Sports Redef

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rantnrave:// LeBron James’ reign over the NBA is startling. He has been in the league for 14 years and been its best player for about the past decade. And yet he keeps going. He is unstoppable. The Terminator. At times, he barely seems human because of his size, athleticism and a prime that seems to have no half-life. He is The King, and his empire has grown beyond the NBA to everything he touches. He’s the most dominant athlete in the U.S. — six straight NBA Finals appearances and a seventh on the way as the Cavaliers look ready to roll through the Eastern Conference again. Glimpse at his incredible career in our new REDEF SportsSET: “LeBron Holds the Throne.” … This is a pivotal moment for U.S. Soccer. It’s flush with cash — over $100 million — and desperate for world acclaim. The U.S. has put in a bid for the 2026 World Cup, but that’s nine years away. More important is whether it can build a stronger infrastructure to recruit and develop players for the national team. I’ve always thought the issue with U.S. soccer players has been a lack of technical skill, rather than a lack of top athletes. Instead of wondering why LeBron can’t play soccer, we should be asking why we can’t get someone who can come close to matching Pirlo’s passing and vision. Does the federation have enough money to build up a national system to bridge the gap? Pay equity with the women’s national team should not be an issue again — the USSF has too much money to pay them anything less than the men. This money should be spent on uplifting the men’s team and, equally as important, maintaining the USWNT’s worldwide dominance. … A Stanley Cup playoffs without Sidney Crosby is a frightening thought. The NHL needs Crosby. Think of an NFL postseason without Tom Brady or the NBA without LeBron and how deflating that would be. But the implications of his latest brain injury are important, too. He has suffered them before and is at heightened risk. Let’s hope this one doesn’t sidetrack Crosby’s career again. The NHL and the Penguins need him back soon, but not fast enough to endanger his health and career. … If you’re a multipotentialite, don’t let anyone sway you. … Koufax on Koufax, circa 1965. … Sports Illustrated takes us up Mount Everest in virtual reality. Is this a future staple of storytelling? Or an experiment too ahead of its time because there’s not enough demand for VR yet? It can be both — a future that not all of us are ready for.

Military academy athletes shouldn’t get a break on their service, just time to do it

Defense department should expect full commitment from potential pros, but should let them play first.
Sally Jenkins | The Washington Post

Stop pretending Boston is something it’s not

Racism is deeply embedded in the city’s culture.
Renée Graham | The Boston Globe

A kidnapped trainer, an orphaned colt and the chance of a lifetime at the Kentucky Derby

Antonio Sano and Gunnevera take their improbable stories to Churchill Downs to run in the Kentucky Derby.
John Cherwa & Kevin Baxter | Los Angeles Times

The brand-new biggest star in boxing

Two of the top heavyweight fighters in the world, both 6-foot-6 and both impressive, duke it out at Wembley Stadium in London.
Kelefa Sanneh | The New Yorker

Welcome to Lagos: Africa’s new skate hotspot

Red Bull photographer Tyrone Bradley captures an emerging scene in Lagos, Nigeria, which is blowing up thanks to local crew Wafflesncream.
Alex King | Huck Magazine


“It’s not enough to be smart. You have to be curious.”

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