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ESPN The Magazine 05.08.17

ESPN The Magazine is for the NEXT generation of sports fans who want to stay on top of the athletes, teams, topics and upcoming events in their own sports world. The Magazine celebrates not only sports, but the cultures and lifestyles that are an integral part of them - all with ESPN's unique personality and authority.

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3 min.
can’t fight this feeling

Mike D’Antoni convinced James Harden to switch to point guard in less than five minutes. It took him a year to convince his wife, Laurel, to allow him to get Spotify. There’s no better example of the ongoing hilarity of the D’Antoni marriage. Mike is a fan of ’70s soft rock, and Spotify was recommended by their son, Michael, as a way of providing an unlimited supply. “I said, ‘Laurel, you see where we’re living?’” Mike says, swinging his arm to encompass their massive house. “We can afford it. Took me a friggin’ year, and I couldn’t do it without permission.” “It’s $120 a year,” Laurel says. “That’s too much for something you’re not going to use.” “She’s killing me,” Mike says. MORE ON PAGE 44 Contributing writer Robert Sanchez on…

3 min.
the ticket

Leonard Fournette, the projected first-round draft pick out of LSU, runs in a style that’s often described as punishing. The word can be interpreted in two ways. When Fournette carries the ball, he’s less likely to dance around opponents than he is to plow through them. Essentially, he punishes them—but he also punishes his own body, which, like every running back’s body, harbors a looming expiration date. When Fournette signs his rookie contract this spring, that date, which reflects every season, game and carry he racked up as an unpaid college athlete, will come into sharp relief. He’ll probably sign a contract worth millions of dollars, but it could be his only shot at a significant reward. He is 22 years old, and he won’t hit free agency until he’s at…

13 min.
return game

Maria Sharapova arrived at the NBA’s executive headquarters in New York City last August to see what it takes to run the kind of big league business she might want to oversee one day. She’d asked the commissioner, Adam Silver, if she could watch him work, and she began her tour seated next to him at a morning staff meeting, listening to him tick down a list of items that included a cracking down on teams that taunt officials via Twitter and growing the NBA’s international academies. Silver agreed to let her trail him because he’s a tennis fan and, frankly, because he was intrigued by why a five-time grand slam winner would want to spend a summer week inside a midtown skyscraper. “WE NEEDED TO GET THE PERCEPTION ABOUT HER…

2 min.
a wisconsin dish near and deer

VENISON BUTTER BURGER MILLER PARK COST: $16 ESTIMATED CALORIES: 590 Milwaukee native Zach Espinosa knows his city’s tastes well. The 40-year-old executive chef at the award-winning Mr. B’s Steakhouse has been cooking in local kitchens since he was 15. The lifelong Brewers fan sizes up Miller Park’s newest offering. Why does venison work in Milwaukee? Venison is a pretty huge part of the hunting community, especially here in Wisconsin. It’s a very lean meat, super delicious, super gamey flavor. You can pair it with a lot of bolder flavors. Something that’s big here too is the butter burger, where you put a fat slab of butter on it, almost like cheese, and it just melts into the bun and gets into the meat and it’s dripping down your forearms. Did you expect to see…

2 min.
ryan dungey’s regimen

What are your tips for getting the most out of a workout? Keep good form and don’t go too heavy. I learned not to grab the biggest weights and be the tough guy. When you do, your form suffers. When you’re 75, what’s the one exercise you’ll still do every day? Road cycling. In season, we’ll do 20 to 30 miles two to three times a week. Out of season, we’ll do 30 to 50 miles, on top of riding and training. When I’m 75, it’s low impact and a simple way to get out of the house. What’s the biggest challenge you face with your body? Keeping flexible and loose. Riding a dirt bike, you tense up. You are squeezing that bike real tight the whole time. I can’t do a workout without stretching…

1 min.

WHAT FISHER HALFPIPE WHEN 6:08 P.M., APRIL 5 WHERE THE FISHER BUILDING, DETROIT The Fisher Building, one of Detroit’s most iconic skyscrapers, has hosted a multitude of ventures since it was built in 1928: a vaudeville theater, a radio station, an art gallery, a series of stores and restaurants. But never had it housed a freakinÕ halfpipe. That’s just what it did over four nights in early April, when more than 2,700 people watched about 100 members of a local skatepark take on the 28-by-16-foot halfpipe—accompanied by DJs and platters of free food, naturally. TyAngela Beatty, a 35-year-old financial aid coordinator, went with her 12-year-old daughter and loved it so much she returned the next night. “I’d seen halfpipes on TV, but I’d never seen one in person,” Beatty says. “To see people actually doing it—and…