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KD cashes in, the fight for open space and the pressure of youth tennis

Joshua Leung/NBAE via Getty Images
Sports Redef

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rantnrave:// First sneakers I remember truly appreciating were my Nike Air Max Duncans. They weren't chic but felt fancy. Wore them with pride. Like they were cool. Never had a pair of Jordans growing up. Still never have. Everybody wanted a pair. Meant you had style -- and some money. That's what sneakers can convey. Don't need to be a sneakerhead to want the right pair. Never had any use for window shopping unless it was walking by a Foot Locker. The Jordan 1s have always been my holy grail. Everybody has the brand they cherish or stay loyal to. Even basketball players are collectors. Getting your own shoe line means you made it. Brand wars are turf wars. For some, it's a particular shoe. Air Jordans. Chuck Taylors. Air Force Ones. Reebok Questions. Fila Grant Hills. SportsSET: "It's Gotta Be the Shoes". ... Kevin Van Valkenburg talks weight and diet with Eddie Lacy. Loved this story. Athletes can struggle with their body image and weight, too. Lacy, a Seahawks running back, has been a social media meme for being out of shape and fat-shamed. He has been rocked by insults and he's conscious of how he looks. His contract has a weight clause that comes under media scrutiny. His Twitter account is a cesspool of fat jokes. It's not easy to block out the haters. Kevin Durant can attest to that. Was it wrong for him to clap back at critics on Twitter? Who doesn't want to vent? Why should athletes be held to a higher standard? ... What's going on with the NFL in L.A.? How come hardly anyone seems to care? The Los Angeles Times' Bill Plaschke says it's because the Rams and Chargers haven't earned their fans' devotion. Hard to argue with that. Did the NFL and owners expect to come to L.A. and start selling out stadiums? Good product brings in devoted consumers. Not the other way around. ... The 100 greatest jock jams. Not the 100 greatest jams by jocks. ... Sorry if my home run swing hurt you. ... Baseball players are internet commenters. They're just like us. ... RIP Jake LaMotta, the Raging Bull. Best sports movie ever?


KD and the VCs: How Kevin Durant became a made man in Silicon Valley

Last year, he placed the biggest bet of his life. It paid off spectacularly. Now the Warriors star and his business partner Rich Kleiman are looking to parlay those winnings into a tech jackpot.
Jon Steinberg | Modern Luxury


The outdoor apparel industry is fighting for public lands

How REI and Patagonia are fighting the Trump administration to protect the environment.
Russ Arensman | Racked


'The pressure is just really insane': Youth tennis has a cheating problem

Rising costs, parental pressure and a lack of umpires all contribute to a major issue for the sport at the youth level.
Kelyn Soong | The Washington Post


L.A. fans don't just give their devotion, teams have to earn it

Bill Plaschke sticks up for the maligned L.A. sports fans for criticism of the city's support of the Rams and Chargers.
Bill Plaschke | Los Angeles Times


By day, she's the mayor's receptionist. By night, she's a pro wrestling goddess

Meet Gabby Ortiz.
Vaughn Johnson | Philadelphia Inquirer


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