An abridged version of this story appears in the Nov. 16, 2015, issue of Sports Illustrated. To subscribe, click here.
“I don’t know if it’s a fairy tale. But I hope it ends the way most of them end.” — LeBron James, on July 10, 2014, in Las Vegas.
Spending time with Stephen Curry & Co., Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly found that the Warriors don't just dominate. They also delight, enthrall—and inspire. IT'S NOT GOING TO LAST, of course, this team, this moment, this selfie of pure unselfishness.
Editor's note: This story appears in the December 5, 2016 issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To subscribe, click here. What would you do upon getting your dream job? Plenty of people—perhaps most of us—would play it safe. After all, you just got your dream job. No sense in losing it.
Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son.
LOS ANGELES — Three days after he lost the NBA Finals for the sixth time, LeBron James underwent a root canal. For 72 hours he sat alone inside his Ohio mansion, wife and three children away at an out-of-town AAU tournament, flanked only by a chef preparing meals he wasn’t able to eat.
This story appears in the May 15, 2017 issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To subscribe to the magazine, click here. In the winter of 1994, as the vaunted Knicks trudged through a tedious West Coast road trip, Pat Riley cut a deal with his potent but listless team.
It was an hour or so before tip–off. The Dallas Mavericks were hosting a nationally televised game during the 2010–11 NBA season. And, deep inside the American Airlines Center, a recently–hired Mavericks support staff employee was eating dinner in the media dining room.
OAKLAND — About 30 minutes after Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, Warriors forward Draymond Green sat at his locker in full uniform, fiddling with his phone. All around him, teammates hastily showered and dressed, rushing from Oracle Arena and the champagne fumes that polluted the air.
A green-and-gray mini basketball sits on a bed of sand-colored rocks next to the pool in the backyard. The ball belongs to five-year-old Jaiden Thomas, son of Isaiah Thomas, whose name and image grace the side of it.
This is an extended version of a story that appears in the Nov. 17, 2014, issue of Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to the magazine here. The argument began, as so many do, over something small and seemingly insignificant. Ryan Anderson can’t even remember what it was.
This story appears in the Sept. 26, 2016, issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To subscribe, click here. The first thing Robert Swift remembers is the police loudspeaker. Though, in his haze, he wondered if he’d dreamed it.
You can argue about climate change or what causes it, but you cannot argue with hail. It hits Wylie like something out of the Bible: stones that could slay Goliath breaking through roofs and landing in living rooms, shattering windows and destroying cars.
They agreed to meet in West Point, N.Y., at a little hotel with a name neither can remember. For two men with deep connections to Navy, the locale was a surprising choice. All the better.
This story appears in the March 14, 2016, issue of Sports Illustrated. To subscribe, click here. His name evokes an island, warm and remote, enchanting and unspoiled.
This story appears in the July 16, 2018, issue of Sports Illustrated. For more great storytelling and in-depth analysis, subscribe to the magazine—and get up to 94 percent off the cover price. Click here for more.
This story appears in the Jan. 9, 2017 issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To subscribe, click here. On the worst nights, when the fadeaways are short and the pocket passes are late, Giannis Antetokounmpo skips the showers.
In which the venturous author, the rawest rookie pro football has ever known, recounts all the excruciating details of what happened when he called five plays as quarterback for the Detroit Lions, of how he was cheered by a sellout crowd, and of how the twist and a kindly guard eased his retirement
Five weeks after the parade, LeBron James watches the final minutes of the last game for the first time. He sits in a black swivel chair, on a basketball court inside an airport hangar, as 81 of America’s best amateur players study him from metal bleachers.
The low point came last March. Or maybe it was April. Monty Williams isn’t sure. Time blurs. For two weeks Micah and Elijah passed the stomach flu back and forth, as five- and eight-year-olds do. They threw up on the carpet, in the bed, on the bathroom floor.
This story appears in the Dec. 15, 2014, issue of Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to the magazine here. The sports therapy center sits adjacent to Gillette Stadium, 500 feet to the northwest, inside a shopping plaza, next to a hair salon.
Editor's Note: Dwight Howard, who made his name as a young player with the Magic, has joined the Wizards, his sixth team in eight seasons. Last summer Sports Illustrated talked to Howard about his effort to recapture his Orlando magic, an effort that is very much ongoing.
This story appears in the March 6, 2017, issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To subscribe, click here.
Back in March, three weeks after the Seahawks released him and he signed with their division rival, All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman married his longtime girlfriend Ashley Moss in the Dominican Republic.
This article originally ran in the April 1, 1985 issue. The secret cannot be kept much longer. Questions are being asked, and sooner rather than later the New York Mets management will have to produce a statement. It may have started unraveling in St. Petersburg, Fla.
This story appears in the Jan. 14, 2019, issue of Sports Illustrated. For more great storytelling and in-depth analysis, subscribe to the magazine—and get up to 94% off the cover price. Click here for more. His name is a parenting epithet.
SOMEWHERE IN MONTANA — This was the most amazing thing about the two hours I spent with 39-year-old Tom Brady on Sunday afternoon in a cabin (well, it’s called a cabin, but the getaway area for the Brady clan is pretty darned well-appointed) in the shadow of one of the most beautiful mountains i
To the public, one of the mysteries of the NFL is the game plan, the weekly and oft-times encyclopedic secret document each team uses to strategize against that week’s foe.
Fortune pilfered, Clinton Portis contemplated revenge under the veil of darkness. On a handful of late nights and early mornings in 2013 he lurked in his car near a Washington, D.C.
Trades to move up, deals to slide down and the selection of a player not even on the board. John Lynch’s first draft had everything, including historical parallels that gave the rookie GM goose bumps.
On the 40th floor of a luxury apartment building in downtown Philadelphia, Joel Embiid sits on the edge of his bed and prays for health. He used to cry when he prayed, and he is not even a crier, but he would flex his foot and remember his brother and feel the tears slick against his stubble.
Two months ago in Houston, Tom Brady’s jersey was stolen from the Patriots’ postgame locker room. The investigation spanned thousands of miles, involved two nations and unfolded against the backdrop of a tense geopolitical drama. And the culprit might never spend a night in jail
After the milquetoast essay and the token text, Russell Westbrook played dominoes. He had started the game early that July 4 morning, as friends and family filled his sunny backyard for a housewarming party, and he did not stop when his phone throbbed with the news he dreaded.
What a night, and what a finish. Near midnight I still had about 70 unread text messages from friends and family, most of which read, “Best interview ever!” Many of my Twitter mentions were less supportive. My body ached. I was thrilled and proud and upset, all at once.
This story appears in the Oct. 8, 2018, issue of Sports Illustrated. For more great storytelling and in-depth analysis, subscribe to the magazine—and get up to 94% off the cover price. Click here for more. Illustrations by Lincoln Agnew.
Get all of Chris Ballard's columns as soon as they’re published. Download the new Sports Illustrated app (iOS or Android) and personalize your experience by following your favorite teams and SI writers. The book’s not much to look at.
Editor's Note: The following contains offensive, vulgar language used to address an important but sensitive subject matter. Reader discretion is advised. The first time I was ever called a “cunt,” at least to my “face,” was on a sports blog in 2006.
Five team executives, seated around a conference table, introduced themselves. They gave their names, and briefly, their backgrounds. Then, they got right down to business. That’s how the job interview began for one of the seven NFL teams in the market for a new head coach this January.
At the center of perhaps the most unlikely Venn Diagram ever drawn, an even more unlikely group of humans overlap.
This story appears in the Jan. 28, 2019, issue of Sports Illustrated. For more great storytelling and in-depth analysis, subscribe to the magazine—and get up to 94% off the cover price. Click here for more. In a small garage right off the Lyndon B.
LOS ANGELES — O.J. Mayo broke down in tears when he heard the NBA was going to ban him for at least two years for a failed drug test, and he surely would have cried even harder if he had known the embarrassment, loneliness and aimlessness that would follow.
Editor's note: Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports 1 collaborated on a three-part investigation looking into the 2010 murder of ex-NBA player Lorenzen Wright. Lorenzen Wright stood nearly 7 feet tall and weighed 225 pounds, much of it extravagant muscle.
Get all of Lee Jenkins's columns as soon as they’re published. Download the new Sports Illustrated app (iOS or Android) and personalize your experience by following your favorite teams and SI writers. This story appears in the May 30, 2016, issue of Sports Illustrated.
This story appears in the July 17, 2017, issue of Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to the magazine here. It was on the morning of Good Friday in 2009 when the runner first met her cancer. She was a fifth-year senior at Minnesota, sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Tempe, Ariz.
The Capitol Records Building, a mid-century circular tower that looks like a stack of vinyl rising 13 stories into Hollywood’s powder-blue sky, has been the studio of choice for Beach Boys and Beastie Boys, Dean Martin and Judy Garland, Ryan Adams and Mary J. Blige.
After midnight, when the kids are down and the streets are still, LeBron James asks his wife if she wants to go on a cruise. That’s the term he uses, and because Savannah has been with him since high school she knows he is not referring to a yacht in the Caribbean.
This story appears in the Dec. 7 2015, issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To subscribe, click here. LeBron James lay in bed at 2 a.m., listening to his wife and one-year-old daughter sleep.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You: Peter King Says Farewell to SI’s Monday Morning QB Twenty-nine years after he was hired at the magazine and 21 years since he started this column, Peter King looks back in gratitude at the people who impacted his career.
When Ben Falk first conceived Cleaning the Glass, the NBA site he launched last year, he tried to balance hope and realism. Hope: that basketball fans like him might find the site interesting enough to pay for; realism regarding how many other such humans actually exist.
Subscribe now for more in-depth coverage, only in Sports Illustrated. Rain lashed against the windows of Fordham’s Rose Hill Gymnasium, a 3,400-seat basketball facility cloaked in the style and masonry of a Gothic Revival church.
This story appears in the July 28, 2014, issue of Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to the magazine here. Usually, Dave Hartsock packed his own parachute.
Terrifyingly beautiful, like summer thunderstorms and whitewater rapids, the curveball of Astros pitcher Lance McCullers can be found at the intersection of violence and wonder. It is a demon he unleashes on hitters, especially with two strikes, when he throws it 68% of the time.
This story appears in the Jan. 25, 2016, issue of Sports Illustrated. To subscribe, click here. Kristaps Porzingis sits in stages, folding his 7'3" frame into a leather chair, collapsing his legs under a coffee table, squeezing his elbows inside an arm rest.
What ever happened to Joseph Randle? Fifteen months ago Randle, not Ezekiel Elliott, was the Dallas back ripping off chunks of yards behind that awesome O-line. Then came a possible concussion, an array of off-field misdeeds and massive confusion about it all
After ESPN opted to part ways with Bill Simmons last May, the company appointed Chris Connelly to serve as Grantland’s top editor on an interim basis.
in Miami Beach the other day. He appeared preoccupied, a bit hurried, as you might be too if you were about to take a risk that no man ever had. He had a bronze shaved head, a set of wide and sloping shoulders and a vault for a chest, but it was his left leg that left a question in his wake.
This article appears in the April 23 issue of Sports Illustrated. Subscribe here. It takes a year of unanswered pitches, a half-dozen unreturned text messages, a voice mail and two calls, but eventually Jake Locker sends some GPS coordinates. To a Chipotle. Near the Canadian border.
This story appears in the April 13, 2015, issue of Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to the magazine here. In the spring of 2003, Milton Bradley, a switch-hitting outfielder for the Indians, met his future wife, Monique Williams, a community relations intern with the team. He was about to turn 25.
Vince Young is here, of all places, at this moment, in the city of Saskatoon, in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, where vivid summer storms dance across endlessly flat horizons. The Land of the Living Skies.
During her years working on the broadcast teams for the Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates and MLB Network, Trenni Kusnierek estimates she traveled about 150-200 days per year. That schedule meant hotel stay after hotel stay and Kusnierek recently recalled for SI.
Your teams. Your favorite writers. Wherever you want them. Personalize SI with our new App. Install on iOS or Android. OAKLAND, Calif. — When Arn Tellem took the call from Jim Harrick in the spring of 1997, he was intrigued. At the time, Tellem was one of the top NBA agents.
Off-camera tension between media personalities who work together is hardly a new phenomenon.
What just happened? New England beat Seattle in Arizona, but the explanation for how it went down is hard to believe. A breakdown of the late interception, plus more on Brady and Belichick’s fourth NFL title and the 2015 Hall of Fame class GLENDALE, Ariz.
This story appears in the July 4–11 edition of Sports Illustrated. Subscribe to the magazine here. On May 31, 2010, Twins closer Jon Rauch threw a 91-mph fastball to the lefthanded pinch hitter the Mariners had brought on to try to erase a one-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth.
Picture a solitary figure, shooting baskets and muttering. The man is pale and skinny, with round glasses and wispy brown hair. Looks fortyish, like he should be teaching calculus.
Friday was Jeans Day, when most staffers at the Carolina Panthers team offices would wear denim to work. The female employees knew what that meant.
Paraag Marathe arrived in San Francisco with a very clear directive from the 49ers, to reimagine the Jimmy Johnson draft chart.
This is an extended version of an article that appears in the Feb. 23 edition of SI. To subscribe, click here. The giant in the yellow T-shirt lumbers across the concrete, advancing on his target.
This story appears in the April 6, 2015 issue of SI. To subscribe, click here.
For six weeks, from the Olympics opening ceremonies to the Paralympics closing, men and women represent their country with one common goal in mind: Gold. Subscribe now for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’s in-depth coverage. They ran.
MINNEAPOLIS — Thirty Eagles bounced to the beat of a popular rap song, “MotorSport,” an hour after the pulsating Super Bowl 52 victory over the dynastic Patriots. White, black, players, coaches, one equipment guy at least.
In honor of Sports Illustrated's 60th anniversary, SI.com is republishing, in full, 60 of the best stories ever to appear in the magazine. Today's selection is "Raised By Women To Conquer Men," by Frank Deford, which ran in the Aug. 28, 1978 issue of SI.
In the grand scheme of things it was a forgettable scene played out before a forgettable game. Symbolically, though, it was a moment of significance. On Jan. 14, 2017, long before tip-off between the Wizards and 76ers, Washington hosted a short ceremony on the corner of the Verizon Center floor.
Joe Frazier said that of Muhammad Ali, but so fierce and unsparing was their confrontation that the phrase could have applied to them both. In honor of Sports Illustrated's 60th anniversary, SI.com is republishing, in full, 60 of the best stories in the magazine's history.
In the summer of 2004, Darko Milicic invited an old friend from Serbia to a mansion in the Detroit suburbs. Milicic had been drafted by the Pistons the previous year—second overall, ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade—but his rookie season was a disappointment.
“If Wentz wins this game, the people in this town are going to tear down the Rocky statue and put up one of Carson Wentz.” —ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, before Carson Wentz’s Eagles went out and beat Ben Roethlisberger’s Steelers by 31 points Sunday.
HOUSTON — For 35 seconds after the game that defies adjectives, Tom Brady crouched on the field, overcome, just trying to gather himself.
It is a Tuesday in October, a few weeks before Gordon would be reinstated to the NFL following three years of exile for multiple violations of the league’s substance abuse policy.
In Part I of this story, The MMQB explained how the game plan, the weekly and oft-times encyclopedic secret document each team uses to strategize against the upcoming foe, was absorbed by quarterback Carson Palmer of the NFC West-leading Cardinals in the days leading up to Arizona
The website that will be the exclusive home to all of Bill Simmons’s written material revealed itself on Wednesday when Simmons, the former editor-in-chief of Grantland, announced he would front a new site in late spring or early summer called “The Ringer.
Is he going to say it? Twice a week, every week, for the past month, Aaron Rodgers has stood in front of a sea of recorders, cameras and phones, all patiently waiting to capture the speech. In 2014, it was “R-E-L-A-X.” In 2016, “run the table.” But now it’s getting late.