For as long as sports have existed the city of New York has provided some of the biggest superstars in sports history. From the likes of; Babe Ruth, Joe Namath, Mark Messier, and Lawrence Taylor to more recently Derek Jeter, Eli Manning, Jacob deGrom, Carmelo Anthony, and Aaron Judge it’s safe to say New York City has a knack for creating superstars. With the Eli Manning and Derek Jeter NY, sports era over here are the athletes in contention to lead the next era of New York superstars.
#5 Sam Darnold (Jets, Quarterback, #14 )
- When the New York Jets traded up for Sam Darnold in the 2018 NFL Draft Jets fans hoped Darnold would be their messiah and end their 51-year championship drought. After Darnold’s rookie season the hype surrounding him had died with his fellow New York football rookie counterpart receiving most of it and understandably so being that he had just come off an OROY conquest. However, in Darnold’s sophomore campaign he quickly regained his swagger leading the Jets to a 7-9 record in just 13 games due to being diagnosed with Mononucleosis early in the season. With all of this being said I do have my doubts about Darnold the main one being the situation around him. In the 2019 offseason, the Jets front office went out and hired Adam Gase a coach who had just been fired for the failure of developing Ryan Tannehill in Miami and Jets fans are supposed to buy into that?
#4) RJ Barrett (Knicks, Shooting Guard, #9)
- When the Knicks missed out on Zion Williamson and Ja Morant in the 2019 NBA Draft the city of New York was crushed that they were left with RJ Barrett. But in Barrett was a damn good consolation prize, at 6’8 214 LBS Barrett is a Guard who can run the floor and get to the rim at an elite rate. My worries with Barrett are similar to my worries with Darnold, its what’s around them that bothers me. It has been no secret that since the departure of Patrick Ewing in 2000 the New York Knicks have been a complete FUCKING dumpster fire with terrible ownership, mismanagement of players, and swapping through coaches like pages in a catalog. Despite playing for 2 coaches in his rookie year and 1 of those being the total incompetence that was David Fizdale, Barrett still flashed his insane potential scoring 800+ points, grabbing 250+ rebounds, and assisting in 100+ plays putting him in the company of the late Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Jayson Tatum, Luka Doncic and Kevin Durant. Lastly, the Knicks have recently begun to reconstruct their front office hiring Leon Rose to be the New President of Basketball Operations who I 100% believe will turn the franchise around!!
#3) Daniel Jones (Giants, Quarterback, #8)
- Never in my life have I seen an athlete so disliked without him playing a single game. When the New York Giants drafted Daniel Jones 6th overall above Josh Allen and fan-favorite Dwayne Haskins the city was in an uproar with fans calling for Dave Gettleman’s job, booing Jones at Yankee stadium, and total media slander. Despite this all, Daniel Jones kept his head down and remained relatively silent throughout the offseason waiting for his number to be called. After an 0-2 start to the 2019 NFL season, then head coach Pat Shurmur elected to start Daniel Jones week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what would be one of the greatest rookie debuts of all-time!! Jones threw for 336 yards, 2 passing touchdowns, and 2 rushing touchdowns en route to an 18 point come from behind Victory!! After the game, the perception of Daniel Jones seemed to have immediately with headlines reading “Daniel Jones brings the thunder” and Max Kellerman (one of Jones’s biggest haters throughout the offseason) apologizing to Daniel Jones the day after the game on First Take. Although Jones did exceed expectations in his rookie year throwing for 24 touchdowns and 3027 yards he will need to work on his ball security a lot.
#2) Saquon Barkley (Giants, Runningback, #26)
- Out of everyone on this list so far Saquon Barkley represents New York City the best, with his swagger, leadership, flashiness, work ethic, and his overall big plays. After being drafted 2nd overall by the New York Giants in the 2018 NFL Draft right ahead of the previously mentioned Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley broke onto the scene right away showcasing his immense talent and leadership which inked him multiple Barry Sanders comparisons. Coming off his OROY conquest the year prior Giants fans had high hopes for Barkley in year 2 however, in Daniel Jones’s debut game in week 3 Saquon suffered a high ankle sprain sidelining him for just 4 weeks. When Barkley returned he was clearly playing injured shown by his week 10 performance against the Jets putting up a measly 1 yard on 13 carries. After this game hopes of another 1000 yard season for Saquon Barkley seemed to be lost and it was not until week 16 against the Washington Redskins hope would return. In the week 16 game against the Redskins Saquon Barkley completely dominated that the horrible Redskins defense putting um 289 total yards, 2 touchdowns on just 22 carries. If Barkley were to become the face of New York sports he will need to work on staying on the field and taking what the defense gives him.
#1) Gleyber Torres (Yankees, 2nd Base, #25)
Gleyber Torres is one of the brightest stars for the Yankees. The 23 Year Old SS/2B was acquired in the deal that sent closer Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs at the 2016 Trade Deadline. Since his MLB debut in 2018, Torres has been exactly what the Yankees thought they were acquiring in 2016. After putting up 24 Homers with a .271 BA and .480 SLG in his rookie season, the young superstar had an even better sophomore season, in which he hit 38 Homers, a .278 BA and a .535 SLG. Additionally, Torres was even better in the playoffs, during which he put up 8 XBH in 9 games, and carried the Yankees to a couple wins before they eventually got taken out by the cheating Houston Astros. These are impressive numbers for Gleyber, and there is a big chance that he will improve on those numbers whenever the next season is.
Caris Levert, Mitchell Robinson, Jamal Adams, and Darius Slayton