ESPN Daily kicks off your morning with 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.
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Once upon a time, if you were an NBA 7-footer you played center, in the paint, with your back to the basket. But over the past decade, the NBA has been invaded by a new type of big man...one who is increasingly rendering the entire concept of "positions" obsolete. Players like Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who can play like guards on offense, and match up with anyone on the floor on defense. And now, a new generation is emerging, with the Cavaliers rookie standout Evan Mobley, and likely lottery pick Chet Holmgren from Gonzaga. ESPN's Mike Schmitz breaks down just when this trend of alien big men began, what makes them so valuable, and the alien prospect that NBA teams are already clamoring to draft.
The Patriots face the Falcons tonight, after their fourth consecutive win on Sunday, and Mac Jones is playing at a level that is making the rest of us look silly for doubting him. Bill Belichick's team enters the second half of the season hot on the tails of a playoff spot, so Louis Riddick explains what we all missed with Jones at draft time, and how The Patriot Way is leading to success yet again.
It's the most important piece of gear for a basketball player: the shoes. And one of the most popular, iconic basketball shoes, Kobes, are no longer being mass produced by Nike. So what's an NBA player to do once his favorite shoe stops being made? Brian Windhorst takes us inside the wild secondary market that's developed, and tells us why the shoe is so coveted, especially if you're a size 17.
Dead money: it's the money a college or university still owes a coach after they're fired. And over the past decade, there has been more than half a billion dollars worth of it paid out in college sports. But where does that money come from, and which schools are the biggest offenders? ESPN investigative reporter Paula Lavigne looked into the outsized spending of dead money across college programs, and explains what's behind it. Hear the findings from Lavigne's and Mark Schlabach's reporting on buyouts for coaches in college football, and men's and women's basketball Power 5 programs.
The NFL continues to redefine our sense of normalcy from week to week, and our Monday morning QB Alex Smith is here to ground us. The Chiefs took sole possession of first place in the wild AFC West. Elsewhere, Russell Wilson couldn't shake off the rust in his return with the Seahawks, as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers gave Seattle its first shutout in a decade. And every football fan's nightmare is coming true, as the New England Patriots won their fourth straight, with rookie QB Mac Jones delivering a signature win over the Cleveland Browns. Plus, the first tie of the season between the Steelers and Lions.
After losing the 2019 NBA Finals, the Warriors had two lost seasons and all but disappeared from any conversation about contenders. But ESPN's Nick Friedell assures us that the Warriors are back with star point guard Steph Curry and former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green bringing their unique synergy to the long road that leads to the NBA's mountaintop. Friedell discusses why Coach Steve Kerr is experimenting with lineups this season, how the rebuilding of the program is altering the Warriors' place in a crowded Western Conference, and what the revamped team could look like once Klay Thompson returns. Plus, Sam Borden discusses the cherished USMNT vs. Mexico rivalry that will ultimately evolve due to structural changes following Friday's World Cup in Cincinnati.
Presbyterian college football head coach Kevin Kelley never punts. It's a philosophy that brought him major success at the high school level in Arkansas, where his unconventional thinking resulted in nine state titles in 18 seasons, and an innovation award presented to him by Robert DeNiro. But Kelley's leap from high school to college landscape has been met with its fair share of criticism. Hear Ryan McGee discuss why, after a 72-0 loss that shook the NCAA's smallest Division I program, Kelley continues to search for angles and advantages that work in favor of a program that admittedly has nothing to lose. Then, Paolo Uggetti shares his report on San Diego State's Matt Araiza, a left-legged kicking phenomenon who booms punts, nails field goals, and crushes kickoffs.
An ESPN investigation, featuring interviews with more than 70 current and former Phoenix Suns employees, reveals accusations of racism and misogyny against Suns owner Robert Sarver -- and a toxic workplace many employees believe was emboldened by his behavior. The allegations range from racially insensitive and lewd language to conduct some employees felt was inappropriate and misogynistic. ESPN's Baxter Holmes shares his reporting on this story, the NBA's response, and what happens from here.
The 2021 college basketball season tips off tonight and so much has changed since Baylor was crowned the national champion. ESPN's Myron Medcalf breaks down the top seeded teams, including what it'll take for Gonzaga to rebound from last year's heartbreak. Plus, there's Duke's legendary Coach K beginning his farewell tour, and coaches getting used to how the transfer portal - along with name, image and likeness rules - are truly changing the game. We have all you need to get ready for the season.
From Jordan Love's disappointing debut as Green Bay Packers QB1 to the L.A. Rams getting dominated by the Tennessee Titans at home on Sunday night, the NFL saw more than its fair share of big upsets and strange moments in Week 9. So we bring our own starting QB, Alex Smith to discuss. Plus, how Aaron Rodgers' vaccination status loomed over the weekend...and what we think of the ManningCast curse.
Barry Bonds' baseball achievements are staggering: from home run records to MVP awards to Golden Gloves to mind-boggling slugging and on-base percentages, the numbers place him squarely among the game's all-time greats. But Bonds' successes have been tarnished by what is known about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. For the last nine years, Bonds has been eligible for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame and each year, when the ballots are tallied, has come up short. Now he is in his final year on the writers' ballot, making the issue of his worthiness for selection more urgent than ever before. Jeremy Schaap joins the show to ruminate on Bonds' career: the stupendous feats of his youth; his relationship with managers, teammates and the media; his late-career performance surge; and the steroids controversy, all of which is chronicled in the new E60 special BONDS, which Schaap hosts this Sunday at 9:30 pm ET.
It's been a head spinning week in the NFL. On Wednesday, reports surfaced that Packers QB Aaron Rodgers tested positive for covid, and will not play in Sunday's marquee matchup vs. the Chiefs. Rodgers previously told the media and his team that he was "immunized," and has undergone other treatments that did not include the vaccine. So QB Jordan Love will see his first NFL start against a Chiefs team that seems beleaguered by turnovers and bad defense. Elsewhere, Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. may be coming to the end of his career in Cleveland, after his father Odell Beckham Sr. posted a video on social media blaming QB Baker Mayfield for Beckham's poor performance. And, the New Orleans Saints are dealing with two massive injuries to QB Jameis Winston and WR Michael Thomas. Bill Barnwell takes us through all of these NFL storylines and more at the halfway point of the season.
The Atlanta Braves are World Champions! So Tim Keown joins us from Houston, where he takes us through how the Braves got here. Then, when the Brooklyn Nets host the Atlanta Hawks tonight, two of the most divisive players of the modern NBA will face off. James Harden and Trae Young are two of the best players in the league, thanks in part to their skill with the dark arts of drawing fouls. But this offseason, the NBA decided to crack down on offensive players engaging in so-called "foul hunting" and the results are being felt across the league. Brian Windhorst explains why many think the new rules are changing the game for good, even if not everyone is happy about them.
When pro hockey player Kyle Beach reported his sexual assault by a Chicago Blackhawks video coach in 2010, the team failed to act. Beach filed a lawsuit against the team as "John Doe" and a 100-plus page report on his experience, as well as the team's handling of the incident, has led to resignations from team leaders who were involved. Emily Kaplan tells us how the Blackhawks and the National Hockey League failed one of their own by covering up abuse, and what happens next as the truth is told.
Halloween fell on the eighth Sunday of this NFL season, and it belonged to backup QBs. Cooper Rush put on his Dak Prescott costume and led the Dallas Cowboys to a last minute game winning TD. The Saints' Trevor Siemian stepped in for the injured Jameis Winston and defeated Tom Brady, and Mike White performed arguably the most unlikely feat of the day, in breathing life into the Jets' fan base by leading them to an upset win over the Bengals. ESPN Daily's QB-1 Alex Smith breaks down how a bunch of backups managed to trick everyone on a very strange day of football.
You might know about Freddie Freeman, first baseman for the Atlanta Braves, who you'll see take the field tonight in Game Three of the World Series vs. the Houston Astros. Freeman's also the Gold Glover and four time All-Star...who battled back from covid to win NL MVP last year. But the Freddie Freeman you don't know is even more remarkable. In a re-air of our episode from April, Buster Olney takes us inside the E:60 documentary Full Circle: The Freddie Freeman Story, and presents an exclusive and emotional portrait of one of the game's best players. Freeman opens up as never before about the loss of loved ones, as well as the struggles he and his wife have endured in starting a family of their own.
David Olson is a quiet, Midwestern father of three, living an ordinary life. That is until one day this summer, when doing some home renovation, he discovered some bowling balls buried under the steps leading to his backyard. And not just two, or three, or 10 or 20 bowling balls. In total, Olson uncovered a whopping 162 bowling balls from his property, and ended up going viral with his story. Where the balls had come from? How did they end up at Olson's house? Ryan Hockensmith explains this stranger-than-fiction story of man's unexpected discovery...and the unexpected way in which it ultimately transformed his life.
"Play Like a Champion Today." It's one of the most iconic phrases in sports, and it's long been synonymous with Notre Dame. Over the years, legendary Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz has told the story of the team's famous sign, and the traditional pregame slap that's performed as they take the field. Holtz put up the sign, yes. But where did he get the idea? Another powerhouse college program has some thoughts which dispute Holtz's claims. ESPN's Dave Wilson tells us who might - or might not - deserve credit for one of the sports world's most famous sentences. Then, listeners and friends of ESPN Daily share their sports superstitions with us, ahead of Halloween.
Deep in the heart of Texas we find Jeff Passan, as the Houston Astros host Game 1 of the World Series tonight against the Atlanta Braves. For the Astros, it's a chance for some vindication, after being baseball's public enemy number one for their sign stealing scheme in 2017. For the Braves, it's a chance to win their first World Series in a quarter century, and cap a stunning postseason run for a team that had the worst regular season record of any in the playoffs. Jeff Passan is in Houston, and breaks down everything you need to know for the Fall Classic.
Jared Goff returned to his former team at SoFi Stadium as a member of the Detroit Lions on Sunday, after the QB's new coach made critical remarks about his performance, with the Rams' Matt Stafford facing his old Lions teammates. Our own Monday Quarterback Alex Smith breaks down that ex's matchup and more. Smith and guest host Emily Kaplan talk the Kansas City Chiefs' blowout loss to the Tennessee Titans, plus Joe Burrow and the Bengals' upset victory over Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. And our Week 7 spin around includes tribute to National Tight Ends Day. Alert Text:
Intense arguments that give way laughter -- it's a feature on the set of Pardon The Interruption. In this fourth and final installment of the PTI podcast series, we look at how Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon can tick each other off *and* bring out the best in the other. Because behind the yelling, there is always love and respect. Their contrasting thoughts and behaviors have sparked important conversations that transcend sports. Hear journalists, sportscasters and a longtime appreciator of the show - Barack Obama - reflect on the enduing impact of PTI.
Bob Voulgaris turned his career as a professional, data-driven NBA bettor into a team job when Mark Cuban made him Director of Quantitative Research and Analysis for the Dallas Mavericks. But tension built between Voulgaris and then-GM Donnie Nelson, and relationships with players got muddy. Reports in The Athletic this year claimed the former bettor was running the show behind the scenes in Dallas, and today the GM, coach and Voulgaris are no longer with the team. Now, Voulgaris sits down for his first interview since he left the Mavs.
Turf toe. It's a known injury in football. But behind the cutesy name lies an injury NFL players dread more than any other, involving a teeny tiny bone in the foot. Turf toe can be incredibly painful and long lasting, with no real remedy for players other than time. And it can lead to permanent damage, if not properly healed. ESPN Senior Writer Dave Fleming takes us inside his cabinet of sports curiosities, with terrible tales of turf toe from around the NFL. Then, Pablo shares an update on the Ben Simmons saga.
For the people of Philadelphia, and of the basketball world, the relationship between Ben Simmons and the 76ers was broken the moment he passed up a dunk in Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs against the Hawks. After the game, head coach Doc Rivers and star Joel Embiid appeared to point the finger at Simmons in their press conference, and it seemed all but certain that Simmons' days in Philly were numbered. Since that game, Simmons has made it known that he wants to be traded, at first refusing to report for training camp. But the 76ers have been unable to find a willing trade partner. Now, as the NBA season tips off today, Simmons is still a 76er...albeit not a happy one. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne digs deep into the NBA's messiest, longest divorce, and why the secret to understanding it begins well before that infamous Game 7.
It was a wild Sunday across sports...from the Cowboys and Patriots overtime thriller...to the Chicago Sky claiming their first ever WNBA title. Across the NFL, it was a week that featured no shortage of close games and marquee matchups. The Steelers held off a second-half rally from the Seattle Seahawks with a game-winning overtime field goal. Dak Prescott and Mac Jones battled back-and-forth until the Cowboys walked it off in their own OT game to extend their winning streak to five. The Ravens and Chargers met in an AFC showdown, but Baltimore blew out LA with another master class from Lamar Jackson. And the Kliff Kingsbury-less Cardinals pulled off yet another statement win over Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns. Our Monday morning quarterback Alex Smith brings us his reactions from Sunday's slate of NFL action. Then, LaChina Robinson checks in from Chicago, where the city is celebrating its first professional basketball championship since the days of Michael Jordan, as the Chicago Sky came back from a double digit deficit in the fourth against the Phoenix Mercury.
From the beginning of PTI, viewers recognized that Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon had created a whole new world in the realm of sports talk television. But this didn't happen without the help of notable athletes, coaches, and sportscasters. Segments like Five Good Minutes, PTI was unknowingly building an era of opinion-based sports shows while simultaneously attracting high-profile fans and colleagues along the way. Additionally, the PTI team reminisces about how a casual trip to the White House led to meeting an unexpected fan.
The new NBA season tips off this Tuesday, and the pool of contenders for the championship is deeper than it's been in years. The consensus favorites just months ago were the Brooklyn Nets, but with Kyrie Irving potentially being unable to play due to vaccination requirements, the Eastern Conference is far from assured. Can the Bucks repeat their stunning run of a season ago? Will the 76ers be able to move past their own Ben Simmons drama and finally fulfill the process prophecy? In the Western Conference, can the Lakers find a way to make it work with Westbrook and Carmelo joining LeBron and A.D.? Will the Suns bounce back from their heartbreaking defeat in the Finals? Zach Lowe gets you up to speed on everything you need to know for a wide-open NBA season. Then, with the WNBA Finals now tied 1-1, LaChina Robinson previews game 3 between the Chicago Sky and Phoenix Mercury.
When the Columbus Blue Jackets open their season this evening, they will be missing one of their own. Over the summer, Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks was struck and killed by fireworks at a 4th of July celebration in Michigan. It was a tragedy that hit especially hard for Kivlenieks' friend and teammate, fellow netminder Elvis Merzlikins. The two goaltenders shared more than just their position: they were among just a handful of NHL players from the tiny nation of Latvia. Merzlikins even invited Kivlenieks to live with him and his wife in Columbus. Emily Kaplan joins the show to share the story of their friendship, the tragedy that took one far too young, and how the Blue Jackets plan to honor their fallen teammate.
Last Friday, a 2011 email from Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden containing racist language surfaced in reporting by the Wall Street Journal. Gruden apologized in his postgame press conference following the Raiders loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday. But by Monday, additional reporting uncovered many more of Gruden's emails containing sexist, racist, and homophobic remarks, sent in correspondence to various NFL higher-ups and decision makers. Gruden resigned as head coach within the hour. ESPN's Paul Gutierrez joins us to discuss the Raiders reaction to Gruden's comments, where the team goes from here, and the ripple effects around the NFL. Then, former Washington Football Team employee Emily Applegate shares her perspective on the NFL's investigation into Washington's toxic culture: the league's investigation is what led to Gruden's emails being revealed, some which were messages to then Washington executive Bruce Allen.
The 2021-22 National Hockey League season gets going tonight, with a double header on ESPN for the first time in 17 years. Our Greg Wyshynski shares what's at stake for hockey's biggest stars, what we'll see from defending champs the Tampa Bay Lightning, and expectations for the league's newest team, the Seattle Kraken.
After an hour plus rain delay in Kansas City, Josh Allen and the Bills delivered a statement win and literally hurdled past the Chiefs. Across the AFC, the Chargers and the Browns put up a combined eighty nine points, as Justin Herbert led the Chargers to a thrilling comeback win. Elsewhere, NFL kickers had a terrible, no good, very bad Sunday. In addition to a number of missed extra points, the end of the Packers-Bengals game saw five (!) missed field goals, before Mason Crosby nailed the game winner in overtime. Alex Smith takes us inside the film room and surveys all the action from the field. Then, Louis Riddick returns to preview Monday Night Football's matchup from Baltimore.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon made first impressions at The Washington Post that went on to influence two decades of television, and counting. In the early years of PTI they created a world within the show. That included "Stat Boy" Tony Reali to correct them, a cast of singular journalists who joined them on set, and legendary pranks that were so convincing they rocked the sports world.
Former National Women's Soccer League players Sinead Farrelly and Mana Shim went public last week with accusations against coach Paul Riley of sexual coercion and harassment, in an investigative report from The Athletic. Teams cancelled games, the league commissioner stepped down, and players re-took the field with demands for reform. Reporter Caitlin Murray has covered women's pro soccer since the NWSL started in 2012. She describes the history and impact of this reckoning across the league, and where it may go from here.
When the Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox this afternoon in Game 1 of the ALDS, they will remain, to many, as one thing: the most hated team in baseball. It's a stigma the Astros have carried for the past two seasons, ever since the cheating scandal from their 2017 World Series run came to light. But at the same time, the Astros have had a spectacular run of success. They've won their division title in four of the last five seasons, and have made the ALCS the past four seasons. This year, they finished with the second best record in the American League. The team's success has made Astros players defiant in the face of the public backlash. It's also made them intent on winning another World Series, hoping to rewrite their legacy as something more than just "the team that cheated." Alden Gonzalez spent time with the Astros, and shares his reporting on their search for vindication in the eyes of the baseball world.
The Brooklyn Nets held their first practice at home in New York Tuesday and there was one notable absence: Kyrie Irving. The seven-time All-Star had been with the team last week as they held training camp in San Diego. But in New York City, where proof of Covid-19 vaccination is required for indoor activities, Kyrie has been absent. It's a situation that could potentially force Irving to miss every Nets home game, and cost him millions of dollars in the process. The dilemma speaks to the challenges the NBA is facing as it tries to adhere to a patchwork of regulations across the country, while also respecting the small number of players wary of the vaccine. ESPN's Brian Windhorst lays out how Kyrie's standoff got to this point, why the Warriors' Andrew Wiggins relented and ultimately got vaccinated, and explains the dilemma faced by the NBA, as it attempts to persuade vaccine hesitant players to get the shot.
MLB playoffs begin tonight with the Yankees visiting the Red Sox in the AL Wild Card game. Jeff Passan returns to tell us what we should be keeping an eye on at Fenway, and what the Dodgers vs. Cardinals matchup could bring on Wednesday. Then, Jeremy Schaap shares his story of attending a crucial Yankees vs. Red Sox game over 40 years ago...when Bucky bleeping Dent hit the home run which gave the Yankees the lead that they never relinquished.
Back in Foxborough to play his old team and his old coach, Tom Brady became the NFL's all-time leading passer as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers eeked out a win after a missed field goal by the Patriots. Kyler Murray and the Cardinals established themselves with a 37-20 thrashing of the Rams in LA, while the Cowboys' hot start continued with a win over the previously undefeated Panthers ... AND the Jets got their first win of the season! Alex Smith takes us inside the huddle and breaks down what we saw in Week 4.
You know the show PTI, you love the show PTI. But how did it all start? Celebrating 20 years of Pardon the Interruption, co-hosts Tony Kornheiser, Michael Wilbon and a cast of media luminaries share the untold tale of this duo's meeting at The Washington Post. Hear how the dynamic in the legendary newsroom unexpectedly set them up for success at ESPN. Kornheiser and Wilbon reflect on their apprehensive beginnings in television, and how they were convinced to make the iconic sports studio show that changed their lives forever.
In the first three weeks of the NFL season, the 2021 rookie quarterback class has...struggled. Bears QB Justin Fields was sacked nine times on Sunday, Jaguars' playcaller Trevor Lawrence has been turning over the ball under pressure, and Zach Wilson hasn't been set up to succeed by the Jets. Bill Barnwell assesses what's gone wrong for the rookie QBs so far, and whether we'll see improvement. Then: Pablo asks for your help! It's October, so in the spirit of the season, we're asking you to share your sports superstitions with us...and you might just hear them on the show. Leave us a message at 424-438-0717, and tell us about your weird and wacky sports superstitions.
Baseball is supposed to be romantic, right? America's pastime is predicated on tradition, hard work, and luck in getting to the show of MLB. But making it to the big leagues has become harder than ever. Minor leaguers today face pay that puts them below the poverty line, grueling schedules, and little support for the mental health and other problems that can arise from that. Joon Lee brings us a deep dive into the world of the minor leagues.
It might be the most hyped regular season game in NFL history, as Tom Brady returns to New England on Sunday night to face his old mentor, Bill Belichick. For 20 years, the relationship between Brady and Belichick, along with owner Robert Kraft, was the foundation of the Patriots dynasty. And no one has covered Patriots dynasty, and divorce, like Seth Wickersham, whose new book "It's Better To Be Feared" is the culmination of two decades of provocative reporting on that singular football partnership. Wickersham joins the show to share new details about the greatest dynasty the NFL has ever seen, and why, despite winning six Super Bowls together, all of it had to end.
With less than a week remaining in baseball's regular season, chaos is upon us. The once-dead Yankees have surged atop the AL Wild Card hunt, where five teams are chasing two playoff spots. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have won 16 straight to all but secure their spot in the postseason, where they'll face whichever of the Giants and Dodgers don't win the NL West. Jeff Passan stops by to break it all down. Then, Pablo shares a preview of the upcoming "Pardon the Interruption" 20th anniversary documentary and podcast series.
In the end, 37 seconds was too much time. That's all it took for Aaron Rodgers to orchestrate a thrilling last minute drive to set up the Packers' game winning field goal over the 49ers. And that wasn't the only last second drama across the NFL's Week 3. Baltimore's Justin Tucker nailed a 66-yard game winning field goal, the longest in league history to beat the Lions in Detroit. Elsewhere, Matthew Stafford and the Rams took down Tom Brady and the Bucs, and Justin Herbert and the Chargers upset Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Former NFL QB Alex Smith takes us inside the huddle and brings us his insights on Sunday's football action. Then, Louis Riddick previews Monday Night Football's NFC East showdown between the Eagles and Cowboys.
Fall is finally here, and your autumnal Saturday agenda might be packed with trips to pumpkin patches and apple picking...or.... it could be spent watching wall-to-wall college football. We know what gentleman and SEC scholar Spencer Hall will be doing. Today, Spencer joins the show to dissect last week's Florida-Alabama heartbreaker, and whether the Crimson Tide are (ever) vulnerable. Then, we take a spin around the Big 10, and Spencer unveils some of his favorite name, image, and likeness deals, from scented candles to Arby's (yes, really).
The WNBA playoffs tip off tonight, with a pair of win-or-go-home games. The New York Liberty and Sabrina Ionescu, who squeaked into the playoffs as the eighth seed, are looking to shock the world by knocking off Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury. The Dallas Wings and Chicago Sky also have a first round date, which if they advance...could see them face last year's champs, the Seattle Storm, in the second round. But with Breanna Stewart, the MVP from the 2020 finals nursing an ankle injury, the Storm are no longer favorites to repeat. Instead, the Las Vegas Aces and the Connecticut Sun have claimed the top seeds and are guaranteed semifinal berths. LaChina Robinson brings us her insights on the playoff field, and shares where she hopes the league will go in its next 25 years.
Cats are making cameos all over sports right now, from a stray at Yankee Stadium to a dangling feline in Miami. But ESPN's Liz Merrill has the original wild and twisting tale of the St. Louis Cardinals' Rally Cat. When the kitten crawled onto the field during the bottom of the sixth in a 2017 game against the Kansas Cit Royals, Yadier Molina proceeded to hit a go-ahead grand slam on the very next pitch. Hear the story of the all-out search that followed for the Rally Cat, and the heated fight over where it should live.
Any runner would say the best advice in a race is to look forward. But what if you had to keep looking over your shoulder? Olympic runner Emily Infeld's career as an elite athlete slowed down when a stalker invaded her life. ESPN reporter Paula Lavigne shares her investigation of the three years Infeld has lived in fear and fought for justice and peace, while facing many systemic failures along the way.
This second Sunday of the NFL season was full of absolutely great plays, and gave us a lot of telling looks at quarterbacks, including backups stepping in due to injury. Baltimore got a dazzling win over the Chiefs, as Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson met up for the fourth time since Jackson entered the league on Sunday Night Football. We picked the best moments and give you tailored insights from NFL veteran QB Alex Smith.
When arguably the world's most popular athlete, Cristiano Ronaldo, took the pitch this past weekend for arguably the world's most popular soccer club, Manchester United, two truly global sports brands were reunited on the legendary pitch at Old Trafford. The same iconic stadium, that months earlier, was literally stormed by Man United supporters who were fighting against the globalization of the sport they love. Wright Thompson, who was there for Ronaldo's return to the team he played for more than a decade ago, takes us inside the fight for the soul of Manchester United, and explains why it's a battle that's about much more than just a soccer club.
The Raiders' first win in Las Vegas with fans was a homecoming two years in the making. The show paid homage to the Silver and Black's roots in Oakland and Los Angeles, while the game itself was such a frenzy that the Raiders seemed to win twice (?!) in overtime. Paul Gutierrez joins us from Sin City after its first Monday Night Football hangover, and tells us how Jon Gruden's team can build on their success.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is in the midst of a season unlike any his family has ever seen, and that's saying a lot. Vlady just hit more single-season home runs with the Toronto Blue Jays than his all-star father, Canada baseball hero Vlad Sr., ever did. Now Vlad Jr. has the Triple Crown in his sights. Plus he's led his Blue Jays to the cusp of the postseason, as they return to Toronto after Covid exile in Buffalo, New York. Devin Gordon tells us how Vlady went from Canada's golden son to quietly becoming his own legend.
"Once Upon a Time in Queens," the newest film from 30 for 30, chronicles the 1986 New York Mets: a team stacked with perhaps more larger-than-life characters than any other in baseball history. From Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden to Lenny Dykstra and Keith Hernandez, it was a team that worked hard and played harder - and a team that mirrored the dangerous and exciting aura of New York in the 1980's. Director Nick Davis takes us behind-the-scenes of the film, and shares how the '86 Mets became the definitive New York baseball team of the era.
NFL players turned analysts Alex Smith, Louis Riddick, and Domonique Foxworth join Pablo to break down the first games of the season. First, WFT former QB Alex Smith shares what it's like weighing in on games instead of playing them, and highliights from early in the day. Then, Bears vs. Rams and the afternoon games with Domonique Foxworth. Plus, Monday Night Football's Louis Riddick tells us what to watch for from Vegas as the Raiders take on the Ravens.
Tomorrow, Robert Saleh begins his tenure in possibly the most challenging job in football...head coach of the New York Jets. The former 49ers Defensive Coordinator has already drawn praise from players and analysts alike, who think he may just be the guy who can turn around the long struggling franchise. Saleh's path to the Jets sideline has been as unusual as it is groundbreaking. Jets reporter Rich Cimini brings us the story of how, September 11th, 2001 changed Saleh's life forever, and set him on a course to become the first Muslim head coach in NFL history.
Ben Simmons wants out of Philadelphia, and seems like the 76ers have had enough of him as well. The relationship between the former first overall pick and Philly has bent to a likely breaking point since the team exited last season's NBA playoffs. Simmons' disappointing performance drew sharp criticism from star teammate Joel Embiid and head coach Doc Rivers. Brian Windhorst explains what happens now that Simmons and the Sixers have gone sour, possible landing spots for him, and what the saga shows about power in the NBA.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones displayed rare humility when he compared his team's opening night matchup against the defending Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers as "David vs. Goliath." And while after a quarter century of mediocrity, the Cowboys may indeed be David on the field, off the field, they still remain the NFL's Goliath. They are worth almost $7 billion according to Sportico, which puts them atop the list of most valuable franchises in sports despite not winning a Super Bowl since 1996. Tim Cowlishaw has covered the Cowboys since 1989, so he explains why they continue to be America's Team...and if a return to glory is at hand. Then, Leylah Fernandez makes history at the US Open.
The NFL is back after surviving a gauntlet of a 2020 season. As Tom Brady aims to defend his title in Tampa, Bill Belichick seems to have found his heir apparent in QB Mac Jones, at the expense of Cam Newton. Several more rookie quarterbacks prepare to take the field in Week 1, while others wait. And with the Delta variant running rampant, teams are doing all they can to control the chaos. Mina Kimes is about to head into ESPN's NFL war room, so before she goes we get her league season preview.
American politicians cannot stop talking about young transgender athletes. Eight states now have laws or policies on the books restricting transgender athletes' access to youth sports, with seven states enacting them in 2021 alone. And nearly three dozen states have introduced similar bills. As a new school year begins and youth sports regain a foothold after pandemic precautions, these proposals have transgender kids stuck in the middle of the ongoing and often ugly battle over science and assumption, sex and gender identity, politics and policy. Katie Barnes covers transgender issues for ESPN and joins the show to explain the contours of the debate.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Susan Francia's mother, Dr. Kate Karikó, has seen her lifelong work come to fruition in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Karikó's dedication to her research amidst adversity inspired her daughter, who became an elite rower and Olympian. In a re-air of one our favorite episodes, ESPN's Julie Foudy takes us through the story of Dr. Karikó's perseverance, her mRNA breakthroughs behind the vaccine, and the mother-daughter relationship at the center of the E:60 feature "What We're Made Of."
Fernando Tatis Jr.'s massive 14-year, 340 million dollar deal with the Padres shattered MLB records. But it's actually not the most important signing of the Padres this offseason. That belongs to Matt LaChappa, who signed with the team again in February, just as he has every year for more than a quarter-century. It's a baseball story unlike any other: LaChappa is the longest tenured player in Padres history, despite never playing in a major league game. In 1996, LaChappa was a pitcher with San Diego's minor league affiliate, when he suffered a heart attack while warming up in the bullpen. LaChappa survived, was left permanently disabled and in need of round-the-clock and costly medical care. Ever since, every offseason, the Padres have honored their commitment to Matt and his family by signing him a basic minor league contract, allowing Matt to remain on the team's health insurance. In a sport where money and loyalty between players and clubs are constantly put to the test, Chris Connelly joins the show to tell a very different kind of baseball story, in a re-spin of one of our favorite episodes.
10 years ago, the Vancouver Canucks lost Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins, in Vancouver. Canucks fans didn't exactly hide their frustrations, as a riot engulfed the city. Now, a decade later, arguably the most enduring image of that night was a photo of a couple, kissing on the ground, surrounded by police in riot gear. In a re-spin of one of our favorite episodes, Greg Wyshynski caught up with the couple, and the photographer, and joins the show to share how that iconic image endures to this day.
It's a heist story straight out of Hollywood, about a thief who would make Danny Ocean proud. Who is this criminal mastermind, who stole the New York Giants' Super Bowl rings? Meet Sean Murphy: a die-hard Patriots fan, owner of a moving company, and a self-described master thief. He, like many Pats fans, watched in agony as the New York Giants pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history in 2008. A few months later, Murphy was researching local jewelers for a potential target when he came across E.A. Dion, a family-owned business...who also happened to be making the Giants' Super Bowl rings. From there, a super-sized heist was put into motion. ESPN correspondent Sam Borden joins us in a re-spin of one of our favorite episodes, to take a look back at how Murphy pulled off the steal...and how he got caught.
When the winningest team in high school football hired the most controversial coach in high school football, heads turned all over the state of Georgia. What ensued was a 15-month saga of small-town, big time football that ended up dividing an entire town. In a re-air of one of our favorite episodes, Mark Schlabach brings us a story of funny money, a secret recording, and the unraveling of a powerhouse high school football program in Valdosta, Georgia.
Twenty years ago, when Earnhardt died in an accident on the final lap of Daytona in 2001, the tragedy prompted a change in NASCAR that many thought was long overdue. The sport took up safety standards and equipment designed to prevent the type of injury that killed Earnhardt. There may not be a bigger example of how far the sport has come than 2020's Daytona 500, when Ryan Newman's car flipped and landed upside down in a fiery collision during the final lap. Many first believed that Newman had died, but he walked out of the hospital two days later, largely due to the additional safety measures put in place in the wake of Earnhardt's death. ESPN's Ryan McGee shares how Earnhardt's death changed NASCAR forever, also told in the ESPN film "Intimidator."
As the college football season starts, the PAC-12, ACC, and Big Ten announced a new alliance. The purpose of the teamup is unclear...but no doubt is influenced by power and money, and the looming specter of the Southeastern Conference in the college football sphere. ESPN's Paul Finebaum walks us through the implications of the changes off the field, and who might dominate on the field. Then, former NBA champion J.R. Smith is now a member of the North Carolina A&T State golf team, so current student East L. Dockery shares reporting on Smith's next act.
In the world of trading cards, one company's loomed large: Topps. But this week a company known for sports apparel, Fanatics, outbid Topps for the right to make cards with Major League Baseball. It also made deals with the NBA and NFL, and this major shakeup in sports memorabilia is worth billions of dollars. Dan Hajducky covers collectibles for ESPN. He shares his reporting on the Fanatics coup, plus the Honus Wagner card that sold for $6.6 million.
When the Los Angeles Rams traded for Matthew Stafford this offseason, they delivered one of the NFL's biggest arms to one of its biggest brains: head coach Sean McVay. Over a dozen years in Detroit, Stafford put up big individual numbers, but the Lions' lackluster talent meant that his ability was often squandered on teams that had no real chance at contending for a Super Bowl. That is no longer the case, as Stafford, McVay, and the rest of the Rams franchise know that nothing less than the Lombardi Trophy will be considered a success: it's Super Bowl or bust in LA. Today, Seth Wickersham takes us behind the scenes of how the Stafford trade went down, what it all says about quarterbacks in the modern era, and how Cabo, apparently, is the nexus of power in the NFL. Then, Pablo shares his ode to the creepiest college mascot in America.
On November 7th, 2006, Bryan Pata, a defensive lineman for the University of Miami Hurricanes, was shot and killed when he returned home after football practice. He was just 22 years old. For nearly 15 years, no one was arrested in connection with Pata's killing. That changed last week, with the stunning arrest of Pata's former Miami teammate, Rashaun Jones. Today, we revisit our conversation from November with investigative reporter Paula Lavigne, who was part of ESPN's multi-year probe into Pata's killing that pointed out missteps in the long stalled police inquiry. Then, we discuss what led to the stunning arrest last week...and where the case might go from here.
Texans' quarterback Deshaun Watson is the subject of several investigations and 22 civil lawsuits. Allegations from many women range from inappropriate conduct to sexual assault. The FBI is also looking into the case, and the NFL's own investigation on Watson has come under scrutiny. ESPN's Sarah Barshop brings us the latest on the plaintiffs and the defense, plus how Watson's presence is shaping the Texans' preseason. Then, Pablo shares how runner Elaine Thompson-Herah almost became the fastest woman in the world...and beat Sha'Carri Richardson.
There are few, if any, boxers in history with the resume of Manny Pacquiao. Inside the ring, he has won twelve major titles across EIGHT different weight classes. Outside the ring, he has been elected first, to the House of Representatives, and later, to the Senate back home in the Philippines. And now, Pacquiao appears to be gearing up to run for president of the Philippines. It's a move that would put him in direct conflict with the current president Rodrigo Duterte, a leader whose autocratic tendencies suggest he is not afraid to fight dirty...and have left some in Pacquiao's camp concerned for Manny's safety, as well as their own. With Pacquiao taking the ring tomorrow night, perhaps the final time in his storied career, Tim Keown joins the show to discuss how Pacquaio's latest fight, the fight for the highest office in the Philippines, will be his most challenging yet.
The Little League World Series returns to action in Williamsport, PA today. While it won't be the truly global event it usually is, kids will still play their hearts out in the games. ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian will be there, and he tells guest host Emily Kaplan what makes this event so magical, and what to watch for as the games begin. Then, a look at the female athletes affected by the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan.
It's rare when a team that's coming off a 1-15 season is considered intriguing, but here we are with the Jacksonville Jaguars. They retooled their franchise at the hands of legendary college head coach Urban Meyer, and there may or may not be a battle for the starting quarterback spot between number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence and Gardner Minshew (Hint: there's not.) Then, there's the Tim Tebow of it all, who signed as a tight end in the offseason, but was cut after the first preseason game. ESPN's Jeff Darlington brings his view on how the Jags performed last week, and shares what fans should expect from them this season with guest host Emily Kaplan. Then, the U.S. women's national hockey team reached a one-year deal with USA Hockey, but the fight for equal treatment in women's sports is still ongoing.
The NFL is back! Well, the preseason if that's your thing. And it is indeed Louis Riddick's thing! The ESPN analyst, former NFL player and pro scout tells us all about the preseason debut of Justin Fields with the Chicago Bears. Fields was the fourth quarterback selected in 2021, but looked more than NFL ready as he completed 14/20 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for another touchdown and 33 yards. He even said the game felt "slow." So just how ready is Justin Fields to start as QB of the Chicago Bears? Then, The Honus Wagner reclaims its throne as the king of all sports cards.
In Los Angeles this week, Trevor Bauer and a woman who has accused him of assault are expected to testify in court. The 27-year-old woman, whose name ESPN is not revealing, says Bauer assaulted her over the course of two sexual encounters in April and May. A judge will decide whether to make permanent the temporary restraining order the woman was granted against Bauer in June. Bauer's future in MLB is unclear, as the pitcher remains on administrative leave from the Dodgers. ESPN's Alden Gonzalez has been following the case, and shares his reporting, done in partnership with ESPN's Tisha Thompson.
August is ESPN's Matthew Berry's favorite time of year: fantasy draft season. After participating in hundreds of thousands of drafts over his long fantasy career, Berry has everyone from Jay-Z to the Avengers cast asking him who they should draft. To better your chances this upcoming fantasy football season, Berry shares his "7 Habits of Highly Effective Drafters," so you too can dominate your peers. Then, following Major League Baseball's "Field of Dreams" game last night, ESPN Daily's own Ryan Nantell shares a story of his time on the storied diamond from the 1989 film...that turned into something closer to a nightmare.
It's not often you hear about a 7-time Super Bowl champion re-inventing himself, but that's exactly what Tom Brady is doing...at 44 years old. We've seen Brady show more personality over the past year in Tampa Bay than he ever did in 20 seasons in New England. From his tipsy Super Bowl boat parade back in February, to joking about his age with President Biden, to his sudden embrace of memes on social media...Brady is finally showing a side of himself that is funnier, more candid...and maybe even, human. Brady's personal development also coincides with the evolution of the Buccaneers' already stout defense, which he may need now more than ever following his knee surgery in the offseason. ESPN reporter Jenna Laine joins us to talk all things Tom Brady, and if we should expect to see him play in Saturday's preseason opener. Then, the soon-to-be-new governor of New York may have a personal interest in keeping the Bills in her hometown of Buffalo.
Russell Westbrook is making his return to L.A. to join what might be the most star-studded Lakers roster ever. While there are questions on whether it'll work as planned, a SoCal homecoming has apparently been Russ' goal. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne spills all the secrets surrounding roster shake-ups since 2019 for both teams in La La Land, and how Westbrook could have ended up in a Clippers jersey.
Major League Baseball's trade deadline left the rich even richer...well, at least the Dodgers. L.A. landed three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, and his former Nationals teammate Trea Turner. Jeff Passan explains how and why L.A. made this deal, with the small market thinking behind their strategy. Plus, the goods on other big deadline deals. Then, yet another athlete comment shows racism persists against the Asian American Pacific Islander community.
In an emotional press conference, Lionel Messi said his final goodbye to Barcelona. It's been his team for more than 20 years, since he was 13 years old. While Messi and Barcelona had agreed on a five-year extension, the deal fell through because of rules from Spain's league, LaLiga. ESPN's Gab Marcotti explains how and why Barcelona allowed this to happen, and the impact of Messi's exit on the rest of the sport. Then, how the Texas Rangers' Brock Holt threw a historically slow strike.
The Tokyo Olympics are drawing to a close, and it's with perhaps less enthusiasm for the event than any Games in recent memory. Viewership is down sharply from the 2016 Games in Rio, and while much of that is no doubt due to the timezone difference as well as the lack of spectators due to the pandemic, there is still a sense among many that the Olympic's future is uncertain. Fewer and fewer cities are actively bidding to host the Olympics, and corruption scandals at the IOC as well as doping controversies have left much of the public cynical about the true purpose of the Games. Jeremy Schaap, who has covered eight Olympics on the ground, examines where the Olympic movement is headed...and reflects on some of his favorite extinct Olympic events from history. Then, former rhythmic gymnastics Junior Olympic gold medalist Katie Nolan shares her memories from the sport she loves.
College sports powerhouses the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners have hightailed it for the almighty Southeastern Conference, or SEC, leaving the Big 12 behind. It's one of the biggest college football shakeups we've seen, and shows the enormous power and influence of the SEC. College football gentleman and scholar Spencer Hall takes us inside this drama to tell us why it matters.
As coronavirus cases surge across the country, the NFL's training camps are in full swing. But the most important battle being waged is between the teams and a vocal minority of players who don't want to get vaccinated. This offseason, the NFL has implemented new policies to encourage players to get the vaccine. For instance, if an unvaccinated player causes an outbreak that forces a game to be canceled, that player's team must forfeit. And every player on both teams will lose out on their game check. In addition, unvaccinated players are mandated to spend 5 days in quarantine if they come in contact with an infected individual. So coaches around the league are increasingly taking the view that the vaccine isn't just crucial to private and public health...it's critical to winning football games. But that doesn't mean every player agrees...and the friction is starting to boil over publicly. Kevin Seifert explains the pushback, and how the NFL is handling its vaccination efforts going forward. Then, Sarah Spain discusses her Olympic heptathlon dreams.
Skateboarding's debut at the Olympics felt like a success in the viral waves it made. After the street competition, this week we'll see the men's and women's park events. For skaters across the globe, Olympic skateboarding prompts some existential questions. Gary Rogers, X Games commentator and host of Skateline for Thrasher Magazine, walks us through the Olympic competitors and explains why a gold medal will never be the pinnacle of a skater's career.
As the Olympics move into their second week, we check in with our Tokyo correspondent Brian Windhorst. What will he remember most so far, and what's ahead? Plus more on USA Men's Basketball's path to Olympic gold (or not). Then a look at the Lakers' earth-shattering trade for Russell Westbrook and other big moves that are expected as free agency begins in the NBA.
The motto of the Olympics is Citius, Altius, Fortius: Faster, Higher, Stronger. It's what we've come to expect from every athlete who competes in the games. Each Olympics, we want to see records shattered for what humans can physically achieve. But how much faster, higher, and stronger can humans get? David Epstein helps us explore the peak of human athletic performance, or if the potential is actually limitless. Then Pablo reflects on the virtual watch parties for Olympians that have gone viral.
It's being called one of the most loaded NBA draft classes in recent memory. The projected top three picks: Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, and Evan Mobley are all talented to enough to be selected #1 overall. ESPN's Mike Schmitz is here to run down all the names and scenarios you need to know for tonight's NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Are the Pistons a lock to take Cade Cunningham? Is Jalen Suggs the new Jrue Holiday? Who is Bones Hyland, and why should you be obsessed with him? And is Turkish big man Alperen Sengun the next Nikola Jokic? Then, Pablo shares his thoughts on the US women's 3-on-3 basketball team's gold medal - and the sport's inception.
The Tokyo Games has already seen several upsets, but none more surprising than Simone Biles' stumble on the vault and then her withdrawal from the team gymnastics final. Despite initial speculation of an injury, Biles said she stepped away out of concern for her mental health and whether her performance might hurt the team's chances. ESPN's Alyssa Roenigk explains the lead up and the day of Biles' withdrawal, what it means for the rest of the gymnastics competition at the Olympics, and beyond. Then Pablo shares what Hidilyn Diaz becoming the first Olympic gold medalist for the Philippines means to him
Aaron Rodgers is inching toward a new deal with his Green Bay Packers right when NFL players report to training camps. With the season just around the corner, other situations also remain in question - like Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans. Investigations of sexual assault allegations against Watson are ongoing. ESPN's Bill Barnwell gets us up to speed, and clears the air surrounding lingering COVID-19 vaccine questions. Then, Ashley Brewer gives us an update on Katie Ledecky's quest to become the most decorated female Olympian of all time.
At the Tokyo Games, the U.S. women's gymnastics team has found itself in an unfamiliar position: second place after the first qualifying event. Poised to help bring the team back to the top is 18-year-old phenom Sunisa Lee, second in the world to Simone Biles. Lee has balanced the weight of family tragedy - and the pride of being the first Olympian of Hmong ethnicity - all the way to Japan. ESPN's Alyssa Roenigk charts Sunisa's path to gold so far, and the uneven, high-stakes road ahead. Then, Brian Windhorst updates us on men's basketball, after Team USA's loss to France, and why we might see more L's ahead.
You'll find several "Jalens" in the NFL draft this week, the NBA draft this summer, and any number of games you turn on...from Jalen Suggs to Jalen Green to Jalen Mayfield. For years our colleague, friend and basketball veteran Jalen Rose has maintained that today's Jalens are named for him (whether they know it or not). We honor Jalen Rose's mother, the recently passed Jeanne Rose, exploring the history and mystery of his name in sports and beyond. With data, experts, and extensive interviews, the Jalen paradox is solved.
The Tokyo Olympics begin today, and ESPN's Brian Windhorst is on the ground set to cover Team USA Basketball in its first Olympic matchup this weekend. After surprising exhibition losses and last-minute roster changes due to COVID-19, Windhorst shares how the men's team will fare in Tokyo. Hear how the game differs on the world stage, which teams pose the biggest threat, and why the era of "Dream Team" dominance may be coming to an end.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are here, one year late, and much to the dismay of many in Japan. The Tokyo Games will be unlike any other in Olympic history. Fans will not be allowed in any of the arenas. Athletes, officials and media are required to remain in the Olympic "bubble" and stay separated from the general public. And the Olympic Village, which typically serves as a giant party for the athletes, promises to be much more subdued. All of it, of course, is to hopefully keep the coronavirus from spiking, and possibly forcing the Games to be halted. Pablo caught up with ESPN producer, Tony Florkowski, who is getting ready to work his 14th Olympic Games, and is currently quarantined in his hotel room. Then, Jason Coskrey of the Japan Times helps us understand how the people of Japan are reacting to these Olympics set to begin under a state of emergency.
The Bucks are NBA Champions! Pablo reacts to the win in Milwaukee and why a title takes skill, not luck. Then, Layshia Clarendon is a WNBA all-star now with the Minnesota Lynx, parent to an infant, activist off the court, and they're the first openly nonbinary and transgender player in the league. ESPN's Katie Barnes shares their story, from how faith impacted Clarendon's upbringing to the complex road to self-discovery.
Tonight the Milwaukee Bucks have a chance to close out the NBA Finals on their home floor and secure their first championship in 50 years. Standing in their way is future Hall of Famer Chris Paul and his squad of young guns on the Suns, desperate to send the series back to Phoenix for a seventh game. ESPN's Malika Andrews has been on the sidelines throughout the NBA playoffs, and previews this crucial matchup. Then, comedian Wyatt Cenac gives his take on why Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton are not Batman and Robin, and wouldn't want to be.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has 22 helmets in his Zoom background...and that just makes sense. The veteran quarterback has been in the NFL since 2005, as both a star and an also-ran in a career that's spanned many teams and cities. And it wasn't a given in college at Harvard that he'd even go pro at all. Pablo Torre has known "Fitzmagic" since those days, and talks lessons on the field and off with the 2021 starting QB for the Washington Football Team, including how he's managed to stay off of social media all this time.
It's been 11 years since NBA veteran Lorenzen Wright was murdered, his body found in a remote field in Memphis. Wright's twin sons, Lamar and Shamar were 10 years old when their father was killed. Now, Shamar and Lamar are finally ready to share their perspective on their father, his murder, and the accusations against their mother, Sherra. Sherra Wright pleaded guilty to facilitating the murder of her husband in 2019, but now, in a rare interview from prison, she proclaims her innocence. Through the loss of their father, the arrest of their mother, Lamar and Shamar Wright have somehow pushed on, and are now playing college basketball together. Our own Lisa Salters recounts this story of loss and basketball, which accompanies an E:60 special A Murder in Memphis available on demand now on the ESPN app.
The New York Yankees have become a disappointment. Their heartbreaking loss to the Houston Astros right before the All-Star break is a prime example of the struggles they've been through this year, and their season doesn't get any easier from here. In their path to redemption lie their storied rivals, the Boston Red Sox, who sit atop the American League East, enjoying an 8-game lead over their rivals. Jeff Passan tells us how the Bronx Bombers have been defused, and whether or not there's still hope for them this season. Then, how Jusuf Nurkic is trying to buy vaccines for all of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Phoenix Suns Center Deandre Ayton has been arguably the most important big man in the NBA this postseason. ESPN Senior NBA Writer Zach Lowe joins the show to tell us how Ayton has made the journey from #1 pick, to borderline bust, to the key of the Suns defense. On the other side is two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has battled back from a scary knee injury to post back-to-back 40-point games. Lowe breaks down how this matchup of two big men may just hold the key to the rest of the series.
Meet two of the best stuntwomen in Hollywood: Heidi and Renae Moneymaker. You've seen them in Avengers: Endgame, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and now, Black Widow, to name a few. The Moneymaker sisters take us through the bumps and bruises that come from being real life superheroes as stuntwomen. Heidi has helped craft the character of Black Widow with Scarlett Johnasson, as her stunt double for the last decade. And Renae was Brie Larson's stunt double in Captain Marvel, among others. The Moneymaker sisters have faced the greatest villains on-screen, and tell us how two skilled gymnasts went from formal floor routines to getting hit by cars, dodging explosions and diving off cliffs.
The Angels' Shohei Ohtani has been slugging homers to corners of ballparks few humans have ever reached, making this year's MLB Home Run Derby a must-see. He leads the league in home runs AND he's piling up strikeouts on the mound. That two-way dominance has him set to light up the All-Star Game, too. Alden Gonzalez, our guide to the Ohtani experiment, says the Babe Ruth comparison doesn't even apply to what Shohei has been doing this season. Hear how Ohtani will dazzle next. Then, Sam Borden joins us from London as Italy takes the Euro 2020 trophy over England, before a packed Wembley Stadium.
Sports franchise owners are some of the wealthiest Americans. Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer's net worth is estimated at more than $100 billion. He's just one of the billionaires in ProPublica's investigation on how teams are utilized to lessen an owners' tax liability. Investigative reporter Robert Faturechi of ProPublica walks us through how the tax code allows owners to frequently end up paying lower tax rates than not only the players for whom they write their checks, but sometimes the workers at their arenas as well. Then Greg Wyshynski tells us how back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions the Tampa Bay Lightning are celebrating fresh off the ice, literally, with a limited-edition beer
It's finally here! One of ESPN's most prestigious events, the Scripps National Spelling Bee, names a champion tonight. Families from across the country cheer on their finalist spellers, and it's all broadcast live on ESPN2 at 8PM Eastern. Host Kevin Negandhi shares how the bee works, and why it means so much to the Indian-American community. Hear about the fierce field of competitors, and see how Kevin and Pablo do with a word or two.
It may have been his NBA Finals debut, but Chris Paul looked like he'd been preparing for his whole life. Now in his 16th season, the 36 year old Paul took control of Game 1 of the NBA Finals leading Phoenix to a 118-105 victory over Milwaukee. It was a vintage CP3 performance, complete with surgical pick-and-rolls, attacking drives to the rim, and opportunistic outside jumpers. Kevin Arnovitz has covered Paul for years, and explains why he is finding success at this stage of his career, after so many seasons of heartbreak. He also explains what the Bucks need to do to slow down the Suns, and why the series isn't over just yet. Then, we check in with Sam Borden in London, who brings us a soccer (and culinary) update from the 2020 Euros semifinals.
You know and love the Marvin Gaye song "What's Going On," which turned 50 this year. But do you know the background voices on the hit song belong to two Detroit Lions? The Motown superstar developed a deep friendship with NFL players Mel Farr and Lem Barney, and it led to music history. Plus the story gets even better, as Farr and Barney helped Marvin Gaye take his dream of playing pro football to the next level. Justin Tinsley joins the show to tell the amazing story of football's role in Marvin Gaye's turbulent life.
50 years ago, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier met in their first iconic boxing match, known as "The Fight of the Century." It was 1971, with the civil rights movement in full swing and the nation divided over the war in Vietnam. Jeremy Schaap, boxing historian and host of E60 and Outside the Lines, shares how political and cultural views were projected onto Ali and Frazier, with their different personalities, history and fighting styles. The night itself was a grand celebrity spectacle (Frank Sinatra took a gig as a photographer, just to get in the building.) And while Frazier won unanimously, the fight has a more complex and nuanced legacy. Half a century later, it remains one of the sports' biggest moments.
July 1, 2021 marks a new era in college sports. It's a day which some believed would never come, because student-athletes are now free to make money off of their name, image, and likeness. Many stars at the collegiate level have already begun to partake in their newfound compensatory freedom, but what will these game changing new laws mean for the collegiate world as a whole? ESPN's Dan Murphy joins Sarah Spain to answer all of our questions on how schools, players, and fans are being affected by these uncharted waters. Then, Sarah shares her insights on the struggles that Olympic mothers face, as many remain unsure if they are allowed to bring their newborns to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Major League Baseball's crackdown is underway on pitchers using foreign substances for better grip. ESPN MLB Insider Jeff Passan explains why we're seeing players being undressed by umpires as they come off the field (in one case literally). Questions remain about how smart a move this was to make in the middle of the season, and if it is having the effect that MLB wants. Then, Sarah reflects on Bobby Bonilla Day, and a Yankees bat girl who finally saw her dream came true, 60 years after writing a letter to the team.
P.K. Subban, ESPN's newest NHL playoff analyst and three-time NHL All-Star, joins Sarah Spain to dive deep into the Stanley Cup Final. Subban, who played sevens seasons for the Canadiens, shares what it means for most storied franchise in the NHL to be back playing for the Cup after last winning it nearly 30 years ago. Standing in their way are the reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are looking to be the first team to repeat since the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2017. Subban explains what the Canadiens need to do to complete their Cinderella run, and how the Lightning can make even more history en route to their third championship. He also tells the story of his childhood friend and teammate Steven Stamkos...and how they used to dominate on the Pee-Wee hockey circuit. Then, Sarah shares her thoughts on Dak Prescott opening up about the importance of mental health.
Simone Biles has been the face of USA Gymnastics ever since she began competing on the international stage. The most decorated gymnast of all time has sealed her position on the U.S. Olympic roster for the second straight games, and will travel to Tokyo with a scary good team. ESPN's Alyssa Roenigk shares what she saw at the Olympic trials, and breaks down the moves that make Biles legendary.
The NBA Conference Finals are heating up - especially for Khris Middleton, whose surge helped the Bucks come back to rout the Hawks 113-102, and they lead the series 2-1. The Hawks led for almost the entire game thanks to Trae Young, who got injured during the game but returned. And in the west, the Phoenix Suns are one win away from their first NBA Finals appearance since 1993. Propelled by veteran Chris Paul and young star Devin Booker, the Suns held a comfortable lead in Saturday's Game 4, until the final minutes when the Clippers closed the gap and nearly held the lead. Then, a bizarre final minute...but the Suns held on to take a 3-1 lead. Sarah Spain and Brian Windhorst unpack the Conference Finals action.
It's a dream year in the making. High jumper Priscilla Frederick-Loomis will do anything to support her training for the 2020 Olympics, even clean strangers' houses. But as the postponed Tokyo Games approach, she's still suffering mysterious health problems months after contracting COVID-19. In collaboration with ESPN, we follow Frederick-Loomis' progress and ask: What will it take to safely pull off the Olympics? For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard Want more? Follow Priscilla Frederick Loomis and her journey to the 2021 Olympics on Instagram @priscilla_frederick. And hear more from Pablo Torre at ESPN Daily, ESPN's flagship podcast. Leroy Sims recently appeared to talk about leading the vaccine rollout for the NBA. For more of ESPN's reporting on the Olympics, meet the USA Rugby player who works as a pediatric nurse. And learn how Japanese athletes are getting the vaccine before the general public. The Olympics has had a turbulent history. Read our story about it and explore if a curse could explain why the Olympics gets disrupted so often. If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/explore to subscribe today.
Ahead of his book, "(RE)BORN IN THE USA: An Englishman's Love Letter to His Chosen Home" Roger Bennett, of Men in Blazers fame, shares how his love for American sports and culture as a kid in Liverpool led him in search of his own American dream. From meeting his childhood idol William "The Refrigerator" Perry, to the emotion of being sworn in as a US Citizen, Bennett's story truly captures the wonder and complexity of America . It's also the story of the magic of sports and its ability to bridge cultures. And of course, Bennett offers his thoughts on England's chances in the Euro 2020 tournament as it heads into the knockout round.
Every four years, athletes compete for glory at the Olympic Games, and this year's Tokyo Games will feel even greater for two-time gold medalist Susan Francia. Her mother, Dr. Kate Karikó, has seen her lifelong work come to fruition in the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Karikó's dedication to her research amidst adversity inspired her daughter, who became an elite rower and Olympian. ESPN's Julie Foudy takes us through the story of Dr. Karikó's perseverance, her mRNA breakthroughs behind the vaccine, and the mother-daughter relationship at the center of the E:60 upcoming feature "What We're Made Of."
From the playground to the gym to the NBA Conference Finals...the basketball court is ruled not by an iron fist, but by the "hot hand." Shooters demand the ball when they get a hot hand. Teammates feed the player with the hot hand. Coaches draw up plays for the hot hand. But what if there is actually no such thing as the "hot hand?" For decades, that's been the belief of Nobel Prize winning scientists who insist that what looks like a player who can't miss...is really just a statistical fluke. Author Ben Cohen penned a book on the subject, "The Hot Hand," and he joins the show for a scientific heat check now that the conference finals are in full swing. Is the burning sensation is a verifiable reality, or just a puff of smoke? Then, Pablo seeks to turn his park hobby into disc golf pro Paul McBeth's million dollar endorsement deal.
On Monday the Supreme Court unanimously ruled to uphold Alston v. NCAA, saying the NCAA could not bar certain types of payments to college athletes. It's largely seen as having opened the door to a wider challenge to the NCAA's ban on college athletes receiving compensation, writ large. ESPN Analyst Jay Bilas, college athlete and longtime critic of the NCAA's claims around amateurism, breaks down the latest chapter in the saga and what it means (in the way that only he can). Then, Pablo shares thoughts on Carl Nassib, the first active NFL player to publicly come out as gay.
This weekend's NBA playoffs included a pair of Game 7s and the first game of the Western Conference Finals. In the East, the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Brooklyn Nets in overtime, despite a 48-point performance from Nets star Kevin Durant. The Bucks will meet the Hawks, following the thrilling finish to that series where the Hawks soared to victory, thanks to Trae Young's fourth quarter heroics. And in the west, Devin Booker propelled the Chris Paul-less Phoenix Suns to a win in Game 1 over the LA Clippers, who are still without Kawhi Leonard. Brian Windhorst runs down every minute of NBA playoff action.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is perhaps the most overlooked superstar in the NBA. At age 24, he's one of the league's premiere scorers. And his domination has continued this season, through the Phoenix Suns' playoff run - they're in the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 11 years. In a re-air of our episode from February, ESPN analyst Michael Wilbon takes us back to Booker's roots in his "Cover Story," and chronicles the Gen-Z phenom's path from 6th man at Kentucky, to his connection with Kobe Bryant, to his relationship with new teammate Chris Paul.
Formula 1 Racing has been incredibly popular overseas for decades. Its drivers are some of the most well known and highest paid athletes in the world. But the world's most popular motorsport has never had much of a following in the U.S. But thanks in part to the hit Netflix series "F1: Drive to Survive," Formula 1 has now begun to make converts out of Americans, who have been sucked in by the high speed danger, as well as the soap opera drama behind the scenes. Ryan McGee takes the wheel and gives us a crash course on everything we need to know about Formula 1. Then, Marc Spears explains what Juneteenth means to him.
Summary: Australian two-time world champion Tyler Wright was born to surf. She achieved incredible victories in the water, while enduring tremendous loss in her personal life. This combination of fame and chaos nearly broke her. As she was falling in love with her then-girlfriend, Wright also wasn't sure her sport could accept her. It took a crippling illness for Wright to decide she was not only going to keep surfing, but do so while being unapologetically herself. Alyssa Roenigk reports on this incredible journey.
The U.S. Open tees off this week, with all eyes on the simmering feud between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka. Michael Collins, ESPN analyst and host of "America's Caddie" on ESPN+, joins the show from Torrey Pines to discuss the origins of this rivalry, why the bad blood between these two golf stars has continued, and whether or not all the drama is good for the sport. Plus, how Collins went from standup comedy stages to the links.
It's been 10 years since the Vancouver Canucks lost Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins, in Vancouver. Canucks fans didn't exactly hide their frustrations, as a riot engulfed the city. Now, a decade later, arguably the most enduring image of that night was a photo of a couple, kissing on the ground, surrounded by police in riot gear. Greg Wyshynski caught up with the couple, and the photographer, and joins the show to share how that iconic image endures to this day.
Another weekend of NBA playoff action is in the books. On Sunday, tensions flared between the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets, with league MVP Nikola Jokic getting ejected in the third quarter as the Suns swept. The Milwaukee Bucks put together a dominant effort led by Giannis Antetokounmpo to win Game 4 vs. the Nets, putting the series at 2-2 as Brooklyn grapples with Kyrie Irving and James Harden's injuries. Kirk Goldsberry assesses all the on-the-court action and looks ahead to the rest of this week's games. Then, newcomer Nets superfan Mina Kimes reassures the Brooklyn faithful.
Never has "better late than never" meant so much to so many. That's because the 2020 Euros - aka the UEFA European Championship - kicks off today after a year's delay due to the pandemic. It's a tournament that consumes the continent and combines high drama on the pitch with real-world geopolitical stakes off of it. Coming off their World Cup victory in 2018, France are heavy favorites, but can they survive the "Group of Death" with rival Germany and reigning champs Portugal? Sam Borden joins us from Rome for a preview of the 24-team field that will see matches played at 11 sites across Europe. Then, Pablo shares his thoughts on athletes and coaches deciding to get the COVID vaccine.
The worst-kept secret in baseball is being brought to light. With batting averages at an all-time low and strikeouts at an all-time high, Major League Baseball is cracking down on pitchers using foreign substances to get a better grip on the ball. Buster Olney helps us understand why it took so long for MLB to enforce these rules, and why the gentleman's agreement that tolerated the practice for years no longer holds. It's an all-too-familiar story in a sport where the steroid era proved that players will always seek any available competitive edge. Then, Montreal native Ariel Helwani makes the case for why we should jump on the Montreal Canadiens bandwagon, as they're one series away from reaching the Stanley Cup Finals.
This NFL offseason is bursting with drama. There's Julio Jones signing with the Tennessee Titans after more than a decade as the Atlanta Falcons star receiver. Aaron Rodgers won't be showing up for required OTAs with the Packers, and his rift with the organization isn't any closer to resolution. Ryan Clark helps us navigate the biggest NFL storylines, checks in on the various QB controversies, and discusses which teams have the most at stake in the coming months heading into the regular season. Then, Jessica Mendoza comes up to the plate to talk about the Women's College World Series.
The NFL says it will stop using race-norming in evaluating former players' concussion claims, as the practice makes it less likely for Black claimants to receive financial compensation. In years of settling and paying out claims up to now, the league has maintained its process was sound. Ryan Smith has been investigating the story for ESPN and ABC. He shares what prompted the NFL's change in position, what updates to the program might look like and cost, and whether Black players previously denied payouts with race-norming in place will now be compensated.
The first round of the NBA Playoffs closed out in dramatic fashion yesterday, with Luka Doncic and Kawhi Leonard providing a pair of dynamic performances in Game 7 as the Clippers advanced past the Mavs. Also, the Atlanta Hawks took Game 1 in their series vs. the Sixers, thanks to a nearly unstoppable Trae Young, who's been the breakout star of this postseason. And despite James Harden going down with an injury in the first minute, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1..and are now looking at the prospect of being Harden-less for at least Game 2. Brian Windhorst runs through the biggest storylines of the weekend's basketball action, and looks ahead to the second round.
The global internet celebrity Logal Paul faces off against boxing legend Floyd Mayweather this Sunday. Both men are controversial figures, who've faced criminal allegations. The veteran prizefighter taking on a viral video star is just the latest unconventional attempt to draw eyes to the boxing ring, as interest in combat sports continues to shift. ESPN's Ben Baby examines why Mayweather came out of retirement to fight Paul, why internet stars like Paul may be poised to succeed on pay-per-view, and if this is the future of the "sweet science."
Mascots come in all shapes and sizes. From animals like the Oriole Bird or Roary the Lion to creatures like Gritty, mascots are a zany yet indelible part of sports. And while we honor the best players, teams, and coaches at various hall of fame institutions, there hasn't been a place to honor mascots ... until now. The three-story, 18 million-dollar Mascot Hall of Fame is open in Whiting, Indiana. Jake Malooley takes us behind the scenes to its hallowed, fur-lined halls. And he shares the story of the man who made it all happen: Dave Raymond, who worked as the original Phillie Phanatic. Then, Pablo shares his thoughts on LeBron James and the Lakers' recent struggles.
Lou Gehrig was one of the greatest players in the history of baseball. But Gehrig's career, and ultimately his life, was cut short by the disease with which he has become synonymous, ALS. In March, MLB announced plans for their first annual Lou Gehrig Day, which will be celebrated each year on June 2nd. Jeff Passan joins the show to examine Gehrig's legacy, and to share the story of the man who actually made MLB's Lou Gehrig Day happen: Brian Wayne Gallantine. Then, Pablo shares his thoughts on Naomi Osaka's comments about the post-match press conferences at the French Open and mental health in sports.
Serena Williams. Tom Brady. Roger Federer. What really goes into making a G.O.A.T.? And extending that greatness for decades? Reporter, best-selling author, and current host of the podcast How To!, David Epstein is one of sports' top mythbusters. His books The Sports Gene and Range delve into athletes' lives, minds and habits to find the building blocks of success. Epstein applies his findings to trends like more superstars performing well as they age, and why getting kids to specialize in one sport might actually lead to injury rather than wins, in a re-air of one of our favorite episodes.
For generations, countless men and women from around the sports world have served in our nation's 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 he'd 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 ESPN's 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. We re-air this story for Memorial Day.
Dallas Mavericks center Boban Marjanovic stands at 7'4" and the Serbia native is most likely your favorite NBA player's favorite player. Known for his quirky personality and authenticity, Boban calls himself a "big friendly giant," and his presence in the Mavs' locker room brings something immeasurable. Sam Borden shares how Boban's influenced the team, including star Luka Doncic, as the team goes for a 3-0 lead in their series against the Clippers. Then, Tottenham superfan Sun Min Kimes makes a triumphant return to preview this weekend's Champions League Final between Manchester City and Chelsea.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been in limbo since the COVID pandemic gripped the world. The games have already been postponed a full year, and are now less than two months away. But even as the opening ceremonies on July 23rd draw closer and closer, it's still unclear whether or not the Tokyo Olympics will actually take place. With coronavirus cases surging in Japan, and distribution of the vaccine proceeding slowly, Tokyo is currently under a state of emergency. And perhaps most importantly, public opinion in Japan is now firmly on the side of canceling the games outright. But the International Olympic Committee has been adamant about moving forward with the games. ESPN senior writer Tom Hamilton, who's based in London, and the Times of London's Asia editor Richard Lloyd Parry, who's based in Tokyo, explain the financial implications, public health risks, and other factors at play as the Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has one oft-repeated mantra: "The magic is in the work." It's a mantra that has struck a chord with Julius Randle, whose work has paid off this year. Randle has led the Knicks to the playoffs, made an All-Star appearance, and was just named the NBA's Most Improved Player. Nick Friedell has covered Thibodeau for ten years, and joins the show to explain Thibodeau's coaching style, and what it means for a player like Randle to be a "Thibs guy." Then, Packers reporter Rob Demovsky helps us parse through Aaron Rodgers' recent comments, and his future with the team.
One year ago on May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin. The event spurred protest, activism and action around the world. In sports, perhaps no entity was as prepared to deal with the resulting racial reckoning as the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx. Katie Barnes joins the show to share stories from the women of the Lynx. From personal experiences that inform their views on criminal justice, to how the team first took a stand against disproportionate police violence many years ago, the Lynx have been central to sports' evolving relationship with athlete activism.
You know and love the Marvin Gaye song "What's Going On," which turned 50 this month. But do you know the background voices on the hit song belong to two Detroit Lions? The Motown superstar developed a deep friendship with NFL players Mel Farr and Lem Barney, and it led to music history. Plus the story gets even better, as Farr and Barney helped Marvin Gaye take his dream of playing pro football to the next level. Justin Tinsley joins the show to tell the amazing story of football's role in Marvin Gaye's turbulent life.
When LeBron James sunk a game winning 3-point shot in the final minute of Wednesday's play-in game vs. Golden State, it felt like the NBA playoffs had already begun. And now, the seventh seeded Lakers are actually favored in their first-round series against the Phoenix Suns. As the playoffs loom, Kevin Arnovitz tells us how LeBron and Anthony Davis (who are still recovering from injuries) and the Lakers might handle Chris Paul and the Suns. Plus he makes the case for why we should hop on the Utah Jazz bandwagon. And why Bucks vs. Heat might be the most enticing matchup in the entire first round.
Lionel Messi shocked the soccer world last year when he announced he wanted to leave Barcelona, the team he's played for since he was a teenager. Messi's contract expires at the end of June, and clubs like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are poised to make massive offers to the man many consider the greatest player of all time. Sid Lowe has covered Messi for his entire career with Barcelona from inside Spain, and joins the show to take us through how Messi came to this crossroads, the stages of Messi's career from Argentina to Barcelona, and what his next move might be.
When an unknown 25 year old named John Daly showed up at the 1991 PGA Championship literally the night before -- as the ninth alternate -- he pulled off the biggest upset in golf history and became an instant icon, 30 years ago this August. Daly's style (namely his mullet), and his behavior (namely chain smoking and drinking too much) set him apart from the buttoned up country club crowd. But his massive drives and bad boy persona made him a fan favorite, and his win at the 1991 PGA Championship in Carmel, Indiana made him a legend in golf history. What's less well known, but no less significant, is the story of another man who attended that tournament. During the first round, Tom Weaver, a spectator and father of two, was struck in the chest by lightning, and died at the scene. ESPN's Bob Harig shares the story of Tom Weaver, and the gift Daly sent his family afterwards, that lives on to this day.
No one is happier to see the New York Knicks in the NBA Playoffs than our own Stephen A. Smith. But the ESPN host and commentator infamously pulls no punches as a critic of the team, or the league in general. And he has his share of takes on the painful path it took for the Knicks to get here. Hear what he thinks happens next. Plus, Stephen A's best bets to make it past the NBA Play-In Tournament, tipping off today.
The late Kobe Bryant was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, where his wife Vanessa delivered a moving speech remembering her husband during Saturday's emotional night. Also inducted were fellow NBA icons Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett...as well as our own Michael Wilbon, who was given the Curt Gowdy Media Award. Wilbon joins the show to share some behind-the-scenes moments from a historic basketball weekend. Then, ESPN's Dan Hajducky reflects on a connection he shares with Hall of Fame inductee and WNBA legend Tamika Catchings.
Medina Spirit will race in this weekend's Preakness, fresh off a win at the Kentucky Derby. The victory is clouded in controversy, because a drug test right after came up positive for a substance banned on race day. Longtime trainer and racing honcho Bob Baffert has denied wrongdoing, but this is just the latest in a string of concerning incidents around his massive horse training operation. Matt Hegarty of Daily Racing Form walks us through the timeline of events, leading up to this weekend's Preakness, and the implications for superstar Baffert. Then Wright Thompson, reporter for ESPN's "Bloodlines" podcast, shares more on his time with Baffert, and the state of racing.
Joel Embiid's 2021 season has been marked by seismic ups and downs. With the Sixers leading the Eastern Conference, Embiid was the front runner for NBA MVP through mid-March...until he went down with a knee injury that sidelined him for 10 games. The injury was just the latest roadblock in a career that's seemingly always just on the cusp of fulfilling its potential. And off the court, Embiid has faced personal tragedy, with the death of his brother Arthur, as well as joy, with the birth of his first child, whom he's named after his late brother. As Embiid and the 76ers look toward the postseason, Ramona Shelburne sits down with Joel Embiid as he reveals his emotional journey and shares what drives him.
The WNBA celebrates its 25th anniversary this season, a historic milestone for a league that many thought would never last. From the league's beginnings and the rise of stars like Lisa Leslie and Cheryl Swoops to the modern game and the myriad of social justice initiatives undertaken by the players, the game has changed massively in the past quarter-century, both on and off the court. Rebecca Lobo was there from the beginning, and joins the show to reflect on her experiences, the growing pains associated with the league's early days, and what comes next for the players on the floor. Then, Pablo examines the validity of Russian president Vladimir Putin's eight goal performance from a recent exhibition game.
The reigning champion Lakers currently sit way down at seventh in the Western Conference, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis having been out for long stretches due to injury. With both stars returning, the Lake Show is pushing for a postseason berth. Brian Windhorst explains LeBron and company's chances. And he breaks down what the play-in games mean, love them or hate them.
The New York Rangers face drama on and off the ice, around the league's response to Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson's latest incident and history of injuring opponents. This weekend, Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid reached the milestone of 100 points in 53 games, as he's looking more and more like the favorite for league MVP. And that's just the latest in a season of big NHL headlines, as the league skates toward the playoffs. ESPN hockey insiders Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski co-host our NHL breakdown.
Twenty-eight-year-old Drew Robinson is attempting a Major League Baseball return unlike any other. Robinson worked his way through the minors for many years, and in 2017 he finally made the Texas Rangers' Opening Day roster. But what followed was a bumpy path up and down between leagues and teams. All the while, Robinson struggled with mental health concerns. On April 16th, 2020, Drew Robinson attempted suicide. He lived. And now, with ongoing rehabilitation and therapy, Robinson worked his way back into professional baseball, as he has successfully made the roster for the San Francisco Giants Triple-A affiliate for the 2021 season.. ESPN's Senior MLB Insider Jeff Passan shares his reporting behind the ESPN+ special from E:60, "Alive: The Drew Robinson Story." NOTE: This episode originally aired on February 2nd, 2021
The NFL world was stunned last week by the report of Aaron Rodgers wanting out of Green Bay, and in the time since, little has emerged to suggest the situation will be easily resolved. Rodgers has been teasing a departure for months for a myriad of reasons, from the unexpected arrival of QB Jordan Love last season to unhappiness with Packers leadership to the allure of a permanent new gig hosting "Jeopardy!" Longtime Packers beat reporter Rob Demovsky joins the show to unpack the situation, explore whether Packers fans are turning on Rodgers, and sort out what might happen next. Then, in honor of Mother's Day, Pablo shares how Arizona women's basketball coach Adia Barnes has become an inspiration to working moms everywhere.
As we approach the NBA playoffs, stakes are high for missing games, and coronavirus vaccines are tantamount. The person leading vaccine rollout, and all player health and safety amid this pandemic, is Dr. Leroy Sims. As Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs for the NBA, Sims has overseen every detail of fighting COVID-19. He shares insights from an unprecedented year, and what he sees ahead. Then Jeff Passan has news about baseball player Drew Robinson. He attempted suicide. And lived. And now he's returning to the game.
There is no one in the NBA like Russell Westbrook. The former league MVP routinely puts up eye-popping stat lines and is now just four triple-doubles away from breaking Oscar Robertson's all-time triple-double record. But what's even more impressive about Westbrook is how he's elevating the Washington Wizards, and shockingly making them look like a contender this May. But Westbrook is not without his critics, particularly among the analytics obsessed NBA-types who worship at the altar of "efficiency." Today, Kirk Goldsberry joins the show to break down the paradox that is Russell Westbrook: Is he a uniquely talented player who puts up historic numbers? Or one whose weaknesses are seemingly at odds with success in the modern NBA? Can he be both? Then, Pablo shares an update on the Indian Premier League's suspension amidst growing COVID cases in India.
As Europe's Champions League Semifinals start today, the soccer world is still reeling from protesting fans in England. Hundreds stormed Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester on Sunday, injured police officers and led Liverpool and Man United to reschedule their game. It all stems back to a failed plan for Europe's biggest soccer teams to form a breakaway league, that revealed team owners' and populist fans' diverging ideas about the future of soccer in Europe. As long-standing tensions flare up, global sports correspondent Sam Borden breaks down the culture and economics in play.
Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani is breaking MLB records that have been held for a century. He just became the first player since Babe Ruth to start a game as a pitcher...while also leading the league in home runs as a hitter. As Ohtani takes the mound again in Anaheim tonight, Alden Gonzalez explains what Ohtani's success as a two-way player means for the game, and if we'll see more like him going forward. Then, today's soccer fan protests and how they're connected to deeper discontent in Europe's teams.
The 2021 NFL Draft first round is in the books, and prospects are on their way to their new teams. From the 49ers' secretive plan to take QB Trey Lance as the number three pick, to the Bears trading up for QB Justin Fields, quarterbacks remained the story at the center. And then there are the other wins down the roster, like the Falcons' new tight end Kyle Pitts. But we also have to talk about Aaron Rodgers' surprise pre-draft gripes about Green Bay, don't we? Bill Barnwell sizes up the surprises and key storylines of draft night.
The Seattle Seahawks drafted Richard Sherman with the 154th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, behind 24 other cornerbacks. 10 years later, Sherman is still punishing the league for letting him fall that far, and created a legacy that will one day send him to Canton. But what did everyone miss when they were evaluating Sherman in 2011? And why didn't they see his potential? On the day of the 2021 NFL Draft, Domonique Foxworth explains what Richard Sherman, the prospect, can teach us about what we'll see during these next three days of drafting...and everything we won't.
You'll find several "Jalens" in the NFL draft this week, the NBA draft this summer, and any number of games you turn on...from Jalen Suggs to Jalen Green to Jalen Mayfield. For years our colleague, friend and basketball veteran Jalen Rose has maintained that today's Jalens are named for him (whether they know it or not). We honor Jalen Rose's mother, the recently passed Jeanne Rose, exploring the history and mystery of his name in sports and beyond. With data, experts, and extensive interviews, the Jalen paradox is solved.
Trevor Lawrence's greatest inspiration? Artist brother Chase Summary: The sports world is ripe with famous siblings--the Watt brothers, the Williams sisters, the Currys, the Gasols, and on and on. But a superstar's non-athlete sibling doesn't usually make news. Enter Chase Lawrence, the offbeat older brother of the top player in this week's NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence. Brother Chase is an artist worth knowing and the single biggest influence on Trevor Lawrence himself. ESPN's Dave Fleming joins the show to explain how the bond between these two is a hidden factor in Trevor's rise, and the new collaboration that's bringing their worlds together.
For the 2021 NFL Draft this week, we won't have family cams or yacht cameos. Live and in-person from Cleveland, teams will match with top talent, including a handful of historically great young quarterbacks. And we'll see what franchises that traded up for higher draft picks have in mind. ESPN analyst Mina Kimes previews all the drama. Then, goodbye to a goat who's truly a GOAT.
It's been a strange and turbulent NBA season, and the race for MVP is no different. While Nikola Jokic is leading the pack at the moment, familiar names like Steph Curry, Joel Embiid and even James Harden are all still very much in the race. Today, Zach Lowe breaks down the MVP favorites, and also explains how the New York Knicks, yes, the New York Knicks, became the hottest playoff team in the NBA.
After squaring off on Fight Island last year, Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal prepare to fight once again this Saturday at UFC 261 with the welterweight title on the line. Usman retained his belt by unanimous decision the first time around -- but simply beating Masvidal was not enough for Usman: this time, he wants to break Masvidal's soul. ESPN's Dotun Akintoye joins the show to share the story of Usman, the man known as the Nigerian Nightmare, and tells us what fuels one of the greatest MMA fighters on the planet.
Deion Sanders was one of the NFL's most flamboyant characters, where he earned nicknames like "Prime Time" and "Neon Deion." Now, he's just finished his first season as head coach at Jackson State (yes, spring football due to COVID-19). Our guest, sports writer Jean-Jacques Taylor, covered Sanders' career for the NFL and reported on his coaching season for The Undefeated. Then, Myron Medcalf joins us from Minneapolis on the sports world's reaction to a guilty verdict for the man who killed George Floyd.
Over the weekend, news broke that 12 of the biggest soccer teams from across Europe are attempting to break away and create their own "Super League." The backlash was immediate and widespread, from politicians and royalty to fans across the world. Sam Borden joins the show to explain if the creation of the new league is even possible, and why it's got the soccer world in an uproar. Then, Pablo shares the story of Gary Payton, a former NBA guard who doesn't partake in cannabis at all, yet is the face of one of the most popular legal strains of marijuana.
MLB's 2021 season is delivering wild numbers: eye-popping speed on the average fastball, and crazy-low batting averages. Look no further than the dominance of New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom. ESPN Baseball Insider Jeff Passan tells us why fastballs are faster and sliders more nasty. Hear how it's all changing today's game in ways that could harm its appeal, if MLB doesn't take action. Then, an all-time hockey record is breaking tonight, and the two players involved and their careers couldn't be more different.
The NFL Draft is American institution. And for the past 40 years, the unmistakable voice of that institution has been Mel Kiper Jr. His "Big Board" and mock drafts have become a rite of spring, a yearly ritual that signals your team will soon be "on the clock." It is a remarkable climb for someone who used a typewriter to compile draft reports as a teenager, before the NFL Draft was even televised. Mel joins the show to explain how he helped turn his personal obsession into a national obsession...and made us all draft nerds in the process.
Allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against Deshaun Watson have until this week played out through lawyers' statements and accuser anonymity. Now, more women are attaching their names to court filings and speaking in public. While some of Watson's corporate sponsors are suspending deals with him, some women are speaking in support of Watson, saying their experiences with him were not inappropriate. Investigative reporter John Barr walks us through the conflicting narratives at play in these developments. Then, ahead of the WNBA draft Thursday night, Kevin Pelton weighs in on the league's eligibility rules.
Quarterback Trey Lance is projected to be a top-10 pick in this year's NFL draft. But the 20-year-old from North Dakota State has largely flown under the radar, overshadowed by big names like Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. Lance and his family have bucked trends from the start, and his path to the NFL has seemed fast, and yet also circuitous. Tim Keown shares Lance's story, and why he's captured the attention of NFL scouts everywhere.
Daryl Morey, Philadelphia 76ers general manager, co-founded an event 15 years ago that's become the hub of all things data-driven in sports. At the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, researchers, athletes, coaches and commentators swap takes on the digital trends changing how games are played, and how business is done. Morey joins Pablo to definitely not apologize for anything, to discuss the rise of sports analytics, and how data can make teams and the NBA game itself even better. Then, Myron Medcalf gives us a view from Minnesota, where Twin Cities teams postponed games in the wake of the police shooting of Daunte Wright.
Baseball is steeped in time-honored traditions and a code of unwritten rules. But players in today's game are starting to break those rules: flipping their bats, admiring their home runs, and, say, hitting a Grand Slam when up 10-3 in the 8th inning. Ok, that last one was just Fernando Tatis Jr. ESPN's Joon Lee explains how baseball's youngest generation is challenging the establishment and injecting their personalities into the game - and why that's changing the sport for the better. Then, Pablo shares the story of a prison basketball game where an unlikely play-by-play star was born.
You might know about Freddie Freeman, the baseball player...the gold glover and four time All-Star...who battled back from covid to win NL MVP last year. But the Freddie Freeman you don't know is even more remarkable. Buster Olney joins the show to take us inside Full Circle: The Freddie Freeman Story: airing this Sunday on E:60, and presents an exclusive and emotional portrait of one of the game's best players. Freeman opens up as never before about the loss of loved ones, as well as the struggles he and his wife have endured in starting of a family of their own.
MLB moved the All-Star Game out of Georgia, after the state passed a law hampering voting access. As MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred takes heat from many directions, baseball's move has cast a different kind of spotlight on the Masters tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. It's teeing off as scheduled, and that's not surprising to ESPN senior writer and baseball historian Howard Bryant. He breaks down the business side of MLB's decision, how it's reverberating, and the many stakeholders in play. Then, Pablo shares a personal connection with the pimento cheese sandwich, a time-honored staple at the Masters.
When the Jets traded Sam Darnold to the Panthers on Monday, they essentially announced to the world that they will be selecting a quarterback with the 2nd pick in the upcoming NFL draft. And at the top of this year's draft...they're not alone. The 2021 QB Draft class is one of the deepest in memory, and the top 5 QB prospects could all potentially be picked in the top 10. Some, like Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, are considered as sure a bet as any prospect since Andrew Luck. Others, like North Dakota State's Trey Lance may not have the big program pedigree...but are still projected to be among the first players taken. Field Yates joins the show to assess the top 5 QB prospects...and makes his prediction for where they might end up. Then, ahead of the Masters Tournament, Sam Borden shares the story of Tim Tucker, golf genius
The Baylor Bears are your NCAA champions, for the first time in the program's history. After decimating Houston in the Final Four, Baylor put on an offensive showcase powered by impressive scoring runs, and ended Gonzaga's quest for a perfect season. Jalen Suggs and the Zags' offense were unable to get anything going against the stalwart Baylor defense. Myron Medcalf joins us from Indianapolis to break down the title game and reflect on the 2021 tournament. Then, Pablo remarks on Aaron Rodgers' self-aware debut as Jeopardy guest host.
Gonzaga and Baylor tip off tonight in the NCAA Championship after a thrilling pair of Final Four games. Gonzaga's Jalen Suggs hit a wild game-winning buzzer-beater in overtime on Saturday vs. UCLA that sent Sports Twitter into overdrive, as Gonzaga furthered its quest for a perfect season. Also on Saturday, Baylor blew out Houston with Jared Butler landing 17 points, and five players recording double figures. Jeff Borzello recounts Suggs' 3 heard 'round the world. And LaChina Robinson breaks down how Stanford bested Arizona in another neck-and-neck game to become the women's champions.
This weekend, the men's and women's NCAA Final Four games tip off in Indianapolis and San Antonio, respectively. On the men's side, Gonzaga will look to fend off surprising UCLA, who just upset #1 Michigan, while Baylor and Houston face off in a rare Lone Star State showdown. Myron Medcalf is on the ground in Indianapolis and shares his insights on each Final Four matchup. For the women, powerhouse UConn, lead by star freshman Paige Bueckers, will do battle with Arizona, who's making its first Final Four appearance. And Dawn Staley's South Carolina Gamecocks look to continue their defensive stand against tournament favorite Stanford. LaChina Robinson is on site in San Antonio to preview the pair of games, and reflects on the women's tournament thus far. Then, Katie Barnes updates us on the BFFs of the tournament: Gonzaga's Jalen Suggs and UConn's Paige Bueckers, as they each prepare for the semifinals.
Baseball's Opening Day is finally here! After a shortened 2020 season, MLB is back with a 162 game schedule and plenty of exciting storylines. With fans back in the stands, will the Houston Astros finally receive the reckoning many thought they'd get following their cheating scandal? Will Francisco Lindor live up to the hype and take the Mets to the postseason? Can the upstart Padres match up with the defending champion Dodgers? Tim Kurkjian runs through everything you need to know heading into this baseball season, and even gives Baltimore Orioles fans something to hope for. Then, new Cubs TV play-by-play announcer Boog Sciambi talks with Pablo about taking up the iconic broadcasting mantle at Wrigley Field.
When the winningest team in high school football hired the most controversial coach in high school football, heads turned all over the state of Georgia. What ensued was a 15-month saga of small-town, big time football that ended up dividing an entire town. Mark Schlabach brings us a story of funny money, a secret recording, and the unraveling of a powerhouse high school football program in Valdosta, Georgia.
The New York Mets and their fans have been sports punchline fodder for decades. But Mets fans are a resilient (if occasionally delusional?) bunch, enduring heartbreak after heartbreak in the long history of the organization. Author Devin Gordon refers to the team as the "Best Worst Team in Sports" in his new book, "So Many Ways To Lose," and he joins the show to discuss his research into the highs and lows of the Mets, their passionate fans, and unique legacy.
Nationals superstar Juan Soto has won a World Series, made a highlight reel's worth of big hits, and holds a batting title. All that at 22 years old. A fan favorite in Washington, Soto is known for his swagger and disregard for baseball's traditional decorum, as well as his megawatt smile. Jeff Passan recently talked with Soto for ESPN's Cover Story, and he joins the show to explain how Soto's swing - and his presence - are changing baseball for good. Then, Bill Barnwell runs through the biggest NFL news in trades and free agency.
The men's Sweet 16 begins this weekend, full of unlikely contenders and March stalwarts. Oral Roberts is the Cinderella of the tournament so far, but Loyola Chicago has the power of 101-year-old nun Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt on their side. Gonzaga's on the brink of a perfect season, but they'll likely have to get through another #1 seed like Baylor. Myron Medcalf joins us from Indianapolis to preview the next set of matchups, based on his analysis on the tournament so far. Then, Ryan McGee tells us why Bristol Speedway's become a dirt track this weekend -- the first NASCAR race on dirt in 50 years.
Texans QB Deshaun Watson has been named in over a dozen civil lawsuits filed by a number of Houston area women over the last several days, alleging varying degrees of sexual misconduct and assault. ESPN investigative reporter John Barr takes us through the timeline and details of the cases, and where the legal action could go from here. Then, Texans reporter Sarah Barshop brings us up to speed on the team and NFL's responses, and what this means for Watson's future on the field in Houston and around the league.
In the time since we reached out to basketball pro Jeremy Lin about the mass shooting in Atlanta where eight people died - six of them women of Asian descent - ten more people have died in a Colorado shooting. Jeremy Lin joins us to share experiences with Pablo as first generation Asian Americans. Lin details his evolution on speaking out against stereotypes, understanding systemic injustice, and framing his identity in the limelight of sports during the NBA's "Linsanity" period. Plus, what he's focused on now around levers of social change and his basketball career. Then, Pablo pays tribute to a bird that met its demise via a pitch from Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, 20 years ago.
In his second NBA season, at just 20 years old, Zion Williamson is putting up numbers that land him alongside legends like Magic Johnson and Shaquille O'Neal. Maybe you caught him in the All-Star Game, but if you haven't been watching Pelicans games, you're missing the evolution of a unique basketball talent. ESPN's Andrew Lopez shares Zion's accomplishments, and what it'll take to get him to MVP status. Then, the most famous bowler of all time is retiring after 41 (yes, 41!) years. We remember Pete Weber's career.
This year's March Madness hasn't come without its share of controversy. Michigan's Isaiah Livers and others have tweeted and donned shirts with the phrase #NotNCAAProperty. And women's players cried foul online over a paltry weight room and other disparities with the men's team. It was just the latest example of social media's power for college athletes, and that includes growing followings across all sports and types of schools. ESPN college sports reporter David Hale details new options and support for player empowerment and profit. And he explores what NIL (name, image, likeness) reform can look like.
Gonzaga freshman Jalen Suggs and UConn freshman Paige Bueckers are the faces of the men's and women's NCAA basketball tournaments. But the two stars go way back: they grew up in neighboring Minnesota cities, and first met when they both were in elementary school. As their basketball careers took off, Suggs and Bueckers stayed in touch and have relied on each other for support, and have remained friends off the court. Katie Barnes shares the story of their unique friendship, and whether NCAA championships are in their future. Then, Sue Bird makes a case for her UConn Huskies to win another women's championship.
We're still many weeks away from the 2021 NFL Draft, and free agency is in full swing. Bill Belichick and the Patriots have been aggressive in acquiring new pieces, while his ex-QB Tom Brady and the Bucs have been focused on bringing back the roster that won the Super Bowl. Louis Riddick breaks down the latest moves as only he can, shares insights from behind the scenes, and tells us what comes next. Then, as the NCAA tournament kicks off, Dave Fleming confirms a trend among male fans ... who get a certain surgery in vast numbers every March.
Serena Williams. Tom Brady. Roger Federer. What really goes into making a G.O.A.T.? And extending that greatness for decades? Reporter, best-selling author, and current host of the podcast How To!, David Epstein is one of sports' top mythbusters. His books The Sports Gene and Range delve into athletes' lives, minds and habits to find the building blocks of success. Epstein applies his findings to trends like more superstars performing well as they age, and why getting kids to specialize in one sport might actually lead to injury rather than wins.
Are all NBA superstars destined to leave smaller market teams for Brooklyn, L.A. or Miami? Across the league, high-performing players are gravitating to coastal teams and bigger markets. The trend's been building for years, increasingly splitting the league into teams that "have" or "have not." Kirk Goldsberry plots the map and salary data, why this trend is bad for the NBA, and what strategies could turn things around. Then, as part of ESPN's Women's History Month celebration, hear from Lisa Salters' sit-down with NFL referee Sarah Thomas.
The NCAA Tournament is set! It's been anything but a normal college basketball season, and March Madness will continue the trend. Gonzaga could become the first team since 1976 to go undefeated and win a national championship, with Baylor, Illinois and Michigan also at the top. Georgetown, led by legendary Hoya Patrick Ewing, is back in the Big Dance. Duke is not in the tournament for the first time in decades. Jay Bilas breaks down the field, region by region, and the path to win it all. Then, insight from the WNBA's Natasha Cloud as heard on LaChina Robinson's "I'm Speaking" podcast series, one year since Breonna Taylor's death.
The Dallas Cowboys have finally signed Dak Prescott to a four-year, $160 million deal, just five months after his season ending injury. For years, the Cowboys' front office had refused to give in to Dak's contract demands...until now. ESPN's NFL analyst Mina Kimes breaks down one of the biggest deals in quarterback history and looks at how a shrinking salary cap is impacting NFL rosters. Then, Tottenham superfan (and mom to Mina Kimes) Sun Min Kimes shares her English Premier League takes ahead of this weekend's match vs. Arsenal.
One year ago today, on March 11, 2020, the NBA...and the entire world...suddenly stopped. That night, there was one athlete who found his way to the spotlight, and inadvertently became the face of the COVID pandemic as we knew it then: Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert. Lisa Salters joins the show to share Gobert's personal perspective on that night, and Gobert opens up about what it was like to be branded as Patient Zero of American sports. Then, a reflection on what it was like to cover the day in sports on March 11, 2020.
In basketball there is no greater symbol of the 3-point shot than Golden State's Steph Curry, who's spawned a thousand imitators with his prowess. But for every 3-point attempted, is a more dynamic dunk lost? That's what's got the NBA on notice. Because, as with any trend, the 3-point obsession may be going too far. ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz explores a new sentiment around the NBA: that the 3-point shot is draining the game of the exact excitement it was meant to deliver. Then Pablo shares the story of a hockey mom who came to the rescue of a man who helped her kids on the ice.
It's March, and the 2021 Madness is almost here. Excited beyond belief after a cancelled 2020 tournament, ESPN's Myron Medcalf is your guide. What's happened with the bluebloods, as Duke, Kentucky, and Michigan State fight to make it to the Big Dance? Which standout stars might lead their teams to glory? Will 24-0 Gonzaga hold onto its dominance? How have the starts and stops of this pandemic season helped or hurt contenders? Then, Pablo breaks down Dak Prescott's new deal with the Dallas Cowboys.
Fifty years ago today, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier met in their first iconic boxing match, known as "The Fight of the Century." It was 1971, with the civil rights movement in full swing and the nation divided over the war in Vietnam. Jeremy Schaap, boxing historian and host of E60 and Outside the Lines, shares how political and cultural views were projected onto Ali and Frazier, with their different personalities, history and fighting styles. The night itself was a grand celebrity spectacle (Frank Sinatra took a gig as a photographer, just to get in the building). And while Frazier won unanimously, the fight has a more complex and nuanced legacy. Half a century later, it remains one of sports' biggest moments.
Fernando Tatis Jr.'s massive 14-year, 340 million dollar deal with the Padres shattered MLB records. But it's actually not the most important signing of the Padres this offseason. That belongs to Matt LaChappa, who signed with the team again in February, just as he has every year for more than a quarter-century. It's a baseball story unlike any other: LaChappa is the longest tenured player in Padres history, despite never playing in a major league game. In 1996, LaChappa was a pitcher with San Diego's minor league affiliate, when he suffered a heart attack while warming up in the bullpen. LaChappa survived, was left permanently disabled and in need of round-the-clock and costly medical care. Ever since, every offseason, the Padres have honored their commitment to Matt and his family by signing him a basic minor league contract, allowing Matt to remain on the team's health insurance. In a sport where money and loyalty between players and clubs are constantly put to the test, Chris Connelly joins the show to tell a very different kind of baseball story Then, Pablo shares his excitement (or lack thereof) for this weekend's NBA All-Star festivities.
At just 25 years old, Claressa Shields might already be the best women's boxer of all time. The Flint, Michigan native is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. She's undefeated in her professional career. And she's already won titles in three different weight divisions. But this Friday, she is attempting something that could fundamentally change the entire sport. Shields is headlining the first ever all-female pay-per-view boxing card...and doing it without the backing of a major broadcast network. She's hoping to prove that women's boxing can draw viewers and put female fighters on a path to one day making the same money as their male counterparts. ESPN's Michael Rothstein joins the show to tell us about Claressa Shields' rise as a fighter and how the trail she is blazing might take her to a whole new sport entirely. Then, Pablo reflects on his beloved New York Knicks in their current, fleeting moment of triumph.
Tonight James Harden enters his former basketball home, Houston's Toyota Center, as a member of the Brooklyn Nets. It's his first time facing the Rockets since his very messy trade in January. After a slow start, Harden and the Nets are thriving. He's notched seven triple doubles in their recent eight-game winning streak. And that's even with star Kevin Durant sitting out for injury. ESPN's Malika Andrews explains how Harden has gone from being a bonus for the Nets, to a reliable asset and leader. Then, Pablo interviews new co-owner of the National Women's Soccer League's Chicago Red Stars, Sarah Spain.
Meet Azzi Fudd, number one women's high school basketball player in the nation. Fudd has won medals for USA basketball, was the first sophomore to win Gatorade National Player of the Year, and dominated Steph Curry's camp as one of only two girls participating. Despite her unlimited potential, Fudd has endured setbacks, from major injury to the loss of friends and mentors, including Gigi and Kobe Bryant. Katie Barnes shares their ESPN Cover Story, "Azzi Fudd is Unbreakable," about the young star's journey and next steps.
The NFL quarterback carousel is in full rotation. Russell Wilson reportedly hasn't requested a trade, but may want out of Seattle. The Deshaun Watson Texans saga has hit a stalemate. Carson Wentz has been shipped off from Philly to Indianapolis. And there are more marquee names likely on the move. Bill Barnwell makes a triumphant return to help us make sense of this chaotic offseason. Then, Pablo reflects on Renee Montgomery as the first former WNBA player to become a team owner and executive, buying a stake in the Atlanta Dream.
The Utah Jazz are surprisingly the best team in the NBA. After demolishing the Los Angeles Lakers this week, the Jazz claimed the top spot in the Western Conference -- while the Philadelphia 76ers reign in the East. However, this season is far from over. ESPN's senior NBA writer Zach Lowe joins the show to dissect the biggest NBA storylines in his midseason report, including potential trades. Then Brian Windhorst returns for an update on NBA Top Shot, where more than $200 million dollars has now traded hands for "digital collectibles."
It's a hockey story that spans from Manhattan to Moscow. Here in America, Artemi Panarin is a star winger, an MVP candidate, and arguably the best player on the New York Rangers. But back home in Russia, the 29-year-old is something far more dangerous: the most vocal athlete opponent of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Today, Emily Kaplan explains the explosive accusations that have sidelined Panarin from the National Hockey League. Then, The Washington Post's Moscow correspondent, Isabelle Khurshudyan, gives us the view on Panarin from inside Russia...and whether the Kremlin could actually be involved.
On Tuesday morning, Tiger Woods was involved in a serious car accident outside of Los Angeles, where he was taken to a hospital to treat his injuries. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne brings us the latest from her reporting on the scene. Then, another listen to Pablo's conversation with ESPN's Lauren Stowell about her documentary on Tiger Woods, "America's Son." She re-examines "Tigermania," which only grew after Woods' Masters win in 1997, through the prisms of race and history. "America's Son" can be screened on ESPN+.
Last year's CBA should have been a defining moment for DeMaurice Smith and the labor force of America's most popular sport. Instead, some players -- and some owners -- have come to see Smith as an asset to management. Don Van Natta explains Smith's negotiations with the NFL on behalf of the players union...and whether or not Smith is ultimately in an unwinnable position.
MLB spring training is upon us! After a long offseason of big trades and bigger contracts being signed, baseball has finally returned. The defending World Series champion Dodgers bolstered their already deep rotation by signing Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer, but the biggest threat to their potential dynasty might be 122 miles down the 5 Freeway. The Padres locked up Fernando Tatis for the next 14 years in addition to adding Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and Blake Snell to their pitching rotation. In the American League, the Yankees are poised to finally get over the hump...if they can stay healthy. Jeff Passan joins us to break down everything we need to know about spring training. Then, Pablo reflects on Naomi Osaka's speaking against violence toward Asian-Americans.
The Italian town of Bergamo is fiercely loyal to its soccer team, Atalanta B.C. As the perennial underdogs made a run to the Champions League 2020 quarterfinals, Atalanta drew tens of thousands of Bergamo fans to hug, cry, sing and celebrate for their win. No one knew then it was the last time they'd gather like that. Just as fans returned to their homes, Bergamo became an epicenter of coronavirus infection that led to thousands of deaths. Sam Borden tells the story of how a tight-knit culture and fandom made Bergamo vulnerable to the pandemic. And how that very closeness, along with the hope of cheering Atalanta again, offers a path forward from devastating loss.
Pelicans star Zion Williamson has starred in almost super-humanlike highlights in his young NBA career, but are they worth hundreds of thousands of dollars? It's a concept that the NBA is banking on, with their newest digital memorabilia venture: NBA Top Shot, a marketplace that is something of a cross between trading cards and Bitcoin. ESPN's Brian Windhorst explains what NBA Top Shot is, its value, and the risks involved when entering the volatile world of crypto. Then, a preview of Friday's show: where Sam Borden takes us to Bergamo, Italy, a sports-crazed town devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paige Bueckers + WNBA Free Agency Summary: UCONN freshman Paige Bueckers has notched three straight 30-point games. This historic run has placed her in conversation with all-time great UCONN stars like Diana Taurasi and Breanna Stewart. Could she catapult to greatest UCONN player...ever? ESPN's LaChina Robinson breaks down how Paige makes plays. Then, over in the WNBA, it's a hot free agency season. Candace Parker left L.A. after 13 years. The Liberty signed Natasha Howard. And there are more major moves to discus. And Howard University men's basketball coach Kenny Blakeney explains why his team cancelled the rest of their season.
Jesse Washington Remembers Coach John Thompson Jr. Summary: The late John Thompson Jr. was one of the most legendary coaches in the history of college basketball. As head coach at Georgetown, Thompson was the first Black coach to win a championship. And his towering influence off the court might even surpass his basketball success. Jesse Washington joins the show to remember Coach Thompson's impact and share stories from their co-authored autobiography, "I Came As A Shadow." And check out the new initiative from ESPN and The Undefeated, Black History Always.
The NFL's concussion settlement set terms for compensating retired players who show cognitive impairment after playing football. But two NFL veterans have taken legal action because they say the claims process discriminates against Black players, making it harder for them to be compensated. Ryan Smith joins the show to discuss the cases of Najeh Davenport and Kevin Henry, why and how race was factored into their claims, and how the NFL has responded.
NASCAR is back this weekend, with the 63rd running of The Great American Race...The Daytona 500. But the excitement this year is tempered by the sobering reminder that it's the 20th anniversary of the death of Dale Earnhardt. When Earnhardt died in an accident on the final lap of Daytona in 2001, the tragedy finally prompted a change in NASCAR that many thought was long overdue.de Safety standards and equipment designed to prevent the type of injury that killed Earnhardt became widely adopted. There may not be a bigger example of how far the sport has come than last year's Daytona 500, when Ryan Newman's car flipped, was driven through, and landed upside down in a fiery collision during the final lap. Many first believed that Newman had died, but he walked out of the hospital two days later, largely due to the additional safety measures put in place in the wake of Earnhardt's death. ESPN's Ryan McGee joins us to talk about the latest E:60 film, "Intimidator," examining Earnhardt's legacy and how his death changed NASCAR forever.
It's a heist story straight out of Hollywood, about a thief who would make Danny Ocean proud. Who is this criminal mastermind, who stole the New York Giants' Super Bowl rings? Meet Sean Murphy: a die-hard Patriots fan, owner of a moving company, and a self-described master thief. He, like many Pats fans, watched in agony as the New York Giants pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history in 2008. A few months later, Murphy was researching local jewelers for a potential target when he came across E.A. Dion, a family-owned business...who also happened to be making the Giants' Super Bowl rings. From there, a super-sized heist was put into motion. ESPN correspondent Sam Borden joins us to take a look back at how Murphy pulled off the steal...and how he got caught.
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker is perhaps the most overlooked superstar in the NBA. At age 24, Booker is the only active NBA player with a 70 point game, and his dominating eight game stretch in the NBA Bubble this summer earned him a reputation as one of the league's premiere scorers. ESPN analyst Michael Wilbon takes us back to Booker's roots in the latest "Cover Story, " and chronicles the Gen-Z phenom's path from 6th man at Kentucky, to his connection with Kobe Bryant, to his relationship with new teammate Chris Paul. Then, a close read of Tom Brady's Instagram as he basked in his reaffirmed G.O.A.T status.
Calvin Johnson is officially a Pro Football Hall of Famer! Johnson (a.k.a. "Megatron") spent nine seasons with the Detroit Lions, and is regarded as one of the greatest wide receivers of all time. During his NFL career, he sought solutions for pain management and found cannabis. He's now teamed up with former Lion Rob Sims for a new post-NFL chapter: a cannabis startup. ESPN Detroit Lions reporter Mike Rothstein joins us to explain Johnson's relationship with his old team five years after his retirement, and go behind the scenes of his new venture. Then, Howard Bryant shares a remembrance for the late Pedro Gomez, the beloved ESPN baseball reporter who passed away this weekend.
Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are Super Bowl champions! Tampa's defense held the Chiefs to three field goals, while Gronk and Brady's historic connection catapulted the Bucs to victory. Despite Patrick Mahomes' acrobatic throws on the run while battling a lingering foot injury, the KC offense looked lackluster. And the Chiefs' defense had no answer for Brady, who's now earned his seventh Super Bowl ring. Plus we had (some) fans in the stands, an eye-popping halftime show by The Weeknd, and even a fan on the field. Bill Barnwell takes us through the biggest factors in the Big Game. Then Pablo pays homage to basketball scout Tom Konchalski, known for his hand-mailed newsletters and commitment to his craft.
As a bonus episode on the eve of Super Bowl LV, we are respinning our December show on Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. In February 2020, Duvernay-Tardif was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after the Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV...and then, everything changed. With the world coming to a standstill as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Duvernay-Tardif, the only player in the NFL today with a medical degree, immediately took action and began working at a long-term healthcare facility in his native Quebec. In July, Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020-21 regular season to continue his efforts on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. Canada's TSN feature producer Matt Dorman has covered Duvernay-Tardif's singular journey up-close, and shares his remarkable story.
Super Bowl LV is finally here! After a turbulent season, Tom Brady and his newfound Bucs host Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, who are seeking their second-straight title. What's changed for these teams since they met in Week 12? Do the Bucs have a new plan to stop the Chiefs' explosive offense? And can Tom Brady walk away with yet another Super Bowl ring? Mina Kimes brings us her insights and previews the big game. Then, 50 years ago astronaut Alan Shepard's took a golf shot on the surface of the moon. Victoria Nenno of the US Golf Association Museum details the only out-of-this-world sports moment.
Love him or hate him, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is one of the best in the NFL. But beyond the flamboyance and flash, there's a side most people haven't seen...especially when it comes to his big brother, Eagles center Jason Kelce. Ahead of Travis's second-straight Super Bowl appearance, Lisa Salters brings us inside the relationship between the two brothers. In fact, Patrick Mahomes' favorite target may never have made it to the league if not for big brother Jason's interventions along the way. Then, director Ken Rodgers explains how he used deepfake technology to bring former Raiders owner Al Davis and former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle "back to life" for the new 30 for 30 film "Al Davis vs. The NFL."
This Sunday, Tom Brady will make his tenth Super Bowl appearance, where he's seeking his seventh ring. It's a season that began with doubts about whether Brady could succeed away from New England and Bill Belichick...and has only strengthened his case as the greatest QB of All-Time. Seth Wickersham has covered Brady up-close for two decades, and joins the show to explain how Brady's acknowledgment of his own limitations on the field has led him to a career of seemingly unlimited success. Then, Doug Kezerian takes us inside the incredibly popular, sometimes bizarre world of Super Bowl prop bets.
Twenty-eight-year-old Drew Robinson is attempting a Major League Baseball return unlike any other. Robinson worked his way through the minors for many years, and in 2017 he finally made the Texas Rangers' Opening Day roster. But what followed was a bumpy path up and down between leagues and teams. All the while, Robinson struggled with mental health concerns. On April 16th, 2020, Drew Robinson attempted suicide. He lived. And now, with ongoing rehabilitation and therapy, Robinson is re-engaging with pro baseball. ESPN's Senior MLB Insider Jeff Passan shares his reporting behind the ESPN+ special from E:60, "Alive: The Drew Robinson Story."
The NFL's biggest trade in years broke Saturday night, with Detroit Lions QB Matt Stafford heading to the LA Rams in exchange for Rams QB Jared Goff, two future first-round picks, and a third-round pick. It's a move that some say vaults the Rams immediately into Super Bowl contention...but if it fails to pay off, it could hamper the franchise for years to come. Bill Barnwell breaks down whether the Rams' gamble was worth it...and just how the Lions might go about their rebuilding process under new head coach Dan Campbell. Then, ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk and Marc Spears pay tribute to the late NBA reporter Sekou Smith, who passed away last week due to complications from COVID-19.
One day after the Houston Texans announced David Culley as their new head coach, reports emerged that QB Deshaun Watson has officially requested a trade from the team. Bill Barnwell outlines the three most intriguing destinations for the QB. Hint: two of them are in the AFC East. Then, we take a trip inside the mind of basketball icon and ESPN personality Bill Walton. He takes us on a journey through his career and beyond, and offers his advice to Pablo on life, the universe and everything.
The G League Ignite is the first of its kind: a developmental team, attempting to implement an alternate track to the NBA, outside of the college basketball pipeline. The idea is that players gain skills at the pro level, while earning a salary. Four top prospects are on board, and ESPN's NBA draft expert Mike Schmitz scouted them ahead of the G League "bubble" next month. He lays out the stakes for the players, the NBA, and the NCAA. Then, more from Pablo on the GameStop financial story that's all over the internet, and how it's connected to sports.
It's been just days since Robert Saleh began his tenure in possibly the most challenging job in football...head coach of the New York Jets. But the former 49ers Defensive Coordinator is already drawing praise from players and analysts alike, who think he may just be the guy who can turn around the long struggling franchise. But Saleh's path to the Jets sideline has been as unusual as it is groundbreaking. Jets reporter Rich Cimini brings us the story of how September 11th, 2001 changed Saleh's life forever, and set him on a course to become the first Muslim head coach in NFL history. Then, Domonique Foxworth joins us to discuss the lack of diversity in NFL coaching hires.
One year ago the world lost Kobe Bryant. Few knew about the bond Kobe shared with Pau Gasol. He remembers his former Laker teammate as a true friend, father and competitor. Gasol has spent time with Bryant family over the past year, and shared his insights on Kobe's life and loss with ESPN NBA Insider Ramona Shelburne. Hear what her reporting revealed about the softer side of the Black Mamba.
Kansas City has a date with Tampa for Super Bowl LV. It'll be the first Super Bowl in NFL history with a home team also hosting the big game. Bill Barnwell breaks down the games that got them there. Tom Brady threw three interceptions, but looked every bit the GOAT in the Bucs' win over the Packers. And Patrick Mahomes looked as healthy as ever in the Chiefs' rout over the Bills. Plus, Hank Aaron's legacy in baseball and beyond with Dr. Damion Thomas of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The NFC and AFC Conference Championship games kick off this weekend with some of the best matchups...and most compelling storylines in recent memory. Will Aaron Rodgers redeem his abysmal Week 6 performance against Tom Brady and the Bucs? With Patrick Mahomes' status in limbo, who will be the X Factor between the Chiefs and Bills? Mina Kimes explains why she's more excited for this weekend than the Super Bowl, and gives her prediction for who will play for the Lombardi Trophy. Then, Bucs superfan and legendary broadcaster Dick Vitale shares his wisdom going into the weekend.
Deshaun Watson is everything the Houston Texans want in their quarterback. But after a lackluster season, Texans leadership has made this once-happy marriage look tough to fix. Tensions rose as owner Cal McNair excluded Watson from the new GM decision, after saying he'd have input. Now fans are looking for signs as to whether Watson wants out. ESPN Texans reporter Sarah Barshop shares where Houston management went wrong, what Watson's thinking, and what it'll take to patch things up. Then, Mina Kimes takes us through the career, legacy, and faces of the now retired Phillip Rivers.
Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid is known as the NBA's biggest troll. But new Sixers coach Doc Rivers is committed to Embiid as the face of the franchise. And while the star's stock remains volatile, it's now trending up. Ramona Shelburne shares insights from her recent reporting and conversations with Embiid. Then, Jeff Passan takes us behind his story on New York Mets general manager Jared Porter's harassment of a female reporter, and what the fallout says about baseball culture.
Saturday's UFC 257 main event is Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier in a much-hyped fight. It's McGregor's first bout since the pandemic lockdown last March, and ESPN's Ariel Helwani shares insight from his sit-down with the fighter nicknamed "Notorious." The roller coaster of McGregor's moods, scandals, wins and losses all factor into what we could see this weekend. Then, why the Flat Earth F.C. says a lot about the shape of misinformation.
The NFL divisional playoffs went down to the wire, and the conference championship games are set! Tom Brady and the Bucs made the Saints pay for some costly turnovers, as Tampa finished off New Orleans. Led by backup QB Chad Henne, the Kansas City Chiefs held on to beat the Cleveland Browns after Patrick Mahomes went down with a concussion. Aaron Rodgers played like he was immortal, with the Packers proving the mortality of the Rams defense. The football cosmos favored the Buffalo Bills against the Baltimore Ravens. So what's all this mean for who keeps winning? Bill Barnwell brings his best takes. Then retired MLB player Doug Glanville shares what being a Black father means for his next move in baseball.
When the Cleveland Browns took down their rivals the Steelers last weekend, decades of football angst was released. The Browns got their first playoff win since the 1990s, and now they'll face reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. Led by quarterback Baker Mayfield, the Browns are desperate to prove that this team and this season is different. ESPN Browns reporter Jake Trotter brings us inside their historic season, and traces Baker's rise. Then, head to Buffalo with ESPN Bills reporter Marcel Louis-Jacques and a fan very close to ESPN Daily, for a look at Bills mania ahead of their second home playoff game.
James Harden will reunite with Kevin Durant and become a member of the Brooklyn Nets. In a blockbuster three-way deal, the landscape of the entire NBA has shifted. Harden will also join new teammates Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan, bringing new hope to the Nets organization. Ramona Shelburne brings us her reporting on how the deal went down, plus what this means for Brooklyn and the entire NBA.
The NHL is back tonight! This shortened season boasts new (corporate sponsored) divisions, including an all Canadian division, plus old and unique rivalries rekindled. After completing its 2020 season in two Canadian city bubbles, it feels like anything can happen in hockey for 2021. Can the Leafs finally advance to the playoffs? Will #1 overall pick Alexis Lafrenière spur on the Rangers? Greg Wyshynski brings us up to speed on everything we need to know to follow NHL action. Then, in honor of Nick Saban's most recent championship win, Pablo shares a rare moment when the iconic coach opened up for the cameras. Alert Text: Hockey is back tonight! Greg Wyshynski has everything you need to know to follow the NHL's 2021 action. Custom Category: NHL, hockey Keywords: NHL, hockey, Alexis Lafrenière, Toronto Maple Leafs, Gary Bettman
The Alabama Crimson Tide are your 2021 College Football Champions! Spencer Hall hashes the 52-24 win over Ohio State, and reflects on the teams' paths to the end. In a season unlike any other, Monday night's championship game marked a finish line that at times seemed out of sight. Then, Pablo reflects on sports and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Alabama is the 2021 College Football Champion! Spencer Hall details the win over Ohio State, and what both teams faced in their path to the finish.
The NFL's Super Wild Card Weekend was filled with heartbreak for some - like Indianapolis and Washington. Others saw particular triumph, like Ravens' QB Lamar Jackson, who earned his first playoff victory, and the Cleveland Browns, who won in their first postseason appearance since 2002. Bill Barnwell shares insights on what we saw from the first slate of postseason games, as we look forward to the divisional round. Then, Andrea Adelson previews tonight's College Football Championship, Ohio State vs. Alabama, on the scene from Miami.
With the 2021 baseball season still months away, the Cleveland Indians dealt two of their stars, Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco, to the New York Mets in a blockbuster deal. Could this be the hope Mets fans are looking for? Buster Olney joins the show to explain how the trade went down. Then Atlanta Dream forward Elizabeth Williams reflects on the Georgia race for US Senate, and Raphael Warnock's defeat of Dream co-owner Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
In the wake of insurrection at the US Capitol, we are respinning our September episode focused on sports and the national anthem. 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. It's 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 and protest peacefully. 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 NBA's 2020 restart); and Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce.
Tonight, the Golden State Warriors start a two-game home stand against the Los Angeles Clippers, on the heels of a hot streak from star Steph Curry. After 18 months of bad luck, this Warriors team still finds itself uncertain of when they'll be real title contenders again. But Curry and company are heating up, and rookie James Wiseman is gaining wisdom. ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz shares just how good this team can be. Then Pablo reflects on Jerry Jones' positive spin on a dubious record held by the Cowboys this season.
It's one of the most bizarre sports stories ever. In 2012, Manti Te'o had led Notre Dame to an undefeated regular season, was named Defensive Player of the Year, and was the Heisman Trophy runner up...all while supposedly reeling from the death of his girlfriend: Lennay Kekua. A girlfriend who, it turned out...had never existed. Don Van Natta examines the story of Te'o's catfishing for a new edition of ESPN's Backstory, "The Tale of Te'o," and joins the show to share what he learned about how the Te'o hoax unfolded, and why so many of us got fooled.
That's a wrap on the NFL's regular (and yet highly irregular) season! The final playoff berths in each conference have been claimed, with the Washington Football Team taking the hotly contested NFC East crown. In the AFC, Cleveland secured its first trip to the playoffs since 2002, and the Miami Dolphins missed the window in a blowout loss to the Bills. Bill Barnwell gives us his playoff picture, plus who had the most to gain or lose in the world of Week 17 contract incentives. Then, Pablo pays tribute to the late Gerry Marsden, former anthem singer for Liverpool FC.
2020 is over. 2021 is here....and things are already looking up because New Year's Day brings us the College Football Playoff Semifinals. Will Ohio State avenge last year's playoff loss to Clemson? Can Notre Dame hang with Alabama's high powered offense? ESPN's CFP guru Heather Dinich has the answers. She joins the show as Ryan McGee fills in for Pablo Torre.
It's a simple question that athletes have been asked for decades: "Can I have your autograph?" But in the era of selfies and TikToks...athlete autographs aren't prized like they used to be. And when the pandemic hit, athletes were put even further out of reach from fans, in bubbles and empty arenas. ESPN writer Ryan Hockensmith was an athlete autograph hound as a kid, and decided to embark on a project with 14-year-old Bentley Baker and his dad, Andy. Bentley wrote letters to players and coaches across basketball, sent them to the bubble, and eagerly awaited responses. Hear the story of who wrote back. Then, Pablo shares what he's most looking forward to in the world of sports.
In Tyler, Texas, a high school runner named Trude Lamb decided she could no longer race for her team wearing the name of a losing Confederate general: Robert E. Lee. The admittedly shy young woman spoke out to change her school's name. Her words gained national attention, along with harmful comments and threats. In a year marked by social justice activism from athletes, hear one teenager's story of fighting for change, and what it took to win. Then, ESPN's Holly Rowe reflects on a historic year of action on and off the court for the WNBA.
In August 2020, a rookie year baseball card for Angels superstar Mike Trout sold for nearly four million dollars. The modern-day card broke a record previously set by a much older rare Honus Wagner card of the early 1900s. And the eye-popping price could be surpassed again soon. Trading cards have transformed into investments, fueled by a mysterious rating system and eccentric power brokers. Dan Hajducky tells us strange stories from the world of sports trading cards. Then Mike Greenberg shares his thoughts on why the return of baseball meant so much in 2020.
The Buffalo Bills are headed to the playoffs having won their first AFC East title in 25 years. The not-so-secret ingredient to Buffalo's success in 2020? Receiver Stefon Diggs. After leaving Minnesota on a down note Diggs has found a home In Orchard Park - and clicked especially well with Josh Allen, the Bills young QB. Sam Borden profiled Diggs for ESPN Cover Story, and joins the show to tell us about Diggs' success in Buffalo, love for Bills Mafia and search for a favorite chicken wings spot. Then, Mina Kimes pays tribute to Patrick Mahomes, and his impact on sports and beyond in 2020.
It's one of the most infamous fan stories in sports history: when Eagles fans booed Santa at halftime of a game played at Franklin Field. But who was the Santa in question - and why was he booed and pelted with snowballs? Outside the Lines' Jeremy Schaap joins Mina Kimes to reflect on the enduring legacy of the Philadelphia Santa.
In February, Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after his team won Super Bowl LIV...and then, everything changed. With the world coming to a standstill as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Duvernay-Tardif, the only player in the NFL with a medical degree, immediately took action and began working at a long-term healthcare facility in his native Quebec. In July, Duvernay-Tardif became the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020-21 regular season to continue his efforts on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19. TSN feature producer Matt Dorman, who has covered Duvernay-Tardif's singular journey up-close, shares the story of a remarkable talent and his incredible sacrifice.
Tompa Bay. Danny Dimes. The Process. You've heard these names and phrases. But do you know think of them as a business? ESPN's Ryan Hockensmith takes us into the strange world of athletes and the trademarks they seek, as they try to turn viral moments and images into income. Hear why trademark applications are booming, how they work, and the "all-time" trademark story of 2020 (hint: Lou Williams plus chicken wings). Then, Stephen A. Smith ponders Lebron James's tumultuous and triumphant 2020.
The NBA tips off tonight, in time to ensure Christmas basketball in 2020! Headed into the season, LeBron's Lakers still sit atop the West, and maybe the entire league. Mavericks star Luka Doncic appears to be the early frontrunner for MVP, but does he have what it takes to earn that status? And with Giannis Antetokounmpo signed and Kevin Durant returning from injury, can Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo repeat last year's surprising playoff run? Zach Lowe brings us the latest on the James Harden situation, and more. Then, Josh Hermsmeyer breaks down the best and worst of movie football coaches.
This Sunday in the NFL solidified the post-season fates of teams like the Seahawks and Bills. The games also showcased high-scoring offenses across the league like the Chiefs, Saints, Ravens, and Cowboys. Bill Barnwell joins the show to assess how and why scoring has increased, and how these high powered offenses will fare in each conference come playoffs. Then, the Muppets take Monday Night Football! Pablo talks with ESPN's Rico Labbe, who directed and produced the Muppets for a special guest appearance.
In one of the strangest college football seasons ever, the most recent college football playoff rankings have stirred up new controversy. And the stakes are now raised: not just for each of the teams in Saturday's conference title games, but also for the playoff committee itself. SEC Network's Spencer Hall sorts through what may or may not be influencing these powerbrokers, and looks at how strong each of the title contenders really are. Then Sean Gibson, great-grandson of legendary baseball player Josh Gibson, discusses MLB designating Negro Leagues as major leagues, his great-grandfather's career, and the impact on baseball.
The latest 30 for 30 documentary "The Infinite Race" explores the story of the Tarahumara. The indigenous runners in Mexico are famous for running incredible distances on mountain trails, often barefoot or in sandals. Director Bernardo Ruiz takes us behind the making of the film, which grapples with the impact of modern, Western ultrarunners taking interest in the Tarahumara, and the pressures on their villages from drug cartels and violence.
Shaq Barrett's road to the NFL was anything but a given. Joining the Broncos after many childhood and college challenges, Barrett struggled to distinguish himself through his first seasons in the NFL. But a special summit for pass rushers set him on a path to greatness. Now he's a key factor in Tampa Bay's stout defense. ESPN's Sam Borden shares what motivates Barrett, and how he's upped his game with the Bucs. Then, Dave Fleming brings his "Tao of Poo" to Lamar Jackson's situation vs. the Browns on Monday night.
It's been nearly a year and half since superstars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant both signed with the Brooklyn Nets, a move that promised to reset the balance of power in the NBA's Eastern Conference. But with Durant recovering from a ruptured achilles tendon, it wasn't until this Sunday that basketball fans finally got to see these two on the same court. Durant and Irving both looked sharp in their preseason debut, but there are still plenty of question marks about how these two stars will co-exist. Kyrie has spent the better part of training camp refusing to fulfill his contractually obligated media availability. And Durant hasn't played in an NBA game in 18 months. Add to that first time head coach Steve Nash, and rumors swirling around James Harden's interest in joining the Nets, and it's clear--this season in Brooklyn will be anything but boring. Malika Andrews brings us the latest from inside Barclays Center. Then, Cleveland native Jeff Passan joins the show to discuss how his hometown is reacting to their baseball team changing its name.
Sunday's NFL action had it all: the Bills won their second primetime game in six days, handing the Steelers their second loss of the season. And we saw a number of upsets, like Jalen Hurts and the Eagles beating the Saints, and surprise performances, like Mitch Trubisky and the Bears. Elsewhere, the Dolphins revealed some weaknesses in Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, and the Raiders were blown out by the Colts. Bill Barnwell joins the show to explain what it all means for the playoff picture as the regular season nears a close. Then, more on Florida basketball player Keyontae Johnson, who collapsed during a game on Saturday.
Archie Manning is a beloved football icon, known as the father of NFL QBs Peyton and Eli Manning, and for his own success at Ole Miss and with the Saints. Archie grew up in tiny Drew, Mississippi and was vaulted to college football stardom in 1969 just a few weeks after suffering a dire family tragedy. Wright Thompson spent time with Archie and his wife Olivia during close-to-home pandemic life, and shares his reporting on the formation of a football patriarch.
In an NFL season full of unlikely things, the Washington Football Team notched a real head-scratching outcome when they handed the Pittsburgh Steelers their first loss of the season, 23-17. The victory came as a surprise, since Washington's record is just 5-7. But it seems that hope is starting to brew for Washington fans, and even the NFC East as a whole. ESPN's John Keim has covered the NFL in Washington since the 1990s. He breaks down how far the team might go, the amazing return of QB Alex Smith after a near-fatal injury, and how head coach Ron Rivera has run the team while battling cancer. Then, author Tim Wigmore of "The Best: How Elite Athletes Are Made" talks about younger siblings' athletic advantage.
Andy Hoffman and his family found the national spotlight back in 2013 when his 7-year-old son, Jack, who was battling a brain tumor, scored a 69-yard touchdown in a Nebraska Red and White intrasquad football game. Since then, Andy has made it his mission to help his son and children like him to beat this disease, by raising funds for pediatric brain cancer research through his Team Jack foundation. Seven year later, Jack, now 15, is healthy enough to pursue his dreams of playing high school football. But over the summer, his father Andy was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Now, Andy Hoffman is still fighting: to raise awareness for pediatric brain cancer, to savor the time he has left, and to cheer for his son on the football field. As part of ESPN's V Week, Chris Connelly joins the show to bring us this story, as told by E:60.
On December 1, the Houston Rockets opened up training camp without their star James Harden. After requesting a trade, the face of the Rockets franchise has been spotted partying in Atlanta and Vegas. After an off-season full of upheaval, the Rockets are searching for a new identity: with a new front office, head coach, and supporting cast of characters. Tim MacMahon joins the show to tell us about the current, turbulent state of the franchise, including why Harden wants out, and how this season might play out for Houston. Then, Pablo reflects on the anniversary of John Lennon's death, which was announced during Monday Night Football.
As the NFL playoff picture gets in focus, Sunday's Week 13 games brought redemption for some. Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield threw five touchdown passes in the Browns' rout over the Titans. The Jets found a bizarre new way to remain winless, losing in the final seconds to Derek Carr and the Raiders. And in a day seemingly full of NFL weirdness, Jalen Hurts took over at QB for the Eagles, and the Seahawks lost to the Giants. Bill Barnwell details the "why" and "how" of Sunday's action, with implications for this year's playoffs. Then "Laughter Permitted" podcast host and former USWNT soccer player Julie Foudy explains the recent legal settlement between US Soccer and the women's team.
Frank Gore might be the most underrated legend in the NFL. He sits number 3 on the all-time rushing list behind only Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton. He's been to a Super Bowl and made 5 Pro Bowls. But now, in his 16th NFL season, Gore finds himself on a team that might not win a single game. Tim Keown joins the show to examine why Gore has remained so under appreciated despite putting up Hall of Fame level numbers, how he manages to keep pushing forward despite playing on the NFL's worst team, and whether he can continue playing into 2021 and beyond. Then, Ryan McGee joins the show to talk about tomorrow's surprising matchup between BYU and Coastal Carolina, and educate us on the ways and customs of Myrtle Beach, SC.
At just 14 years old, Tiger Woods once called himself the "Michael Jordan" of golf. His rise to sports superstardom in the late 1990s sparked "Tigermania" across America, which only grew after his Masters win in 1997. "Tiger Woods: America's Son" is a special from The Undefeated airing on ESPN and coming to ESPN+ next week. It's the story of Woods' ascendence, through the prism of race and history. The documentary's director, ESPN's Lauren Stowell, shares how she made the film, and why she wanted to tell this side of Tiger's story.
The world lost one of the biggest names in sports when Diego Maradona died on November 25th, at age 60. Early in his career, Maradona was a young soccer star for a struggling Argentina. As his country reinvented itself, he went on to become an infamous global icon. Known for his creativity and dominant goal scoring, Maradona brought Argentinians a World Cup victory when they needed it most, all while becoming entangled in scandal after scandal. ESPN senior writer Wright Thompson shares his reporting on the soccer legend, and what his death means to his home country of Argentina.
It hasn't even been two months since the LA Lakers were crowned NBA champions, and the league is already gearing up for a new season. Today, as teams open up training camps amidst a surging pandemic, Rachel Nichols joins the show to discuss if basketball can safely happen outside of a bubble, and how free agency has shifted power in the league after the shortest offseason in NBA history. Then, Mina Kimes tells us what it was like to be a lifeline on David Chang's history-making episode of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?"
Sunday's slate of NFL games ranged from the completely normal to increasingly bizarre. Aaron Rodgers aimed to send the Bears back to hibernation, with a dominant Packers victory. The 49ers started to get their groove back, beating the LA Rams on a last-second field goal. COVID chaos was in the mix, too, with the Broncos starting a wide receiver at QB due to a team coronavirus outbreak, and the Ravens-Steelers game moved yet again. Bill Barnwell breaks down everything we saw on Sunday, and what to expect as the league grapples with its biggest bout of COVID chaos yet. Then, Pablo examines a different kind of chaos in Saturday's boxing bouts.
When the Philadelphia 76ers announced 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. In a re-spin of an ESPN Daily bonus episode, Hinkie joins Pablo Torre for a rare, wide-ranging interview that covers his time with the Sixers, his exit from basketball, and his perspective on life away from the game.
For generations, countless men and women from around the sports world have served in our nation's 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 he'd 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 ESPN's 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. We re-spin this show as the Steelers continue their undefeated 2020 season.
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 couldn't 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 he's 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.
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 tomorrow's college football playoff rankings, amidst another round of postponements and positive COVID tests.
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 Sunday's 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.
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 today's NFL. Then, on the news of the Warriors' Klay Thompson's injury, Andre Iguodala weighs in on his friend's road to recovery.
No athlete in the NFL is quite like Seahawks receiver DK Metcalf. He's 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.
Tonight, in a studio in Bristol, Connecticut, the 2020 NBA Draft will (finally) unfold. After a five month postponement, tonight's draft will no doubt look different from drafts past: no cheering fans or players shaking the commissioner's 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. ESPN's 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.
The NBA's 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. ESPN's 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 that brought him to the NBA. Hear how Giannis got into basketball as a child in Greece, and what he's done in two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The NFL's play of the season is being called the "Hail Murray." Kyler Murray's 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 Sunday's biggest moments, and examines the NFL's new proposal for diversity in coaching and management. Then, Pablo discusses the path of new Marlins GM Kim Ng, MLB's first female GM.
He's maybe 5' 10"....he's 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 hasn't 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 what's 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.
This week, news of recently re-hired White Sox manager Tony La Russa's 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 Cohen's introductory press conference. Then, Katie Barnes explains women's college basketball prospect Azzi Fudd, and her decision to commit to UConn.
For generations, countless men and women from around the sports world have served in our nation's 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 he'd 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 ESPN's 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 Bleier's incredible football comeback in the wake of a devastating combat injury, and how his return to Vietnam helped him reconcile with the past.
The 2020 Masters Tournament tees off Thursday from Augusta, and it's 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 it's 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 he's watching for in this year's tournament. Then, ESPN's Bonnie Ford brings us her reporting on the Vendée Globe, one of sailing's most grueling races, and is considered the ultimate socially distanced sporting event.
The NFL's regular season is more than half done, and Bill Barnwell gives us a clearer picture of who's leading, who's 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 Bill's midseason awards, and what could make Monday's Patriots-Jets game interesting. Then, Pablo explores the relationship between sports and White House, and how it might change.
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, Pata's murder remains unsolved. Over the years, police have pursued multiple leads in Pata's 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 Pata's death, and that an arrest will come in the foreseeable future. ESPN's Paula Lavigne, who reported extensively on the case, brings us up to date on the investigation.
With QB Trevor Lawrence sidelined with COVID-19, Clemson's 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 Clemson's rising star, from his early beginnings to what he's 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.
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. It's 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 NBA's 2020 restart); and Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce.
Election Day 2020 has arrived. It's an unprecedented one in many ways, including that dozens of stadiums and arenas are serving as polling places. That's 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.
Halfway through the NFL's 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 Tagovailoa's 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 Sunday's 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 women's sports.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Gruden's 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. ESPN's 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 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.
As the Big Ten kicks off this weekend, we remember the time Ohio State's Brutus Buckeye and Ohio University's 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.
Tonight, Game One of the 2020 World Series gets underway between the Dodgers and Rays. It's 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 hockey's preeminent broadcasting scholar, Mike "Doc" Emrick, who announced his retirement on Monday.
The NFL's 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 weekend's football action, and if this season has met expectations surrounding the pandemic. Then, the weirdest college football commitment video we've ever seen (if that is even what it was?).
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. ESPN's Bill Connelly explains how Saban's 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 Saturday's big fight between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez.
Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu earned the nickname "Honey Badger," for his fearlessness, speed and dynamic play on the football field. But one trait he doesn't share with nature's biggest badass is not caring. Mathieu's 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.
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. ESPN's 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. She's joined by ESPN producer Malinda Adams, who was also on site from Day One. And, we get some insights on what's next for the 2021 NBA season.
As if 2020 couldn't 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, Allen's 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.
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.
When the #7 Miami Hurricanes take on #1 Clemson on Saturday night, it will be a matchup of two of this year's 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 D'Eriq King. King's 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, he's 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 King's unique story. Then: an ode to Dion Waiters, the most unlikely possible NBA champion, ahead of Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach is unlike anyone else in college football. After nearly two decades at Texas Tech and Washington State, he's 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 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 A's, thanks to George Springer's homers. ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan brings us his playoff insights from Arlington, Texas, where he's 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.
After Jimmy Butler's dominant performance in Game 3 of the NBA Finals and the trash talk that came with it, Tuesday's Game 4 promises to turn up the heat (pun intended) on the Lakers. Miami has ruined LA's 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 she's been for nearly 100 days, to tell us what she expects to see in Game 4, and what she's learned from covering the strangest postseason in NBA history.
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.
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 A'ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces. ESPN's LaChina Robinson previews the contenders and the path that got them here. Then, Dallas Wings All-Rookie star 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 it's like to be with the Eagles as the NFL's only "Quarantine Quarterback."
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 Africa's 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.
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. ESPN's 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 we've seen in years.
Ready or not, it's time for playoff baseball! After one of the strangest (and shortest) MLB regular seasons in history, the postseason begins today...and it's 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 team's 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 Rabin's iconic score embedded itself in sports history.
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 Allen's 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 league's leaders, and previews tonight's Chiefs-Ravens game. Plus, a few words show the power of LeBron James.
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 LSU's Ed Orgeron and Alabama's Nick Saban focus on preparing their players for the new normal. And new coaches like Mississippi State's Mike Leach and Ole Miss's Lane Kiffen promise to bring even more intrigue to the conference. Spencer Hall from the SEC Network's "Thinking Out Loud" brings us all the updates you need to know about the SEC, and everything else happening around college football.
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 social life in a town centered on the sport. ESPN's Elizabeth Merrill shares the story of James' life and untimely death at age 42, and weighs the community's pain over his loss, alongside the risk of the pandemic and a deep love of football.
The Stanley Cup playoffs have been a major success in the age of the pandemic, as the league's 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, ESPN's 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.
The Miami Heat lead the Boston Celtics 2-1 in the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals, thanks largely to a dominant postseason performance from Jimmy Butler. Through his ten seasons in the league, Butler's 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 Butler's psyche. Then, an ode to golfer Danny Lee's 6-putt Saturday.
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 what's at stake for football's winless teams. Plus, a tribute to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg: athletic inspiration.
The Denver Nuggets are the Cinderella story of this year's 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.
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.
Joe West is the MLB's longest tenured umpire, and certainly the most recognizable. Over the course of his 40-year-plus career, he's 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 baseball's all time characters.
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 year's 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.
The NFL's 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, 2018's 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 weekend's football action, and examines where these quarterbacks stand following their week one performances.
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. It's 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.
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 anthem's 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 NBA's 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.
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 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 he's 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 Floyd's 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.
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 One's 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 week's football action.
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.
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.
The Washington Football Team's 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 team's 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 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.
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 player in soccer history, says he wants to move on from the club he has played for his entire pro career. Messi's discontent with 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.
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.
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 Junior'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?
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.
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.
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 better, or for worse.
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. ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz joins the show to discuss these standout performances from the first round of the NBA playoffs.
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 Erdoğan. 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. Episode Alert Text: Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is a man without a country. Jeremy Schaap reported on Kanter's battle with the Turkish government for E:60 last year, and joins the show to discuss his reporting. Then, Enes Kanter brings us his firsthand perspective.
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
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.
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.
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 Nice and Kid Mero, aka The Bodega Boys, make New York sports fandom - in all its glory and shame - a big part of "the brand" they've built during their rapid rise as comics. The podcast hosts turned Showtime stars join the show to talk sports and life, like what's lost when you can't attend Yankees game in person, their NBA bubble fantasies, why new faces in Madison Square Garden can't fix the Knicks' fortunes, and what's it like to be wined-and-dined by that other basketball team across town.
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.
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.
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.
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 QB veteran 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.
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.
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.
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. Then ESPN's Mark Schlabach gives more context on the PAC-12 players' actions within the college football landscape.
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 opt out of training camp and the 2020 season. While frequent testing and other protocols have been enacted across pro leagues, there is still a lot that's unknown about the physical impact of the virus, even on a healthy, young athlete's body. ESPN injury analyst Stephania Bell has been paging through medical studies and the leagues' protocol documents. She has an insider's take on how teams and players are making decisions in the face of the pandemic.
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 Redick's 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.
Lace up your skates and throw on your sweaters, hockey fans...well, at home anyway. This weekend kicks off the league'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 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 the baseball season. He also discusses 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.
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.
On Monday, at least 11 players and two coaches for MLB's Miami Marlins tested positive for coronavirus, after completing their opening series against the Philadelphia Phillies. The positive tests resulted in several MLB game postponements, and raised larger concerns about the league's health and safety protocols. ESPN's Alden Gonzalez joins Mina Kimes to discuss what happened, and whether the league's 60-game season could be in jeopardy. Then, Alden and Mina preview Tuesday's 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.
The NFL and its players union 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.
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, and how she has moved forward with her life and love, a decade later.
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.
After a months-long delay, the 2020 WNBA season finally tips off this Saturday when the New York Liberty and and no.1 overall pick Sabrina Ionescu take on the Seattle Storm and veteran star Sue Bird. But 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.
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 infamous 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.
While pro leagues around 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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 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.
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."
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. Today's 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, ESPN's Aishwarya Kumar joins Mina Kimes to break down how top chess players meld mind and body.
For today's 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. ESPN's Ryan McGee spent time with the real Rudy to find out more, and he joins Mina Kimes to discuss what's fact and what's fiction, from Rudy's point of view.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
(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.
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.
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.
The NBA shocked the sports world Wednesday night, announcing the season would be suspended due to a player's positive test for coronavirus. ESPN's Tisha Thompson joins to discuss how the NBA reached that decision, and if other leagues will follow suit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The NBA enters the home stretch after the All-Star Game. The Bucks boast the league's best record, and the Clippers are making moves to overtake the Lakers in the west. As the race to the playoffs begins, what's at stake for the rest of the year? Doris Burke breaks down some of the most intriguing storylines in basketball.
University of Oregon senior guard Sabrina Ionescu is a generational college basketball talent. She is the frontrunner for National Player of the Year, the projected No. 1 pick in April's WNBA Draft, and last week, became just the second player in NCAA basketball history - male or female - to record over 2,000 points and 1,000 assists. ESPN Senior Writer Liz Merrill joins us to discuss Ionescu's run of triple-doubles, her relationship with Kobe Bryant, and her ultimate quest to deliver the Ducks their first-ever NCAA women's basketball championship.
Tua Tagovailoa came into the college football season with Alabama as "most likely to be the next number one overall pick" in the NFL draft. Then came a season-ending hip injury. With reports that his recovery is on track, Tua enters the draft as a game-changing wild card. Ahead of this weekend's NFL combine, ESPN's Todd McShay breaks down Tua's history and weighs where he'll end up in April's draft.
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett sat down with Mina Kimes for an interview first broadcast on ESPN's "Outside the Lines." Speaking the day after he had been reinstated by the NFL, following indefinite suspension, it was the first time Garrett spoke publicly since his on-field altercation with Mason Rudolph. In November, Garrett struck the Steelers QB in the head with Rudolph's own helmet. Today, ESPN Daily offers an extended version of Garrett's interview. Then, Adam Schefter discusses the response to Garrett's remarks from Mason Rudolph, his coach Mike Tomlin, and the NFL.
Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo is having a breakout season. And it's happening quicker than most expected, just his third year in the NBA. ESPN's Zach Lowe explains what makes the first-time All-Star a remarkable talent on the court, and what's behind his incredible motivation off of it.
NFL defensive end Michael Bennett has been to three pro bowls and he's a Super Bowl champion. But after the wear and tear of 11 seasons in the league, the free agent is undecided on whether he wants to play again. Bennett and his wife, Pele, host the new podcast, "Mouthpeace." They join us to talk about how the physical realities of Michael's career have affected them, and how they and their daughters have navigated life in the NFL.
As pitchers and catchers assemble for spring training, the MLB continues to see fallout from the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal, from "Codebreaker" revelations to new hires. ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan tells us how the 2020 baseball season will be affected, and also weighs in on other storylines around the league.
Philip Rivers is officially ending his run with the Chargers and entering free agency. Fellow veteran QBs Tom Brady and Drew Brees are considering their options. The NFL quarterback market is filled with possibility, as the golden era of pocket passers may be ending - and the era of mobile quarterbacks just beginning. ESPN's Dan Graziano runs down the different destinies the elder statesmen of the NFL might be headed for this offseason.
The Capitals' Alex Ovechkin is close to joining an elite club in hockey, as just the eighth player in NHL history to score 700 goals. Ovi's had his stumbles, but he's on track to beat none other than Wayne Gretzky for the all-time scoring record. ESPN's Greg Wyshynski tells Mina Kimes how Ovechkin's durability, longevity, and high-scoring power have dazzled over time, and what it'll take for him to best The Great One's legendary record of 894 goals.
As the XFL kicks off, this 2.0 incarnation hopes to stand in stark contrast to the 2001 football league that failed. ESPN's Kevin Seifert dives into the thinking behind the XFL. Before, it leaned on wacky theatrics. But the new version aims for much more serious fans. Plus, the XFL Tampa Bay Vipers' Aaron Murray breaks down the appeal of the league for players like him.
After being named a captain in this year's Pro Bowl, Michael Vick faced a new wave of criticism. Animal advocates and football fans alike point to Vick being sent to federal prison for his involvement in dogfighting. Between Vick's initial NFL run, his time served and his return to football following that sentence, he has a complicated story. Ahead of tonight's "30 for 30" documentary, ESPN's Bomani Jones explores the context of Vick's career, his ongoing path to redemption and what his legacy will be.
Ja Morant is in the news for trading Twitter barbs as the NBA trade rumor mill runs amok. A shoe-in for Rookie of the Year, he's a growing presence in the league. And he's leading the surprisingly successful Memphis Grizzlies in a promising rebuild. ESPN's Tim MacMahon tells us how Morant almost got overlooked as a young player, and how his electrifying presence is lighting up Memphis.
Ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline, rumors swirl about some of basketball's biggest names, causing fans and NBA Twitter to lose their minds. ESPN NBA senior writer Zach Lowe breaks down the buyers, sellers, and targets as the February 6 deadline draws near.
The Chiefs are Super Bowl LIV champions! NFL insider Bill Barnwell joins Mina Kimes to discuss how a pair of Damien Williams touchdowns and a fourth quarter defensive stand contributed to Kansas City's comeback Super Bowl win.
Ahead of Super Bowl weekend, Mina Kimes takes you to the local Miami neighborhood that has given rise to some of the most famous NFL players in recent history: Chad Johnson, TY Hilton, Antonio Brown and Teddy Bridgewater, just to name a few. Hometown heroes Bridgewater, Hilton and Johnson give their insights into this Florida football hotbed.
With the Super Bowl looming, Mina Kimes and Domonique Foxworth are in South Beach tackling important questions about Sunday's game: Will Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense pick apart the Niners stalwart defense? Can Jimmy Garoppolo be trusted to lead San Francisco? And who will end up hoisting the Lombardi Trophy? Find these answers and more in ESPN Daily's Super Bowl Preview.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has been an NFL fixture for 20 years, and his homespun personality has inspired countless stories. There's the iconic punt-pass kick video from Andy's childhood, his legendary appetite, and the obsessive journals and coaching binders he keeps. ESPN's Dave Fleming chronicled legends of Big Red from around the league, and shares them with host Mina Kimes.
The 49ers' Kyle Shanahan is making his first Super Bowl appearance as a head coach. But he's been to the big game before, as the Falcons offensive coordinator when Atlanta infamously lost a 28-3 lead to a Patriots comeback. ESPN's Seth Wickersham explains how Shanahan can shake the ghosts of his football past.
Kobe Bryant's death shocked the world on Sunday. In the wake of the news, ESPN NBA insider Ramona Shelburne traveled to the site of the tragic helicopter crash, and to Kobe's Mamba Sports Academy. She joins Mina Kimes to reflect on the life, career, and legacy of this five-time NBA champion.
JamesOn Curry holds a dubious record: shortest NBA career, ever. Just 3.9 seconds. And he didn't even touch the ball. How did Curry go from legendary high school superstar, to twists and turns and criminal setbacks, to his one shot on the court for the L.A. Clippers? The tale of his remarkably brief career holds bigger truths about life and basketball. ESPN basketball writer Royce Young shares the fascinating story of JamesOn Curry with host Mina Kimes.
The UConn Huskies have long reigned supreme in women's college basketball. But where they once seemed invincible, cracks have started to show. The Huskies have exited the tournament in the semi-finals the past three seasons, and recently suffered their first double-digit loss in years. ESPN basketball analyst LaChina Robinson explores the legacy of UConn, and whether the Huskies' dynasty is near its end.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was not first pick for the job. Or second. Even as he landed the top spot with "The Lake Show" and LeBron, questions swirled over how long he would last. Now, with the team leading the Western Conference, NBA insider Kevin Arnovitz breaks down the understated success of Vogel's leadership.
It's been two years since Larry Nassar was sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting hundreds of girls and women. We are still learning more about how gymnastics organizations and officials enabled his abuse. ESPN investigative reporter John Barr is co-author of the book "Start By Believing," about the culture of gymnastics and Nassar's survivors. He joins Mina Kimes to reveal new findings from his reporting.
Super Bowl LIV is set! The 49ers sent Aaron Rodgers and the Packers...packing. Then, the Chiefs engineered another comeback victory to steal away the Titans' championship dreams. ESPN NFL insider Bill Barnwell breaks down how we wound up with the teams that will meet in Miami.
On Saturday two UFC legends collide on ESPN+ as Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone faces Irishman Conor McGregor, perhaps the most notorious fighter in mixed martial arts. ESPN Senior Writer Kevin Van Valkenburg visited Ireland to see how years of controversy, troubling behavior, and criminal allegations have affected McGregor's folk hero status at home.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora is out on sign-stealing allegations from the MLB. The charges date back to 2017, when he was the bench coach for the Houston Astros. It's a stunning downfall for a man considered one of the most talented young managers in the game. ESPN baseball insider Buster Olney joins Mina Kimes to explore Cora's career, and his role in this huge baseball scandal.
Since Zion Williamson was drafted first overall in 2019, NBA fans - well, New Orleans Pelicans fans, in particular - couldn't wait to see their new superstar's talent. But then, the unthinkable happened, and Williamson went down with a meniscus injury during the preseason. Now, as he's recovered and ready to take the court, ESPN NBA insider Andrew Lopez joins Mina Kimes to discuss what Zion's return means for basketball in New Orleans.
College football has a new champion: the LSU Tigers. ESPN's Mike Golic Jr. joins Mina Kimes from New Orleans to break down the big game. Then, the Houston Astros face unprecedented consequences after the 2017 sign stealing scandal. Baseball insider Jeff Passan joins to discuss the fallout...and what happens next.
This weekend's NFL action was full of shock and awe. On Saturday, the San Francisco 49ers' defense stymied Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings. In Baltimore, the Ravens were upset by a stout Tennessee Titans defense and ferocious rushing attack. And on Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs engineered a breathtaking comeback over the Houston Texans, and Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers held on to defeat the Seattle Seahawks. ESPN insider Bill Barnwell and Mina Kimes break down the highs and lows of the divisional weekend.
Bring up LSU Coach Ed Orgeron, and someone is bound to say "Geaux Tigers!" in his often-imitated, never duplicated voice, all gravel and grit. It seems like destiny that Coach O would lead the purple and gold, but his career has been full of twists and turns. Ahead of the National Championship Game, ESPN's David Hale tells us the legend of this bayou man.
For years, the NBA style of play was dominated by "big men," players who stand 6-foot-10 or more and who go to the post to score. Now, the biggest players shoot more from the outside. And it's all by design. ESPN's NBA insider Jackie MacMullan joins Mina Kimes to discuss why simply posting up is going the way of the dodo.
Lamar Jackson has stymied NFL defenses with his speed and creativity. To prepare to take down this year's MVP frontrunner, teams are practicing against Jackson impersonators. How do you find a Lamar Jackson imitator who has his speed, accuracy, and athleticism? ESPN Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley went around the league to find out.
All eyes are on Clemson as the National Championship draws near, and the team has proven itself to be a powerhouse. But head coach Dabo Swinney always seems to be fighting to get the respect he thinks the Tigers deserve. ESPN's Andrea Adelson joins Mina Kimes to discuss where the program has been...and what's next.
The NFL's wild-card games delivered nonstop action. In the AFC, the Titans upset the Patriots in what might have been Tom Brady's last game in Foxborough, while Buffalo fell to Houston in overtime. The NFC games saw overtime heroics from the Vikings to beat the Saints. And Seattle bested an injury-hampered Philadelphia team. ESPN insider Bill Barnwell joins Mina Kimes to break down the slate.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson gets many labels: positive, good-natured, nice, wholesome. For some, it's hard to believe Wilson could maintain this attitude in today's NFL and have it be authentic. As Seattle prepares for the playoffs, guest host Domonique Foxworth delves into Wilson's personality and style of play with ESPN reporter Dotun Akintoye.
As you watch the Chiefs play, look for running backs coach Deland McCullough. He has an incredible story, one that he shared with ESPN's Sarah Spain. After decades of not knowing his birth parents, McCullough's search for the truth led him to an incredible revelation - and reunion - with football at the center. Also, Jeremy Schaap offers a remembrance of legendary NBA Commissioner David Stern.
Reche Caldwell made his NFL name with the Patriots. Today, his name is in the news around a federal lawsuit involving medical fraud. ESPN's David Fleming covered Caldwell in 2016, when the former player was incarcerated for buying illegal drugs online. Fleming re-tells the story of how Caldwell Googled his way from the Patriots to prison.
ESPN broadcast its first game 40 years ago - but it wasn't the NFL or a big fight. It was a pro softball game, of all things. ESPN's Jeremy Schaap set out to find the tapes...and discovered that they'd been missing for decades. Schaap joins Mina Kimes to share the mystery of the lost tapes.
The NFL's 2019 regular season came to a close, and several teams in both conferences sealed their destinies. With an upset in Foxborough, Philadelphia claiming the NFC East, and a game of inches in Seattle, the playoff picture is in focus. ESPN insider Bill Barnwell breaks down the field.
"Rudy" is a sports movie classic. And it defined the life of the actual man who inspired the story: Rudy Ruettiger, who is 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. ESPN's Ryan McGee spent time with the real Rudy to find out more, and he joins Mina Kimes to distinguish fact and fiction, from Rudy's point of view.
In a dramatic college football career, Jalen Hurts has divided football insiders about his potential upside. From Alabama to Oklahoma, Hurts has always been a serious player and hoped for a future in the NFL. ESPN's Ivan Maisel got insider access to Jalen Hurts, his family, coaches and colleagues. He joins Mina Kimes to discuss the college QB, known as a man of few words.
It's one of the most infamous fan stories in sports history: when Eagles fans booed Santa at halftime of a game played at Franklin Field. But who was the Santa in question, and why was he booed and pelted with snowballs? Outside the Lines' Jeremy Schaap joins Mina Kimes to reflect on the enduring legacy of the Philadelphia Santa.
Get ready for the gift of basketball on Christmas Day, as the NBA settles in under the tree. We tear open five matchups with ESPN NBA Analyst Kirk Goldsberry as he reveals who has been naughty and who has been nice this season.
The Eagles upset Dallas, but can they stay on the path to the playoffs? NFL insider Bill Barnwell joins Mina Kimes to break down how they did it, and whether they can keep the success going. Then, the Bengals have lost their way to first draft pick. And what does that mean for the other teams at the bottom of the league?
Black Monday, the day after the final Sunday in the NFL's regular season, is when head coaches often transition from the hot seat to the unemployment line. And it's approaching quickly. But what lands coaches on the hot seat in the first place? ESPN NFL Insider Dan Graziano joins Mina Kimes to discuss how coaches wind up with job insecurity, and how they can avoid the chopping block.
The Milwaukee Bucks could be the NBA's best team. But after last season's disappointing playoff exit, many thought the squad couldn't repeat its success. NBA writer Chris Herring joins Mina Kimes to explain what the small market Bucks' continued dominance means for basketball.
Chess grandmasters need incredible amounts of brain power, but also extreme physical endurance. Major tournaments can run for six hours a day, 10 to 12 days in a row. Players might burn up to 6,000 calories and lose two pounds a day during these grueling matches. To prepare, today's chess world champions endure physical training that would tire out any pro athlete: hours a day of running, swimming or playing tennis while maintaining a strict diet. ESPN's Aishwarya Kumar joins Mina Kimes to break down how top chess players meld mind and body training in more sophisticated and extreme ways, all to best their fierce rivals.
NFL fullbacks are some of the hardest-working and most beloved players in the sport, but they've struggled to find success in the spotlight. This season, things are different. FiveThirtyEight's Josh Hermsmeyer joins Mina Kimes to explore how fullbacks are having their best year ever, and why they've been the key to success for football offenses.
The Buffalo Bills clinched a playoff spot for the second time in three years. How did they get here, and does their turnaround story hold lessons for other NFL teams? ESPN NFL insider Bill Barnwell joins Mina Kimes to explain the Bills' surprising success. Then, in light of new video evidence, Bill and Mina break down the Patriots "Spygate II" video taping scandal.
LeBron James has turned basketball on its head, from the moment he first stepped onto the court. His son, Bronny, is currently a high school NBA prospect. But how much has basketball changed since LeBron got his start - and how much has he paved the way for his son to succeed...or to fail? ESPN's Brian Windhorst joins Mina Kimes to get an inside look at the lives and careers of LeBron and Bronny James, the nature of fame, and the impact of sports on family.
After O.J. Simpson won the Heisman Trophy in 1968, two statues were made: one for Simpson, and one for his alma mater USC. However, following Simpson's infamous murder trial, both trophies went missing. What happened to O.J.'s Heismans? ESPN's Ryan McGee joins Mina Kimes to share the true story that involves a heist gone wrong, an auction gone right, nameplate switches, legal battles and more.
The New York Knicks' former head coach David Fizdale is just the latest in a series of coaches and front office types who have tried in vain to turn things around at Madison Square Garden. It is a tempting challenge, however, to become the legendary figure who brings back the Knicks' glory. ESPN NBA insider Ramona Shelburne joins Mina Kimes to discuss Fizdale and what it might take to break the Knicks' two decades of failure.
James Harden's basketball strengths are varied and, for a defense trying to guard him, frustrating. Now, teams are trying something different against the Houston Rockets' versatile star. ESPN senior writer Zach Lowe joins Mina Kimes to measure Harden's impact on the league this season and to discuss effective ways to stop him.
The NFL playoffs don't start for another month, but Sunday's 49ers-Saints offensive explosion definitely had an electric playoff feel. ESPN senior writer Bill Barnwell joins Mina Kimes to break down what led to a blockbuster 90-plus point game in New Orleans. Then, ESPN college football reporter Heather Dinich shares an inside look at the college football team rankings, joining us from the scene of the committee's Selection Day in Texas.
On Saturday, LSU faces Georgia for the SEC Championship. A Georgia win would most likely earn both teams a trip to the College Football Playoff, and leave the Big 12 and Pac-12 champions on the outside looking in. But should one conference have so much influence? ESPN's Paul Finebaum takes a look at the matchup, and weighs in on who deserves to be in.
After an NHL head coach got fired, an unexpected outpouring began - with players speaking out on alleged psychological and physical abuses, and also racist remarks from coaches. Given all that's been aired, what's next for the league? ESPN hockey writer Emily Kaplan joins Mina Kimes to break down the culture around the allegations, and what it all means for a sport trying to grow its fan base.
Luka Doncic is having an electric second season in the NBA. He's even in the running for the MVP at just 20 years old. But what makes last season's Rookie of the Year so dominant on the court - and why did the skeptics underestimate him? NBA Draft analyst Mike Schmitz joins Mina Kimes to examine Luka's career so far, and what his ascent means for the rest of the NBA.
*NOTE: We recorded this episode before news broke that the Panthers are letting go of head coach Ron Rivera.*
Cam Newton's season got put on hold following a foot injury this year, and now the quarterback's future with the Carolina Panthers seems up in the air. But there are plenty of teams that could benefit from Newton's unique blend of athleticism and leadership. ESPN Senior NFL Writer Jeremy Fowler joins Mina Kimes to explore Newton's memorable football life and what the Panthers could gain or lose without him.
After the Texans upset the Patriots we have to ask (again): is it real this time? Is Tom Brady slipping? Host Mina Kimes and ESPN Senior Football Writer Bill Barnwell turn to the numbers for answers. Then, after the Eagles fell to the Dolphins and the Cowboys lost to the Bills, another pressing question: does any team really want to win the NFC East?
It's Rivalry Week in the world of college football! Mina Kimes discusses the unique nature of the bowl system - more than 30 games and we haven't even reached the peak ones. Then: a replay of our story where we enter the world of NHL dentists - the brave heroes who attempt to put hockey players' notorious grins back together. ESPN writer Dave Fleming takes Mina on a gory, grueling journey of mouth molds, chiclets, emergency surgery and more tales of dental hockey horror.
Thanksgiving Day NFL games are a tradition unto themselves. Mina Kimes previews the matchups and offers a special appreciation for...Frank Gore. The Buffalo Bills running back just passed Barry Sanders for third in the all-time rushing yards record. Then: it was the perfect crime, and a rising star executive with the Sacramento Kings almost got away with it. ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz explains how an up-and-coming NBA sales guy defrauded the team out of $13 million - and how he got caught by an unlikely sleuth.
NHL hockey is notorious for gnarly fights on the ice. But we're seeing those brawls less and less. ESPN NHL insider Greg Wyshynski joins Mina Kimes to tell you why fewer players are dropping the gloves, how the game itself is moving toward a different style of play, and what that means for the future of the sport.
University of South Carolina quarterback Ryan Hilinski has been one of college football's biggest surprises this season. But as Ryan sees success, the family continues to mourn the loss of the older brother, Tyler -- also a college quarterback, for Washington State -- who died by suicide in 2018. ESPN's Jen Lada shares her extensive interviews with the Hilinskis for E:60, documenting the family's tough decisions about football, and their path to hope.
The 49ers defense has the rest of the NFC on notice after a dominant win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. But how did SF's defense get this good, this fast? ESPN NFL Insider Bill Barnwell joins the show to explain the Niners' dynamic defense. Then - Mina and Bill try to answer a question that's got the entire NFL scratching their heads, and that the LA Rams face on Monday Night Football: can Lamar Jackson be stopped?
It seems so basic. And yet, it can reveal so much - how an NFL quarterback holds the ball. ESPN Senior Writer David Fleming talked to some of the league's top signal callers to find out their preferences, their quirks, and the unique stories behind their grips.
After appealing his suspension for hitting Steelers QB Mason Rudolph in the head with his own helmet, Browns DE Myles Garrett awaits the NFL's next decision. In extensive interviews done before this violent incident, ESPN's Ryan Smith gained unprecedented insight into Myles Garrett's personality and life off the field for a profile on E:60. Smith joins Mina Kimes for a closer look at Garrett, and the culture of aggression in the NFL.
Major League Baseball has promised a thorough investigation into the Astros' stealing of pitching signs during their 2017 championship run, using a live video feed and...trash cans. At the owners meetings, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said there is no reason to expand the case to other teams at this time. But the scandal has raised big questions, and could change the game itself. ESPN MLB Insider Jeff Passan explores tough decisions for the league going forward.
It was the perfect crime: steal millions from the Sacramento Kings...to flip houses? Kevin Arnovitz joins Mina Kimes to explain how one up-and-coming basketball exec threw it all away while trying to pull off one of the boldest fraud schemes in NBA history - and how he almost got away with it.
Colin Kaepernick's Saturday workout didn't seem to get him or the NFL what they wanted. But it did put a fine point on the state of quarterbacks around the league. ESPN NFL expert Bill Barnwell breaks down the workout story, and what it means for Kaep and the teams. And, ahead of tonight's game in Mexico City: what does Philip Rivers' future look like with - or without - the Los Angeles Chargers? ESPN Chargers reporter Eric Williams joins Mina to examine Rivers' role in the game... and his uniquely meme-able face.
On Sunday, we will see one of the most anticipated match-ups of the NFL season - Deshaun Watson taking on Lamar Jackson. The last time these QBs faced off, they were in college. Watson on his way to winning a national championship with Clemson. Jackson at Louisville, about to win the Heisman Trophy. Now they are NFL MVP candidates. Domonique Foxworth joins Mina Kimes to breakdown the Sunday showdown that features two of the league's most exciting signal callers.
When New England running back Jonas Gray took the field vs. the Indianapolis Colts five years ago, no one could have predicted the incredible outburst of scoring that would land him national attention, and even a magazine cover. Nor could anyone have predicted how quickly that success would disappear, through a series of mishaps. ESPN senior writer Liz Merrill tells Mina Kimes the story of an underdog, his big shot, and how players might always be one step away from glory - or obscurity - in the NFL.
Tonight on ESPN, the Rockets - led by a reunited James Harden and Russell Westbrook - play host to the LA Clippers. But Houston's superstars share a complex past, which they are hoping will lead to a mutually beneficial future. NBA analyst Kirk Goldsberry joins Mina Kimes to explore how the Harden-Westbrook relationship will shape the Rockets' season.
James Wiseman is considered a potential No. 1 pick in the NBA. But, as his University of Memphis team gets ready to play Oregon tonight, the focus is on whether Wiseman should be on the court at all. Late last week, the NCAA ruled him ineligible. ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas joins Mina Kimes to discuss Wiseman's situation, the role his coach Penny Hardaway played, and what it all means for the rights of college athletes.
The NFC West is perhaps the most competitive division in the NFL. The 49ers are the only undefeated team in the NFL (8-0). The Seahawks (7-2) are led by Russell Wilson, having a MVP-candidate season. Then, there are the LA Rams. Just 9 months removed from a Super Bowl appearance, the Rams suffered another disappointing loss yesterday, this time in Pittsburgh, leaving them third in the NFC West. Bill Barnwell joins Mina Kimes to break down the Rams struggling offense. Then, ahead of Monday Night's monster NFC West showdown, former Seahawks DE Cliff Avril goes inside Seattle's rivalry with the 49ers.
College football has a storied history of epic rivalries, and none bigger than LSU taking on Alabama. The two powerhouses face-off this Saturday, and the stakes have never been higher. ESPN reporter Ryan McGee joins Mina Kimes to discuss how LSU's newly developed high-powered offense could turn the tide and write the next chapter in this glorious SEC showdown.
Pucks to the mouth. Teeth flying to the ice. Hockey players aren't known for their perfect smiles. But have you ever wondered who exactly comes to the rescue mid-game, after a player takes a slapshot to the teeth, and gets him back on the ice? Enter the world of NHL dentists - the brave heroes who put hockey players' notorious grins back together. ESPN writer Dave Fleming takes Mina Kimes on a gory, grueling journey of mouth molds, chiclets, emergency surgery, and more tales of dental hockey horror.
In the modern NBA, the Golden State Warriors have been a dynasty. Appearing in five straight NBA Finals and winning three rings in that span, the team became the stuff of basketball legend. But this season, they've won just two games. And with star Steph Curry out with a broken hand, the Warriors' fate has gone from bad to worse. But could a rough 2019-20 lead to more glory in the future? NBA reporter Nick Friedell joins Mina Kimes to explore what's gone wrong with the Golden State Warriors so far, and why there might just be a silver lining.
Another NFL weekend. Another Browns loss, accompanied by off-the-field headlines. This time, Jermaine Whitehead released after a series of threatening tweets. Cleveland's season was not supposed to go this way. With the addition of OBJ, the team had high hopes going into 2019. But now, the Baker Mayfield-led Browns sit at just 2-6. How did they get here and where do they go now? Browns reporter Jake Trotter joins Mina Kimes to explore why Cleveland fell apart. Plus, Mina wants you to know why Michigan State may be for real this season, as the college basketball season tips off with tonight's Champions Classic.
After Sunday's packed NFL slate, ESPN insider Bill Barnwell joins Mina Kimes to discuss how Lamar Jackson and the Ravens handed Tom Brady and the Patriots their first loss of the season Sunday night. Then, as the Cowboys prepare for a Monday Night Football rematch against the New York Giants, Dallas reporter Todd Archer gives us the latest on quarterback Dak Prescott's contract situation, explaining why Dak not signing prior to the season will lead to a bigger payday.
Saturday night, Jorge Masvidal takes on Nate Diaz in UFC 244. Masvidal owns the record for fastest knockout in UFC history - five seconds - and got his start fighting in backyard brawls organized by Kimbo Slice. Now, he wants to be known as the baddest MF on the planet. After spending time with Masvidal in his hometown of Miami, ESPN's Brett Okamoto talks with Mina Kimes about the man they call "Gamebred" and his rapid rise to superstardom.
As World Champions, the Nationals are on top of the MLB - and on top of the world. ESPN's Joon Lee breaks down how the Nats completed their epic finish. In contrast, the Miami Dolphins are down in the dumps. After getting off to an 0-7 start, their season has been branded as a "tank." What's it like to be a player on a team that's not trying to win? Dolphins insider Cameron Wolfe explains life inside the tank.
For the Brooklyn Nets, expectations have never been higher. As they tip off tonight against the Indiana Pacers, the mood in Barclays Center will be electric. They have a new power trio - Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan. After an offseason of cultural changes, ESPN's Jackie MacMullan takes a deep dive into Brooklyn's incredible franchise turnaround and the team's future.
The World Series is back in Houston for Game 6 tonight, but fans are still talking about a controversial strike call from Sunday's Game 5. The call could have cost the Washington Nationals - big time. MLB insider Jeff Passan makes the case for the electronic umpire system and what it could mean for the future of baseball.
Bill Belichick is considered by many to be the greatest NFL coach of all time. On Sunday, he won his 300th game. So how did Belichick become the standard of excellence in the NFL? ESPN's Bill Barnwell joins Mina to discuss the Patriots' dominant win over the Browns. Then, Senior Writer Ian O'Connor - who wrote the book on the Patriots' coach - takes a deep dive into Belichick's football legacy and where he goes from here.
The Washington Nationals are back in D.C. for Game 3 tonight, and they are on the verge of making history. Up 2-0 in the Series, the Nats have a chance to bring a baseball championship home for the first time since 1924. But how did they get here - especially considering their early-season slump? ESPN Senior Writer Tim Kurkjian explores the Nats' journey, how they handled the departure of their star Bryce Harper, their mid-season turnaround, and of course - "Baby Shark."
Things have not been going well for the Houston Astros in the World Series. They are down 0-2 - but all the talk has been about how they are handling a team's executive's taunting of reporters over a domestic violence issue. Baseball insider Jeff Passan explains what's really going on, and how this incident reveals much bigger truths about the Astros' culture. Could their insatiable hunger to win cost them more than a championship?
76ers star Ben Simmons' lack of a 3 point shot has other teams around the league daring him to shoot. But if he turns his struggle into success - what will it mean for Philadelphia's season going forward? Mina Kimes and Tim Bontemps tap into what it will take for Simmons to tackle his white whale.
As the NBA tips off tonight, all eyes turn to the Staples Center in LA. Lakers versus Clippers. LeBron versus Kawhi. Two superstars that could've ended up on the same team, now battling each other for league dominance. Basketball insider Ramona Shelburne breaks down this new rivalry and its implications for LA's sports scene - and basketball at large.
It was do-or-die for Dallas last night, and the Cowboys decided to do. Big time. But a win over Philadelphia might not be the turning point everyone assumes it is. Have the Cowboys really saved their season -- and Jason Garrett's head-coaching job -- in the process? Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Don Van Natta explains, reminding us that Dallas' owner and GM is Jerry Jones.
Host Mina Kimes introduces ESPN Daily. Sports never sounded so good.