The big picture

The third coronavirus wave means even more sports uncertainty

They have to figure out how to keep going from an even worse financial position.

Nov 2, 2020 - Sports
Ranking MLB's all-time rosters

We took into account players, franchise success and a little bit of gut feeling.

Oct 20, 2020 - Sports
Ranking the NBA's all-time rosters

We compiled and ranked the all-time rosters for all 30 NBA franchises

Sep 30, 2020 - Sports
Special report: War, fever and baseball in 1918

1918 saw the Curse of the Bambino take hold.

Apr 6, 2020 - Sports

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Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
20 hours ago - Economy & Business

The average NBA team is now worth $2.4 billion

Reproduced from Sportico; Table: Axios Visuals

The value of NBA teams has been rising at such an incredible pace that even the league's least valuable franchise is now worth well over $1 billion.

What's happening: A new report from sports business publication Sportico found that the average NBA team is now worth $2.4 billion.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Jan 13, 2021 - Sports

Hockey returns under the shadow of coronavirus

Graphic: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The NHL's abbreviated season begins tonight, with the coronavirus already casting a shadow of uncertainty over the 2021 campaign.

Driving the news: 27 players from nine teams tested positive for COVID-19 during training camp. 17 were on the Stars, who have had their first three games postponed.

Jan 12, 2021 - Health

NBA training staffs are bearing the brunt of painstaking COVID protocols

Photo: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The NBA's COVID-19 protocol is necessarily rigorous, but it's thus far had a disproportionate effect on teams' training staffs.

The state of play: The league's 153-page document includes myriad new responsibilities, with team employees in charge of testing, contact tracing and more.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Jan 6, 2021 - Economy & Business

The top 15 most-watched U.S. broadcasts of 2020

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The most important 30-day stretch of the year for the television industry begins this weekend on the gridiron.

Why it matters: The 14 most-watched U.S. TV broadcasts of 2021 could take place over the next month: 13 NFL playoff games (up from 11 due to expansion) and Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Dec 24, 2020 - Sports

Special report: The year in sports

The Milwaukee Bucks boycott their NBA playoff game to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Aug. 26. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It's been a year for sports unlike any other, and unlike we'll (hopefully) ever see again.

The big picture: While the outlook for sports during a pandemic looked grim at the outset, leagues got creative and found solutions. Fans adapted. Bubbles formed. Empty stadiums were filled with posterboards, stuffed animals and cardboard cutouts. Players adapted to a new world of isolation and cheerless games.

Dec 24, 2020 - Sports

Rockets' James Harden fined and NBA game with Thunder postponed over coronavirus

The Houston Rockets' James Harden during game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Toyota Center last Thursday in Houston, Texas. Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The NBA announced it's fining Houston Rockets star James Harden $50,000 for COVID-19 protocols violations and postponing his team's Wednesday night season opener with the Oklahoma City Thunder following a coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: The NBA suspended the previous season in March due to the pandemic. It returned to play in late July in a bubble at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Dec 22, 2020 - Sports

NBA steps out of the bubble and into the world

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Disney World bubble kept the NBA safe from COVID-19 this summer. Now comes an even greater challenge: staging a 72-game season in the real world.

Why it matters: In the bubble, the NBA made and enforced the rules, set up a complex testing program and operated three arenas. In the real world, teams will be responsible for doing everything themselves.

Dec 17, 2020 - Sports

MLB grants "major" status to Negro Leagues

Josh Gibson slides into home during the 1944 East-West All-Star Game of the Negro Leagues at Chicago's Comiskey Park. Photo: Bettmann Archives/Getty Images

The Negro Leagues have been elevated to "major" status by MLB, righting a wrong that's long overdue, but no less welcome.

Why it matters: Their statistics and records — kept separate from MLB's for half a century like the players who produced them — will finally take their rightful place in Major League history.

NBA contracts reign supreme with Giannis Antetokounmpo's megadeal

Expand chart
Data: Spotrac; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Giannis Antetokounmpo has signed a five-year, $228.2 million extension to continue playing for the Milwaukee Bucks — the largest contract in NBA history by both total and average annual value.

Why it matters: Teams have been positioning themselves for a run at Antetokounmpo for months amid rumblings that the Greek superstar, a year from free agency, might test the market next summer.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Dec 14, 2020 - Sports

MLB unveils trimmed down minor leagues

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Major League Baseball unveiled its restructured minor league system last week, with all 30 big league clubs extending invitations to four farm teams apiece.

How it works: Under the newly configured system, every franchise will have a Triple-A team, a Double-A team, a high-Class A team and a low-Class A team, along with a variety of developmental teams.

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