Wake up to the best sports story you'll hear all day. Monday through Friday, host Pablo Torre brings you an inside look at the most interesting stories at ESPN, as told by the top reporters and insiders on the planet. The breaking news of SportsCenter. The deep dive storytelling of 30 for 30. Get the very best of ESPN. Daily.
Jeremy Lin on His NBA Hopes, Linsanity, and a Season in China: 11/25/20
Jeremy Lin rocketed to basketball stardom with the Knicks, and Linsanity ensued. But in 2019 when his Toronto Raptors won it all, free agent Lin couldnt land a contract in the league. He spent the last season in China with the Beijing Ducks, where he says he gained fresh perspective on the game, from technical skill to his mentality. Lin now hopes to return to the NBA, and hes entered free agency for the 2020-21 season. He joins the show to reflect on the ups and downs of his career, and why he feels more ready than ever for the NBA.
College Basketballs Uncertain Return to the Court: 11/24/20
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last March, it forced sports everywhere to shut down. And while the NBA, NHL and MLB were all eventually able to return to action, college basketball was forced to cancel the rest of their season...including their marquee event, the NCAA Tournament. Now, more than eight months later, college hoops makes its cautious return with a tipoff on Wednesday. Myron Medcalf tells us the teams and players to look out for on the court, and also whether the sport itself will be able to complete its season...and what March Madness might look like in a pandemic. Then, Heather Dinich sets the scene for tomorrows college football playoff rankings, amidst another round of postponements and positive COVID tests.
NFL Insider Dan Graziano Breaks Down Week 11: 11/23/20
Week 11 in the NFL brought plenty of drama. Two overtime finishes, a last-second touchdown on the Vegas strip, a devastating injury to Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, and the benching of Miami Dolphins signal caller, Tua Tagovailoa. Oh and Taysom Hill made his long-awaited debut as a starting quarterback in New Orleans. ESPN NFL Insider Dan Graziano joins the show to break down Sundays action. Plus, more on the legacy of the Ice Bucket Challenge, and saying good-bye to its second co-founder, who just died from ALS.
Can the Pittsburgh Steelers Go Undefeated?: 11/20/20
The Pittsburgh Steelers (9-0) are the NFL's last remaining unbeaten team, thanks to a stingy defense and an offense loaded with talented skill players. After narrow victories over Tennessee, Dallas, and Baltimore created quite a bit of skepticism, the question still remains: can the Pittsburgh Steelers go undefeated? Former Steelers defensive back Ryan Clark joins the show to discuss the evolution of Ben Roethlisberger, the rise of Chase Claypool, why Mike Tomlin is under-appreciated, and whether a team that is carried by its defense can prevail over the high-powered offenses in todays NFL. Then, on the news of the Warriors' Klay Thompson's injury, Andre Iguodala weighs in on his friends road to recovery.
Seahawks' DK Metcalf: Chasing Down Glory: 11/19/20
No athlete in the NFL is quite like Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf. Hes a terrifying combination of size, and strength, and speed. But how did Metcalf become this incredible threat for Seattle? ESPN senior writer Dave Fleming tells us what drives 22-year-old Metcalf, and how the Seahawks are turning him into even more: Fleming profiled Metcalf for ESPN Cover Story, out today on ESPN.com. Then, Tim Keown talks to us from inside the Ball family compound, on the night LaMelo Ball is drafted into the NBA.
Breaking Down Tonights NBA Draft: The Players, The Picks, and Virtual Fashion: 11/18/20
Tonight, in a studio in Bristol, Connecticut, the 2020 NBA Draft will (finally) unfold. After a five month postponement, tonights draft will no doubt look different from drafts past: no cheering fans or players shaking the commissioners hand on stage. But with top prospects Lamelo Ball, James Wiseman, and Anthony Edwards all still in play for the number one pick, and players still donning their finest suits over Zoom, there will be no shortage of entertainment. ESPNs Mike Schmitz, who scouts draft prospects around the globe, tells us what to expect from the top three picks -- Minnesota, Golden State, and Charlotte -- and shares which prospects will have an immediate impact on the league. Then, Pablo shares the story of a racing pigeon who was sold at auction for a record *beaking* $1.9 million.
Woj On NBA Trades And His Giannis Podcast Special : 11/17/20
The NBAs trade moratorium ended Monday, with rumored trades of huge stars like James Harden and Russell Westbrook, and the shuffling of Chris Paul to the Suns. ESPNs Adrian Wojnarowski brings us the latest as he doggedly works his sources and gets trade tips. Plus, as the draft approaches, Woj dishes about his new series on reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the 2013 draft, and how Giannis worked toward basketball prowess as a child in Greece.
Murray Magic and the Return of Jameis: Domonique Foxworth on NFL Week 10 : 11/16/20
The NFLs play of the season is being called the Hail Murray. Kyler Murrays 43-yard prayer was answered by DeAndre Hopkins among and above three Bills defenders to give the Cardinals a 32-30 win. It was perhaps the craziest moment in an already wild day in the NFL...a day that saw the return of Jameis Winston after Saints starter Drew Brees left the game with a rib injury, as well as a Ravens-Patriots game that was almost invisible at times, thanks to some wacky New England weather. ESPN analyst and former NFL cornerback Domonique Foxworth takes us through Sundays biggest moments, and examines the NFLs new proposal for diversity in coaching and management. Then, Pablo discusses the path of new Marlins GM Kim Ng, MLBs first female GM.
Is This Kyler Murrays Moment?: 11/13/20
Hes maybe 5 10....hes just 23 years old...but in only his second season, Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray has been playing at MVP level. The first overall pick from the 2019 draft is starting to deliver success to a Cardinals team that hasnt been competitive since Carson Palmer was under center. Coached by Kliff Kingsbury, who mentored QBs like Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield in college, much of the Cardinals magic relies on the relationship between Kingsbury and Murray. Ahead of their matchup with the 7-2 Buffalo Bills, we examine whats made Murray so effective this season, his unique abilities (including his baseball background), and if 2020 has the makings of a Murray MVP season, with ESPN Cardinals reporter Josh Weinfuss. Then, Bob Ryan shares a special tribute to late Boston sports legend Tom Heinsohn.
Jeff Passan on MLB Offseason Scandals: 11/12/20
This week, news of recently re-hired White Sox manager Tony La Russas second drunk driving arrest sent shockwaves through the baseball world. La Russa is among a group of MLB decision makers which includes newly rehired Red Sox manager Alex Cora, and former Astros GM AJ Hinch, who seem to be getting second chances, in spite of their past questionable actions. As we make our way through this MLB offseason, Jeff Passan joins the show to bring us the latest on the La Russa story, and also break down new Mets owner Steven Cohens introductory press conference. Then, Katie Barnes explains womens college basketball prospect Azzi Fudd, and her decision to commit to UConn.
Rocky Bleier: From The Steelers To Vietnam And Back: 11/11/20
For generations, countless men and women from around the sports world have served in our nations military. But none have a story quite like Rocky Bleier. Bleier won a college football national championship with Notre Dame, but during his rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Three months into his deployment to Vietnam, Bleier was shot through the thigh and suffered a grenade blast to his foot. Doctors told him hed never play football again. But Bleier would go on to rejoin the Steelers and win four Super Bowls with the team in the 1970s. In 2018, Bleier and ESPNs Tom Rinaldi traveled to Vietnam, to the Hiep Duc Valley, where Bleier served, and where many of his fellow soldiers were killed in an ambush. Today, in honor of Veterans Day, Tom Rinaldi joins the show to recount Bleiers incredible football comeback in the wake of a devastating combat injury, and how his return to Vietnam helped him reconcile with the past.
Scott Van Pelt on a Masters Unlike Any Other: 11/10/20
The 2020 Masters Tournament tees off Thursday from Augusta, and its going to look, sound and feel very different from its traditional April home. Gone are the pastel azaleas and the roar of the patrons; in are fall foliage and sounds of silence from Amen Corner. But its still The Masters, and someone will be getting a green jacket. Will Tiger Woods repeat his 2019 victory? Or will current favorite Bryson DeChambeau win his second straight major? We check in with Scott Van Pelt as he prepares to make the journey to Augusta, and ask him what hes watching for in this years tournament. Then, ESPNs Bonnie Ford brings us her reporting on the Vendée Globe, one of sailings most grueling races, and is considered the ultimate socially distanced sporting event.
Bill Barnwell: NFL Week 9 + Midseason Awards: 11/9/20
The NFLs regular season is more than half done, and Bill Barnwell gives us a clearer picture of whos leading, whos trailing behind, and why. The Saints decimated Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. The Steelers clung to victory against the Cowboys to remain undefeated. And the Bills upset MVP-frontrunner Russell Wilson and his Seahawks. Hear more on Bills midseason awards, and what could make Mondays Patriots-Jets game interesting. Then, Pablo explores the relationship between sports and White House, and how it might change.
Death At The U: Who Killed Bryan Pata?: 11/6/20
Bryan Pata was a standout defensive lineman for the University of Miami Hurricanes, and the 22-year-old was projected to be a 2nd or 3rd round pick in the NFL Draft. But on November 7th, 2006, after returning home from football practice, Pata was shot and killed in the parking lot of his apartment complex. 14 years later, Patas murder remains unsolved. Over the years, police have pursued multiple leads in Patas case, but they have never made an arrest, or even publicly named a person of interest. But now, during a recent court hearing, police say they believe they know who was responsible for Patas death, and that an arrest will come in the foreseeable future. ESPNs Paula Lavigne, who reported extensively on the case, brings us up to date on the investigation.
Clemsons Rising Star QB: DJ Uiagalelei: 11/5/20
With QB Trevor Lawrence sidelined with COVID-19, Clemsons freshman backup QB DJ Uiagalelei steps into the spotlight this Saturday vs. Notre Dame. Uiagalelei has been touted for his arm strength and decision making, and received his first Power Five offer in the sixth grade. David Hale brings us everything you need to know about Clemsons rising star, from his early beginnings to what hes contributed to Clemson so far. Then, Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis joins the show to tell us about being a bright spot in the pop culture/sports world in 2020.
Replay: The National Anthem in Sports: 11/4/20
We hear it before every major game: The Star Spangled Banner. Throughout sports history, the national anthem has unified the U.S. in historic moments. Its also served as a platform to call for change. And right now, athletes are staking their claim on the anthem more than ever, to make history themselves. In a respin of our September episode, we explore the topic with guests Dr. Damion Thomas, sports curator of the National Museum of African American History and Culture; Jon Batiste, musician and band leader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (who performed the national anthem for the NBAs 2020 restart); and Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce.
Doc Rivers on the Rise of Athletes Focus on Voting: 11/3/20
Election Day 2020 has arrived. Its an unprecedented one in many ways, including that dozens of stadiums and arenas are serving as polling places. Thats a direct result of athlete attention on voting, which took off this summer across sports leagues, but particularly in the NBA. Veteran NBA player and coach Doc Rivers takes us behind the scenes, to tell the story of how - against a backdrop of social and political unrest, as players gathered in the bubble due to the pandemic - voting took center stage. Plus we hear from voters outside Staples Center in Los Angeles. You can find information on where and how to vote HERE.
Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 8: 11/2/20
Halfway through the NFLs regular season, its power players look the same&but somehow different. The once mighty Patriots have now lost four in a row, and the Bills lead the AFC East, with Tua Tagovailoas Miami Dolphins gaining traction. The Steelers remain undefeated and sit atop their division, so how good are they? Then in the NFC East, the Eagles lead the pack with a stunning 3-5-1 record. Bill Barnwell brings us up to speed on all of Sundays NFL action. Plus US Soccer alum, Angel City FC co-owner, and Laughter Permitted podcast host Julie Foudy talks about the rise in viewers for womens sports.
Bonus Episode: A Rare Conversation with Former Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkie: 10/30/20
When the Philadelphia 76ers announced this week they were hiring Daryl Morey to be their president of basketball operations, it turned heads across the NBA. Not just because of Morey's track record with the Houston Rockets, but because of his close relationship with former 76ers GM Sam Hinkie. Hinkie's tenure with the 76ers was polarizing. With some accusing him of tanking and turning the team into a laughingstock, and others admiring his long-term vision for the team's success...a vision that has come to be embodied by the now ubiquitous phrase "Trust the Process." Hinkie, who was ousted from the franchise in 2016, now works not in basketball but in business, and has founded a venture capital firm called Eighty-Seven Capital. He joins Pablo Torre for an extremely rare, wide-ranging interview that covers his time with the Sixers, his exit from basketball, and his new life away from the game.
Trevor Lawrence, COVID-19, and College Football: 10/30/20
On Thursday, Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence announced he had tested positive for COVID-19, shocking the college football world. David Hale explains what the diagnosis means for Lawrence and the rest of the sport. Then, after the Big Ten decided to reverse its initial decision to not play this fall, their season is underway...and the conference is now dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Wisconsin Badgers, leading them to cancel their game this weekend with Nebraska. In another Big Ten showdown, Ohio State plays Penn State this Saturday, featuring possible Heisman challenger QB Justin Fields. Kirk Herbstreit joins the show to preview that matchup, and to assess the college football landscape so far. Plus, a preview of our first-ever bonus episode. Former 76ers basketball executive Sam Hinkie gives a rare interview, as his friend and colleague Daryl Morey takes his old job.
Is Antonio Brown Worth the Risk for Brady and the Bucs? : 10/29/20
Antonio Brown is back in the NFL after agreeing to a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday. On the field, Brown is one of the most prolific wide receivers in NFL history, with over 11,000 receiving yards and 80 touchdowns in a career that began as a humble 6th round pick. But off the field, Brown has had ongoing issues: from social media outbursts to troubling sexual assault allegations and an arrest. After serving an eight-game suspension for violating the NFLs Personal Conduct Policy, Brown will reunite with Buccaneers QB Tom Brady, who was Browns teammate for one game in New England last season, before Brown was released by the Patriots. Mina Kimes, who profiled Brown back in 2015 for ESPN the Magazine, joins the show to discuss his tumultuous journey to this point, and to assess whether the hall-of-fame caliber wide receiver is worth the risk for an already surging Buccaneer offense. Then, Pablo weighs in on the surprising news that the Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly about to hire former Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey.
L.A. Dodgers Are World Series Champions: 10/28/20
The Los Angeles Dodgers are your 2020 World Series Champions. After a thrilling come-from-behind victory in Game 6, including a solo Mookie Betts home run, LA finally earned its first championship ring since 1988. But the victory was as strange as the season which preceded it, with Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner receiving COVID test results and getting pulled from the game. Jeff Passan joins the show from the scene in Arlington to break down what happened in Game 6. Why did the Rays pull pitcher Blake Snell? And what does the completion of this season mean for MLB going forward? Then: a tribute to Edmonton Oilers great Joey Moss.
Tua Time Has Finally Arrived in Miami: 10/27/20
After drafting rookie Tua Tagovailoa fifth overall this April, the Miami Dolphins immediately envisioned him as their franchise quarterback of the future. But with Tua coming off a hip injury that ended his college career, the Dolphins decided to start the season with veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who led the team to a surprising 3-3 record heading into their bye week. Now, despite Fitzpatricks success, Miami is starting Tua against the LA Rams on Sunday. Whats behind the roster change, and how is the locker room reacting? ESPN Miami reporter Cameron Wolfe explains whats at stake for the Dolphins at QB, and how the team and fans alike are responding to the prospect of Tua Time in Miami. Then, how Mike Tysons podcast might surprise you.
Bill Barnwell: NFL Week 7 and Trades: 10/26/20
Sundays slate of NFL games brought a few wild endings and surprising upsets. The Cardinals beat the Seahawks in the final minute of overtime. The Browns defeated the Bengals thanks to a last second Baker Mayfield touchdown pass. Todd Gurley accidentally scored a touchdown for the Falcons, setting up Matthew Stafford to deliver a Lions touchdown on the final play of the game - giving the Falcons another new way to lose. Bill Barnwell breaks down this Sundays NFL action, and whats at stake ahead of the NFL trade deadline, just 8 days away. Plus, Khabib Nurmagomedov claimed his 29th straight victory on Saturday. Hear why hes retiring.
Jon Grudens Raiders and Tom Bradys Bucs: A Special Relationship: 10/23/20
The Las Vegas Raiders take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, pitting Raiders head coach Jon Gruden against both his former team and former Tuck Rule game foe, Tom Brady. Grudens personality and coaching style has long been a part of NFL lore, throughout his first stint with the Oakland Raiders, time in Tampa, and now a return to the newly moved Vegas team. ESPNs Paul Gutierrez gets at what makes Gruden tick, brings us up to speed on the 2020 Raiders, and weighs the impact of a rash of positive COVID tests. Plus, how the Raiders are settling into their Nevada home (and how Gutierrez is settling into his Vegas digs).
UFC 254: Can Khabib Nurmagomedov Stay Undefeated? : 10/22/20
UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov is 28-0 inside the octagon. He is the UFC Lightweight Champion and viewed by many as the best pound-for-pound fighter in mixed martial arts. But on Saturday at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi, Nurmagomedov will face his greatest challenge yet: defending his title against his highly-skilled opponent, Justin Gaethje, and doing so just a few months removed from the death of his father and trainer, who passed away from COVID-19 in July. ESPN's Brett Okamoto previews Saturday's highly anticipated showdown, and tells us how Nurmagomedov is guided by his "father's plan." Then, Sam Borden shares the story of former Packers backup QB Graham Harrell playing flip cup with Aaron Rodgers at a fraternity party.
The Most Epic Mascot Fight in College Football History: 10/21/20
As the Big Ten kicks off this weekend, we remember the time Ohio States Brutus Buckeye and Ohio Universitys Rufus the Bobcat got into a mascot brawl for the ages. It was 2010, and regardless of who won, the fight went viral. Did Rufus attack Brutus unfairly and without warning? Or was it simply a loveable underdog taking a jab at a college football powerhouse? Dave Fleming brings us the epic tale of that fateful September day, and the years of rivalry behind it. Plus: rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa was named starter for the Miami Dolphins, making veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick a backup yet again.
Jeff Passan on a World Series Unlike Any Other: 10/20/20
Tonight, Game One of the 2020 World Series gets underway between the Dodgers and Rays. Its a series that promises to be as strange and intriguing as the season it concludes. Will Clayton Kershaw exorcise his playoff demons and lead the Dodgers to their first title in three decades? Or will the aggressively unconventional Tampa Bay Rays upset LA to claim their first-ever championship? And with a neutral site location and limited fans in the seats, will it feel like a real World Series? Jeff Passan explains how LA and Tampa made it this far, and what the fall classic in a pandemic will look like. Then, an ode to hockeys preeminent broadcasting scholar, Mike Doc Emrick, who announced his retirement on Monday.
Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 6: 10/19/20
The NFLs sixth Sunday saw Aaron Rodgers suffer at the hands of the Buccaneers relentless defense, while Ryan Tannehill and the Titans clung to victory over the Texans in overtime. The Titans and Steelers both remain undefeated at 5-0, but the hapless Jets fell to 0-6 amidst drama between head coach Adam Gase and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Bill Barnwell brings us his insights on this weekends football action, and if this season has met expectations surrounding the pandemic. Then, the weirdest college football commitment video weve ever seen (if that is even what it was?).
How Sabans Absence Will Affect Georgia vs. Alabama: 10/16/20
On Saturday, #3 Georgia visits #2 Alabama in what could be the biggest game of the college football season. Despite not playing each other every year, the Bulldogs-Crimson Tide rivalry has a rich history in recent seasons, with numerous high profile matchups that have all ended in heartbreak for Georgia. But this year might be different. Especially because Alabama will be without head coach Nick Saban, who will miss the game after testing positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. ESPNs Bill Connelly explains how Sabans absence will affect the Crimson Tide, and what the Bulldogs need to do to finally come out on top. Then, Max Kellerman joins Pablo to preview this Saturdays big fight between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez.
Tyrann Mathieu: How the Honey Badger Became an NFL Leader: 10/15/20
Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu earned the nickname Honey Badger, for his fearlessness, speed and dynamic play on the football field. But one trait he doesnt share with natures biggest badass is not caring. Mathieus dedication to his teammates and community have made him a leader, on and off the field, in spite of battling and injuries and skepticism about his character. Domonique Foxworth wrote a Cover Story on Mathieu for ESPN.com, and joins the show to break down what makes him a model modern NFL defenseman. Then, how the saga of the LSU-Florida cancellation plays into the bigger story of sports safety and the SEC.
Closing Out the NBA Bubble With Malika Andrews : 10/14/20
The NBA bubble has finally come to a close, with the LA Lakers crowned champion, and no positive COVID tests throughout. The impressive feat has set a high bar for sports in the pandemic. ESPNs Malika Andrews was the longest tenured reporter inside the NBA bubble, and she returns to the show to chronicle her exit from Orlando, and reflect on what it all meant. Shes joined by ESPN producer Malinda Adams, who was also on site from Day One. And, we get some insights on whats next for the 2021 NBA season.
Buffalo Bills: Super Bowl Contenders?: 10/13/20
As if 2020 couldnt get any weirder....the undefeated Buffalo Bills sit atop the AFC standings. The Bills take on the Tennessee Titans tonight in a rare Tuesday evening game, the result of multiple recent positive COVID tests on the Titans. With a win on Tuesday, the Bills would join Seattle as the only 5-0 teams in the NFL, a feat that surprisingly has not been due to their highly touted defense, but rather from their the play of their offense, and its leader, QB Josh Allen. After several years of inconsistency, Allens play has improved dramatically this season, and he now ranks 3rd in the NFL in quarterback rating. ESPN Bills reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques makes the case for why these Bills could have what it takes to make a potential Super Bowl run. Then, Mike Schur, mind behind The Office Parks and Recreation and The Good Place remembers Reds legend Joe Morgan.
Lakers Are NBA Champions + Bill Barnwell on NFL Week 5 : 10/12/20
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are NBA champions, after a six game final series against Miami. Many dedicated the win to deceased Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. Hard to believe, but the longest season in NBA history began almost one year ago. The league has struggled with a pandemic hiatus, creating a bubble, and navigating a social movement against racial injustice that swept all of sports. And the Lakers, after all of it, came out on top, in a 106-93 win. Dave McMenamin shares all the things this victory means. Then Bill Barnwell brings us the latest on this week in the NFL: the impact of Dak Prescotts injury, how the Raiders were able to contain Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, and to what degree NFL schedule changes affect which teams.
Is This DEriq Kings Heisman Moment?: 10/9/20
When the #7 Miami Hurricanes take on #1 Clemson on Saturday night, it will be a matchup of two of this years top contenders for the Heisman Trophy. One is a household name to college football fans: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, whose golden boy image and physical gifts have made his success seem preordained. The other, is shorter, less heralded...and has been underestimated his entire career: Miami QB DEriq King. Kings road to this marquee matchup has been anything but normal. After beginning his career at the University of Houston, King was asked to redshirt as a senior when the team got off to a rocky start. Instead of returning to the Cougars, King transferred to Miami for his senior year. Off the field, hes faced personal tragedy: his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and his father died this February of a heart attack. Sam Khan Jr. has covered King since his high school football days, and joins the show to share Kings unique story. Then: an ode to Dion Waiters, the most unlikely possible NBA champion, ahead of Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
From the Air Raid to Bigfoot: Is the SEC Ready for Mike Leach?: 10/8/20
Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach is unlike anyone else in college football. After nearly two decades at Texas Tech and Washington State, hes now taken his talents to the SEC, where his team has upset reigning NCAA champions LSU and lost to lowly Arkansas through the first two weeks of the season. Ryan McGee brings us some of his all-time Mike Leach stories, and discusses how his unique personality might be received in the toughest conference in college football. Then: Scottie Pippen helps you fall asleep.
MLB's Divisional Storylines + Rising Latino Stars: 10/7/20
MLBs divisional series saw tons of action on Tuesday. In the ALDS, the New York Yankees fell to the Tampa Bay Rays, bringing that series to 1-1. Earlier, the Houston Astros went up 2-0 over the Oakland As, thanks to George Springers homers. ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan brings us his playoff insights from Arlington, Texas, where hes covering the NLDS: Ronald Acuna Jr. and the Atlanta Braves defeated the Miami Marlins 9-5, then the LA Dodgers won the first game of their series with the San Diego Padres. Later, Mauricio Pedroza joins the show to explore the rising prominence of Latino players in MLB.
Inside the Bubble with Malika Andrews for NBA Finals Game 4: 10/6/20
After Jimmy Butlers dominant performance in Game 3 of the NBA Finals and the trash talk that came with it, Tuesdays Game 4 promises to turn up the heat (pun intended) on the Lakers. Miami has ruined LAs chances of a sweep, and now hopes to ride the wave of momentum to even the series. The Heat are also looking to get their injured stars Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic back from injury. Malika Andrews joins the show from inside the bubble, where shes been for nearly 100 days, to tell us what she expects to see in Game 4, and what shes learned from covering the strangest postseason in NBA history.
Bill Barnwell on NFC East + Impact of COVID-19: 10/5/20
A crisis over coronavirus spread across the NFL in recent days. Following a rash of positive tests on the Tennessee Titans, Patriots QB Cam Newton also tested positive, as did the Chiefs practice QB Jordan Ta'amu. The Titans-Steelers game, scheduled for Sunday, has been postponed to later in the season, and the Patriots-Chiefs game, also scheduled for Sunday, is now tonight, in a Monday doubleheader. Bill Barnwell breaks down the impact of COVID-19 on NFL teams schedules and rosters, and assesses the NFC East, currently the worst division through four Sundays of action. Then, a remembrance of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson.
WNBA Finals + Satou Sabally on Her Rookie Season: 10/2/20
The WNBA finals tip off tonight in the Bradenton, Florida bubble. The Seattle Storm, led by Sue Bird in her bid for a fourth championship, take on 2020 MVP Aja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces. ESPNs LaChina Robinson previews the contenders and the path that got them here. Then Dallas Wings All-Rookie Satou Sabally shares stories from inside the WNBA bubble. We talked to her throughout the summer, to get a portrait of a rookie season unlike any other. Plus, Josh McCown on what its like to be with the Eagles as the NFLs only Quarantine Quarterback.
The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius: 10/1/20
Runner Oscar Pistorius became the first double leg amputee to compete in the Olympic Games, when he took the track in London in 2012, inspiring athletes around the world. Then in 2013, Pistorius girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead at his home, and he was convicted of her killing, in one of South Africas most infamous trials. Dan Williams was a correspondent for ESPN in South Africa from 2007 to 2013, where he covered Pistorius' athletic career and court proceedings. Williams is featured in the four-part documentary The Life and Trials of Oscar Pistorius, available on ESPN+ now.
LeBron James and the Miami Heat: From Champions to Breakup to NBA Finals Opponents: 9/30/20
The NBA Finals tip off tonight between the Miami Heat and LA Lakers. And while the series is loaded with intriguing storylines, perhaps none is bigger than the drama surrounding LeBron James facing off against his former team. LeBron won two rings in Miami, and with the help of superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, seemed destined for years more of dominance. But in 2014, LeBron decided to take his talents back to Cleveland, stunning many within the Heat organization: Heat team president Pat Riley was furious that a team he thought would be a decade-long dynasty went up in smoke. ESPNs Brian Windhorst takes us inside the complicated relationship between LeBron and Riley...and what it means for one of the most unexpected NBA Championship matchups weve seen in years.
MLB Playoffs Preview: 9/29/20
Ready or not, its time for playoff baseball! After one of the strangest (and shortest) MLB regular seasons in history, the postseason begins today...and its shaping up to be equally bizarre. 16 teams have advanced to the Wild Card round, which consists of a best-of-three game series played at the higher seeded teams home ballpark. The format is primed for unpredictability, in a season that has been defined by it. Will the Dodgers and Yankees fulfill the predictions of so many, and cruise to a World Series battle of the titans? Or will some of the more unexpected participants, like the Miami Marlins and the Toronto (aka Buffalo) Blue Jays shock everyone? Jeff Passan joins the show to explore how we ended up with these wild playoffs, and what he expects to see going forward. Then, Remember the Titans at 20: how Trevor Rabins iconic score embedded itself in sports history.
Bill Barnwell on NFL Undefeated Teams + Monday Preview: 9/28/20
Through three NFL Sundays only a handful of teams remain undefeated. Russell Wilson led the 3-0 Seahawks to a thrilling win over Dak and the Cowboys. The 3-0 Bills blew a 28-3 lead, but Josh Allens 4th quarter heroics secured the victory for Buffalo. Meanwhile, the 3-0 Bears scored three touchdowns in the 4th, coming from behind to beat the Falcons. Bill Barnwell compares the leagues leaders, and previews tonights Chiefs-Ravens game. Plus, a few words show the power of LeBron James.
SEC Football Kicks Off : 9/25/20
After months of debate and uncertainty, the SEC kicks off this weekend, three weeks later than originally planned. It promises to be a strange season in so many ways...there are no non-conference games, limited fans will be allowed in stadiums, and tailgating will be forbidden on campus. Meanwhile, coaches like LSUs Ed Orgeron and Alabamas Nick Saban focus on preparing their players for the new normal. And new coaches like Mississippi States Mike Leach and Ole Misss Lane Kiffen promise to bring even more intrigue to the conference. Spencer Hall from the SEC Networks Thinking Out Loud brings us all the updates you need to know about the SEC, and everything else happening around college football.
A Football Family Carries On After Coronavirus Takes Coach : 9/24/20
In football-obsessed Oxford, Mississippi, Nacoma James was a beloved high school football coach and math teacher at Lafayette High School. In August, James died due to complications of coronavirus. In September, the school decided to play football this season. James widow Laticia supports the team, even as she struggles to find her way back to socializing in a town centered on the sport. ESPNs Elizabeth Merrill shares the story of James life and untimely death at age 42, and weighs the communitys pain at his loss, alongside the risk of the pandemic and its deep love of football.
The Stanley Cup Final and NHL Bubble Confidential : 9/23/20
The Stanley Cup playoffs have been a major success in the age of the pandemic, as the leagues bubble sites in Toronto and Edmonton returned little to no positive tests since their launch in early August. With Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars set to take place on Wednesday, ESPNs Emily Kaplan joins the show as one of the few American sports reporters currently in Edmonton, to talk about the action on the ice and give us a glimpse at life inside the NHL bubble. Among her revelations: why fly fishing is a running joke amongst players, why avoiding eye contact is critical, and something called the prison yard. Plus, why Michael Jordan believes the timing is perfect for him to become a NASCAR owner.
Inside Jimmy Butlers Psyche: 9/22/20
The Miami Heat lead the Boston Celtics 2-1 in the NBAs Eastern Conference Finals, thanks largely to a dominant postseason performance from Jimmy Butler. Through his ten seasons in the league, Butlers ferocious competitiveness and polarizing personality have contributed to departures from his previous three teams. But now, in the Miami Heat, Butler seems to have found a home and team that is as passionate about the game as he is. With the Heat two wins away from a trip to the finals, and Butler as their unquestioned leader on the court, the 31-year old may finally rise to the next level of NBA stardom. Nick Friedell has covered Butler since he first came into the league, and takes us inside Butlers psyche. Then, an ode to golfer Danny Lees 6-putt Saturday.
NFL: Injury Updates and 0-2 Lessons with Bill Barnwell: 9/21/20
The NFL was hampered by injuries to stars around the league on Sunday. Among them? Saquon Barkley going down for the Giants, Carolina RB Christian McCaffrey, and many, many 49ers, including Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Bosa, and Raheem Mostert. Considering the impact of those injuries, many teams have now dropped to 0-2. Bill Barnwell discusses the severity of injuries around the league, and explains whats at stake for footballs winless teams. Plus, a tribute to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg: athletic inspiration.
Are the Denver Nuggets the Team To Beat?: 9/18/20
The Denver Nuggets are the Cinderella story of this years NBA playoffs. After overcoming back-to-back 3-1 deficits in their series vs. the Jazz and the Clippers, and squashing any hopes for a potential Battle of LA, the Nuggets tip off tonight against LeBron James and the Lakers. Zach Lowe explores how Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets got here - and whether they have what it takes to get past the Lake Show. Then, how Quarterback Whisperer Bruce Arians is finding new ways to loudly motivate Tom Brady.
Fifty Years On, USC-Bama Game Holds New Meaning for Players: 9/17/20
In September 1970 the USC Trojans, a racially integrated team, traveled to Birmingham, Alabama to take on the Crimson Tide, where only white players were allowed on the roster. And the game - a blowout by USC - put college football in the South on solid ground toward desegregation. Sam Borden spoke to several players who suited up that day for USC and Alabama, and shares their account of the legendary game with Pablo Torre. In this current moment of national dialogue on racial justice and police violence, and with college athletes speaking out more than ever before, these alums also consider how much progress has been made in the past 50 years, or not. Plus, how politics plays into the Big Ten college conference decision to hold a season, after all.
The Legend of MLB Umpire Joe West: 9/16/20
Joe West is the MLBs longest tenured umpire, and certainly the most recognizable. Over the course of his 40-year-plus career, hes been at the center of numerous controversies, and his confrontational style has made him a figure that both players and fans love to hate...even if they grudgingly respect him. Tim Kurkjian recently profiled West, who is on track to break the all-time record for games as an umpire early next year, and joins Pablo Torre to tell the story of one of baseballs all time characters.
Dan Le Batard on Heat-Celtics Rivalry: 9/15/20
Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals tips off tonight between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. The Heat have been one of the biggest surprises in this years NBA playoffs, after first sweeping the Indiana Pacers, and then knocking off the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in the second round. Now, in taking on the Celtics, the Heat renew a bitter rivalry from earlier this decade, when the two teams faced off in three consecutive playoffs. Dan Le Batard joins Pablo Torre to explore the buildup behind this series, as well as how Miami is embracing this new underdog version of the Heat, a role they certainly never played when they were winning championships with LeBron and Dwyane Wade.
NFL QBs Report: Week One: 9/14/20
The NFLs season kicked off to a thrilling start, as Tom Brady earned his first loss as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer to the New Orleans Saints. Meanwhile, Cam Newton rushed for two TDs in his debut as a New England Patriot. Around the league, 2018s draft class had a chaotic day, with Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson squaring off while Josh Allen took on Sam Darnold...and Josh Allen. Bill Barnwell surveys the weekends football action, and examines where these quarterbacks stand following their week one performances.
Trevor Lawrence Has The Loudest Voice in College Football: 9/11/20
In any normal year, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence would already have an enormous voice in college football. He is the most well-known player in the country, a Heisman Trophy favorite, and is widely expected to be the first overall player taken in the 2021 NFL Draft. But 2020 is no ordinary year, in college football or anywhere else: and Lawrence is increasingly speaking out on issues ranging from the global pandemic to racial injustice. Its not a role Lawrence has asked for, but it found him, as fellow players, the media, even the President of the United States want to hear what Lawrence has to say. Hallie Grossman joins the show to explain just how Lawrence found himself in the middle of every issue in college football, and how he plans on using his massive platform.
The Anthem in Sports: Whats Next: 9/10/20
We hear it before every major game: The Star Spangled Banner. Throughout sports history the national anthem has unified the U.S. in historic moments. Its also served as a platform to call for change in our country. And right now athletes are staking their claim on the anthem more than ever, to make history themselves. We take a deep dive into this present moment, and how it speaks to the past and future of the anthems role in sports. Our guests are Dr. Damion Thomas, sports curator of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Jon Batiste, musician and band leader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (who performed the national anthem for the NBAs 2020 restart), plus Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce. As the NFL lines up to start its season, we also explore playing Lift Every Voice and Sing in the pregame, and whether anthems should continue as part of sports.
Deshaun Watson Is Ready To Be Heard: 9/9/20
QB Deshaun Watson takes the field for the Texans on Thursday night, armed with a fresh 4-year deal worth over $177 million, the second biggest in NFL history behind only the Chiefs Patrick Mahomes. Watson has found success in at every level of his football career...from the public housing project in Georgia where he grew up, to Clemson where he won a national championship, and now in the NFL, where hes made two straight Pro Bowl appearances. Through it all, Watson has remained quiet off the field, rarely speaking on anything outside of football. But following the killing of George Floyd, Watson has begun to use his voice. He marched in the streets of Houston with Floyds family, and helped lead a campaign to remove the name of a pro-slavery politician from a building at Clemson. Tim Keown interviewed Watson about his career and impact as a Black quarterback, and discusses his reporting with Pablo Torre.
NFL Week One Preview: 9/8/20
The NFL season is already here (at last!) as the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs face the Deshaun Watson-led Houston Texans this Thursday. Week Ones full slate of games has something for every football fan: Tom Brady debuts with the Bucs, Joe Burrow takes the helm for the Bengals, and the Cowboys get the chance to live up to the hype surrounding their offense. Mina Kimes joins Pablo to preview this weeks football action.
As KBO Eyes Playoffs: Inside the Korean Bat Flip: 9/7/20
Korean baseball energy is very much about the audience, performance and celebration. That includes big time bat flips. Mina Kimes traveled to Korea to get to the bottom of how a taboo in MLB became a signature of KBO play. In a re-spin of one of our favorite episodes, Pablo Torre asks Mina about her journey to Korea to investigate how bat flipping became part of their game, tied to the bigger history of the sport abroad.
Kentucky Derby Runs Amid Racing Crisis: 9/4/20
The 146th running of the Kentucky Derby is Saturday, resuming after a four month delay due to the pandemic. While the event brings more attention and eyeballs to the sport of horse racing, the Derby also invokes a conversation surrounding the sports biggest crisis. The new ESPN podcast series "Bloodlines" looks into the deaths of horses at Californias Santa Anita racetrack, since a spike in fatalities began in 2019. Animal rights activists have been calling for reforms and even pushing for horse racing to be shut down altogether. The controversy has raised numerous questions about the complicated relationship between horses and the Bloodlines, and how the sport of kings found itself in jeopardy.
Inside the Washington Football Team's Workplace Culture: 9/3/20
The Washington Football Teams offseason has been anything but quiet. In July, the team changed its name after years of public protests. And in the past couple weeks, a series of exposés in the Washington Post have highlighted the teams workplace culture, which a number of current and former female employees have alleged is rife with sexism and harassment. Jeremy Schaap interviewed four of these women this week, and brings us their stories of working for an organization that they say was openly hostile to the women employed there.
College Football Season: What Comes Next?: 9/2/20
College football is off to a strange and uneven start. The SEC, ACC, and a few other conferences kicked off their season last weekend. Meanwhile the Big 10, which cancelled its season, seems to be muttering about regrets or even reconsidering, and the Pac-12 remains firmly out of the picture. Paul Finebaum explains the decisions and power struggles still at play even as college football kicks off, which stars are opting out to prepare for the NFL draft instead, and what it will take for the season to stay on course in coming weeks.
Why Lionel Messi Wants Out of FC Barcelona: 9/1/20
Lionel Messi is arguably the most famous athlete on the planet. The soccer superstar has claimed practically every individual and team accolade at the club level, and has rewritten the record books in his 17 years with FC Barcelona. But now, the man who many consider the greatest soccer player in history, says he wants to move on from the club he has played for his entire pro career. Messi's discontent for Barcelona has been brewing for months, but after a humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals, his frustrations seem to have finally come to a head. ESPN's Sam Borden explains the origin of Messi's breakup with Barcelona, and explores where the Argentine star might be headed next. Then, J.A. Adande shares his experience as a young reporter covering the late John Thompson, Georgetown basketball coaching legend.
Michael Jordan's Role as NBA Mediator: 8/31/20
NBA players wanted team owners to listen. That's what they told the GOAT. Following the Milwaukee Bucks' boycott over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, and the further postponement of more NBA playoff games last week, next steps were unclear. LeBron James, a go-to leader on activism, reportedly walked out of a players meeting. Then, a surprising ally reached out from the ownership side: Michael Jordan. With the playoffs now resumed, Jackie MacMullan breaks down why MJ was suited to work as a mediator, and how leadership and activism play into Jordan and James' legacies.
Kelly Loeffler vs. the Atlanta Dream: The Battle over Black Lives Matter : 8/28/20
Over the summer, Georgia senator and Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler criticized the WNBA's support for Black Lives Matter via a letter sent to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. The letter prompted Dream players to wear shirts emblazoned with "Vote Warnock," Loeffler's political rival, and sparked a war of words between Loeffler and the players. As of now, Loeffler remains a co-owner of the Dream - and the players remain as politically engaged as ever. On the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech from which the Atlanta Dream take their name, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne takes us inside the battle between Loeffler and the Dream's players. Will Loeffler's stance ultimately be a gift or liability for her on election day? And what comes next when a team's own players are actively fighting to end their owner's political career?
How the Bucks' Boycott Sparked a Wave of Sports Postponements: 8/27/20
On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks sent shockwaves around the world when they did not take the floor for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic as an act of protest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Shortly afterwards, the other two NBA playoff games slated for Wednesday were postponed - with each team's players refusing to play. From there, games across the WNBA, MLB, and MLS were postponed, as athletes everywhere expressed their solidarity. Later last night, NBA players met to discuss their next moves, and how to move forward together. Malika Andrews brings us the latest from the bubble on how things are playing out.
How To Stop Lamar Jackson in 2020 (Hint: Pray): 8/26/20
Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson seemed like he'd finally put the doubters to rest, after a jaw-dropping season where he became just the second unanimous MVP in NFL history. But following a shocking early exit from the playoffs at the hands of the Tennessee Titans, Jackson has once again faced questions about whether he can ever be a championship quarterback. Now entering his third season under center for Baltimore, Jackson will be drawing maximum attention from opposing defenses, who have had an entire off-season to scheme for him. The question is: will any of it work? Or is Jackson simply too transcendent a talent to be contained? ESPN's Domonique Foxworth discusses whether Jackson and the Ravens can live up to the hype, and what defenses can try to do to prepare.
Do It For the 'Gram: How Social Media is Transforming High School Hoops: 8/25/20
Social media has given national audiences a front row seat to high school basketball players like never before. Instagram accounts belonging to UConn recruit Paige Bueckers and California's Kyree Walker have reached half-a-million followers and climbing. Then there's LaMelo Ball and Bronny James (LeBron's son) who've used the hype surrounding their families, plus their own on-court highlights to propel their follower counts to over 5 million. But behind the scenes, coaches are concerned that the appeal of social media fame is warping how players approach the game. Scouts and recruiters are wondering if the skills actually match the hype. And experts are questioning if these kids can handle the pressure and pain that comes with added online scrutiny. ESPN's Joon Lee joins the show to explore how Instagram is changing the culture of basketball, and if it's for the better, or for worse.
Luka and the Point God: NBA Playoffs Wild Weekend: 8/24/20
Luka Doncic arrived in style on Sunday, hitting an overtime buzzer beater to even the series between his Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers at 2 games apiece. It capped off a historic 43 point triple double for the 21 year old prodigy. Meanwhile, Chris Paul bullied his way past the Houston Rockets keeping the Oklahoma City Thunder in the fight. ESPNs Kevin Arnovitz joins the show to discuss these standout performances from the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Enes Kanter: Enemy of the State: 8/21/20
In a time when athletes everywhere are speaking out about causes that are personal to them, perhaps no one has risked more...and been more outspoken...than Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter. Kanter grew up in Turkey, which has been embroiled in a years-long fight over leadership of the nation. Kanter became involved in Turkish politics when he voiced support for Fethullah Gulen, a US based Muslim cleric who was blamed for a coup attempt by Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoan. Since the coup attempt, the Turkish government has cracked down on anyone with ties to Gulen, and has sought to extradite Kanter back to Turkey where he would almost certainly face severe punishment. Jeremy Schaap reported on Kanter's struggles for E:60 last year, and joins the show to discuss his findings. Then, Enes Kanter himself brings us his firsthand perspective on what it's like being a fugitive from his homeland.
LaMelo Ball: The Most Famous Mystery in Basketball: 8/20/20
Tonight, the NBA holds its draft lottery, when the hopes and dreams of 14 franchises hinge on a set of bouncing ping-pong balls that will decide their fate. And while we don't know which team will be picking first...many suspect the first player selected will be 18-year-old LaMelo Ball. LaMelo, his older brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo, and their father LaVar Ball, have become basketball's most famous...some would say most infamous...family. They have millions of followers on social media and their own reality show, "Ball in the Family." But somehow, LaMelo has remained something of an enigma for hoop fans, largely because he's spent the past several years playing in Lithuania and Australia, instead of committing to a big time college program. In January, ESPN's Tim Keown spent time with Ball in Australia, and shares his up-close reporting on Ball as a person and as a player.
Alex Smith's Return to Football: 8/19/20
The injury that Washington quarterback Alex Smith suffered to his right leg on November 18, 2018 not only threatened his football career, it nearly cost him his leg, and even his life. This week, more than a year and a half later, he returned to the practice field, cleared to resume football activities. ESPN's Stephania Bell joins the show to chronicle Smith's rehabilitation, and explain just what drove him to return to action.
NFL 2020 Season Preview with Mina Kimes: 8/18/20
August plays host to NFL preseason in a normal year. However, 2020 is anything but...normal. While the NFL isn't planning a bubble, it is adapting practice and training around coronavirus risk. With no full preseason scrimmages, how ready is each team to jump right in, and how are coaches vetting their lineups? ESPN NFL analyst (and former ESPN Daily host) Mina Kimes runs through the chances for Joe Burrow and the Bengals, how things are going in Tampa for Tom Brady, and whether her Seahawks have improved this offseason.
Doris Burke on NBA Playoffs: 8/17/20
The NBA's shortened regular season has wrapped and now, it's on to a uniquely historic playoffs. The matchups are set and all the action tips off tonight in Orlando. The Bucks and Lakers were the teams to beat before the pandemic. Are they still? Will Giannis Antetokounmpo walk away as MVP? How will the Lakers fare against Damien Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers, surprise bubble darlings? Doris Burke brings us her analysis and context from Orlando, insights on which teams are poised to succeed, and her reflections on what it's taken to get to the postseason.
Desus & Mero: No Box Seats in the Pandemic : 8/14/20
Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, aka The Bodega Boys, make New York sports fandom - in all its glory and shame - a big part of the brand theyve built during their rapid rise as comics. The podcast hosts turned Showtime stars join Pablo Torre to talk sports fan life now, like whats lost when you cant see a Yankees game in person, their NBA bubble style, why new faces in Madison Square Garden cant fix the Knicks fortunes. Plus, whats it like to be wined-and-dined by that other basketball team across town.
UFC 252: The Fight for Daniel Cormier's Legacy: 8/13/20
This Saturday is UFC 252 in Las Vegas, where Daniel "DC" Cormier will fight Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title. Now 41-years old, Cormier has been on the brink of retirement for over a year, and is hoping to win and leave the sport on top. DC's career has been turbulent, filled with personal tragedies and countless second-place finishes. Can a victory on Saturday alter the narrative for Cormier, or will DC forever be remembered as second best? ESPN's Ariel Helwani, who profiled Cormier last year for E:60, joins Pablo Torre to discuss DC's life and legacy. Then, Pablo shares his experience as a virtual fan at Monday's Pacers-Heat game.
MLB Eyes Playoff Bubble and the Rise of Fernando Tatis Jr.: 8/12/20
Major League Baseball has already weathered multiple outbreaks of COVID-19, prompting the league to update its protocols, after the integrity of its season was threatened. Now, the league is considering taking the same route as the NBA and NHL to ensure a successful postseason: playing inside a bubble. Jeff Passan brings us the latest on MLB's efforts to contain the coronavirus. Then, Jeff shares his reporting on the breakout star of this MLB season, the San Diego Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. Jeff's recent profile of Tatis Jr. for ESPN Cover Story took him to the Dominican Republic to tell the budding superstar's story.
The Fate of College Football's 2020 Season : 8/11/20
College football's 2020 season hangs in the balance. Over the weekend, the Mid-Atlantic Conference cancelled its season. Today, big meetings and movements are expected from the Big Ten, PAC-12, and other conferences as they consider their options amidst growing concern around coronavirus. It's a decision that's become both political and personal, as conferences across the country have navigated the variations in protocols at the state, city, and university levels. On Monday, President Trump even weighed in on the situation, tweeting "Play College Football!" Adam Rittenberg brings us the latest, specifically on the Big Ten. Then, Cal offensive lineman Valentino Daltoso, who helped organize the PAC-12's "We Are United" movement, weighs in with the player perspective.
Tom Brady, Buccaneer: Inside the QB's New Routine: 8/10/20
As the NFL regular season looms, QB Tom Brady is adjusting to his new role in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pocket. Different playbooks, unfamiliar facilities, and a new climate all present challenges to the veteran QB. Meanwhile, his Buccaneer teammates are adjusting to a new play caller under center. ESPN's Jenna Laine brings us her reporting on how Brady is getting used to working in Tampa with a new team. Then, 18-year NFL veteran QB Josh McCown explains how difficult it is to learn a new playbook - considering McCown has learned 16 different ones over the course of his long football career.
Pete Alonso: Poking the Polar Bear: 8/7/20
New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso set the record for rookie home runs in 2019, and announced himself as New York's other young superstar alongside the Yankees' Aaron Judge. But before the "Polar Bear" took MLB by storm, as a child growing up in Tampa, he was the target of bullying. Baseball became Alonso's escape, but even as his career took him to the University of Florida, bullying followed him. ESPN baseball insider Buster Olney spent time with Alonso ahead of his E:60 profile, which airs this Sunday at 5pm ET on ESPN, and joins the show to discuss the struggles Alonso battled on his journey to MLB.
Allegations of Abuse at NBA China Academies: 8/6/20
A recent ESPN investigation uncovered allegations of abuse, as well as a lack of schooling for athletes at three NBA China basketball academies. The report comes at a time when scrutiny on the NBA's relationship with China has never been greater. In October Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweeted his support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, prompting a severe reaction from China, which included pulling NBA broadcasts from the airwaves despite the league's widespread popularity in the country. Investigations into human rights abuses in the Xinjiang province, where one of the basketball academies was located, have also prompted many to criticize the NBA's ties to China. ESPN investigative reporter Steve Fainaru brings us his latest reporting on what happened inside the NBA China academies, and how the league is addressing these concerns.
How PAC-12 Player Demands Will Impact College Football: 8/5/20
College football continues to grapple with how to proceed with a season, with plans that vary in conferences across the country. A group of PAC-12 players published a document in the Players Tribune with a list of demands surrounding a number of issues: player health and safety, wealth inequality, and racial injustice. The players are threatening to opt out of the season if their concerns are not addressed to their satisfaction, posing an unprecedented challenge to the conference and the NCAA. UCLA football players Elisha Guidry and Otito Ogbonnia join the show to explain why they got involved with the movement. The ESPN's Mark Schlabach gives more context on the PAC-12 players' actions within the college football landscape.
MLB and NFL: COVID-19 Impact on Athletes: 8/4/20
As live sports resume, pro athletes are grappling with the threat of coronavirus, to their own health, their families and their careers. MLB has suspended multiple games due to COVID-19 outbreaks, and the NFL has seen several players choose not to take part in the 2020 season, with a deadline this week to for opt-outs. While frequent testing and other protocols have been enacted across pro leagues, there is still a lot thats unknown about the physical impact of the virus, even on a healthy, young athletes body. ESPN injury analyst Stephania Bell has been paging through medical studies and the leagues protocol documents. She has an insiders take on how teams and players are making decisions about their risk.
JJ Redick: Life with the Pelicans in the NBA Bubble: 8/3/20
The NBA has made it through its first games of the restart, and JJ Redick of the New Orleans Pelicans is happy to be hooping once again - with rookie star Zion Williamson, no less. We get an inside look from the bubble in Orlando (including Redicks third-best hotel situation), and all the reasons the 14-year pro says this season is unlike any other. Hear how Redick and his teammates are keeping momentum and focus, on and off the court, including actions around racial justice issues. Plus, Redick talks to Pablo about future podcast plans and finding his voice.
Why the NHL Restart Can Work (Hint: Canada): 7/31/20
Lace up your skates and throw on your sweaters, hockey fans...well, at home anyway. This weekend kicks off the NHL's return to play, beginning with round robins for the top four seeds in each conference and qualifying rounds for the remaining teams. Edmonton and Toronto play host to the Western and Eastern Conference bubbles. ESPN NHL insider Greg Wyshynski gives us the lowdown on how the playoffs will work, what hockey will look, sound, and feel like without fans, and why the league chose Canada. Greg also tells us who he thinks will take home the Stanley Cup.
Dr. Anthony Fauci on the Return of Sports in America: 7/30/20
Dr. Anthony Fauci joins Pablo Torre to discuss the challenges, risks, and rewards of the return of sports in America after more than four months of shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. It's an issue that has become increasingly stark in recent days, with the outbreak of COVID-19 on the Miami Marlins. Dr. Fauci weighs in on MLB's response to the Marlins' situation and what it means for the rest of baseball season. He also examines leagues operating in a bubble, like the NBA, and assesses the NHL's decision to play in Canada. While the NFL commences its training camps and college football considers its options, Dr. Fauci explores the possibilities surrounding football season, and describes the long term effects of coronavirus on athletes. Then, one of Dr. Fauci's high school basketball teammates gives us some insight on what Fauci was like as an athlete.
NBA Restart: Which Teams Have the Advantage?: 7/29/20
After more than four months on hiatus, the NBA returns to play tomorrow night from its bubble in Orlando. The players have acclimated to their resort setting - minus Clippers guard Lou Williams, who ventured outside of the clean site for some wings - and the teams are finally set to tip off. Which teams will benefit most from the long pause? Which players have the most to prove? And will we see Zion Williamson in action with the Pelicans on Thursday? ESPN's Jackie MacMullan picks the top contenders, and explains why she believes Lou Williams about his wing journey.
MLB Marlins Coronavirus Outbreak, Plus Dodgers v. Astros Rivalry: 7/28/20
On Monday, at least 11 players and two coaches for MLBs Miami Marlins tested positive for coronavirus, after completing their opening series against the Philadelphia Phillies. The positive tests resulted in multiple MLB game postponements, and raised larger concerns about the leagues health and safety protocols. ESPNs Alden Gonzalez joins Mina Kimes to discuss what happened, and whether the leagues 60-game season could be in jeopardy. Then, Alden and Mina preview Tuesdays highly anticipated rematch of the 2017 World Series, which the Astros won, but was thrown into question by the sign-stealing scandal, and left the Dodgers very sore. Houston hosts Los Angeles (a matchup that would not have happened in the regular 2020 season plans) for the first of a two-game series.
Next Steps for the NFL: Training Camps Will Open: 7/27/20
The NFL and its players have reached an agreement, and pro football is moving forward with a 2020 season. Training camps are set to open this week. There won't be a football bubble, as teams plan to play in their home markets. There won't be a preseason, as that has been eliminated. There won't be a lot of time to decide, with just seven days for players to announce if they'll report to camp. But, as of now, there will be football. ESPN NFL Insider Dan Graziano explains how the deal came together, what training camp will look like, and the latest news from around the league.
Boxer Christy Martin's Fight for Her Life: 7/24/20
World champion boxer Christy Martin is a trailblazer in her sport, just named as an inductee into the Boxing Hall of Fame. She was perhaps the first female fighter to make national headlines. But behind her successful career, Martin faced emotional and physical abuse from her trainer and then-husband, Jim Martin. In 2010, Jim violently attacked Christy, and left her for dead. ESPN's Allison Glock interviewed Christy Martin about her career and harrowing fight for survival, plus how she has moved forward with her life and love, a decade later.
Play Ball! MLB Opening Day is (Finally) Here: 7/23/20
It's a day that seemed like it would never come. But somehow, improbably, MLB's Opening Day is finally here. ESPN MLB Insider Jeff Passan joins us from Washington, DC where tonight the Yankees and Nationals will begin what promises to be the oddest season in baseball history. From testing and safety, to Mookie Betts' massive new deal, and where the Blue Jays will be playing...Passan breaks down everything you need to know about baseball in 2020.
Inside the WNBA Bubble + Season Preview : 7/22/20
After a months-long delay, the 2020 WNBA season finally tips off this Saturday when the New York Liberty and no. 1 overall pick Sabrina Ionescu take on the Seattle Storm and veteran star Sue Bird. Aside from the action on the court, the season promises to be unlike any other in the league's history. Every game will be played from the league's "clean site" at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. In addition, some of the league's most notable names have chosen not to play, either for health reasons, or to focus their attention on issues of social justice and racism. ESPN's LaChina Robinson joins the show to explain how the WNBA's bubble compares to their NBA counterparts in Orlando...and also breaks down what to expect on the court, in a season where everyone is figuring it out on the fly.
How Simone Biles Showed a New Way to Win: 7/21/20
Winning a combined 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, Simone Biles is the most decorated American gymnast, full stop. And her story intersects with the two most famous and winning coaches of USA Gymnastics, Bela and Martha Karolyi. The Karolyis are the subject of a new 30 for 30 investigative podcast, "Heavy Medals: Inside the Karolyi Gymnastics Empire." It includes a look at their complicity in the rampant sexual abuse of athletes by medical director Larry Nassar, and how Biles navigated their restrictive culture and spoke out against abuse. ESPN's Alyssa Roenigk shares the story of how Biles found a way to win outside the norms of USA Gymnastics and the Karolyis.
With College Football's Season at Stake, Who Makes the Call?: 7/20/20
While pro leagues across the US are getting back to play, college football leaders are taking several different approaches to the risk of COVID-19. Some schools and conferences have already cancelled fall sports altogether, while others have announced they're limiting games to in-conference opponents. And there are some conferences, big ones like the SEC, which have yet to make a decision on how or whether to have a fall 2020 college football season. ESPN's college football reporter Heather Dinich walks Pablo Torre through the gamut of options and why there's such a patchwork of possibilities, including the scenario of a spring 2021 season. Then Emily Applegate, former employee of the Washington football team, discusses her experiences of harassment within the organization after being named in last week's Washington Post article.
What Will Sports Sound Like Without Fans?: 7/17/20
The roar of the crowd has always been the soundtrack of sports. Whether it's a hearty "De-FENSE!" chant in football, or a cascade of boos after a blown call in baseball...the crowd is the emotional heartbeat of any game. But now, with the coronavirus pandemic making crowds impossible...and MLB, NHL, and NBA on the verge of returning to play...sports are suddenly going to sound completely different. And for athletes and fans alike, it's going to take some getting used to. Mina Kimes chats with players, broadcasters, and writers from around the sports world about the impact of the sound of sports - before, during, and after the pandemic.
The Future is Now: Christian Pulisic is America's First Global Soccer Star: 7/16/20
The soccer world was stunned last year when the English Premier League powerhouse Chelsea FC forked over 73 million dollars for 20-year old American Christian Pulisic. It was a record amount of money paid for an American...and immediately made the Hershey, PA native the most visible American ever on the soccer stage. And while Pulisic has shown unparalleled potential at every step of his career thus far, since the EPL's post-quarantine restart, he seems to have fully hit his stride, earning three goals and a beautiful assist in 7 matches. ESPN's Sam Borden explains why Pulisic's signing with Chelsea was so unique, and how his talent combined with soccer's global reach could one day make him the biggest American sports star worldwide. Then, Bill Barnwell discusses how the deadline for Dak Prescott to sign a contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys came and went...without a new deal for Dak.
MLB's Black Voices and the Exile of Oakland A's Bruce Maxwell: 7/15/20
In the fall of 2017, Oakland A's catcher Bruce Maxwell was the only MLB player to kneel in protest of racial injustice, in support of Colin Kaepernick. Maxwell was not backed up by his teammates, or by MLB at large. A high-profile encounter with police further complicated Maxwell's career, and he wound up leaving MLB. Now, the killing of George Floyd has led Black players to organize in a whole new way, while Maxwell remains apart. Howard Bryant shares Maxwell's story, the history of Black player voices in baseball, and today's Players Alliance.
Inside Washington's Name Change: 7/14/20
It's official: after 87 years, the NFL team from our nation's capital will be getting a new name. Many have felt the change was long overdue, but team owner Dan Snyder has always staunchly resisted the possibility. ESPN NFL reporter John Keim explains why this time the franchise finally decided to move on from the name, along with reactions from players and fans, and what it may mean for other teams with Native American nicknames.
What Life is Really Like in the NBA Bubble: 7/13/20
As NBA players report to the league's clean site in Orlando, they are entering a whole new world of isolated life in a Disney resort. There's the daily coronavirus testing and constant monitoring of health data just to be allowed to move around. There are some strong opinions about the meals and accommodations. Plus, there are pool parties, bike rides, and fishing to fill the time between practices and workouts. How are the teams handling it? And will the bubble work to allow for actual basketball later this month? ESPN's Malika Andrews talks to us from her room in Orlando (where she's spending a LOT of time) to give a view from inside the bubble.
Blackfeet Boxing: Not Invisible: 7/10/20
It's been called an invisible epidemic. On reservations across North America, Native American women are missing or murdered in rates ten times higher than the general population. But on one reservation, the women are learning to fight back, literally, by stepping into the boxing ring. On Montana's Blackfeet Reservation, the Blackfeet Nation Boxing Club teaches young women how to defend themselves both inside and outside the ring. It's all chronicled in a new documentary, "Blackfeet Boxing: Not Invisible," from ESPN Films. Kristen Lappas, who directed the documentary, reflects on her experiences, which airs at 3:30pm ET, this Sunday on ABC. Then, former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz shares his thoughts on DeSean Jackson's recent Anti-Semitic social media posts.
Makur Maker on Why He Chose Howard University: 7/9/20
Five-star basketball recruit Makur Maker shocked the sports world with his decision to commit to Howard University in Washington, DC. That makes him the highest profile prospect in recent memory to choose an HBCU. In his first interview since the announcement, Makur joins the show today to explain his historic decision and discuss its significance with Pablo Torre. Then, Howard coach Kenny Blakeney talks about how he's built the program at Howard, along with the landscape for athletics across HBCU programs.
MLS is Back: Details on the Tournament, Bubble, and More: 7/8/20
MLS is back! The aptly titled MLS is Back Tournament kicks off tonight in Orlando, Florida at Disney World's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Despite FC Dallas being forced to pull out of the tournament after a rash of positive coronavirus tests, as well as the postponement of multiple matches, squads are set to square off in the Florida heat and humidity. ESPN's Taylor Twellman shares what life in the MLS bubble has been like so far: from training, anxiety around injury and COVID-19, to questionable sandwiches. Then, Taylor and Mina discuss the tournament format, and which teams are most primed to succeed.
The Hero of Goodall Park: 7/7/20
Goodall Park in Sanford, Maine is the type of ballpark that feels like sacred ground. Over its more than 100 years of history, Goodall Park has seen its fair share of iconic baseball moments, including a home run hit by Babe Ruth that locals swear went 700 feet. But in 2018, Goodall Park became famous for something else. During a Babe Ruth League baseball game, a woman drove her car onto the field in the midst of a psychotic episode, and a 68-year-old man, Douglas Parkhurst, was killed while trying to protect the young ballplayers. In the aftermath, Parkhurst was hailed as a savior: that is, until a 50-year-old secret came to light, raising questions about fate, redemption, and what it means to be a hero. Tom Junod joins Mina Kimes to share the incredible story of "The Hero of Goodall Park."
The Chess Grandmasters Extreme Workout (Rebroadcast): 7/6/20
Chess grandmasters need incredible amounts of brain power, and also extreme physical endurance, to take on their rivals. Major tournaments can run six hours a day, ten to twelve days in a row. Players might burn up to 6,000 calories and lose two pounds a day during these grueling matches. Todays chess world champions might train with two hours a day of running, swimming, or tennis, plus a strict diet. In a respin of one of our most popular episodes, ESPNs Aishwarya Kumar joins Mina Kimes to break down how top chess players meld mind and body.
Movie Rudy vs. Actual Rudy (Rebroadcast): 7/3/20
For todays show, a respin of one of our favorites. Rudy is a sports movie classic. And it defined the life of the actual man who inspired the story, Rudy Ruettiger, now in his 70s. Revered by many Notre Dame fans, Ruettiger is also plagued by critics over whether the movie exaggerated a plot point or two. ESPNs Ryan McGee spent time with the real Rudy to find out more, and he joins Mina Kimes to discuss whats fact and whats fiction, from Rudys point of view.
Keys to the NBAs Restart: 7/2/20
As NBA rosters take shape, the league and its players inch closer to a restart in the clean site of Orlando, Florida. The NBA is addressing players concerns around recent movements against racial and police injustice by painting Black Lives Matter on the courts, and many players are expected to kneel during the national anthem. As the league also finalizes its coronavirus testing protocol and rules for players participating in the clean site games, Pablo Torre breaks down the major concerns, as well as the strength of the teams. Then, Pablo and Mina share some exciting news about the future of this very podcast.
MLB Restart: Everything You Need to Know About Spring Training 2.0: 7/1/20
Today is the day. After a more than a three month hiatus away from baseball, MLB players will report to their team facilities. There, they will first be tested for the coronavirus, as baseball makes its first steps toward playing a 2020 season. But questions remain about how the restart will play out. Considering baseball has eschewed the "bubble" plan to play in teams' home stadiums across the country, how are players working to prevent an outbreak? What will spring training 2.0 (a.k.a. "summer camp") look like? How will the necessary rule changes affect the product on the field? And what could bring it all to a screeching halt? Jesse Rogers provides the answers to these questions, and more. Then, Joon Lee explains that baseball's recent focus on analytics has also led to an increase in white male Ivy League graduates being hired in front offices.
How Will Cam Newton Make the Patriots Better?: 6/30/20
Former Panthers QB Cam Newton is signing with the New England Patriots. Yes, you continue to read that correctly. After a quiet offseason for New England, many believed the Pats were sticking by their QB, Jarrett Stidham, thus leaving the AFC East wide open. But now that Newton is en route to Foxborough, many factors point to this being a match made in football heaven. Bill Barnwell discusses Cam's strengths as a QB and what he'll bring to the Patriots' existing squad.
Sue Bird on the WNBA's Plan for the 2020 Season: 6/29/20
After winning three WNBA championships, two NCAA championships, and four Olympic gold medals, Sue Bird has seen it all in basketball. But. as she gets ready for her 19th season in the WNBA, Bird and the rest of the league are preparing for a season unlike any ever played before. After delaying opening tip-off by more than two months, the WNBA is combating the coronavirus pandemic by playing the 2020 season at a "clean site" in Bradenton, FL. Add that to the increased focus by players on social justice causes and a new CBA signed this offseason, and it's no wonder why this is shaping up to be a historic year for the WNBA. The Seattle Storm guard joins the show to discuss how the league and its players came to an agreement, the impact of their new CBA, and how the WNBA has evolved over the course of her epic career.
Behind the Scenes of LeBron's "Decision": 6/26/20
Ten years ago, on live television, LeBron James made his now infamous decision to leave Cleveland and "take his talents to South Beach." It was one of the most consequential, most awkward, and most divisive moments in sports media history. The long, drawn-out broadcast drew ire from Cavaliers fans - who felt their homegrown star had betrayed them - and also from casual observers who disliked the idea of an athlete wielding that level of influence. So how did "The Decision" actually come to be? Ahead of this Sunday's new episode of "Backstory," Don Van Natta takes us behind the production, introduces its key players, and examines how the event forever changed the way NBA stars interact with the public.
College Football's Winding Path for 2020: 6/25/20
College football faces a unique challenge to return. With hundreds of schools and thousands of players, there's no centralized "bubble" possible or even any centralized guidelines or decisions. At college programs throughout the country, schools are presenting players with waivers to sign that they accept the risks of training and playing amid the pandemic, while teams are seeing more and more positive tests for the coronavirus. Spencer Hall explains the variety of approaches and impacts we are seeing already, and how players are finding their voices on the return to play, just as they have in recent weeks around other social issues.
X Games at 25: Tony Hawk on His Skate Career: 6/24/20
In skateboarding, one name still stands out above the rest: Tony Hawk. Hawk's career made him a superstar and brought newfound popularity to the sport in the 1990s. When the X Games started, it was a big change for the skate world, and Hawk was part of that evolution. On the 25th anniversary of the X Games, Tony Hawk chats with Mina Kimes about his skating career, landing his historic 900 at the X Games, and the future of his sport.
NASCAR's Response to Racism: 6/23/20
NASCAR is fighting to abolish racism from its culture, and its only full-time Black driver, Bubba Wallace, is at the forefront of that change - as well as the backlash against it. On Monday, drivers pushed Wallace's car to the start line together, after a noose was reportedly found in his garage at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday. Wallace was the driving force in NASCAR's recent ban of the Confederate flag, Ryan McGee gives us the latest on NASCAR's response to the racist act in its garage, and Bubba Wallace's career in racing. Then, former global soccer star Thomas Beattie shares his decision to come out as gay after decades of pressure related to his commitment to the sport.
What Will It Take to Save the 2020 Baseball Season?: 6/22/20
Negotiations between MLB and the players picked up last week, with both sides swapping proposals. The latest plan from the league is in the hands of the players, but we haven't seen a vote yet. On Sunday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred sent a letter to MLBPA director Tony Clark with additional concessions. Meanwhile, a flurry of positive coronavirus tests further complicates matters. So...no vote. Is there still time left in the proposed calendar to play 60 (or more) games? Jeff Passan updates us on where talks go from here, how the latest COVID-19 outbreaks have impacted things, and how sustained animosity around labor issues has factored into all of it.
After the Storm: Marquise and Morgan Goodwin's Journey Through Loss, Hope, and Parenthood: 6/19/20
On the field, NFL wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is known for his game-breaking speed. The new Philadelphia Eagle is not only one of the fastest players in the NFL, but also a former Olympian in the long jump. What's less known, is that Marquise and his wife Morgan work as advocates for parents who have suffered the loss of an infant. It's work that is rooted in the Goodwins' own personal journey, one which they've shared with rare openness. Dave Fleming joins the show to reflect on the Goodwins' story, which is also featured on this Sunday'e episode of E:60, and explains how it ultimately became a story of hope.
WNBA Star Maya Moore Left the Game for Justice: 6/18/20
Maya Moore was a WNBA superstar with multiple championships, Olympic gold medals and pretty much every achievement in the sport to her name...when she walked away from the game in 2019. Her reasons were mysterious at the time, but Moore's focus became clear: to free a man from prison who she believes has been wrongfully convicted. ESPN's Katie Barnes tells us about Moore's impact on the case, what it means for a player of her talent to have left basketball, and how her activism ties to the current moment around sports and social justice.
Roger Bennett (Men In Blazers) on the Return of the Premier League: 6/17/20
The world's most popular sports league, the English Premier League, returns to action Wednesday, and who better to join ESPN Daily on this occasion than an original member of suboptimal radio, Men In Blazers' Roger Bennett? Roger and Mina discuss Liverpool's remarkable season thus far in their quest to win their first league championship in 30 years. The two also explore the slew of health and safety protocols that have been put in place for the Premier League to return to action, as well as the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that are expected across the matches in England. And in this mad dash to finish the season, who will qualify for Champions League and Europa League? Is Son Hueng-min the greatest Korean soccer player ever or just the greatest soccer player ever? Rog has all the answers.
Inside the Downfall of the XFL: 6/16/20
Four months ago, the XFL kicked off with hopes of becoming the league that would finally make spring football work. With big money backing them from WWE's Vince McMahon and veteran leadership from commissioner Oliver Luck, signs pointed to success. Then after just five weeks of play, the coronavirus forced the XFL and sports leagues everywhere to press pause. While other major sports are either on their way to resuming play or fighting out the details, the XFL decided to shutter its doors for good. What went wrong? ESPN's Kevin Seifert gives a behind-the-scenes look account of the XFL's downfall, and discusses whether it could have been saved.
NBA Players Debate the Bubble: 6/15/20
With approval from the players union, the NBA's plan for a 22-team restart in Orlando seemed like it was all systems go. Then, a group call surfaced deeper concerns from many players about health and safety protocol, and who would (or wouldn't) face restrictions on life in the Orlando "bubble." That conversation included discussion that a return to play would stall the momentum around the anti-racism movement that has accelerated since the killing of George Floyd. ESPN's Brian Windhorst breaks down what's happened along the path to basketball's comeback. We start the with the player side, then detail what we know about the NBA's plans for virus testing, logistics and other realities -- if a late July start stays on track.
Long Gone Summer: Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa's 1998 Home Run Chase: 6/12/20
It's been 22 years since the summer that changed baseball forever. After the strike of '94 threatened to turn off an entire generation to the game, the tape measure theatrics of McGwire and Sosa made fans fall in love with the national pastime again. The latest 30 for 30, "Long Gone Summer," which premieres this Sunday, chronicles the 1998 chase between the two dueling sluggers...and their very different approaches to making history. Buster Olney reflects on what that summer meant for baseball, and how its perception has changed over the years as baseball's steroids problem came to light.
Inside UFC's "Bubble" and Fight Island: 6/11/20
Fight Island. It's happening. UFC President Dana White first brought it up as a live event solution for the pandemic, and everyone's been curious. Where is this island? How will the fights work? This week, White announced that Fight Island debuts on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi this July. ESPN's Ariel Helwani explains just how it's going to work, and why it's worth it. Plus, how UFC got back up and running so much faster than other live sports, and the issues fighters are facing upon returning. Then, Ryan McGee on the significance of NASCAR's new Confederate flag ban.
College Athletes Are Refusing to Stay Silent: 6/10/20
Over the past two weeks, America has seen countless professional athletes speak out about racial inequality and police brutality. But increasingly, it's not just the pros who are making their voices heard. College players are becoming more and more vocal about issues of injustice within their own programs, and across campuses as well. Former Missouri safety Ian Simon was a pioneer in many ways to the current movement: he explains how he and his football teammates helped to create change in leadership at Mizzou when they threatened to boycott and not take the field. Then, ESPN's David Hale discusses why college football players are responding in ways we've never seen before.
Goodell's Apology, Colin Kaepernick, and the Shifting Perception of NFL Protests: 6/9/20
On Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized for not listening to players' concerns about police brutality and systemic racism, as well as their right to protest these issues. Unmentioned during Goodell's apology was Colin Kaepernick, the former 49ers QB whose protests during the national anthem in 2016 brought attention to issues of racial injustice...but also created a backlash from those who believes he was disrespecting the flag and the military. Kaepernick has remained unsigned since the 2016 season, leading many to believe he has been effectively exiled from the league. Flash forward to 2020: protests around the world echo Kaepernick's message...and now many NFL players want their voices heard. Could we see players kneel during the anthem this season? And will they meet a different reaction than Kaepernick did? ESPN's Domonique Foxworth reflects on the new balance of power between players, owners, and executives. Then, The Undefeated's Jerry Bembry discusses George Floyd's time as a high school two-sport athlete in Houston, and his athletic impact on the community.
Which NBA Teams Will Succeed in the Return-To-Play Format?: 6/8/20
The NBA is finally set to return in July, and players and owners have agreed on a format for the comeback. But which teams actually stand to benefit from the standings, what's the fate of those facing play-in games, and where does the draft lottery come into play? ESPN basketball insider Zach Lowe (and host of "The Lowe Post" podcast) explains what's at stake in the East and West. Plus, which bubble teams could make it in, and whether this year's NBA champion deserves an asterisk due to the weirdness of the season.
Athletes, Anger and Activism: How George Floyd Has Changed Sports: 6/5/20
The death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer has spurred an outpouring of grief and anger across the sports world...and incited a conversation about race, power and privilege. Comments made by Drew Brees and others have been met with backlash from athletes, and the players everywhere are demanding their voices be heard. Bomani Jones joins the show to discuss a week in sports that felt historic, even if few games were actually played. Then, ESPN basketball reporter and Minneapolis native Myron Medcalf reflects on the devastation in his hometown.
The MLB Hall of Famer Who Shepherds Families Through Grief: 6/4/20
Major League Baseball superstar Andre Dawson was known as "The Hawk" in a stellar 21-season career with the Expos, Cubs and more. But, Dawson didn't know what life after pro ball would look like. Today, the Hall of Famer - who brought legions of fans to their feet in his day - owns and operates a funeral home in Florida. It's an unexpected turn for a famous athlete, but get to know him - as ESPN's Peter Keating did - and you see how Dawson's unflagging spirit on the field translates to a life shepherding families through grief. Keating tells us about Dawson's work, including what it's like to bury members of his community amid the pandemic.
Dak Prescott's Future With the Cowboys: 6/3/20
By many measures, quarterback Dak Prescott holds the keys for the Dallas Cowboys' success in the 2020 season. As of right now, he still doesn't have a contract extension. ESPN NFL insider Bill Barnwell calls the situation between Prescott and his team the "highest-stakes game of chicken in NFL history." He joins Mina Kimes to explain why Prescott has been a salary bargain compared to peers like Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, and what it'll take for the Cowboys to get a deal done. Then, NFL linebacker Brandon Marshall discusses why he protested police violence and racial inequality alongside Colin Kaepernick in 2016, and what's changed since then.
MLB's Next Steps and Minor League Crisis: 6/2/20
In recent days, the prospects for Major League Baseball's return in 2020 had looked increasingly shaky. MLB's plan to return to baseball was rejected by the players, and MLBPA's counter-proposal was met with equal skepticism by the owners. But yesterday, there appeared to be at least some reason for hope, as sources say MLB is willing to pay players their full prorated salaries...if the players agree to a much shorter schedule. ESPN's Jeff Passan weighs in on the latest in the negotiations, and tells us whether the players are likely to buy in to playing baseball for what could be just a 50-game regular season. Then, Jeff talks about the fate of the minor leagues, as hundreds of players have lost their jobs ahead of a potentially canceled season.
A Minnesota Head Coach Listens on Race: 6/1/20
Protests that began in the Twin Cities over the killing of George Floyd continue to spread and intensify across the United States and beyond. We're joined by Ryan Saunders, head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The 34-year-old Minnesota native grew up in the world of basketball, as son of the late Minnesota college and NBA coach Flip Saunders. The young coach has made public statements in recent days about the need for white sports figures, like himself, to speak out in support of black colleagues and communities of color. He shares what he's learned as he's listened to his team's thoughts and experiences on race, violence and policing, as well as the work that lies ahead.
Imperfect: The Roy Halladay Story: 5/29/20
Former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay made baseball history in 2010, pitching the 20th perfect game in MLB history. But behind his on-field success, Halladay struggled with addiction, depression and anxiety before his fatal plane crash in 2017. Ahead of tonight's E:60 on Halladay, "Imperfect: The Roy Halladay Story," ESPN's John Barr discusses his months of in-depth reporting for the piece, time spent with Halladay's family, and the gap between public perception of the pitcher and his private struggles.
Josh Allen and the Bills: AFC East Favorites?!: 5/28/20
The Buffalo Bills have long stood in the looming shadow of their AFC East rivals, the New England Patriots. But now, with Tom Brady departed for Tampa Bay, the division is up for grabs for the first time in nearly a decade. For the Bills, it all comes down to third year quarterback Josh Allen, who's earned his fair share of admirers and skeptics in an up-and-down career thus far. ESPN Bills reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques assesses Allen's strength and weaknesses, and explains how Allen's improvements could mean this is the season Bills fans have been dreaming of.
NBA: The Latest on a Restart: 5/27/20
The NBA, team general mangers and the league's players seem close to agreement on a plan to restart the 2019-20 season. GMs have met virtually and filled out a survey on different options and formats for basketball's comeback. Players have been in lengthy calls with each other and their union leader, who says a vote won't be necessary. NBA insider Ramona Shelburne brings us the latest on the NBA's potential comeback scenario, how an Orlando-based plan came together, and which teams could benefit most from this version of a restart.
Murder-for-Hire, an Unmarked Grave, and the Boxing Coach Who Faked His Own Death: 5/26/20
Ramon Sosa was a beloved boxing coach based in Houston. He ran a gym with his wife and served as a mentor to many young fighters. So how did he end up in the middle of nowhere, lying at the bottom of an unmarked grave, and live to tell the tale? ESPN's Tisha Thompson shares a wild story of murder-for-hire, secret recordings and the staged death that uncovered it all.
LANCE: What the New Film Reveals About Armstrong: 5/25/20
A 7-time Tour de France champion and cancer survivor advocate, Lance Armstrong's fame skyrocketed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Then, it plummeted when he admitted to doping and to lying about it. In the new 30 for 30 film "LANCE," director Marina Zenovich explores Armstrong's own story of what happened, alongside accounts from teammates, journalists and those close to him. Zenovich tells Mina Kimes what it was like to conduct hours of interviews with Armstrong, and how the film aims for new territory around his very public rise and fall.
Scott Van Pelt on Tiger/Peyton vs. Phil/Tom: 5/22/20
Champions collide this weekend as golf legend Tiger Woods and Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning tee off against golf legend Phil Mickelson and...Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady. ESPN's own golf expert Scott Van Pelt breaks down "The Match: Champions for Charity," which will raise over $10 million for coronavirus relief efforts. Van Pelt discusses how he believes The Match's competitors will fare, as well as the PGA's plans to bring golf back soon. Then, Mina chats with 2020 Madden Bowl winner Raidel "Joke" Brito on how his no-passing strategy paid off.
2020 NFL Offseason Winners and Losers: 5/21/20
Pretty much all of the big moves are in the books for the NFL offseason. Brady and Gronk now call Tampa Bay home. DeAndre Hopkins' trade to the Arizona Cardinals continues to baffle fans and experts. Teams like Carolina and Jacksonville seem to be starting their rebuilds. ESPN's NFL guru Bill Barnwell ranks all NFL teams by which ones made the most of this offseason, and which ones' moves left fans scratching their heads.
Falcons TE Hayden Hurst Opens up About Depression and Attempted Suicide: 5/20/20
Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst played competitive sports for his entire life. But in January 2016, after a season of college football, he tried to take his own life. Since getting professional help and support, he's been open about his struggles with anxiety and depression, and stays active in decreasing the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Hurst joins the show to discuss his demons and how he's committed to helping others, as part of Mental Health Awareness Month.
Paul Finebaum on College Football's Road to Return: 5/19/20
College football has a different path to return than pro sports. It's hard to say where hundreds of academic institutions with thousands of players will be in a few weeks, much less by autumn. The NCAA isn't like, say, the NFL or MLB in terms of its power or say-so over college sports. Paul Finebaum joins the show to discuss the many obstacles, options and high stakes for this college football season. Would players return, even if the general student body isn't back on campus? Would some conferences start, even if other teams remain under "safer at home" orders? What's the financial risk of a short season, or none at all? Then, European soccer correspondent Gab Marcotti weighs in on the return of Germany's Bundesliga.
Where Michael Jordan's Coming From: 5/18/20
Michael Jordan's legendary drive and relentless work ethic inspired conversation throughout all ten episodes of "The Last Dance." But how, when and where was MJ molded into His Airness? Wright Thompson, who's spent time with Jordan and wrote a definitive profile for ESPN, recently looked for answers in Michael's family history, in the history of his hometown of Wilmington, NC, to find how those roots have informed his path to greatness. Check out ESPN Daily's full "The Last Dance"Jordan Collection here: bit.ly/DailyLastDance
Jalen Rose on Jordan's Last Dance: 5/15/20
1998's NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers took the Bulls to their first Game 7 since 1992. Former Pacers player Jalen Rose recalls what it was like to play against Michael Jordan at the twilight of his career, and why Rose considers MJ to be the G.O.A.T. Then, Dave Fleming tells the story of what might be the most devastating trash talk one liner in NBA history, courtesy of Scottie Pippen.
UFC's Walt Harris and His Quest for Justice: 5/14/20
UFC heavyweight contender Walt Harris faces Alistair Overeem in the main event of this weekend's UFC Fight Night. It's a fight that was originally supposed to take place this past December, until Harris was forced to pull out of the fight for the most difficult reason imaginable. Last year, Harris and his family were gripped by tragedy: the disappearance and homicide of his stepdaughter, Aniah. Tom Rinaldi discusses his in-depth reporting on Harris's career as a fighter, and his recent quest for justice. Then, legal analyst Ryan Smith provides an update on Zion Williamson's case, and explains why he's been asked to admit that his family accepted gifts and money from Nike, Adidas, and Duke.
Can NASCAR's Restart Help It Turn a Corner?: 5/13/20
As live sports tiptoe their way back, there's one revving up this weekend that could uniquely benefit: NASCAR. This Sunday, Darlington, South Carolina plays host to NASCAR's first actual-cars race since the shutdown began. Could this 11-race experiment be a cure for NASCAR's declining audience and ratings? It'll be sans fans, with stripped-down crews, and broadcast live. ESPN's Ryan McGee breaks down the challenges in this mid-pandemic return, and why NASCAR needs to race back into live events more than just about anyone.
MLB's Plan to Save the 2020 Season: 5/12/20
Baseball could be on its way back. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is ready to present the players with an owner-approved proposal on how to play a partial 2020 season, with some additional stipulations. Jeff Passan explains how it's all going to work, and gives an update on timing, revenue split, the use of home stadiums, and more logistics. Then, Passan chats with Minnesota Twins star OF Nelson Cruz on how he's been waiting out the pandemic.
Would Michael Jordan Rule in Today's NBA?: 5/11/20
"Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time." It's a common sentiment, especially as "The Last Dance" docuseries gives a new showcase for MJ's dominance. But the naysayers remain. "Well, that was the 90s," you might hear, "and the league has changed." ESPN basketball analyst and writer Kirk Goldsberry (admittedly in the Jordan G.O.A.T. camp) brings big data to the argument. He details how Jordan would stack up on shooting, defense, and other aspects of today's game. And he argues that while today's stars (LeBron?) have amazing talent, Jordan basically invented the modern NBA.
Michael Jordan's Brief, Strange Life in Baseball: 5/8/20
In the midst of becoming the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan retired from the NBA and set his sights on baseball. The reason? To pay homage to his recently slain father. Jordan training with the White Sox and joining the minor leagues created major media buzz, as ball players and fans criticized the move. ESPN senior writer Steve Wulf was with Sports Illustrated at the time, and his 1994 coverage of Jordan's foray into baseball made news of its own, as it angered MJ himself. Wulf tells us about Michael's efforts to succeed with the Double-A Birmingham Barons, and how Jordan may have been closer than we know to being called up to bigs, had he not returned to basketball.
The Patriots' Quarterback Question: 5/7/20
With Tom Brady leaving the Patriots for the Buccaneers, a void has been left in New England at quarterback. Both free agency and the NFL Draft came and went without the Patriots adding another QB option, making it appear that head coach Bill Belichick is leaving the team's offense in the hands of last year's backup, Jarrett Stidham...who's completed just two passes in his short NFL career. Patriots reporter Mike Reiss revisits the situation surrounding Brady's departure and explains why the Pats think Stidham is their man.
A New Path to the NBA: Woj on the G League's Program: 5/6/20
Top basketball prospects have followed the same path for years: high school, one year of college, and then the NBA. But now, the NBA is disrupting the traditional one-and-done model. Today, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski tells us about a new option for players: the NBA G League Professional Pathway Program, and examines why the NBA launched it in the middle of a pandemic. Woj weighs the pros and cons of the program for elite NBA talent, and explains how its success might be determined by high profile entrants like top 2020 prospect Jalen Green.
The Secret History of the Korean Bat Flip: 5/5/20
Baseball is back! Well...in South Korea, where the KBO has started its season, with games broadcast live on ESPN. No fans are in attendance, but Korean baseball energy is very much about the audience, performance and celebration. That includes big-time bat flips. Our own Mina Kimes got to the bottom of how a taboo in MLB became a signature of KBO play. In a switcheroo, Pablo Torre asks Mina about her travels to Korea to investigate how bat flipping became part of their game, tied to the bigger history of the sport abroad.
Michael Jordan, Race and Activism: "Republicans Buy Sneakers, Too": 5/4/20
"Republicans buy sneakers too." It's considered by many as Michael Jordan's most infamous quote, a jab that showed how his commercial interests stacked up against politics or social and racial justice. Episode 5 of "The Last Dance" docuseries focuses on Jordan's history and legacy around these issues, with MJ confirming he did indeed say those cutting words. Jesse Washington wrote about the origins and ripple effects of Jordan's comments for The Undefeated, and today he shares his reporting. Plus, Justin Tinsley shares a personal story of watching Jordan's last championship, and the end of a family era.
Alex Smith on His Life Threatening Leg Injury: 5/1/20
It was one of the most gruesome injuries in NFL history. On November 18, 2018, Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith suffered a compound fracture to his right leg, which became dangerously infected. The injury would threaten to cost Smith his leg, and potentially, even his life. Ahead of tonight's E:60 episode, "Project 11," which documents Smith's ordeal, the former No. 1 overall pick reflects on the injury, his recovery, and his desire to return to football. In addition, ESPN reporter Stephania Bell analyzes how Smiths injury turned life threatening.
New Norm: Ricky Williams and Marijuana Policy in Sports: 4/30/20
Marijuana use by athletes used to be considered taboo, and punishments for violating drug policies were severe. But now, as laws and attitudes around the country change, leagues are adjusting their rules. Former NFL RB Ricky Williams recounts how his marijuana use once dominated football headlines, and assesses the NFL's changes to the league's policy in the new CBA. Then, ESPN's Emily Kaplan breaks down the marijuana policy reforms across pro sports.
The Mystery of Baseball Star Don Mattingly's Birthday: 4/29/20
Collecting baseball cards is a cherished pastime. ESPN baseball writer Sam Miller first got hooked on the game by studying the backs of cards growing up. And when he learned about a Don Mattingly card with a curious factoid on Mattingly's alleged birth year, Miller began a quest to uncover the truth. When was the former Yankees star first baseman born? And did this one baseball card have the inside scoop, or a crucial error? Miller tells us how he solved the mystery of Mattingly's real birth date.
Is the Clock Ticking on Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay?: 4/28/20
When the Green Bay Packers selected Utah State QB Jordan Love late in the first round of this year's NFL Draft, the pick sent shockwaves throughout the league. The Packers current signal caller, Aaron Rodgers, is under contract for several years, and is destined for enshrinement in Canton. But that's not unusual in Green Bay. When Rodgers was drafted in 2005, the Packers already had the legendary Brett Favre at the helm. Is history doomed to repeat itself? ESPN Packers reporter Rob Demovsky examines why the Love pick was so surprising, and what it means for Green Bay's future.
Inside Dennis Rodman's Wild 90s: 4/27/20
Dennis Rodman. Loved and hated by basketball and pop culture fans alike, he's known for his off-court antics perhaps more than his success with the Chicago Bulls. ESPN's Tim Keown got a super up-close view when he helped write Rodman's 1996 autobiography, "Bad as I Wanna Be." As the Rodman-focused installment of the docuseries "The Last Dance" debuts, Keown tells the story of his weeks living with Rodman, and what he learned.
NFL Draft: Round One Reveals: 4/24/20
Round one of the 2020 NFL Draft is in the books! The virtual draft made us extremely familiar with Commissioner Roger Goodell's basement, and quarterbacks like Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa have found new homes in Cincinnati and Miami, respectively. Mike Golic Jr. reacts to all of the standout moments from the first night.
NFL Draft Day Drama: 4/23/20
The NFL Draft is finally here! Tonight, all of the big questions will be answered. Questions like, how is this online format going to work? Even if there are no hackers, how will teams make decisions remotely, with no war room? What will the draft board possibly look like at the end of round one? ESPN's Field Yates breaks down draft strategies and potential complications. Plus, he previews some big names he expects to be picked in the first round.
Tiger King: Joe Burrow's Journey to the Bengals: 4/22/20
"With the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select...Joe Burrow, quarterback, LSU." It's a sentence we'll most likely hear this Thursday night. What kind of pressure -- and team -- is Cincy about to thrust upon the Heisman Trophy-winning star? ESPN's Ben Baby digs deep into Burrow's football story to find out. Plus, he sets the scene in Ohio, where a long history of disappointment has left Bengals fans hungry for success.
Jerry Jeudy's Road to the NFL Draft: 4/21/20
Poised to be the No. 1 wide receiver picked in this year's NFL Draft, Alabama's Jerry Jeudy is sought after for his speed and explosiveness. He has also endured family tragedy alongside football success. Following the loss of his 7-year-old sister, Jeudy became a college star, and is now preparing to enter the NFL. Ahead of Thursday's first round, ESPN's Liz Merrill shares Jeudy's story.
ESPN Daily's 2020 NFL Draft Preview : 4/20/20
With live competitions mostly canceled, the 2020 NFL Draft is not only happening this Thursday, but it's rallying the sports world in an even bigger way than usual. We'll find out where prospects like QBs Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Jordan Love will land, and we'll see a whole new approach as draft prospects work from home like so many of us. ESPN analyst (and pumpkin-pie-for-breakfast lover) Mel Kiper Jr. has covered the draft for decades. He breaks down this year's draft class, explains which teams could actually benefit from a remote draft, and how it could all go down.
Michael Wilbon on Michael Jordan and "The Last Dance": 4/17/20
ESPN's Michael Wilbon covered Michael Jordan for much of the legendary player's career. As a Chicago fan and native, Wilbon is anticipating this Sunday's premiere of the 10-part Jordan documentary, "The Last Dance," more than just about anybody. The series zooms in on the iconic 1997-98 Chicago Bulls and the quest for another championship, even as key relationships falter. It also chronicles Jordan's rise to greatness and unassailable legacy. Wilbon shares his personal memories of MJ, what the docuseries means to him, and how he sees Jordan's career in its totality.
Sabrina Ionescu on Her Next Move: 4/16/20
Basketball superstar Sabrina Ionescu joins Mina Kimes to reflect on her history-making career at Oregon, her run at a college championship cut short, and how joining the WNBA will be unlike anything she's experienced. In Friday's WNBA Draft, a bright spot amid the live sports shutdown, Ionescu is the top prospect and is expected to join the New York Liberty. Hear how she's preparing for her pro career and training during this time. Plus, a look at the biggest stories in the draft overall, and what the season - whenever it starts - might hold.
The Day Baseball Stood Still for Clayton Kershaw: 4/15/20
ESPN's Wright Thompson was set to profile Clayton Kershaw ahead of the 2020 season, with a focus on Kershaw and the Dodgers recovering from their 2019 postseason collapse. They spent the day together just as spring training got shut down, and Thompson witnessed firsthand as Kershaw reacted to the news that MLB would delay its season. Thompson tells the story of Kershaw's fate in baseball through the lens of what this stalled time means for his life and legacy.
Gambling on Sports When Sports Are Shut Down: 4/14/20
Ukrainian table tennis. League of Legends. Madden computer simulations. These were not the options you were expecting to see on your gambling apps come springtime. But since all major sports were shut down in mid-March, sportsbooks in the U.S. and offshore are seeing a wide array of unconventional betting lines serve their starved clientele. "Daily Wager" host Doug Kezirian joins the show to tell us about the stranger sports gambling options being offered, as well as the heightened interest in the NFL Draft, and the impact of a live sports hiatus on the industry as a whole.
Michael and Bruce Buffer: How the Most Famous Voices in Fighting Found Each Other: 4/13/20
You've probably heard boxing announcer Michael Buffer's rumbling catchphrase at every major boxing match. And if you haven't heard announcer Bruce Buffer's signature UFC fight night line, well...it's time. But you might not have heard how the most famous voices in fighting found out they were brothers, much later in life. Devin Gordon joins the show to trace the careers of both Michael and Bruce, how they met, and the story of the successful business they built together.
Vinsanity: Is This How Vince Carter's Epic Career Ends?: 4/10/20
The suspension of the 2019-2020 NBA season not only means no games for the time being, but also potentially the end of the longest career in league history. Vince Carter was in the midst of his 22nd, and final, season. ESPN Columnist and NBA Analyst Jackie MacMullan joins us to take us through 22 seasons of "Vinsanity."
Finding Darko Milicic: Life After His NBA Bust: 4/9/20
Darko Milicic was the second pick in the 2003 NBA Draft...and maybe the biggest bust in basketball history. After leaving the pros in 2012, Darko started a new life in Serbia that's almost completely free from basketball. ESPN's Sam Borden joins the show to tell the story of Darko's transformation from legendary bust and party guy to apple orchard-owning family man.
What's Not to Love? Sizing Up Utah State QB Jordan Love: 4/8/20
Jordan Love is one of the most divisive QBs entering this year's NFL Draft. He's known for his deep passes on the run...as well as his numerous interceptions. Fans and critics alike are curious to see if Love will live up to his potential, or if his flaws as a player will prove too big to ignore. ESPN's Tim Keown joins the show to explore Love's football prowess, as well as his complicated past.
MLB Has Plan to Play in May & Lessons from Korean Baseball: 4/7/20
Sources tell ESPN Senior MLB Insider Jeff Passan that Major League Baseball has a plan to resume in May, gathering all teams and isolating them in Arizona to minimize coronavirus risk. Hear the story of how that might work, and who's on board. Then, a firsthand look at how baseball has returned to South Korea. Scrimmages there are leading up to preseason games slated for later this month. Jeff Passan talks to pitcher Dan Straily, formerly of MLB, now of the Korean Baseball Organization's Lotte Giants, to detail the precautions his team is taking to keep their season on track amidst the pandemic.
2020 NCAA Championships: If Only: 4/6/20
What if champions of men's and women's college basketball were somehow able to be crowned in 2020? The NCAA canceled both tournaments due to COVID-19. If you can't help but wonder what "might" have happened, we have you covered. FiveThirtyEight's Neil Paine shares results from the data-crunching site's highly precise tournament simulations. And ESPN's Myron Medcalf gets to dream about who should hold the title from the men's and women's brackets this year.
The Show Must Go On: Wrestlemania Is Still Happening: 4/3/20
No sports during quarantine? WWE begs to differ. It's broadcasting Wrestlemania 36 this weekend -- after recording it on a restricted set -- with no audience. How did WWE pull this off, and why does Wrestlemania seem to be such a touchstone in this moment? ESPN's Greg Wyshynski steps out of the crease and into the ring to talk about how and why WWE is carrying on through the crisis.
Big Lessons of NFL Offseason: 4/2/20
Tom Brady is a Buccaneer. DeAndre Hopkins is a Cardinal. And Cam Newton is still looking for a new home. NFL free agency in 2020 has been a wild ride so far, all while the uncertainty of this sports hiatus plays out in the background. ESPN NFL Insider Bill Barnwell joins the show to discuss how the coronavirus pandemic has affected team decisions in the offseason, and the successes and failures in team deals so far.
ESPN Daily - The Essentials: The Fire That Saved the Packers: 4/1/20
The Green Bay Packers are seen as one of the NFL's most traditional franchises. Their midwestern, mom-and-pop approach to running the team sets them apart in today's cynical times. But did that reputation rise from the ashes of arson? Today, ESPN Senior Writer Dave Fleming tells a tale of a mysterious blaze that helped the Packers survive potential extinction.
UFC Champion Jon Jones Faces His Demons: 3/31/20
He's been called the best fighter of all time, but UFC champion Jon Jones is in trouble again. Arrested on charges of drunk driving and negligent use of a firearm, the light heavyweight is far from the media-friendly image many hoped he'd bring to UFC. ESPN's Ariel Helwani dives deep on Jones' career, controversies and how good he could be for mixed martial arts if he'd stay out of his own way.
What Trevor Bauer Really Thinks About MLB: 3/30/20
We should be in the first week of baseball season, but...try not to think about that. Instead, ponder the future with Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer and ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan. On the heels of MLB's hiatus deal with players around pay, service time and other issues, hear how it sets up the 2021 collective bargaining agreement. Plus, Bauer gets into the issues with training during all this uncertainty, whether baseball is too slow, and the sport's need for a media makeover.
Rex Chapman: The Content We're Here For: 3/27/20
You might know Rex Chapman as a social media star, the guy who shares "Block or Charge" memes with his 600,000 followers. He's also THAT Rex Chapman, a college basketball superstar for Kentucky and NBA great. And he's yet another Rex Chapman, one who's struggled with addiction and gambling behind the scenes. ESPN's Ryan McGee got to know the many sides of Chapman in an extended profile for E:60, and traces his journey in sports, media and life.
Was the "Battle of the Sexes" a Racket?: 3/26/20
The "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs is one of the most iconic moments in American sports history. Set against the backdrop of the women's liberation movement, King's 1973 victory over Riggs transcended sports. But a news tip from an unexpected source, 40 years later, sent ESPN's Don Van Natta Jr. down a path that led him to investigate whether the match was rigged. Van Natta details his reporting on the lead-up to The Battle of the Sexes, and how Riggs' own agenda may have impacted the historic outcome.
Can Esports Seize the Moment?: 3/25/20
While pro sports leagues remain on hold, esports (aka competitive video gaming) faces some similar obstacles. Leagues have canceled live events, team practice and more. But esports has also managed a pivot. It's put global operations and matches entirely online for players, leagues and millions of fans worldwide. While esports has struggled to break through to the more mainstream sports audience, this could be a moment of growth for the industry. ESPN's Tyler Erzberger explains how esports has responded to the pandemic, and how it might seize an opportunity with pro athletes, celebrities and fans stuck inside.
Pro Basketball's Return in China: 3/24/20
While most of the sports world remains on hiatus, China could restart live basketball in a matter of weeks. What would allow that to happen safely? And what will it take to bring pro sports back across the rest of the world? ESPN's Jonathan Givony joins the show to explain the timeline, stakes, and challenges that basketball faces, and how it's all being handled in leagues overseas. Plus, how the coronavirus will impact the upcoming NBA Draft.
The Running Back's Struggle: 3/23/20
We just saw 2017 Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley released by the LA Rams, and former Chargers star running back Melvin Gordon found a new home in Denver. Behind that shakeup is growing evidence that the role of running backs in the NFL is changing. A renewed focus on pass-heavy offenses, among other factors, is shifting the weight given to the position. FiveThirtyEight's Josh Hermsmeyer outlines the current landscape for running backs, from all angles.
The Italian Scout: Baseball and the Center of the Pandemic: 3/20/20
Major League Baseball's season went on indefinite hiatus last week in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In parts of the world beyond the US, that chaos had already brought life and work to a halt. ESPN's Jeff Passan brings us the story of René Saggiadi, a Red Sox scout based in the Italian city of Bari. As his country deals with increasing contagion, we hear what happens when life and baseball pause, and how he's staying connected to the sport he loves.
Inside the US Soccer Equal Pay Fight: 3/19/20
A two-time World Cup and Olympic soccer champion, US team alumna Julie Foudy gives a candid inside look at the battle over fair pay for female players. US Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro just resigned amidst controversy over sexist language in USSF's legal filings. Since filing that suit in March 2019, the USWNT won its fourth FIFA World Cup and continued its streak of global dominance. Foudy details what it's taken to move the case forward, while the team continues to play at a top level.
Tom vs. Team: Why Brady is Moving On: 3/18/20
Tom Brady's early morning announcement that he's leaving New England echoed around the league all day Tuesday. But his breakup with the Patriots was a long time coming and when you look closely, the signs were there. ESPN Senior Writer Seth Wickersham shares the winding, tension-laden tale of Brady's departure, and sizes up what's next for Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
NFL Free Agency Fireworks: 3/17/20
(Note: we published our show today before Tom Brady announced he's leaving the Patriots. More to come on that!) NFL free agency has kicked off with a bang, with the biggest deal so far sending Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals in return for RB David Johnson. Teams across the league have been using franchise tags on players, signing free agents and conducting trades throughout the past few days, getting even more attention than usual as most sports are suspended. ESPN's Bill Barnwell tracks the most dramatic storylines.
Future of Football: NFL Players Vote and 2020 Plans: 3/16/20
While most sports are on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL got some certainty this week, with players voting to approve a new collective bargaining agreement. NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith talks about the major points of the new deal. Then, ESPN NFL Insider Dan Graziano discusses how the league is responding to risks of COVID-19, and how the upcoming football schedule could change.
Sports on Hiatus: The Economic Fallout: 3/13/20
March Madness has been canceled. The NBA, NHL, and MLB seasons are currently on hold. The entire sports world has essentially ground to a halt, in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. And while leagues, players, coaches, and fans will all be affected by the hiatus, so will thousands of behind the scenes workers who are critical to the sports industry. Adelaide Avila is a cashier at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where the Lakers, Clippers, and Kings play, and joins the show to discuss how the lack of games will impact her. Then, sports economist Patrick Rishe explains just how far reaching the damage from the coronavirus will be to the wider sports world.
Sports and COVID-19: NBA Suspends Season, What Happens Next?: 3/12/20
The NBA shocked the sports world Wednesday night, announcing the season was suspended following a player testing positive for coronavirus. This comes on the heels of the NCAA announcing that the men's and women's college basketball tournaments will not allow fans in attendance. This is how the coronavirus outbreak is being handled by U.S. sports. ESPN's Tisha Thompson joins the show to update us on the suspensions, cancellations, and beyond.
Dodgers 2020: World Series or Bust: 3/11/20
The Los Angeles Dodgers need a championship in 2020. Nothing less will do. Even Mookie Betts says so, and with his arrival in L.A. the roster is more formidable than ever. After losing two World Series to the Red Sox and Astros - both teams embroiled in MLB's sign stealing scandal - and a string of appearances in the playoffs, the stakes have never felt higher. As the world watches to see if they'll finally bring home a title, ESPN's Jeff Passan sets the stage for this fired-up Dodgers team, and what could possibly stop them.
UNC's Lost Season: 3/10/20
The UNC Tar Heels are perennial men's college basketball contenders. But this season, they've hit snags, including a few long losing streaks which have currently positioned the team as the lowest seed in the ACC tournament. After a season full of missed opportunities and failing to meet expectations, ESPN's Jeff Borzello joins the show to break down what's gone wrong in Chapel Hill and where it goes from here.
Bye Bye, Brady? 2020 Options for New England's Star QB: 3/9/20
Since the Patriots got eliminated in the first round of this year's NFL playoffs, Tom Brady's future with the team has been a constant, looming question. Will he return to New England, where he's won six Super Bowls? Or will he head for a new destination like San Francisco or Las Vegas? ESPN's Bill Barnwell joins the show to break down the possibilities and their implications for Brady and the Patriots organization.
Is Zion Living Up to the Hype for the Pelicans?: 3/6/20
Rookie Zion Williamson's return to the court came with a lot of excitement and hype. Bouncing back from injury, the Pelicans forward continues to show he can be an NBA star. But he and his team have a long way to go, as New Orleans sits at 12th in the Western Conference. Guest host Jason Fitz is joined by ESPN's Andrew Lopez to discuss Zion's impact so far and his future trajectory.
Sho Time: Angels' Shohei Ohtani Returns to Form: 3/5/20
Shohei Ohtani is one of the Angels' biggest stars, who, at the peak of his game, excels as both a pitcher and batter. Last season, Ohtani was only able to contribute at the plate, as his recovery from Tommy John surgery kept him off the mound. Will the 2020 season see Ohtani participate in both phases of the game, and why is that so unique in MLB? ESPN's Alden Gonzalez traces Ohtani's career and explains what makes him an exceptional talent.
How Coronavirus Could Change the 2020 Olympics: 3/4/20
Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has touched nearly every continent and industry since it broke out in China in December. Major sporting events have been canceled or rescheduled. Teams are playing matches to empty arenas, as officials aim to slow the spread of the disease. Japan is one of the leading countries infected, with big questions now swirling around the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. Could the Olympics be postponed, or even canceled? ESPN's Kelly Cohen walks us through what's known and what's not, from the International Olympic Committee and other sources.
Is Jayson Tatum Boston's Next Superstar?: 3/3/20
Celtics power forward Jayson Tatum seems to be on track for NBA stardom this season, putting together a string of dominant performances. But, after a slow start in the league, can his explosive skills sustain? ESPN's Jackie MacMullan explains how and why Tatum has taken off.
Is Duke Done? A Season of NCAA Basketball Surprises: 3/2/20
Men's college basketball is in a state of flux this season, with regular powerhouses like Duke suffering upsets and falling in the rankings, and names like Dayton and San Diego State showing up as contenders. Just a few weeks away from Selection Sunday, ESPN senior college basketball reporter Myron Medcalf breaks down the biggest stories and surprises in men's college basketball.
Pascal Siakam: The Raptors' New King of the North : 2/28/20
After the Raptors lost superstar Kawhi Leonard to the Clippers this off-season, the outlook for the reigning NBA champs was bleak. But fueled by the surprising performance of power forward Pascal Siakam, the Raptors currently sit at second place in the east. ESPN's Tim Bontemps explains how Siakam and the Raptors have managed to shrug off the loss of Kawhi and become unexpected contenders heading into the playoffs.
NFL and Players Negotiate: What's at Stake: 2/27/20
The NFL owners have drafted a new labor agreement for players that adds a 17th game to the NFL season, expands the playoffs and raises player pay and other benefits. NFL Players Association representatives have now sent the CBA for a majority vote to all the union members. ESPN analyst and former NFLPA negotiator Domonique Foxworth joins the show to explain what's at stake, who's for the agreement and who's not, and what a 17th game means to both sides.
Manny Pacquiao's Next Fight: 2/26/20
Boxing great Manny Pacquiao dominated the sport for years. Now, he's a senator in the Philippines, his home country, and could be gearing up for a presidential run there in 2022. So how did one of the most prolific boxers become a political leader? ESPN's Tim Keown joins the show to share his reporting from the Philippines and explain Pacquiao's rise.
The Myth of Quarterback Hand Size: 2/25/20
The NFL combine is in full swing, and scouts are focused on all types of metrics and measurements. Chief among them? Quarterback hand size. But how much do those digits really matter to a quarterback's success? ESPN's Dave Fleming joins the show for a hands-on discussion about this flawed measurement and its impact on the upcoming draft.
Remembering Kobe and Gigi: 2/24/20
Today, mourners gather at Staples Center in Los Angeles to honor Kobe and Gigi Bryant. The Lakers legend, 41, died in a helicopter crash last month, along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne covered Kobe for almost all of his 20 years with the team. She shares what it's been like inside the Lakers organization since his death, with stories from longtime friends like general manager Rob Pelinka, and those more newly close to the Bryants, like LeBron James.
Astros Scandal: MLB's Nightmare Continues: 2/21/20
As baseball's latest scandal continues to unfold, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and others are coming under more fire. Criticism has grown around whether the Houston Astros' players deserved more blame and punishment for the sign stealing scheme, and how much it helped the team win the 2017 World Series. ESPN's Buster Olney breaks down the latest developments, as 2019 champs the Nationals face the Astros in a spring training game this weekend.
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