The Lead

The Lead

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The first daily sports news podcast that covers everything from the world stage to the hometown. The Athletic, home to the best storytelling in sports, and Wondery, the company behind “Sports Wars” and “Gladiator,” take you beyond the box score. With the help of The Athletic’s more than 400 sports writers and editors, co-hosts Kavitha Davidson and Anders Kelto dive deep into the biggest and most fascinating stories of the day. New episodes every weekday morning. The Lead. Sports up close.


The NWSL Takes Flight
Jul 3 • 12 min
The NWSL became the first professional U.S. sports league to resume play this week, kicking off the Challenge Cup, a month-long knockout tournament, in Utah. The Athletic’s Meg Linehan joins us to discuss what happened in the opening matches, a…
Tom Brady’s Workouts: Fearless or Foolish?
Jul 2 • 12 min
As coronavirus cases skyrocket in Florida, Tom Brady has been defying league health recommendations and working out with his Tampa Bay Buccaneer teammates at a local high school — and posting about it on social media. The Athletic’s Greg Auman joins us to…
How College Sports Helped Change Mississippi’s Flag
Jul 1 • 12 min
There was some historic news out of Mississippi yesterday, as governor Tate Reeves signed a bill removing the Confederate emblem from the state flag. Today, we’re joined by The Athletic’s David Ubben to discuss the role that college sports played in the…
The Patriots Bet On Cam Newton
Jun 30 • 11 min
Cam Newton is officially a member of the New England Patriots. And the Pats reportedly got the former NFL MVP at a bargain basement price.The Athletic’s Mike Sando joins us to talk about how the deal came about, what the Pats could look like with Cam at…
Get Ready for the Strangest MLB Season Ever
Jun 29 • 12 min
After months of bitter negotiations between MLB players and owners, an agreement was finally reached and the league is expected to begin a 60-game season in July. Doug Glanville, retired Major Leaguer and co-host of The Athletic’s Starkville podcast,…
Introducing Sports Wars: Serena vs. Venus
Jun 27 • 5 min
Hosted by Dan Rubenstein, Sports Wars dives into some of the biggest rivalries in sports history. In their new season, they explore the fascinating rivalry between Venus and Serena Williams. As they navigated international fame and the pressures of their…
A Trip to the Negro Leagues Museum (Rebroadcast)
Jun 26 • 20 min
Today, we’re replaying one of our favorite episodes of The Lead, which originally aired back in February. It’s a virtual tour of the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City. The Athletic’s Nate Taylor was our eyes and ears, and he joined us to relay stories…
A Hockey Coach’s Long History of Sexual Abuse Accusations (Rebroadcast)
Jun 25 • 26 min
Warning: This episode contains details about alleged sexual abuse and might be emotionally upsetting for some listeners. Today, we are replaying a story that first aired on our show back in March. It’s about a hockey coach with a long history of child…
Vince Carter’s Remarkable Career (Rebroadcast)
Jun 24 • 23 min
Earlier this month, Vince Carter announced his retirement from the NBA — in the midst of the pandemic, and without getting to complete his final season. It was, as he put it, a weird way to end a career. The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner joined us back in…
How Jurgen Klopp Has Hugged His Way To Dominance (Rebroadcast)
Jun 23 • 15 min
Liverpool has absolutely dominated the current Premier League season, and is on the brink of winning its first league title in three decades. The man responsible for much of that success is talismanic head coach Jurgen Klopp. The Athletic’s James Pearce…
Kaepernick Fights To Tell His Own Story (Rebroadcast)
Jun 22 • 17 min
Last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he “encourages” an NFL team to sign Colin Kaepernick. This came after Goodell had expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement and said players have the right to peacefully protest. Now, many fans…
Where In The World Is Joe Paterno’s Statue?
Jun 19 • 16 min
Eight years ago this summer, Penn State took down the controversial statue of former coach Joe Paterno — a statue that took on huge symbolic meaning in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Today, The Athletic’s Audrey Snyder joins…
America’s Next Great Men’s Soccer Star
Jun 18 • 15 min
Over the past few months, Gio Reyna has burst onto the scene with Borussia Dortmund. The son of U.S. Men’s National Team legend Claudio Reyna and former University of North Carolina star Danielle Egan, Gio is very much American soccer royalty. The…
Hockey’s Day of Reckoning On Race
Jun 17 • 16 min
Since the killing of George Floyd, NHL players have been speaking up about things that often aren’t talked about in hockey. The Athletic’s Ryan Clark, who covers the Colorado Avalanche, joins us to talk about how recent protests and the Black Lives Matter…
With MLB’s Future In Doubt, One Prospect’s Story
Jun 16 • 16 min
Negotiations between MLB players and owners keep getting worse, and might now be past the point of no return. But last week, there was a heartwarming tale that emerged during the MLB draft. Today, as we await the fate of the 2020 season, we bring you the…
The Case For Boycotting The NBA Season
Jun 15 • 12 min
Just over a week ago, the NBA announced its plan for restarting the season at the end of July. But now, a group of players is trying to prevent that from happening. The Athletic’s Shams Charania joins us to talk about a Friday night phone call involving a…
Almost Perfect: How Armando Galarraga Remembers The Blown Call
Jun 12 • 21 min
Ten years ago this month, Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game, when umpire Jim Joyce famously blew the call at first base. Today, we’re joined by The Athletic’s Cody Stavenhagen — who recently caught up with Galarraga, Joyce and former…
NASCAR Bans The Confederate Flag
Jun 11 • 14 min
On Wednesday, NASCAR issued a statement saying that the Confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties. The organization said that the flag’s presence runs contrary to its commitment to “providing a welcoming and inclusive…
College Football Coaches Struggle To Address Racism
Jun 10 • 17 min
Since the killing of George Floyd, many college football coaches have been having trouble finding the right words when it comes to sensitive topics like race and racism, and addressing problems in their programs. The Athletic’s Tashan Reed joins us to…
Wes Unseld Always Did The Dirty Work
Jun 9 • 19 min
Last week, the basketball world lost a legend when Wes Unseld — the Hall of Famer who played for the Baltimore and Washington Bullets — died at the age of 74. Today, we’re joined by The Athletic’s Fred Katz — who spoke with a number of Unseld’s teammates,…
Inside The Video That Forced The NFL’s Hand
Jun 8 • 18 min
On Friday, a day after an emotional video was released by a group of NFL superstars, Commissioner Roger Goodell made a dramatic statement on camera. He said that the league was wrong for not listening to NFL players’ concerns about police brutality, and…
Before Kaepernick, WNBA Teams Were Staging Protests
Jun 5 • 15 min
Four years ago, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national debate that is once again in full swing in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. But before Kaep took a knee during the national anthem, WNBA players were staging protests and aligning themselves with the…
The NBA Is Going To Disney World
Jun 4 • 13 min
Thursday is a big day for basketball fans, with the NBA’s Board of Governors set to vote on a proposed plan for the league to return to play. In other words, barring something unexpected, the NBA is coming back. Today, we’re joined by The Athletic’s Shams…
Is Greed Jeopardizing MLB’s Future?
Jun 3 • 15 min
MLB players and owners are still at an impasse over how many games the 2020 season will have and how much players will be paid. Some fear that the two sides are so far apart in negotiations that the season is now in serious jeopardy. The Athletic’s Jayson…
The Athletes Who Are Speaking Up
Jun 2 • 16 min
As massive protests over the killing of George Floyd continue to erupt across the country, athletes have once again been at the center of an important national conversation. The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar joins us to talk about the athletes, coaches,…
The Return of the Premier League
Jun 1 • 15 min
While pro sports in the U.S. remain on hold, overseas soccer leagues are picking up steam. After getting approval from the British government on Saturday, the Premier League is now officially scheduled to resume play on June 17th. The Athletic’s Jack…
Roy Halladay’s Perfect Game
May 29 • 19 min
Ten years ago today, Phillies ace Roy Halladay made baseball history by throwing just the second perfect game in team history and 20th perfect game in Major League Baseball history. The Athletic’s Matt Gelb joins us to remember that remarkable…
The NHL Is Definitely, Maybe Back
May 28 • 16 min
On Tuesday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the regular season was officially over, and the league would go directly to a new playoff format when play resumes — perhaps as early as late July or early August. The Athletic’s Craig Custance…
A Murder, A Protest, and the Newcastle United Takeover
May 27 • 19 min
Newcastle United is in the process of being purchased by a new ownership group, led by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman. MBS, as he is known, is widely believed to have ordered the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, an…
Jerry Sloan’s Legendary Toughness
May 26 • 13 min
At the start of Memorial Day weekend, the basketball world lost an icon when Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan died at the age of 78. Sloan coached the Utah Jazz for 23 years, leading them to 19 postseason appearances, and back-to-back trips to the NBA Finals…
Silent No More (Rebroadcast)
May 25 • 22 min
Warning: This episode contains graphic material related to sexual assault that may not be suitable for all audiences. Sarah Klein is one of the first known victims of former gymnastics team physician and serial sexual predator, Larry Nassar. As an adult,…
Introducing: The Comeback
May 23 • 6 min
The Athletic’s Seth Davis examines the latest developments on the return of professional sports during COVID-19 pandemic. Released 3-times-a-week, each episode will last between 10-15 minutes, featuring interviews with reporters, athletes and…
Dennis Rodman’s Last Dance
May 22 • 20 min
After winning a championship with the Chicago Bulls in 1998, Dennis Rodman closed out his NBA career two years later with the Dallas Mavericks, a team that had been the laughing stock of the league for quite some time. It was a short, strange period…
Florida Throws Open Its Doors to Pro Sports
May 21 • 11 min
There’s a race going on to bring back pro sports, and the state of Florida is in the lead. The Sunshine State declared sports to be an essential service earlier this year, and is now recruiting leagues and teams far and wide. The Athletic’s Chris Perkins…
MLB Players’ Strange and Inspiring Hobbies
May 20 • 16 min
Major League Baseball players have had some extra time on their hands recently. And, it turns out, they’ve gotten into some pretty interesting activities. The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli fills us in on how a few different MLB players have been spending…
Michael Jordan: Superhuman And Human
May 19 • 16 min
On Sunday night, after 10 hours of sports TV nostalgia, The Last Dance — the documentary series about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls — reached its conclusion. Today, we’re joined by The Athletic’s David Aldridge — who was featured throughout the…
How Germany Got Its Soccer Back
May 18 • 15 min
The Bundesliga became the first major sports league to return to play this weekend. Lucky for soccer fans, it has also been arguably the most exciting league in Europe this season. The Athletic’s Raphael Honigstein joins us to explain how a well-organized…
Does Bill O’Brien Have Too Much Power?
May 15 • 13 min
At the start of the NFL offseason, the Houston Texans made a stunning trade, sending All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals for a return headlined by running back David Johnson. The man behind that decision, and all of Houston’s…
The Standoff Between MLB Players and Owners
May 14 • 14 min
Major League Baseball owners have a proposal for the 2020 baseball season that includes empty stadiums, regional competition, and more teams making the playoffs. But it hasn’t exactly been welcomed with open arms by the players. The Athletic’s Jayson…
College Athletes Are About To Get Paid
May 13 • 14 min
The NCAA recently accepted new recommendations involving college athletes’ NIL (name, image and likeness) rights. That means some athletes will soon be making significant money for things that have long been banned, including promoting products on social…
The NBA Tiptoes Toward Tipoff
May 12 • 11 min
Last week, the NBA took a tiny step toward returning to play, as some teams opened the doors to their practice facilities and began allowing individual player workouts. Today, the Athletic’s Sam Amick joins us to talk about how the NBA is slowly but…
When Michael Jordan Mania Hit Birmingham
May 11 • 14 min
Last night on The Last Dance, we got the chance to re-live Michael Jordan’s time as a minor league baseball player, for the Double-A Birmingham Barons, in 1994. Today, we’re joined by James Fegan — who covers the White Sox for The Athletic — to hear some…
UFC 249: Ultimate Fighting in the Time of Corona
May 8 • 26 min
UFC 249 is going down on Saturday in Florida, a state where stay-at-home restrictions have been eased and sports like professional wrestling and MMA have been deemed essential. The Athletic’s Shaheen Al-Shatti joins us to discuss how this fight came to…
Why Kevin De Bruyne Is The Premier League’s Best Player
May 7 • 20 min
The Athletic has named Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne as its Premier League player of the year. Before the season was suspended, the Belgian star was closing in on Thierry Henry’s record for assists in a season and had been directly involved in more…
Myles Garrett Finds Himself In Tanzania
May 6 • 21 min
After the notorious “helmet hit” against Myles Rudolph last November and an ESPN interview gone awry a few months later, Myles Garrett took off for a while. Specifically, he went to Tanzania to spend time with a water charity that he has worked with for…
Bat Flips Welcome: Korean Baseball Returns
May 5 • 21 min
Professional baseball is back! In South Korea, that is. The Korea Baseball Organization kicked off its season on Tuesday a little differently: empty stadiums and officials, coaches and players wearing masks and gloves. It’s a completely different…
Michael Jordan Is Still The Sneaker King
May 4 • 25 min
Last night on The Last Dance, ESPN’s documentary series about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, we heard the origin story of the Air Jordan, and its impact on everyone from Nas to Justin Timberlake. Today, we’re joined by The Athletic’s Wosny Lambre,…
Will Kevin Durant Ever Be Satisfied?
May 1 • 21 min
Draymond Green has been sounding off on his former teammate, Kevin Durant, lately. Green has talked about a dustup between the two, and how Durant’s contract situation and general behavior affected the team. The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss has followed the…
Rodgers and Love: QB Drama Returns to Green Bay
Apr 30 • 21 min
The Green Bay Packers shocked the football world when they selected Utah State quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of this year’s draft. The pick was immediately compared to 2005, when the Packers selected Aaron Rodgers in the first round while…
Why Top Recruits Are Choosing The G League
Apr 29 • 18 min
Earlier this month, the top high school basketball prospect in the 2020 recruiting class, Jalen Green, decided he would skip college and sign with a new program operated by the NBA’s G League. The new initiative is the NBA’s first academy-style operation…
The Red Sox Fall Guy
Apr 28 • 17 min
Last week, Major League Baseball handed down its punishment to the Red Sox for using video replay to steal signs. Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic broke the news about the Red Sox back in January. Today, Ken joins us to discuss the details…
The First Time I Met Michael Jordan
Apr 27 • 18 min
Last night on The Last Dance, we heard more amazing stories about Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, Dennis Rodman and the legendary 1997-98 Chicago Bulls. Today, we’re joined by Joe Vardon of The Athletic, who collected untold stories from former NBA players…
The 2020 NFL Draft: Quarterbacks, Webcams and…Jerry Jones’s Yacht?
Apr 24 • 21 min
The first round of the (virtual) NFL Draft went much more smoothly than many people expected. There were no major technical glitches during the four-hour event, which included NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell receiving pre-recorded boos in his basement and…
Don’t Sleep On Tua Tagovailoa
Apr 23 • 23 min
One of the most talked-about players leading up to the NFL Draft — which starts tonight — is Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Once considered a lock to be the No. 1 pick, he’s been slowed by a number of injuries, most notably a dislocated hip, leaving…
Gronk Joins Brady in Tampa Bay
Apr 22 • 21 min
Rob Gronkowski is hanging up the wrestling belt and picking up his cleats to reunite with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. The Athletic’s Greg Auman joins us to discuss how this reunion came about at breakneck speed, what it means for the Bucs chances in the…
NFL Prospects Try To Stand Out In Isolation
Apr 21 • 19 min
With pro days being canceled, players on the cusp of getting drafted into the NFL are having to get creative as they try to get on the radar of teams. The Athletic’s Stephen Holder joins us to discuss how college players who are on the bubble have been…
A Preview of the 2020 NFL Draft
Apr 20 • 25 min
The NFL Draft is usually a spectacle, but this year will be different. Teams will make selections remotely, top prospects will be at home instead of walking across the stage and Commissioner Roger Goodell is running the whole thing from his basement.…
The Forgotten Inventor of the Jump Shot
Apr 17 • 26 min
Steph Curry is considered by some to be the best shooter in the history of basketball. Now, a new documentary film (on which Curry is credited as an executive producer) tells the story of Kenny Sailors, the man who invented the skill that Curry has since…
Russell Westbrook At The Peak Of His Powers
Apr 16 • 24 min
Wednesday would have been the final day of the NBA regular season. With that in mind — and because we are all missing basketball — we’re looking back at one of the most amazing regular season performances of all time. That would be Russell Westbrook’s…
When The Saints Returned to The Superdome
Apr 15 • 23 min
One of the cities hit hardest by the coronavirus right now is New Orleans, where the number of confirmed cases is among the highest in the country. The city has faced daunting circumstances before, particularly during Hurricane Katrina. And its most…
With Sports On Hold, TV Gets Weird
Apr 14 • 20 min
From NBA players playing HORSE to baseball announcers calling MLB The Show video games, it seems just about anything can make it onto the airwaves and pass for sports these days. The Athletic’s Jordan Bianchi joins us to break down two recent broadcasts —…
Did The XFL Ever Have A Chance?
Apr 13 • 29 min
The XFL officially called it quits on Friday, suspending operations and laying off all of its employees, except for a handful of executives. Vince McMahon’s quirky league, which included a bunch of unusual rules, surprised a lot of people with its…
Hank Azaria and Special Guest Jim Brockmire
Apr 10 • 25 min
Actor Hank Azaria is perhaps best known for his work voicing multiple classic characters on The Simpsons, but he’s also the star of the hit show Brockmire. Azaria plays the title character, Jim Brockmire, a washed-up baseball announcer with alcohol…
Will Major League Baseball Be Playing In May?
Apr 9 • 20 min
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal joins us to discuss a radical new plan from Major League Baseball, which would see the league returning to play as early as May. The plan, which reportedly has the support of high-ranking federal public health officials, would…
College Sports Are In Serious Jeopardy
Apr 8 • 21 min
Football and men’s basketball are the main financial drivers of college sports. With March Madness having been canceled, many athletic departments are now more dependent than ever on a successful college football season. But will there be one? The…
Will Liverpool Be Given The Premier League Title?
Apr 7 • 22 min
Before coronavirus brought sports to a halt, Liverpool was having a historically great Premier League season and was about to clinch its first top flight title in three decades. The Athletic’s David Ornstein joins us to explain how the EPL is now…
The Dick Vitale You Don’t Know
Apr 6 • 24 min
Many people only know Dick Vitale through his happy-go-lucky, extremely energetic and at times almost cartoonish on-air persona. Today, on what would have been the day of the men’s college basketball national title game, Seth Davis of The Athletic joins…
Is the NFL in Corona Denial?
Apr 3 • 22 min
Just about every professional sports league has come to a grinding halt in recent weeks, with one notable exception: the NFL. As other leagues have shut down because of COVID-19, the NFL has allowed new player signings, plans to hold the NFL draft as…
What Drives Sabrina Ionescu
Apr 2 • 22 min
Normally, this weekend would have been the Final Four of the women’s NCAA tournament, and potentially a big sendoff for the best player in college basketball, Sabrina Ionescu. Instead, Oregon’s superstar now turns her focus to the WNBA Draft, where she…
Cam Newton’s Messy Breakup With The Panthers
Apr 1 • 21 min
After months of speculation, the Carolina Panthers released longtime quarterback Cam Newton on March 24. While the move was expected by some, it still came as a shock to fans and the football world. And the whole separation itself was rather messy. After…
Before The WNBA, There Was Lady Magic
Mar 31 • 24 min
Just before the coronavirus put a halt to every sport seemingly overnight, there were some big developments in the WNBA. The union signed a new contract with the league, players started making more money and some big trades generated a lot of excitement.…
How Pro Athletes Are Helping (And Hurting?) in the COVID-19 Fight
Mar 30 • 23 min
Steph Curry interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci about COVID-19 live on Instagram last week. Joel Embiid has pledged half a million dollars to help laid off arena workers. Karl-Anthony Towns recently opened up about his mother being in a medically-induced coma…
Rick Pitino Gets Yet Another Shot
Mar 27 • 26 min
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, some big college basketball news flew under the radar last week, with Hall of Famer Rick Pitino returning to the NCAA to coach Iona after nearly three years out of the college game. Today, we speak with The…
Olympic Gold Medalist Nathan Adrian Eyes 2021
Mar 26 • 20 min
With the Tokyo Olympics now officially postponed, 5-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Nathan Adrian joins us to talk about what the uncertainty of the past few weeks has been like, how he and his fellow Olympic athletes will now be adjusting their lives…
Will U.S. Soccer Stop Insulting Women Now?
Mar 25 • 21 min
Earlier this month, U.S. Soccer made a legal argument that many people found deeply offensive, and that led to the resignation of the organization’s president. As part of an ongoing lawsuit over equal pay, U.S. Soccer essentially argued that men deserve…
As Pressure Mounts, Olympics Postpone
Mar 24 • 21 min
(Note: A few hours after we published this episode, Japan and the IOC announced that the Olympics will, in fact, be postponed until 2021.) Yesterday, a member of the International Olympic Committee told a reporter that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be…
A WNBA Player’s Escape From Italy
Mar 23 • 21 min
Last week, Italy surpassed China as the country with the most deaths from COVID-19. Italy also happens to be a country where a number of WNBA players go in the offseason to supplement their income. The Athletic’s Alexis Mansanarez joins us to tell the…
Was That Vince Carter’s Last Hurrah?
Mar 20 • 27 min
With the NBA season cut short because of the coronavirus, 43-year-old Vince Carter — the only NBA player to play in four different decades — might have played his final game much earlier than expected. The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner joins us to look back…
Baseball’s Uncertain Future
Mar 19 • 22 min
There’s a lot of uncertainty in baseball right now, just like every other facet of our lives. The Athletic’s Jayson Stark joins us to talk about how Major League Baseball has handled the situation with COVID-19 so far, what a delayed start could mean for…
Tom Brady is Heading to Tampa
Mar 18 • 21 min
One of the NFL’s biggest offseason questions was finally answered on Tuesday: Tom Brady is leaving New England and heading to Tampa Bay. The Athletic’s Steve Buckley joins us to talk about Brady’s unprecedented run of success with the Pats, his…
No Season, No Pay: How Ballpark Workers are Getting By
Mar 17 • 23 min
Major League Baseball announced Monday it would postpone opening day until at least mid-May. Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement after the CDC on Sunday recommended gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled nationwide. According to some…
Hey, We Had A Great College Hoops Season
Mar 16 • 28 min
Today was supposed to be Bracket Monday. But coronavirus has shut down sports across the country and upended our lives. So, on the day when everyone would normally be filling out March Madness brackets, we are instead looking back on the 2019-2020 men’s…
The NBA’s Patient Zero Is Just The Beginning
Mar 13 • 18 min
Following the NBA’s lead, MLB, the NHL and MLS all suspended or delayed their respective seasons because of coronavirus. And, in a shocking move, the NCAA canceled the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The sports world is effectively canceled for…
The NBA Suspends Play
Mar 12 • 16 min
The NBA has suspended all games until further notice after Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. We recap how one of the most historic days in sports history unfolded at breakneck speed, and are joined by The Athletic’s Joe…
College Basketball Games With No Fans? It’s Happened Before
Mar 11 • 22 min
As the coronavirus continues to spread, more and more sporting events are being canceled or postponed. There is now a possibility that NCAA Tournament games could be played without fans. But it turns out, this has happened before. The Athletic’s Dana…
How Seth Curry Emerged from Steph’s Shadow
Mar 10 • 20 min
Steph Curry recently returned to the Golden State Warriors’ lineup after missing most of the season with a broken hand. But during his absence, his brother Seth emerged as a key member of the playoff-bound Dallas Mavericks. The Athletic’s Tim Cato, joins…
Aaron Rodgers vs. The NFL
Mar 9 • 23 min
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers went on a local radio show on Friday to talk about his frustrations with the NFL. In a rather remarkable series of comments, he also sounded off on his fellow players, who he said don’t care enough about the new…
Wondery Presents: Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc.
Mar 7 • 3 min
What happened to Aaron Hernandez? Listen to the award-winning investigative series about the life and death of the NFL star. Hernandez went from the bright lights of the Super Bowl to a convicted murderer in a few years. The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team,…
Is LA Becoming a Clippers Town?
Mar 6 • 25 min
Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is on a mission to win over more fans in a city that is synonymous with the Lakers. And the franchise has doubled down on those efforts lately, through everything from a slick marketing campaign to building and renovating…
Special Investigation, Part 2: A Former Player Speaks Out
Mar 5 • 27 min
Content Warning: This episode contains discussions of alleged sexual abuse and sexual trauma and the content might be emotionally upsetting for some listeners. In the second part of a special investigation, a former player of junior and college hockey…
Special Investigation: A Hockey Coach’s Long History of Sexual Abuse Accusations
Mar 5 • 25 min
Content Warning: This episode contains details about alleged sexual abuse and sexual trauma and might be emotionally upsetting for some listeners. Multiple former hockey players have accused a former University of Minnesota and Robert Morris University…
What Did Maria Sharapova Mean to Tennis?
Mar 4 • 26 min
Last week, Maria Sharapova announced her retirement. She won five grand slams during her 19-year career — including a signature win over Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2004 — but also leaves behind a complicated legacy. Today, we’re joined by The…
Chris Paul’s OKC Renaissance
Mar 3 • 25 min
When the Oklahoma City Thunder traded away Russell Westbrook and Paul George, the basketball world more or less left them for dead. A lot of people also thought there was no way Chris Paul — sent to OKC in the Westbrook trade — would ever stay. But the…
How the NFL Combine Became Reality TV
Mar 2 • 21 min
The NFL combine has gotten a little out of control lately, with people obsessing over the size of Joe Burrow’s hands, broadcasters raving about how fast 300-pound linemen can run the 40-yard dash, and a punter bench pressing 225 pounds more than two dozen…
A Trip to the Negro Leagues Museum
Feb 28 • 24 min
The Negro Leagues celebrated a 100th anniversary earlier this month. And as part of our Black History Month coverage, we decided to send The Athletic’s Nate Taylor, a Kansas City native, to check out the iconic Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas…
The WNBA’s Big Three
Feb 27 • 19 min
Earlier this month there was a big trade in the WNBA. The Phoenix Mercury acquired Skylar Diggins-Smith and the star guard is now united with two all-time greats: Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi. A lot of people say this is the first time one WNBA team…
The Rockets Go Small to Win Big
Feb 26 • 18 min
The Houston Rockets are making a big bet on small ball. By trading away their only proven big man three weeks ago, they committed to playing one of the smallest lineups the NBA has seen in recent years. The Athletic’s Kelly Iko joins us to talk about…
The Race and Race: People of Color in NASCAR
Feb 25 • 24 min
NASCAR has deep roots in the American South. It has also had its share of racial tension. As part of our Black History Month coverage, we’re joined by David Aldridge of The Athletic to talk about black NASCAR drivers from the past and present, what the…
How Baylor Bounced Back from the Brink
Feb 24 • 22 min
The Baylor men’s basketball team has been one of the best teams in the country all year, and much of the success can be attributed to head coach Scott Drew. The Athletic’s CJ Moore joins us to talk about how Drew rebuilt the program after the tragic…
Deontay and Dad: How a Father’s Lessons Created A Champ
Feb 21 • 22 min
Saturday night is one of the most anticipated heavyweight rematches in a long time. Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder square off in Las Vegas. The stakes are particularly high for Deontay Wilder who is considered by many to be the next great American…
Can Leon Rose Save the Knicks?
Feb 20 • 19 min
The long-suffering New York Knicks are turning to an unlikely savior: NBA agent Leon Rose is expected to take over as team president. The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov joins us to talk about how the Knicks landed on Rose, whether or not he’ll actually be able…
Everybody Hates Houston
Feb 19 • 19 min
Things are bad for the Houston Astros. Players from around the league have been going on camera over the past few days to criticize Astros players and owner Jim Crane for not fully owning up to their role in the sign stealing controversy. Commissioner Rob…
How Man City Became Banned City
Feb 18 • 18 min
Manchester City has been banned from the Champion’s League, Europe’s most prestigious and lucrative club tournament, after an investigation found that the team lied on important financial documents. The future of one of the world’s biggest and richest…
How Philly Learned to Love Kobe
Feb 14 • 25 min
The NBA All-Star Game is this weekend and there are expected to be many tributes to the late Kobe Byrant. Kobe is, of course, a king in Los Angeles, but his relationship with his hometown, Philadelphia, was complicated. The Athletic’s Michael Lee, who…
Rose Lavelle’s Insane Soccer Brain
Feb 13 • 17 min
The U.S. Women’s National Team qualified for the Olympics this past weekend and leading the way, once again, was Rose Lavelle. The talented young midfielder also turned heads at the World Cup last year, capturing the Bronze Ball as the tournament’s third…
Mookie Betts and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Trade
Feb 12 • 19 min
It’s been a heck of a week for the Boston Red Sox. The team agreed to send their best player, Mookie Betts, to the Dodgers in a blockbuster trade, along with former Cy Young Award winner David Price in a three-team deal. But the trade almost fell apart in…
The Rooney Rule Isn’t Working
Feb 11 • 17 min
The Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate when hiring a head coach or senior executive. But there are currently just three black head coaches in the league and the most recent round of hiring saw only one minority…
Should the Astros’ World Series Title Be Rescinded?
Feb 10 • 24 min
On Friday, there was yet another development in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. The Wall Street Journal reports that the team used a powerful algorithm called “Codebreaker” to figure out their opponent’s signs. How much did the sign-stealing…
After 100 Years, Duke Slater Finally Gets His Due
Feb 7 • 22 min
If you go back to the very FIRST season of the NFL — a hundred years ago — there were just a handful of black players. And one of them was Duke Slater. Slater was the first black lineman to suit up for the NFL. He was known for being unstoppable. And now,…
Brandon Roy Is Alive and (Mostly) Well
Feb 6 • 25 min
There was a time when Portland belonged to Brandon Roy. The former Trail Blazer’s career was cut short by knee trouble and he has been more or less invisible ever since. But after years of trying, The Athletic’s Jason Quick finally tracked him down.…
Dusty Baker to The Rescue
Feb 5 • 24 min
The Houston Astros hired Dusty Baker to take over in the dugout just weeks after firing manager AJ Hinch in the aftermath of the team’s sign stealing scandal. At 70 years old, Baker is the oldest manager in baseball, but with that comes a wealth of…
How Long Will Connor McDavid Stay in Edmonton?
Feb 4 • 22 min
Connor McDavid has been shredding defenses since he entered the league five seasons ago. But there are signs that the NHL’s most talented player has grown frustrated with his team’s lack of success. The Athletic’s Jonathan Willis joins us to talk about…
Hail to the Chiefs
Feb 3 • 22 min
The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl champions. It was another impressive comeback for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, who trailed 20-10 in the fourth quarter before rattling off 21 unanswered points. Kavitha breaks down the game for us from Miami,…
BONUS: Inside the Super Bowl Circus
Feb 1 • 9 min
Football stars, celebrities, and fans have descended upon Miami for the greatest side-show on Earth. Kavitha wades into the madness of Radio Row to speak with former Super Bowl winner turned spiritual guru Martellus Bennett, Giants running back Saquon…
Let’s Talk About Tyreek Hill
Jan 31 • 26 min
Tyreek Hill has a history of domestic violence charges that many people find disturbing. The wide receiver has been an integral part of the Chiefs’ offense all season long and is expected to play a major role in the Super Bowl on Sunday, but some people…
The Chiefs: A Love Story
Jan 30 • 19 min
Superstar QB Patrick Mahomes and veteran head coach Andy Reid complete each other’s sentences in team meetings. Chiefs fans are on their way to the Super Bowl after 50 years of suffering. And defensive tackle Mike Pennel broke down sobbing after Kansas…
The 49ers: A Bunch of Journeymen
Jan 29 • 19 min
One year ago, Raheem Mostert and the San Francisco 49ers were 4-12 and Kyle Shanahan was coaching at the Senior Bowl. Now, they’re one win away from being crowned Super Bowl champions. The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami joins us to talk about how the 49ers have…
A Look At Kobe’s Life and Career
Jan 28 • 27 min
The tributes to Kobe Bryant and other victims of Sunday’s helicopter crash continue. A number of NBA players who were close to Kobe, including Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving, have missed games . NBA teams have continued to let the 24-second shot clock run…
Mourning Kobe Bryant
Jan 27 • 17 min
After Kobe’s tragic death from a helicopter crash on Sunday, we walk through the latest news on the accident and ongoing investigation. Plus, we look at how people across the country have expressed their love and support for the late superstar and his…
The Clippers Have Chemistry Issues
Jan 24 • 18 min
New reporting from The Athletic has revealed problems inside the Clippers locker room. Kawhi Leonard has been red hot on the court, but his aloofness and unusual leadership style has created some friction within the team. The Athletic’s Jovan Buha joins…
Ja Morant Has Something To Prove
Jan 23 • 18 min
Zion Williamson made a splash in his debut last night. But his fellow rookie, Ja Morant, has been dominating defenses all season and creating an incredible highlight reel along the way. Today, The Athletic’s Omari Sankofa II joins us to talk about Ja’s…
Let The Zion Era Begin
Jan 22 • 22 min
In perhaps the most anticipated NBA debut ever, New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson finally takes the floor tonight. Williamson had surgery in October for a torn meniscus and was slated to miss somewhere between 6 and 8 weeks. It’s now been 14…
WNBA Players (Finally) Get Paid
Jan 21 • 22 min
The WNBA signed a monumental collective bargaining agreement with the players union last week. The maximum player salary was nearly doubled, the league minimum was increased by 35 percent, and elite players could now see their total income more than…
Super Bowl 54 Is Set: 49ers vs. Chiefs
Jan 20 • 21 min
After convincing wins yesterday, the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs have advanced to Super Bowl 54. The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia joins us to break down the two Championship games, to discuss what went right for the winners, and to talk about…
Will We Remember the Titans?
Jan 17 • 24 min
The Titans came into the playoffs as a long-shot Wild Card team. But after knocking off the Patriots and Ravens, Derrick Henry and Tennessee are the talk of the postseason. And in a league where passing is king, they’re winning with an old-school brand of…
How Jurgen Klopp is Hugging His Way to Dominance
Jan 16 • 20 min
Liverpool have been absolutely unstoppable this season. They now have a fourteen point lead over second-place Manchester City and are on pace to win their first league title in thirty years (among other historic accomplishments). Much of Liverpool’s…
MLB Drops The Hammer on the Astros
Jan 15 • 20 min
Major League Baseball levied unprecedented penalties against the Houston Astro for electronically stealing signs in 2017, through the team’s World Series run and into the 2018 season. Citing reporting from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich,…
LSU Won, Now Let The Draft Predictions Begin
Jan 14 • 22 min
Now that LSU has been crowned college football champions, it’s time to look forward to the NFL draft. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is the consensus pick at #1 to the Bengals, but after that, anything can happen. As we enter the college football offseason,…
What the Ravens’ Loss Says About Lamar Jackson
Jan 13 • 19 min
After losing to the Titans on Saturday, Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens are out of the playoffs. That has sparked a debate around the team, its young star quarterback, and his ability to show up in big games. The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia joins us…
How “Lil’ Ol’ Clemson” is Building a Big Ol’ Empire
Jan 10 • 18 min
Clemson is about to play in its fourth CFP National Championship game in five years. But, historically, the Tigers have not been a top program. And in many ways, the deck is stacked against them. The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel joins us to talk about how…
Does D.J. Durkin Deserve a Second Chance?
Jan 9 • 24 min
Last week, Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin made a controversial hiring decision: he brought in D.J. Durkin, who was fired by Maryland in 2018 after an offensive lineman died following a preseason workout. An internal investigation then revealed disturbing…
The Red Sox Cheated, Too
Jan 8 • 17 min
An exclusive report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reveals that the Boston Red Sox used video replay rooms to steal pitchers signs during the 2018 season, the year the team last won the World Series. Three people who were with the…
Are LeBron and the Lakers a House of Cards?
Jan 7 • 26 min
The Lakers have the best record in the Western Conference and the second best record in the NBA. But LeBron just turned 35 years old, spent most of last season injured, and hasn’t been rested much this season. The Athletic’s Andy and Brian Kamenetzky join…
Is The Patriots’ Brady-Belichick Era Over?
Jan 6 • 18 min
The New England Patriots are out of the playoffs after a 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans. As they enter the post-season, there are a number of questions facing the organization — the biggest being the future of #12. The Athletic’s Steve Buckley joins…
The 2019 Stories That Changed Sports: Baseball
Jan 3 • 17 min
The Lead is featuring some of the episodes from its first year about how sports changed in 2019 or signaled a major trend that’s shaking up a particular league or sport. Yes, the World Champion Astro’s Cheated. An investigation by The Athletic’s Ken…
David Stern’s Remarkable NBA Legacy
Jan 2 • 35 min
In the wake of former NBA commissioner David Stern’s death, we speak with The Athletic’s David Aldridge about how Stern took a league that was at a crossroads in the early 1980s and helped transform it into the hugely successful, global enterprise that it…
The 2019 Stories That Changed Sports: Football
Dec 30, 2019 • 19 min
The Ravens ended the regular season with a 14-2 record, clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs. And much of it was thanks to Lamar Jackson, their star dual-threat quarterback. He‘s lit up the NFL all season, and broke Michael Vick’s…
The 2019 Stories That Changed Sports: Soccer
Dec 27, 2019 • 18 min
Over the holidays The Lead is featuring episodes from its first year about how sports changed in 2019 or signaled a major trend that’s shaking up a particular league or sport. Women’s Soccer is here to stay. The North Carolina Courage defeated the Chicago…
The 2019 Stories That Changed Sports: Basketball
Dec 26, 2019 • 22 min
Over the holidays The Lead is featuring episodes from its first year about how sports changed in 2019 or signaled a major trend that’s shaking up a particular league or sport. Paul George and Anthony Davis did something this off-season that rattled the…
The 2019 Stories That Changed Sports: Hockey
Dec 23, 2019 • 15 min
Over the holidays The Lead is featuring episodes from its first year about how sports changed in 2019 or signaled a major trend that’s shaking up a particular league or sport. There’s a new youth movement this season in the NHL. The Toronto Maple Leafs…
The Phone Call That Changed a GM’s Life
Dec 20, 2019 • 21 min
Nine years ago, Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard and his wife Kristen Ballard received an unexpected phone call. It challenged them in a way they never could have imagined, and caused their family to grow in size. Warning: This is a heartwarming tale…
Grading Kyler Murray’s Rookie Year
Dec 19, 2019 • 21 min
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray entered the NFL surrounded by hype, but along with the fanfare came a lot of doubt. The football world at large didn’t think a quarterback of his stature could thrive in the NFL, but so far he’s proving the…
Former NFL Players Charged With Fraud
Dec 18, 2019 • 18 min
The FBI recently charged 10 former NFL players, including Clinton Portis, with defrauding a health care program meant to benefit retired players and their families. The indictment cites more than 3 million dollars in fraudulent claims for medical…
Draymond Green Grows Up
Dec 17, 2019 • 23 min
The once untouchable Warriors are now the worst team in the NBA, with a 5-23 record. And the last man standing from the dynasty years, at least for now, is the notoriously intense Draymond Green. The Athletic’s Anthony Slater sat down with Draymond to…
How A Tragedy Sparked Change In MLB Ballparks
Dec 16, 2019 • 20 min
After a 2-year-old was hit in the head by a foul ball back in May during a Cubs-Astros game, pressure began mounting on Major League Baseball to make stadiums safer for fans. The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma, who was at that game, joins us to talk about the…
Why Ohio Is Pulling For LSU’s Joe Burrow
Dec 13, 2019 • 20 min
The Heisman Trophy Award ceremony is Saturday, and LSU’s Joe Burrow is virtually certain to win. The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg went to Burrow’s hometown of Athens, Ohio and interviewed his family, friends, and former coaches to learn about the star QB’s…
Hedging The Mets
Dec 12, 2019 • 20 min
Longtime Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon are reportedly selling the team to billionaire hedge fund manager (and minority owner) Steve Cohen. Mets fans have long had a contentious relationship with the Wilpons, often criticizing them for mismanagement and…
Patriots 2: The Spy Who Filmed Me
Dec 11, 2019 • 21 min
The Bengals have accused the Patriots of filming their sideline ahead of Sunday’s matchup between the two teams. Meanwhile, the Patriots say the hired cameraman was just shooting B-roll of a team scout for a documentary film. The Athletic’s Lindsay Jones…
Can Anyone Save The Knicks?
Dec 10, 2019 • 19 min
David Fizdale became the latest in a long line of head coaches to be fired by the New York Knicks on Friday. After missing out on the number one draft pick and free agent targets Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving this summer, the Knicks began the season with…
The Ravens’ Bet on Lamar Jackson Is Paying Off
Dec 9, 2019 • 23 min
The Ravens rattled off their ninth straight win on Sunday, defeating the Bills 24-17 and moving to first overall in the AFC. In the process, Lamar Jackson became just the second quarterback in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season, and the…
Andy Said Knock You Out
Dec 6, 2019 • 21 min
Andy Ruiz Jr. shocked the world in June by knocking out heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden. Joshua is 6’6” and sculpted, with endorsement deals from Hugo Boss and Beats (among others), and the Brit was considered by many to be the…
Malice at the Palace
Dec 5, 2019 • 25 min
The Pistons-Pacers brawl known as “Malice at the Palace” rocked the NBA fifteen years ago. Many people saw it as a low point for the league. The melee, which included flying beer bottles and fans getting punched in the face, forced the league to implement…
Dope. Cheat. Repeat.
Dec 4, 2019 • 21 min
A massive, state-sponsored doping program was unearthed in Russia several years ago, leading to the country being banned from the 2018 Olympics. Last week, it was reported that Russia had violated the terms of its new oversight, by submitting bogus data…
Is Luka The Next LeBron?
Dec 3, 2019 • 24 min
Luka Doncic is one of the hottest players in the NBA right now, and the hype around the 20-year-old Slovenian is reaching a fever pitch. Some are now comparing him to LeBron, and he even got some high praise from King James on the court earlier this…
Duck Tale
Dec 2, 2019 • 21 min
Weeks after their vicious late-game brawl, the Steelers got revenge against the Browns thanks in part to an unlikely hero: rookie quarterback Devlin “Duck” Hodges, who also happens to be, that’s right, a champion duck caller. The Athletic’s Sean Gentille…
The Dream and The Process
Nov 27, 2019 • 22 min
Joel Embiid and Hakeem Olajuwon have never met, but the 76ers star idolized ‘The Dream’ when he was growing up in Cameroon and taught himself Olajuwon’s moves by watching a DVD of his highlights on repeat. The Athletic’s Michael Lee recently sat down with…
Melo Returns
Nov 26, 2019 • 26 min
Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and hauled in 8 rebounds last night in an emphatic win over the Bulls. After more than a year away from the NBA, the aging superstar signed with the Trailblazers last Tuesday amid much fanfare. Considered one of the best…
Should Brandin Cooks Be Playing Tonight?
Nov 25, 2019 • 19 min
After two concussions last month (and five in his career), wide receiver Brandin Cooks is back in the lineup for the Rams on Monday Night Football. But The Athletic’s Rich Hammond wonders, should he be? Rich joins us to discuss how, with the help of an…
Christian Pulisic Is Winning Over Skeptical Brits
Nov 22, 2019 • 19 min
Christian Pulisic has scored five goals in his past three Premier League games for Chelsea, including a hat trick last month against Burnley. There has been a lot of buzz around Pulisic since he became Chelsea’s third most expensive signing in January,…
The Secret Everybody Knows
Nov 21, 2019 • 22 min
Cocaine and molly have become the drugs of choice in the NHL in recent years, according to a new report from The Athletic’s Katie Strang. She joins us to explain why these particular drugs have become popular among hockey players and what the league is…
Goodbye College, Hello…New Zealand?
Nov 20, 2019 • 23 min
Rising hoops star RJ Hampton made a bold decision earlier this year. He turned down scholarship offers from top schools and moved to New Zealand to play in the NBL, the pro league in Australia and New Zealand, to help him prepare for the NBA. The…
Demario Davis Takes Social Activism To Another Level
Nov 19, 2019 • 20 min
Saints linebacker Demario Davis believes in a hands-on approach to social activism. The New Orleans star has handed out water in Flint, fought for bail reform in New York, and traveled to both sides of U.S.-Mexico border to give out blankets and…
Kaepernick Fights To Tell His Own Story
Nov 18, 2019 • 21 min
After the NFL invited Colin Kaepernick to a private workout last week, there were disagreements about how it should be conducted. On Saturday, Kaepernick turned the tables at the last minute by canceling the NFL event and announcing a workout on his own…
Is Victor Oladipo The Masked Singer? 🎭
Nov 15, 2019 • 19 min
Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo has some serious pipes. The two-time NBA All-Star sings in the locker room, sings on the court, and has won the NBA Talent Challenge the past two years. Many people also believe Oladipo is a contestant on one of the…
Don Cherry Finally Goes Too Far
Nov 14, 2019 • 22 min
Hockey commentator Don Cherry, a Canadian icon, was fired this week over comments he made about immigrants during a television broadcast. Cherry, whose “Coach’s Corner” segment has been a staple of Hockey Night In Canada for more than three decades, has a…
Yes, The Astros Cheated
Nov 13, 2019 • 20 min
A new investigation by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich has revealed that the Houston Astros used a high-powered camera to steal other teams’ pitching signs during the 2017 season, the year they won the World Series. Major League Baseball is…
When Kawhi Leonard Sits Out, Do Fans Lose Out?
Nov 12, 2019 • 21 min
The Clippers recently angered many NBA fans by resting Kawhi Leonard during a nationally televised game. But could this strategy be the key to winning an NBA title? We speak with The Athletic’s Eric Koreen about how “load management” played out during…
The Game of the Century*
Nov 8, 2019 • 26 min
LSU plays Alabama on Saturday in the most highly anticipated college football match of the season. The teams also met back in 2011 in the first “Game of the Century,” with LSU prevailing 9-6. The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel joins us to talk about how both…
London Calling: Why The U.K. Makes Sense For The Chargers
Nov 7, 2019 • 20 min
Exclusive reporting from The Athletic has revealed that the NFL broached the possibility of London as a new home for the Los Angeles Chargers. And while it might seem absurd that the Chargers could head overseas after such a short time in L.A., The…
Can NFL Doctors Be Trusted?
Nov 6, 2019 • 19 min
Trent Williams recently revealed that a growth he had removed from his head during the offseason was cancerous. The Pro Bowl tackle also claimed that Redskins team doctors had initially told him it was something minor. The Athletic’s Ben Standig speaks…
Silent No More
Nov 5, 2019 • 24 min
Warning: This episode contains graphic material related to sexual assault that may not be suitable for all audiences. Sarah Klein is one of the first known victims of former gymnastics team physician and serial sexual predator, Larry Nassar. As an adult,…
OJ’s Jersey Returns
Nov 4, 2019 • 21 min
OJ Simpson’s #32 jersey has returned to the football field in Buffalo for the first time in 42 years. It’s being worn by a backup running back (and special teams player) named Senorise Perry. The Athletic’s Tim Graham broke the story about OJ’s number…
Boxer Beefs
Nov 1, 2019 • 19 min
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, the biggest superstar in boxing, is the main event this weekend in Las Vegas. But, just as Canelo looks to win another championship belt, a rift has erupted between him and his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya. The two men aren’t on…
Life After Flip: How Ryan Saunders Almost Gave Up
Oct 31, 2019 • 28 min
Timberwolves coach Ryan Saunders was so grief-stricken after his father, Flip, passed away four years ago that he considered leaving his job as an assistant coach and buying a cabin in the woods. The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski tells the story of Ryan’s…
Cory Booker Wants To Regulate Sports
Oct 30, 2019 • 22 min
The NCAA announced it will take steps to allow college athletes to make money off their names and likenesses. It’s a major shift for the organization that has come under political pressure to address the issue. Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate…
Women’s Soccer is Here to Stay
Oct 29, 2019 • 21 min
The North Carolina Courage defeated the Chicago Red Stars 4-0 in the final of the NWSL on Sunday. This summer’s World Cup generated a lot of talk about equal pay, and also led to a new broadcast deal and a major corporate sponsor for the NWSL. We chat…
Backup QBs to the Rescue
Oct 28, 2019 • 22 min
Drew Brees returned to the Saints’ lineup yesterday, but it was his backup, Teddy Bridgewater, who got the biggest cheers. Bridgewater led the Saints to a perfect 5-0 record while Brees recovered from a thumb injury and established himself as a Saints…
Dynasty Done? An Exclusive Interview with Steph Curry
Oct 25, 2019 • 23 min
Steph Curry knows that everything has changed for the Warriors. The team lost three big players from their championship run and superstar Klay Thompson could miss the entire season due to a torn ACL. In an exclusive interview with Curry, The Athletic’s…
A Shadow Over The World Series
Oct 24, 2019 • 17 min
The Houston Astros are under intense pressure to make things right after their assistant General Manager reportedly taunted a group of female reporters in the locker room. Brandon Taubman screamed “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so “effing” glad we got…
BONUS: Interview With Bob Bradley, MLS Coach of the Year
Oct 23, 2019 • 20 min
Anders sits down with LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley, who was just named MLS Coach of the Year, to discuss his team’s incredible regular season, what motivates him, and why he wants his players to express their personalities on the field. Bob also reflects…
How LAFC Made Los Angeles A Soccer City
Oct 23, 2019 • 28 min
The most anticipated match in MLS history is tomorrow. LAFC takes on cross-town rivals LA Galaxy in the second round of the playoffs. LAFC had a record-breaking regular season, led by Mexican superstar Carlos Vela. But they’ve never beaten the LA Galaxy…
NBA Players Take Back The Power
Oct 22, 2019 • 25 min
Paul George and Anthony Davis did something this off-season that rattled the NBA to its very core — they forced their teams to trade them, despite the fact that they were still under contract. The Athletic’s Sam Amick joins us to explain how NBA…
About Those “Juiced” Baseballs…
Oct 21, 2019 • 23 min
With the World Series about to begin, we check in with Dr. Meredith Wills, an astrophysicist, about one of this season’s biggest storylines — the record-setting number of home runs and the allegedly “juiced” baseballs. Wells has been studying MLB balls…
SMU’s Return from a Death Sentence
Oct 18, 2019 • 23 min
In 1986 the NCAA delivered what is unofficially known as the “death penalty” to the Southern Methodist University football program. The team was found guilty of egregious recruiting violations and barred from playing any football during the 1987 season,…
Why NFL Refs Are Losing Credibility
Oct 17, 2019 • 17 min
On Monday night, the Lions lost to the Packers after a series of dubious calls by the referees. Fans were outraged. Commentator Booger McFarland went berserk. Even Barry Sanders, the soft-spoken former Lions star, voiced his frustration on Twitter. NFL…
Will The Angels Face Consequences For Tyler Skaggs’s Death?
Oct 16, 2019 • 24 min
Former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs unexpectedly died in July. An autopsy revealed he had fentanyl and oxycodone in his system. New reporting suggests an Angels employee — who is cooperating with the DEA — supplied drugs for Skaggs and that two…
The NBA’s In India, Too
Oct 15, 2019 • 20 min
As the NBA stays locked in a political standoff with China, the league has also made a big move in another major overseas market: India. The league played its first-ever preseason game in India two weekends ago. The Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings…
An NBA Owner With Close Ties To China
Oct 11, 2019 • 19 min
Joseph Tsai, the owner of the Brooklyn Nets has become a central character in the NBA-China story. As co-founder and executive vice-chairman of Alibaba, he has close ties to the Chinese government, and recently released a statement in support of China’s…
The Surprising History of Big League Chew
Oct 10, 2019 • 19 min
Big League Chew, the bubble gum made to look like chewing tobacco, turns 40 next year. The gum has a fascinating history that involves an independent baseball team in Portland, the actor Kurt Russell, and two baseball outsiders who used chewing gum to…
The NBA’s Tricky Relationship With China
Oct 9, 2019 • 17 min
Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey created an international incident with a tweet in support of Hong Kong protesters. The backlash was swift and severe, as China broke ties with the Rockets and ceased broadcasting their games. Estimates say the…
Special Investigation: UNC’s Concussion Research May Not Be Reliable
Oct 8, 2019 • 21 min
A nine-month investigation by The Athletic raises troubling questions about abnormally high ADHD rates among University of North Carolina athletes and their use of prescription medications, and asks why these high levels of ADHD were not disclosed in…
How Aaron Boone Is Excelling In ‘The Most Pressure-Packed Job In Sports’
Oct 7, 2019 • 24 min
The New York Yankees are one of the most storied teams in all of professional sports. So how did a former player-turned-broadcaster with no managerial experience become the team’s skipper? Hear about Aaron Boone’s unlikely rise to the most iconic job in…
Are Hockey’s Young Stars Getting Greedy?
Oct 4, 2019 • 18 min
The Toronto Maple Leafs have one of the best young teams in professional hockey. The team is also led by a very young general manager who has placed a premium on locking in youthful talent with big contracts. It’s part of a wider movement in the NHL where…
Special Investigation: What Happened To New Orleans’ Field Of Dreams? (Part 2)
Oct 3, 2019 • 23 min
A joint investigation from The Athletic and WVUE-TV in New Orleans reveals why a football stadium that was supposed to be built in New Orleans’ Upper Ninth Ward still has not been completed. The project was intended to be a symbol of recovery after…
Special Investigation: What Happened To New Orleans’ Field Of Dreams? (Part 1)
Oct 2, 2019 • 21 min
A joint investigation from The Athletic and WVUE-TV in New Orleans reveals why a high school football stadium that was supposed to be a symbol of recovery after Hurricane Katrina was never completed. Celebrity athletes like Drew Brees and Saints head…
California Governor Newsom On Why He’s Challenging The NCAA
Oct 1, 2019 • 20 min
We interview Governor Gavin Newsom about the bill he signed into law that will allow college athletes in California to be paid for the use of their name and likeness. We ask him why he signed the bill, what impact he thinks it will have, and why he agrees…
Nine Innings Of Life-Changing Drama
Sep 30, 2019 • 15 min
The MLB Wild Card games are set. After a 162-game season, four teams will meet this week in do-or-die matchups to determine who will advance and who will go home. This year’s Wild Card games feature two teams that have made the playoffs despite having…
The Nationals’ Amazing Comeback Season
Sep 27, 2019 • 20 min
A heart attack scare, a badly broken arm, and the loss of a franchise player were not enough to keep the Washington Nationals from clinching a wild card berth this season. The Nats became just the third team in more than 30 years to make the playoffs…
Is Jim Harbaugh About To Get Fired?
Sep 26, 2019 • 18 min
The Michigan Wolverines were blown out last Saturday by Wisconsin. It was the latest loss by Jim Harbaugh to a ranked opponent. Since then, questions have swirled about Harbaugh’s future with the Wolverines. The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner joins us to…
Why The Playoff Contending Rays Can’t Fill Their Stadium
Sep 25, 2019 • 21 min
The Tampa Bay Rays are currently competing for a Wild Card spot as the baseball season enters its final days. But despite a successful season on the field the team is struggling to get fans into the stands. Attendance has been so dismal that team…
What Drives Shaq?
Sep 24, 2019 • 17 min
Shaquille O’Neal’s was one of the most dominant centers to ever play in the NBA. And now, he wants his post basketball life to mirror his days on the court. Through business investments, strict social media rules and always listening to his mother Shaq is…
The Patriots’ Breaking Point
Sep 23, 2019 • 14 min
Antonio Brown spent just 11 days with the New England Patriots before they released him amid accusations of rape and sexual assault. With so much controversy swirling around the All-Pro receiver, what was the final straw? We look at the history of the…
Undercover Maverick
Sep 20, 2019 • 24 min
A reporter goes undercover to try out for a G League Basketball team, and let’s just say it does not go well. The Athletic’s Saad Yousuf recounts his hilarious experience trying out for the Texas Legends, a developmental affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks.…
Clemson Football’s “Safe Seat”
Sep 19, 2019 • 28 min
Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney wants his players to talk about themselves and their backgrounds, so he created something called “the safe seat.” It’s part of a broader effort to address mental health issues among his players. It can be…
Ice Ice Bucket
Sep 18, 2019 • 20 min
Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? It turns out a women’s college basketball team planted the seeds for the viral internet trend that took over the Internet in 2014. The Athletic’s Steve Buckley joins us to talk about how it all happened and how three men…
What To Do About Antonio Brown
Sep 17, 2019 • 24 min
Wide receiver Antonio Brown is facing accusations of rape and sexual assault. Brown made his debut with the New England Patriots on Sunday after a tumultuous offseason. We talk with The Athletic’s Lindsay Jones about the Antonio Brown saga and the NFL’s…
Saints Can’t Catch A Break
Sep 16, 2019 • 18 min
It was another bad call. The LA Rams and New Orleans Saints met again yesterday, for the first time since last season’s NFC Championship game, when the Saints lost after one of the worst calls in sports history. That call sparked rule changes, protests,…
Introducing The Lead
Sep 2, 2019 • 1 min
The Lead premieres Monday, September 16th.