TEAM USA FALLS SHORT
Time for a new Redeem Team? Team USA's 89-79 loss to France in the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup looked an awful lot like a lower seed trying to plug weaknesses, writes Brian Windhorst, and a lot less like a title favorite defending the high ground. The exodus of top talent meant that the best player on the floor -- Rudy Gobert -- was on the other team, and they had no real ability to counter him. The good news: The Americans qualified for the 2020 Olympics. The bad news: In their current state, they might not win it. It might be time to look back to 2008 for answers. Read More
THINGS TO CARE ABOUT
It's official: 2019 is the Year of the Home Run ... Holy taters. They've gone and done it. Well, specifically, Jonathan Villar of the Baltimore Orioles has done it. With Villar's dinger on Wednesday night -- the 22nd of the evening and the 6,106th of the season across MLB action -- a new major league record has been set. The previous record of 6,105 was set in 2017. Let's take a look at the record-setting night and do a deep dive into the numbers behind this record-setting season, shall we? Read More
The latest athlete to be dragged through the mud of sexism ... You may have read about the story of a young Alaska swimmer who was inexplicably disqualified for the way her team-issued swimsuit fit her body. Though her win has been reinstated, Sarah Spain points out that rulings like this one send incredibly bad messages to young women and make them pay an emotional price for the mistakes of adults. Read More
The ship is sinking ... It's the time of year when a difficult start can turn into a complete disaster for college football teams, which explains why Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt brought up the Titanic when talking about his team's 0-2 beginning. Things obviously aren't going well in Rocky Top, but in Ryan McGee's Bottom 10, they're not even a dubious No. 1. Read More
Four women officials blazing a trail in NHL ... Girls hockey is one of the fastest-growing sports in America. But what about when playing careers come to an end? For many who long to stay involved in the game after the collegiate level, officiating is a natural fit. However, up until recently it didn't feel like an option -- because no women were doing it. Though exposure has been an ongoing issue, times are changing as these women prove that a ponytail protruding from a helmet is no indicator of merit or of one's ability to excel at the job. Read More
THINGS TO WATCH
Walker: Playing in FIBA was 'one hell of an experience'
Kemba Walker tells Brian Windhorst that even though Team USA lost to France in the FIBA World Cup, it was a "one hell of an experience".
"'The sun's still shining. The sky's still blue. The best thing is we still get to play on Sunday.' It's Week 1."
-- Ben Roethlisberger, on what he said to the Steelers after their big loss to the Patriots. Read more
On this day in 1980, Yao Ming was born. Though his career was shortened by injuries, the 7-foot-6 Yao dominated the NBA like few players before him. To celebrate his birthday, here's a look at how much of a force he truly was. Watch
WHAT'S ON TODAY?
USA vs. Serbia (7 a.m. ET, ESPN+): Yes, they've been eliminated, but they still have to play to determine whether they're No. 5, 6, 7, or 8. These kinds of games always have to be tough for the players involved.
Atlanta Reign vs. Hangzhou Spark (7 p.m. ET, ESPNEWS); Los Angeles Gladiators vs. San Francisco Shock (10 p.m. ET, ESPN App): The Overwatch League playoffs have been ridiculously exciting so far, with the introduction of new hero Sigma shaking up established strategies and allowing for tense back-and-forth fights. These losers bracket matches have the added drama of being elimination rounds for the teams involved.
Thursday Night Football: Bucs vs. Panthers (8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network): Paging all Christian McCaffrey fantasy owners! It's your time to shine. The RB put on an absolute clinic in Week 1, and undoubtedly will be a factor again tonight. After tossing three interceptions last week, Jameis Winston will need to look sharper for the Bucs to be successful.
HEAVY: Fury vs. Schwartz (10 p.m. ET, ESPN): Tyson Fury defeated Tom Schwarz by KO in their recent matchup. Now, for the first time, go behind the scenes with both of them to see what it's like to prepare for a fight of this magnitude.