has led them to the North Side.
According to NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, the Giants are interested in Cubs first base coach Will Venable for their own managerial opening. San Francisco's interest is intriguing, as Venable went to high school just outside San Francisco in nearby San Rafael. His father — Max Venable — played for the Giants from 1979-83.
Venable also interviewed for the Cubs' manager job earlier this month, telling the Chicago Sun-Times that his interest is in the "organization in general." He is one of several internal candidates for the Cubs' job, along with bench coach Mark Loretta and front office assistant David Ross.
The Cubs also interviewed Joe Girardi and are set to meet with Astros bench coach Joe Espada and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Cubs games easily on your device.