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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22 hours ago - Sports

NFL says its coronavirus positive test rate is under 1%

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The NFL has conducted 109,075 coronavirus tests of players, coaches and staff through Tuesday, with a positive test rate of 0.46% overall and 0.81% among players, according to the league.

By the numbers: During the initial intake process, the league tested 9,983 people, with a positive test rate of 1.7% overall and 1.9% for players.

Aug 12, 2020 - Sports

The busiest owner in sports

Ted Leonsis with his 2019 WNBA championship ring. Courtesy: Monumental Sports

The NBA, WNBA and NHL are currently in bubbled environments, each with their own protocols, living arrangements and schedules. One owner has a team in all three.

The state of play: Ted Leonsis is the founder and CEO of Monumental Sports, which owns the NBA's Washington Wizards, the WNBA's Washington Mystics and the NHL's Washington Capitals.

Aug 12, 2020 - Sports

MLB salaries take coronavirus dive

Nats starting pitcher Max Scherzer during a game against the Mets in Washington last week. Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

The average salary for Major League Baseball players is 37% of their initial 2020 pay under the formula agreed to in March by MLB and the union, AP reports.

Why it matters: That drops totals down to $1.3 million from $4.4 million in 2019. Players are being only being paid for 60 games, prorated from the normal 162. Washington pitcher Max Scherzer tops the shortened season’s salary list at $17.8 million.

Sports stadiums may become voting sites amid pandemic

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Dormant sports stadiums have been repurposed in a variety of ways during the pandemic, and with the national election fast approaching, some are being converted into voting locations.

Driving the news: More Than A Vote, the voting rights organization launched by LeBron James and other Black athletes like Patrick Mahomes and Sloane Stephens, has established a bipartisan arena voting advisory group.

Aug 11, 2020 - Sports

Trump on the NBA: "The way they bowed to China is a disgrace"

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump criticized the NBA's ties to China during a Fox Sports Radio interview on Tuesday, saying, "The way they catered to China, the way they bowed to China, is a disgrace."

Why it matters: China is one of the biggest international markets for the NBA, and its attempts to balance those business interests alongside criticism of the Chinese Communist Party's human rights abuses has been a flashpoint for the league in recent months.

Aug 7, 2020 - Sports

The pandemic's impact on how sports are played

Damian Lillard shoots a free throw during one of the NBA's restart games. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Sports are back, and on the surface, the actual gameplay looks fairly similar to when we last saw them.

But beneath that facade of normalcy lie some interesting trends spurred on by fan-less environments, long layoffs and condensed schedules.

Aug 6, 2020 - 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.

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