👋 Good morning! Let's sports.
Today's word count: 1,735 words (7 minutes).
👋 Good morning! Let's sports.
Today's word count: 1,735 words (7 minutes).
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Joe Vardon is a senior NBA writer for The Athletic and one of the few reporters currently inside the Walt Disney World bubble.
How's it been so far?
"The thing that is the most surprising is, frankly, how busy I am with work. I've had family and friends reach out suggesting I'm just staring at the walls, and that is not the case."
What have you observed that isn't coming through via social media?
"The food is good. It just doesn't photograph well, and that is in large part because it's packaged in highly sanitary containers."
What were your feelings around taking this assignment?
"There are certain anxieties ... but I really think this is a historic event with huge implications for the NBA, for sports, and for the public. I never hesitated when it came time to do this because I just feel like if you have the job that I have, this is the thing that you sign up for."
How do you plan to cover such a unique event?
"I don't have an exact plan because this is all too new. But I do intend to try to write every day, and I think the rules and setup will dictate that coverage.
"Part of covering sports, and especially the NBA, is this art of cornering players, coaches and front office types in locker rooms, in hallways, in parking lots — and you get your scoops that way. You can't do that here. You just can't."
And all interviews and press events are on Zoom, right? So it's not like you have access that reporters at home don't.
"Yeah, literally everything that is said by any player or coach is widely available on Zoom to any reporter. I'm here representing The Athletic, but I have dozens of colleagues who are beat reporters for these teams writing every day off the Zoom calls at home."
In that sense, you're almost more of a "bubble reporter" than an "NBA reporter," right?
"Yeah, we're here to report on what it's like just to be here in the bubble. What we see, what we hear, what we experience. It's the idea of taking it all in and reporting on that, as opposed to, 'here's what this guy did on the floor' or, 'here's what this guy said.' That's not what this is."
More bubble reporters:
Florida is the new domestic epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, and it's on track to keep getting worse, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.
Courtesy: The Basketball Tournament
Travis Diener nailed a three-pointer to lift the Golden Eagles, a team of mostly Marquette alumni, to a 78-73 win over Sideline Cancer in the championship game of The Basketball Tournament (TBT) on Tuesday night.
The backdrop: Due to the pandemic, this year's tournament was limited to 24 teams (down from 65) and was played under quarantine in Columbus, Ohio.
Go deeper: This year, The Basketball Tournament has earned its definite article (The Ringer)
Photo: Ed Zurga/Getty Images
In the three weeks since CrossFit founder Greg Glassman resigned amid backlash against his offensive remarks on George Floyd's killing, the company — and community — have undergone substantial change, Axios' Jeff Tracy writes.
The big picture: Founded in 2000, CrossFit exploded over the last 20 years as both a brand and a fitness regimen to include nearly 15,000 dues-paying affiliates, plus an annual competition called the CrossFit Games.
What they're saying: To learn more about the industry shake-up, I spoke with Justin LoFranco, founder of Morning Chalk Up, a CrossFit media company.
The bottom line: While CrossFit undergoes its first ownership change, athletes are unifying and aiming for a seat at the table when it comes to the future of their sport.
Tiger is back. Here he is during Tuesday's practice round prior to The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village (Dublin, Ohio), which starts tomorrow.
🎥 Watch: The 18 holes of Muirfield (YouTube)
We're ranking the all-time rosters for all 30 NBA teams. Note: Rosters and stats based only on time spent with this specific team. Thoughts? Email me at email@example.com.
I desperately wanted to include Spencer Haywood on this roster, given his lone season with the team, as a rookie, saw him average 30 points and 19.5 rebounds in 45+ minutes a night with a league-leading 28 PER and 17.1 WS. But ultimately, they were too deep to allow entry to a one-and-done. Sorry, Spencer.
Sixth man: Nikola Jokić, C (16.9 pts, 9.7 reb, 5.4 ast, 24.9 PER/48.0 WS)
ICYMI ... 30. Grizzlies, 29. Timberwolves, 28. Hornets, 27. Raptors, 26. Pelicans, 25. Pacers, 24. Clippers, 23. Mavericks, 22. Nets, 21. Cavaliers, 20. Bucks, 19. Hawks, 18. Wizards, 17. Suns, 16. Kings, 15. Magic
Stats, explained: Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is a measure of a player's per-minute productivity (20+ is elite); Win Shares (WS) attempts to divvy up individual credit for team success (6 per season is elite).
Photo: Michael Heiman/Getty Images
12 years ago today, the AL beat the NL, 4-3, at Yankee Stadium in the longest All-Star Game ever, lasting 15 innings and a record four hours and 50 minutes.
Look: 2008 ASG box score (Baseball Reference)
🏈 How Patrick Mahomes became the superstar the NFL needs right now (Clay Skipper, GQ)
"'I've always just had the confidence and believed in who I am. And I've known that I'm Black. And I'm proud to be Black. And I'm proud to have a white mom too. I'm just proud of who I am.'"
🏀 LeBron James is going back to Disney World (Ben Cohen, WSJ)
"The NBA is returning to the place where he played the biggest game of his young life. More than 20 years after a 'heartbreaking' loss, James has another title in mind."
🥇 The rise and fall of the Karolyi Ranch (Bonnie D. Ford and Alyssa Roenigk, ESPN)
"For almost 20 years, top U.S. women gymnasts would ... take a monthly trip that ended with a long drive down a dirt road to a remote compound in a Texas forest. ... Few questioned the wisdom of training children and teenagers in a risky sport at such an isolated venue, far from hospitals and cut off from their families. Why would they?"
Canoe polo, also known as kayak polo, was born in 1970 and combines water polo, basketball and kayaking.
🎥 Watch ... World Championship: Germany vs. France (YouTube)
Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Myles Garrett and the Browns are finalizing a five-year, $125 million extension that will make him the highest-paid non-QB in the NFL, per ESPN.
Answer at the bottom.
Tom C. (New Jersey) writes:
"In 2016, Villanova men's basketball was on a run, and my girlfriend and I were at a bar watching the Elite 8 game against Kansas. As people filled in behind us, we sat transfixed at the TV, willing Villanova to victory with tequila shots.
"After the game (we won), we knew we needed to be in Houston for the Final Four, which Villanova hadn't been to since 2009, when we were sophomores and made the trip to Detroit.
"We booked flights and rooms right there at the bar, and on the walk home we called her Villanova graduate father to convince him to join us. The next day, both he and my girlfriend's mother booked flights, and we were together that weekend in Houston.
"The trip was fantastic, but I had a very important question I needed to ask her father and never ended up alone with him. With a 6am flight the next morning, I hadn't left myself much time to ask when Villanova and UNC tipped off for the national championship.
"As college basketball fans will recall, the game had a historic finish. About 15 seconds after Kris Jenkins hit his buzzer-beating, championship-winning three-pointer, I turned to my girlfriend's father and asked if I could marry his daughter.
"18 months later at our wedding (Villanova themed of course), my now wife's father gets up to give his toast. In his version, he's jumping up and down after the shot, yelling 'Yes! Yes! Yes!' When I drop the line, 'I want to marry your daughter' he's mid 'Yes' and then goes 'What? No!'
"His delivery was perfect, and if Villanova hadn't won it all that season, I may not have had the chance to ask for my wife's hand in person."
✍️ Submit your story: Do you have a fondest sports memory? Or an example of sports having a positive impact on your life? If you'd like to share, simply reply to this email. We'll be telling your stories until they run out.
Kendall "Dinner's on Diener" Baker
Trivia answer: Chandler Jones (1.02 sacks/game), Aaron Donald (0.96), Cameron Jordan (0.84)