Wake up to the best sports story you'll hear all day. Monday through Friday, host Pablo Torre brings you an inside look at the most interesting stories at ESPN, as told by the top reporters and insiders on the planet, from the breaking news of SportsCenter to the deep dive storytelling of 30 for 30. Get the very best of ESPN -- daily.
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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.