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ESPN The Magazine

ESPN The Magazine 12.25.17

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.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
ESPN Magazine LLC
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IN THIS ISSUE

3 min.
style points

NBA writer Royce Young on going one-on-one with Russell Westbrook: Westbrook is known for his privacy and tense relationship with the media. I’ve known the star for nearly 10 years, yet this was the first time I’ve had an extended interview with him. But as we sat overlooking the Thunder’s practice court, he was engaging, thoughtful, animated and funny—the kind of guy everyone who knows him well swears him to be. We talked for nearly 40 minutes, then I shut off my recorder and we chatted for 30 more as he took jumpers. I even asked him a question I’ve long wanted to: On a scale of 1 to 10, grading on a media curve, how’s my style? He pondered it for a sec and said, “Six.” I’ll take it. MORE…

4 min.
espn the magazine

VP, EDITOR IN CHIEF, ESPN THE MAGAZINE & espnW ALISON OVERHOLT EXECUTIVE EDITOR SCOTT BURTON CREATIVE DIRECTOR, DIGITAL & PRINT CHIN WANG DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY, DIGITAL & PRINT TIM RASMUSSEN SENIOR DEPUTY EDITORS CHRIS BUCKLE, JENA JANOVY, NEELY LOHMANN, JOHN B. MORRIS DEPUTY EDITORS RYAN HOCKENSMITH, PAUL KIX, ED M C GREGOR, ERIC NEEL, OTTO STRONG, TY WENGER SENIOR EDITORS MIKE DRAGO, JUSTIN ELLIS, LORI HIGGINBOTHAM, REBECCA HUDSON, MICHAEL PHILBRICK, JASON SCHWARTZ, DAVID WILSON GENERAL EDITORS ROSS MARRINSON, RACHEL ULLRICH ASSOCIATE EDITORS DOTUN AKINTOYE, ELAINE TENG SENIOR WRITERS SAM ALIPOUR, SHAUN ASSAEL, HOWARD BRYANT, CRAIG CUSTANCE, WAYNE DREHS, DAVID FLEMING, BONNIE D. FORD, TOM JUNOD, PETER KEATING, TIM KEOWN, MINA KIMES, TIM KURKJIAN, RYAN M C GEE, ELIZABETH MERRILL, SAM MILLER, BUSTER OLNEY, STACEY PRESSMAN, ALYSSA ROENIGK, RAMONA SHELBURNE, KURT STREETER, WRIGHT THOMPSON, PABLO S. TORRE, DON VAN NATTA…

4 min.
the numbers

This NFL season has been unsettling—literally. Through Week 13, 12 teams were on pace to win or lose at least four more games this year than last, making for huge swings in the standings and huge questions about the future. The gap in scoring differentials among NFL squads isn’t as tight as in 2016, thanks largely to breakouts by the Eagles and Rams. But as the league churns, there must be two dozen teams whose performances heading into 2018 are utterly unpredictable. Not even Philly or LA, whose teams have enjoyed relatively good health and soft schedules this season, can offer guarantees. Of course, there’s one great exception to this Brownian motion. While you’re keeping track of tiebreakers or draft slots as you wrap holiday gifts, the Patriots will, as always,…

1 min.
» 'twere the nights before christmas «

’TWERE THE NIGHTS BEFORE CHRISTMAS … and all through the year, crazy things just kept happening—and then reappear’d! In March, from LaVar Ball, there arose such a clatter, we kept checking our Twitter to see what was the matter. Away to our screens, we flew with a flash, only to find Trump mocking athletes—so brash! Juiced baseballs began soaring, from spring through the fall. Fly away, fly away, fly away all! Then what to our wandering eyes should appear but end zone dances choreographed with eight tiny reindeer! Yes, the year is now history, tucked away on the shelves. And we laughed when we lived it—in spite of ourselves. So let us exclaim, as we run from its sight, Happy 2017 to all, and to all a good night. PHOTOGRAPH BY…

9 min.
2017 well, that was different

01.28 WONDER WOMEN After Serena Williams won the Australian Open in January, she had us buzzing about the power and perfection of her game. When we found out in April that she had been eight weeks pregnant at the time she’d swept the tournament in straight sets, she inspired a very different conversation: She did WHAT while she was WHAT?! As the tennis world speculates on her return in January to defend that title after the September birth of her daughter, Serena has proved her greatness in another way: as an athlete who changes the conversation even when she isn’t playing. Questions swirl not only about how she might return to the court but also why. For every commentator who asks if her age and the physical toll of pregnancy are the…

22 min.
the university of adidas at louisville

ON THE MORNING of Sept. 26, more than two dozen Adidas employees gathered inside a gym at the University of Louisville. They had flown in from as far away as Europe—marketers and athletic performance specialists, top designers from Adidas’ secretive Brooklyn Creator Farm. They were participating in a weeklong workshop to imagine gear, products and advertising built around Louisville’s most valuable commodity: the men’s basketball team. The exercise was meant to simulate the vision behind a $160 million partnership between Adidas and Louisville, which had been announced the previous month. One of the largest all-school sponsorship agreements in Adidas’ history, it was much more than a shoe deal. In internal strategy documents, Louisville vowed to “write the next chapter for college athletics, for streetwear and fashion.” Adidas, a $7.9 billion corporation,…