NFL, NBA, MLB & NHL

The big picture

Sports in the coronavirus era might need an asterisk

It's worth considering how champions will be remembered years from now.

Jul 8, 2020
How the NBA's "smart rings" work to assess coronavirus risk

They track heart and respiratory rate, as well as temperature and sleep patterns.

Jun 30, 2020
Sports leagues are preparing for an era without fans

Teams face a surreal environment without the energy and noise that fans provide.

May 13, 2020
Special report: War, fever and baseball in 1918

1918 saw the Curse of the Bambino take hold.

Apr 6, 2020

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13 hours ago - Sports

6 teams are vying for the last playoff spot in the NBA's Western Conference

The Suns have won all three seeding games, capped off by Devin Booker's game-winner Tuesday night. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The race for eighth in the NBA's Western Conference is heating up, and with the playoffs just 11 days away, we're all but guaranteed to see the first-ever postseason play-in game.

How it works: A play-in game will only occur if the eighth and ninth seeds are within four games of each other when the regular season concludes.

Aug 5, 2020 - Sports

Brooklyn Nets pull off biggest NBA upset in 27 years

Rodions Kurucs (L) and Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot. Photo: Ashley Landis/Pool/Getty Images

The Nets pulled off the largest NBA upset in 27 years on Tuesday, beating the Bucks, 119-116, in a three-point shootout, despite missing their nine best players.

By the numbers: Brooklyn closed as consensus 19-point underdogs thanks to a makeshift roster that featured just one player, Garrett Temple, with more than four starts this season.

Aug 3, 2020 - Sports

13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive for coronavirus

Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Seven players and six staff members from the St. Louis Cardinals have tested positive for the coronavirus over the past week, prompting the MLB to postpone the team's upcoming four-game series against the Detroit Tigers.

Why it matters: Seven consecutive Cardinals games have now been canceled after St. Louis became the second team to report a significant coronavirus outbreak, just two weeks into the season.

Aug 2, 2020 - Sports

More athletes opt out as U.S. struggles with coronavirus

The Los Angeles Dodgers play against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 31 in Phoenix. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

A growing number of pro athletes in the U.S. are opting out of the 2020 season, or league restarts, citing concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The pandemic continues to disrupt the world of sports, despite many fans hoping that a return for the major leagues would spell some semblance of normalcy for other aspects of life.

Aug 1, 2020 - Sports

Sports teams experiment with facial recognition amid coronavirus pandemic

The Mets' Citi Field in New York City on July 30. Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Multiple professional sports teams are considering facial recognition systems to make admitting fans to stadiums as touchless as possible during the coronavirus pandemic, Wall Street Journal report.

Why it matters: It is unlikely that fans will be able to return to live sporting events soon unless facilities adopt measures, like touchless admission systems, to prevent the spread of the virus.

Aug 1, 2020 - Sports

Cardinals-Brewers game postponed again

Daniel Ponce de Leon delivering a pitch on July 29 against the Minnesota Twins. Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Saturday's Cardinals-Brewers game in Milwaukee was postponed for a second day in a row after one St. Louis player and three team staffers tested positive for the coronavirus, the New York Times and Washington Post report.

Why it matters: So far, its Major League Baseball's 16th postponement of its 2020 season and adds to existing doubts that the season can continue amid the pandemic.

Aug 1, 2020 - Sports

American coaches warn of player abuse in NBA academies in China

NBA store in Beijing. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

American coaches at three NBA training academies in China told the league their Chinese partners abused young players and didn't provide schooling, ESPN reports.

Why it matters: Because of its population, China is a major market for the NBA, and the league's success in the country was helped by the achievements of former Rockets center Yao Ming, who retired in 2011.

Jul 31, 2020 - Sports

A deeper look at MLB's new extra innings rule

Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier lays down a bunt. Photo: Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Extra innings in 2020 will begin with a man on second base — a temporary rule adopted by MLB to speed up games in this sprint of a season.

Why it matters: Some people hate the rule, but at the end of the day it leads to quicker games and more nuanced strategy.

Jul 31, 2020 - Sports

The NHL is back

Table: Axios Visuals

The NHL's race to the Stanley Cup begins Saturday, with 24 teams split between two bubbles — one centered around the Toronto Maple Leafs' Scotiabank Arena, the other around the Edmonton Oilers' Rogers Place.

The state of play: Once they reach the conference finals, the two remaining East teams will travel to Edmonton, where their families will be able to join them.

Jul 30, 2020 - Sports

Phillies delay series after 2 staff members test positive for coronavirus

The Phillie Phanatic stands on the dugout during a game between the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies on July 26. Photo: Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Philadelphia Phillies postponed its weekend series against the Toronto Blue Jays after two staff members tested positive for the coronavirus, ESPN reports.

Why it matters: It's the latest in a streak of scheduling shifts as Major League Baseball tries to pull off a 60-game season during the pandemic. The positive tests come after the Phillies faced the Miami Marlins — a team that has reports of multiple positive tests.

Go deeper: How baseball's coronavirus reckoning affects everything

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