A’ja Wilson accomplished a lot in only one year, taking home Rookie of the Year, making the All-Star Game and earning a gold medal. But if you ask the young star about her trajectory, she’ll tell you she’s just getting started.
Klay Thompson is famously low-maintenance, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t work hard. One of the most gifted, natural shooters to have ever played the game, the Splash Brother puts a ton of work into everything around his stroke—the off-ball movement, the playmaking, the floor reading. Here, he and his coaches talk about how much effort goes into his easy-looking game.
Concussions have unfortunately become commonplace in the NFL nowadays. That’s not to say they weren’t always part of the game 20, 30 years ago, but the league has made a concerted effort to prevent them, help players recover and eliminate the ill-effects of playing football later in their lives.
Sam Shields knows firsthand just how debilitating a head injury can be, suffering five of them in his career. The last, which came in Week 1 of the 2016 season, nearly ended his run in the NFL, sidelining him for two seasons.
… It was the summer of ‘08 and I had to make a choice: basketball or the streets. I needed money and I wasn’t going to take a 9 to 5. I chose the streets. It was normal for me.
So much happened that summer. My daughter was born. My cousin was killed in a shootout and died in my arms. I flipped my old white Magnum three times and climbed out the driver’s side window. I didn’t have a scratch. In the ambulance, the EMT said, “I don’t know what you’re doing, but you were supposed to die in that accident tonight.”
I was done with Arkansas, done with college basketball, but still working out. One day, at Hoops the Gym, I ran into Will Bynum. For guys like me, hood guys from Chicago, Will “The Thrill” Bynum was a mentor and an inspiration. He did what I wanted to do, what Derrick Rose wanted to do, going from the projects to the NBA. “Will,” I said, “I’m shooting it well, I’m putting up numbers, I’m destroying everybody. What else do I need to do?” I’ll never forget what Will said back to me. “Everybody in the NBA can score. If you want to get there, you’ve got to do it with defense.”
… “When you go through a six week preparation training very hard we did not have one injury except Andrew Nabbout dislocating his shoulder in game two against Denmark. But we remember Andrew had dislocated his shoulder six to seven weeks before the World Cup. Our head physiotherapist Les Gelis and his team (Gelis is now the Director of Sports Medicine at the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets) did an amazing job to get him right to actually be at the World Cup so we had no injuries and the training participation was nearly 100 percent.
“When you’re looking at such a long time it’s incredible that that was the case. That’s a balance between good management, good coaching, good relationships and of course luck.”
Sunday breakfast on the best day of Alex Cora’s professional life was about what you’d expect: swanky Los Angeles hotel ballroom, eager servants, exotic proteins. The room was filled with Cora’s ballplayers and their families: children, wives, parents, the random cousin, a favored niece or nephew. There was anticipation in the room as well, this being the morning of the day they all expected to end with a win over the Dodgers in Game 5 and a World Series championship for the Red Sox. And one by one, perhaps sensing it was their last chance, the parents approached Cora, the fathers’ hands extended, the mothers angling in for a hug. They came bearing some version of the same message: “Thank you for the way you’ve treated our son.”
This was the culture Cora set out to build when he became Boston’s manager a year ago, which made the scene both humbling and a little sad. He wanted a team that felt like a family, one constructed out of tolerance and diversity and inclusion. Given the transitory nature of the game, he wanted to create an ecosystem capable of absorbing new members. This breakfast was proof that he and his players had succeeded, that what he had imagined had come true, and at one point he turned to his own family and told them — despite the chic setting — that it felt more like a high school summer-league team than a group of hardened, cynical, seen-it-all big leaguers.
Garmin has announced that it has sold more than 200 million of its GPS navigation and wearable technology products to customers around the world. The company notes that its consumers are pursuing their passions throughout the automotive, aviation, fitness, marine and outdoor recreation markets Garmin that serves.
This milestone is concurrent with the opening of the first phase of the company’s facility expansion at its North American headquarters in Olathe, Kansas. Built to enable growth in many areas of its business, this 750,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution centre more than doubles the company’s aviation product manufacturing and distribution capacity. The company adds that these achievements reinforce Garmin’s continued commitment to its customers, associates, shareholders and community.
… Individual differences in health outcomes often result from complex interactions of psychosocial, environmental and genetic factors. While pain may not register as a traditional disease like heart disease or diabetes, the same constellation of factors are at play. The painful experiences throughout our lifetime occur against a background of genes that make us more or less sensitive to pain. But our mental and physical state, previous experiences – painful, traumatic – and the environment can modulate our responses.
If we can better understand what makes individuals more or less sensitive to pain in all kinds of situations, then we are that much closer to reducing human suffering by developing targeted personalized pain treatments with lower risks of misuse, tolerance and abuse than the current treatments. Ultimately, this would mean knowing who is going to have more pain or need more pain-killing drugs, and then being able to effectively manage that pain so the patient is more comfortable and has a quicker recovery.
Playing in pain: the concept that virtually every single footballer playing at a high level has to come to terms with if they want to succeed. But at what cost?
An investigation by i has uncovered that coaches at the highest level are growing increasingly concerned with the culture of masking pain and injury and the disregard for the welfare of the players who push their bodies beyond their boundaries in the pursuit of trophies, glory, stardom and legend. That players are displaying signs of addiction to the drugs they are taking which, while perfectly legal, are potentially seriously damaging to their physical and mental health.
Such is the extent of the issue that at least two of the top-six managers are beginning to question how far players are going to be pushed and at what point player welfare is placed ahead of the executives, television companies and money.
A leading coach at a Premier League club competing for the title, who only spoke to i on condition of anonymity, describes it as “playing with players’ health”. Some games are already ending in tears.
… Is basketball — both the college and pro games — better off without the 19-year-old age requirement for the NBA draft?
Even for one of the sport’s most polarizing issues, the considerations are nuanced for those closest to the questions.
The NBA age minimum has been controversial since its inception, with critics arguing that elite 18-year-old basketball players should have the freedom to choose between making millions as a pro or attending school as a student-athlete. But the stakes rose in September 2017 when the FBI announced it was investigating potentially corruptive practices in college basketball. In response, the NCAA formed an independent Commission on College Basketball, led by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and tasked the group with examining critical issues in Division I men’s basketball and proposing solutions.
This morning Yahoo Sports published a piece titled “Op-ed: How one flawed study and irresponsible reporting launched a wave of CTE hysteria,” written by Merril Hoge, a former NFL running back and ESPN analyst, and Dr. Peter Cummings, an Assistant Professor with the Boston University School of Medicine. In it, they criticize the methods of an article that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2017 entitled “Clinicopathological Evaluation of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in Players of American Football.” The JAMA article, as they point out, has been an important part of widespread discussions about football and brain injury.
… For one reason or another, Boston was perpetually overlooked in discussions of 2018’s best team. They won 108 games with a +229 run differential, led baseball in runs scored, and were flawlessly managed by the ever-composed Alex Cora. And yet, it never quite felt like these Red Sox were given their due.
But after a rollicking post-season in which they went 11-3 with a +33 run differential, it’s impossible to deny them now. For the ninth time in their history, and the third time in the last dozen years, the Boston Red Sox are World Series champions. And here are your takeaways from a decisive Game 5.