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.
Zach and John Hollinger of The Athletic play the second edition of "So, Where the Hell Were We?" starring the Sixers, Heat and Rockets.
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.
The KAJ assemble for a very important pod. They start with a voicemail about which athlete they would Escape a Room with, and then discuss the big news: Cam Newton is a Patriot (23:46), LIVERPOOL ARE CHAMPIONS (34:13), The NWSL Challenge Cup (41:00), and JR Smith is Back, Baby (53:14). Later, there's an in-depth analysis of Sarah Spain's bookcase (58:57), a Challenge Update (1:07:12), French News (1:24:59), and a very crucial question about wedgies (1:33:55).
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.
Spend your afternoon with a special edition of Jalen & Jacoby as Draymond Green stops by the show. The guys will discuss the NBA's plan to support "Black Lives Matter" movement, which team will win title this season, Draymond's relationship with KD, expectations for Warriors next season and much more. You won't want to miss this.
Zach talks to ESPN's Brian Windhorst about the legacy of "The Decision" 10 years later, and the positive coronavirus tests within the Brooklyn Nets.
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.
Jadakiss stops by the show. Plus, the guys discuss Cam Newton to the Patriots, the NBA potentially allowing players to wear social justice messages and much more!
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.
Bill is joined by Mina Kimes as they do a mailbag podcast discussing Jamal Adams, best WR under 25, how to pick a NFL team & breakout coordinators among other questions submitted.
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.
Spend your afternoon with a special edition of Jalen & Jacoby as Chuck D stops by. The guys will discuss the NBA return, the state of the New York Knicks, Giannis' health and what's next for athletes and entertainers amid calls for social justice. You won't want to miss this.
Zach and ESPN's Kevin Pelton discuss whether the NBA should cancel the season, and then play the first edition of, "So, where were we?" with the Lakers, Mavs, Celtics, and Nuggets (19:02).
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