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Goal Initiatives Football Festival Returns to Montreal

The Goal Initiatives Foundation is back with its annual football festival in Montreal this weekend.

GOAL was founded by Paul Desbaillets to help promote mental health & wellness through football.

The organization believes that sports should be a safe space for all involved.

The event will take place at McGill Stadium on the campus of McGill University.

‘‘We are thrilled to be back at the McGill stadium this year showcasing how football has the ability to bring together Montreal’s diverse community like no other sport,” said Desbaillets.

GOAL will work hand in hand with other charities, including Heart Shaped Hands, Black Players for Change, and Soccer Quebec.

Heart Shaped Hands was founded by MLS star Kei Kamara and helps children in his native Sierra Leone pay for schooling.

Meanwhile, Black Players for Change was started by a coalition of MLS players, coaches and staff to fight racial injustices.

Soccer Quebec was created to promote, develop and govern the sport locally in Canada.

GOAL MTL will kick off at 9 a.m. ET on Sunday, August 7 and will feature a Premier League viewing party, as well as plenty of on-pitch competition.

20 local hospitality and other businesses will be represented with teams at the event.

To learn more about the Goal Initiatives Foundation, please visit their website.

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‘NYC Point Gods’ Honors NYC Hoops In A Refreshing Way

With great anticipation, “NYC Point Gods” aired last Friday (July 29th), and New York City basketball supporters had their moment on center stage. The Showtime and Boardroom-produced documentary breaks down the Big Apple’s basketball scene of the 1980s and 1990s through the eyes of its greatest point guards– while also explaining why they’re “point gods” and their lasting impact on the sport.

With over 85 minutes of running time, “NYC Point Gods” provided a bit of everything. First, there was the energic and thoughtful narration of poet Joekenneth Mueseau. Then we heard entertaining testimonies from the likes of Stephen A. Smith and Fat Joe. And last but certainly not least, we heard from the players themselves, who were honest and relaxed while recounting their playing days and upbringings (Stephon Marbury, God Shammgod, Rod Strickland, and Kenny “The Jet” Smith were amongst those whose stories got told).

Even though documentaries about New York City basketball have and will continue to get made, this body of work by Showtime and Boardroom was different.

Instead of exploring if the city is still the epicenter of their sport or making another love story between it and music, “NYC Point Gods” simply spotlighted the people and circumstances most involved. And that, in turn, allowed for natural transitions into basketball-related conversations about music and fashion that rightfully changed the vibe of this documentary when necessary.

Since its release, viewers have applauded the documentary as it sparked feelings of nostalgia and appreciation.

“NYC Point Gods” is now available on the Showtime app and its supporting platforms.

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The Five Ways Bill Russell Changed Basketball Forever

On Sunday afternoon (July 31st), the family of Bill Russell announced his passing at 88 years old. Alongside his reputation as undoubtedly the greatest winner in all American team sports, Russell’s legacy is amplified by his various on and off-the-court accomplishments- the only difference being that they happened during or after his playing days. But their impact? Still immensely powerful.

There’s a historical fact and context instilled in every conversation about Russell’s 11 NBA championships (the most in league history). To win despite living in more than challenging times was unprecedented– the Civil Rights movement, Jim Crow laws, this country remaining in war– but Russell never shied away from helping the people and doing what he felt was right.

As generations come and go, basketball fans’ relationship with the legendary Boston Celtic has changed. Some fans will never forget Russell as a player, but others only know of him because the NBA Finals MVP award got named in his honor. Or maybe you saw him smiling widely at a game or still taking a stand for a cause in his 80s. But no matter your connection to Russell, there’s one familiar feeling: Respect.

Here are five ways the late Bill Russell greatly impacted basketball.

Russell and the Celtics rewrote the standard for winning in the NBA

When Russell entered the NBA, the league was only 11 years old and had just experienced its first taste of winning by George Mikan and the Minneapolis Lakers (five championships). But that was a prelude compared to what Russell and the Boston Celtics would accomplish.

By winning 11 championships in the following 13 seasons, Russell and the Celtics permanently rewrote what it meant to succeed in the NBA. Until now, no other team has won that many titles in that long of a stretch.

Blocking and rebounding were revolutionized by Russell

While Russell technically isn’t the inventor of rebounding and shot-blocking, he’s gathered much credit for popularizing and effectively doing those acts. Back when the general thought was “a good defender never left their feet,” Russell’s blocks and rebounds often kick-started the Celtics’ high-octane offense.

On the all-time rebounding list, Russell is second with 21,620. And despite his blocks not being recorded because the league didn’t begin tracking that and steals until 1973, Russell reportedly averaged at least six blocks per game.

Russell is one of five NBA players to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom

As much respect people have for Bill Russell, the player, there’s arguably more for Bill Russell, the man. Even dating back to his playing days, Russell was vocal and active in helping out Black and Brown communities across the United States, protested alongside them, and studied his African heritage during the offseason.

Such efforts remained the lifeline of his existence, culminating in an extremely special moment in 2011 when President Barack Obama rewarded Russell with the Presidential Medal of Freedom– the highest honor any U.S. citizen could receive.

“And I hope that one day, in the streets of Boston, children will look up at a statue built not only to Bill Russell, the player, but Bill Russell, the man,” President Obama said about Russell at the ceremony.

Russell was the first Black man to become a head coach in league history

As previously mentioned, a historical fact and context are always instilled in any Russell-related conversation. While still a few years from retiring, Russell was named the new head coach of the Boston Celtics in 1966 after the legendary Red Auerbach retired before the following season.

Russell not only thrived in his new role— he won two titles as a player/coach– but he was the first Black head coach in league history.

New generations of hoopers were embraced by Russell

Among all his fellow legends, Bill Russell ranks high in terms of avidly supporting the NBA’s upcoming talents. It became common to watch him give the Finals MVP award, named in his honor, to the winning recipient and show support to the league’s biggest stars by exchanging hugs and thoughtful advice.

When it came to “paying it forward,” fewer did it better than him, and we should be inspired to follow in Russell’s footsteps.

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Can The College Football Players Association Change the NCAA Forever?

College football is in constant dialogue with its past—Michigan-Ohio State became The Game because of residual beef from the Toledo Strip conflict in 1835; Notre Dame and USC have played each every year for nearly a century because two guys’ wives in 1926 thought they should. This is what makes college football fun, but it has also bred structural inertia and sclerosis; Bryce Young and CJ Stroud will be paid exactly as much by their schools this year as the Rutgers and Princeton students who contested the first college football game 153 years ago. As engines of capitalism and profit, college football players are as powerful as any other group in modern history—once the Big 10’s record-setting media rights deal starts in 2023, college football will generate nearly $3 billion in television/streaming revenue, more than the MLB, NHL and MLS combined. So why aren’t they treated as such?

The College Football Players Association is trying to ensure they are. Founded in 2021 by Jason Stahl (a former University of Minnesota professor who clashed with the school’s administration over their treatment of student athletes), the CFBPA is at the forefront of college football’s nascent labor movement. Its aims are simple: they want players to be healthy and they players to be paid. 

If this sounds like it’s a monstrously difficult undertaking, it’s because it is. There are 71,060 players across 130 teams that play in 10 conferences all without a centralized structure or authority. Unsurprisingly, the NCAA’s oafish bureaucrat-class isn’t being accommodating either—a Penn State assistant coach stumbled upon a covert CFBPA info session earlier this month, which lead to Big 10 commissioner Kevin Warren leaning on Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford to break rank. 

Still, the CFBPA is ready for a fight. This week, Jordan Meachum, a member of the CFBPA’s leadership committee and a former all-conference running back at Sacred Heart, sat down with ONE37pm to explain the plan to create a safer and fairer future for student athletes. 

College football players of the world, unite—you have nothing to lose but your (turnover) chains.

ONE37pm: What does success look like for the CFBPA?

Meachum: Right now, the biggest thing for us is focusing on getting players independent medical care; there has to be some form of extensive medical care for these kids post-football. There are injuries that you can sustain in your playing days that will hamper you further down the line. Especially with the recent studies on CTE [showing a conclusive link between CTE and hits to the head], I think making sure that resources are available is something that should be necessary.

ONE37pm: How would the CFBPA have helped you back when you were a player?

Meachum: When it comes to injuries on the field, at times you feel like your opinion and your voice might not be as heard as it necessarily should be. We’ve all had coaches in the past who would tell us “you’re okay, you’re okay” to keep us on the field or they’d get an athletic trainer to tell us that we’re fine. But at the end of the day, you might not feel like you’re okay and want a second opinion. A lot of kids are scared to go get that second opinion because they don’t want to go against their coaches. 

The NFL and the Ivy League already have third-party supervisors providing medical care, so we need something like that in place that allows kids to have more information and more choices and not feel as though they’re being rushed through their injuries.

ONE37pm: How does the uncertainty of conference realignment affect your plans for the future?

 Meachum: I think there are going to be conferences that are going to become powerhouse conferences, and then they’re going to have very, very large media deals coming forward. With these big conferences, whether they’re regional or cross-country, the TV deals are going to be sky high—you already see it with the Big 10 singing a TV deal that’ll be more than a billion dollars annually. When it comes to these conferences, hopefully there’s a chance we can get some influence or something for the players. I mean, you know, teams in the Big 10 are now going to be traveling to California with the addition of UCLA and USC. They need to juggle that extra commitment on top of being a student and on top of everything else that’s already on their plate, so there needs to be some sort of compensation for that.

ONE37pm: What are the challenges of trying to organize something as big and decentralized as college football?

Meachum: For the Big 10, part of what  we were trying to accomplish was to get some sort of share of the revenue and profit with the new TV contract that they’re about to sign. But in some different conferences, there’s not really that money there, so we understand that there can’t always be a revenue share within all lines of college football—if you take that down to the FCS level, conferences aren’t going to have the media deals to do that. Our push for independent medical and care post-football, though, is something that could and should be doable everywhere.  

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10 Best F2 Racers in 2022

Formula-1 and motorsports in general got shot into the stratosphere of relevancy, in large part due to Netflix’s Drive to Survive. The show chronicles the storylines and rivalries between each team, which just added to the excitement of the race. In F1, racers are allowed to tweak their car to their liking. In Formula-2, however, all drivers use a car with the same specs. Here are the leaders in points in the 2022 F2 season with just four races remaining. 

10.) Marcus Armstrong: 69 points

There are few racers in F2 this season as experienced as Marcus Armstrong. The 21-year-old driver from New Zealand has been racing in F2 since 2020. He has boasted a total of three wins, with seven podium finishes. His highest finish in an F2 season was last year in 13th place, so if Armstrong can hold onto 10th place this will be a career year for the driver.

9.) Ayumu Iwasa: 72 points

20-year-old Japanese driver Ayumu Iwasa has made a name for himself in his first F2 season. Iwasa saw a featured race in France earlier this month, and has finished on the podium a total of three times. With the gap between fifth and tenth so close, it’s hard to tell where Iwasa may finish, but this season has been extremely successful for the young racer.  

8.) Frederik Vesti: 75 points

Danish driver Frederik Vesit is one of the youngest racers this season, standing at 20 years old. In his debut season, Vesti has won a sprint race, as well as another podium finish. The young Danish racer has shown incredible skill in just his first season, and can still move into the top five with a solid finish to the last few races. Vesti’s future in racing is a bright one.

7.) Enzo Fittipaldi: 76 points

Trailing sixth place by just two points, Florida born driver Enzo Fittipaldi will have to end the season with his best racing skills if he wants to move up in the rankings. He finished last season in 20th place, showing the immense improvement he made in the offseason. There is still time for Fittipaldi to make a run at the top five, but he will need a big win. 

6.) Jack Doohan: 78 points

The second youngest racer in the top-ten this season is none other than Australian driver Jack Doohan. Doohan is just 19 years old, and boasts a sprint race win in England earlier this season. If he can secure another podium finish, he could easily move into the top five this season. 

5.) Liam Lawson: 79 points

Currently sitting at the fifth spot on the leaderboards by a mere point is New Zealand driver Liam Lawson. Lawson was mentored by three-time New Zealand Grand Prix winner Ken Smith. Lawson has found most of his success in the sprint races, winning one race in Saudi Arabia and one another in France. With a small lead, Lawson will have to keep showing out if he wants to finish in the top five.  

4.) Jehan Daruvala: 94 points

23-year-old Prema Racing driver Jehan Daruvala currently ranks fourth in points this F2 season, despite not winning a race this season. Instead, Daruvala has been an animal at podium finishes. He has finished on the podium six times out of the total nine races that have occurred this season. He holds a nice lead over fourth and shouldn’t be worried about dropping down in the leaderboards. 

3.) Logan Sargeant: 118 points

Brother of Nascar driver Dalton Sargeant, Logan Sargeant has made a name for himself this season. The 21-year-old American sits at third in the rankings with a sizable lead over fourth. He recently won back-to-back featured races in England and Austria. This season has been a huge learning experience for Sargeant. Expect him to keep getting better. 

2.) Theo Pourchaire: 134 points

French driver Theo Pourchaire currently holds the second place mark by a wide margin right now. He is currently 16 points ahead of third. Pourchaire won two featured races this season in Bahrain and Italy. Making the jump to first looks near impossible for Pourchaire, but if he can take advantage of these last few races, he can tighten the gap. What’s craziest about Pourchaire sitting at second right now? He’s only 19 years old…

1.) Felipe Drugovich: 173 points

There has been no racer this season who has come close to touching Brazilian driver Felip Drugovich. Drugovich has won three featured races as well as a sprint race. He holds a firm 39-point lead over the next closest driver. It’s Drugovichs championship to lose right now with just four races remaining.  

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The 10 Biggest MLB Trades Ever

With the Washington Nationals fielding offers for their all-history superstar Juan Soto, this year’s trade deadline could have league-altering implications. Before this year’s edition on August 2nd, take a look back at 10 of the biggest MLB trades ever.

1. Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees

  • January 5, 1920 — Yankees get: Babe Ruth; Red Sox get: $125,000

It’s probably a misnomer to call it one of the biggest MLB trades, if not the most famous trade in all of sports history; it wasn’t really a trade, it was more of a sale. was more of a sale than a trade, with the Red Sox only receiving $125,000 in cash in exchange for Babe fucking Ruth. At the time, the deal was hardly a seismic one—with the Red Sox, Ruth was an above-average pitcher, but wouldn’t become a world-historic slugger until he joined the Yankees. In New York, Ruth won four World Series titles and slugged 659 of his then-record 714 home runs. Conversely, the trade haunted the Red Sox wouldn’t win a World Series for another 86 years, haunted by The Curse of the Bambino 

2. Trea Turner and Max Scherzer to the LA Dodgers

  • July 30, 2021 — Dodgers get: Trae Turner, Max Scherzer; Nationals get: Keibert Ruiz, Josiah Gray

What’s better than one All-Star being dealt in a blockbuster trade? Two All-Stars being dealt in a blockbuster trade! Last summer, the Nationals expedited their ongoing rebuild by shipping franchise legends Turner and Scherzer to the Dodgers for Josiah Gray and Kiebert Ruiz, two of the Dodgers’ top prospects at the time. With the Dodgers, Scherzer and Turner demonstrated why they’re potential future Hall of Famers—Scherzer went 7-0 with a 1.98 earned run average while Turner put up a team-best .950 OPS. Although Scherzer signed with the Mets and ultimately only spent half a season in LA, Turner seems poised to rock Dodger Blue as their shortstop of the present and the future.

3. Alex Rodriguez to New York Yankees

  • February 16, 2004 — Yankees get: Alex Rodriguez; Rangers get: Alfonso Soriano, Joaquin Arias

For the 2002 season, Alex Rodriguez finished second in MVP voting as a member of the Texas Rangers while then-Yankee Alfonso Soriano finished directly behind Rodriguez, finishing third. So, naturally, the two star infielders would be traded for each other in 2004 in a megadeal that would put A-Rod in pinstripes for the rest of his career. The move paid dividends for the Yankees as Rodriguez won MVP in 2005 and 2007 with the Bronx Bombers and played a major role in their 2009 World Series title. Meanwhile, Soriano put together two very productive seasons in Texas, before ultimately being traded to the Washington Nationals in 2006. 

4. Roger Clemens to New York Yankees

  • February 18, 1999 — Yankees get: Roger Clemens; Blue Jays get: David Wells, Homer Bush and Graeme Lloyd

Fresh off back to back Cy Young seasons in 1997 and 1998 with the Toronto Blue Jays, Roger Clemens was dealt to the New York Yankees ahead of the 1999 season. Itching for a bigger spotlight than Toronto could provide, Clemens agitated for a trade to New Yorkjust two seasons into his then-record four year, $40 million contract with the Jays. As part of the deal, the Yankees sent David Wells, Homer Bush and Graeme Lloyd north of the border. During his five years in New York, Clemens won two World Series, four American League Pennants, and was named the  AL Cy Young in 2001. 

5. Ken Griffey Jr to Cincinnati Reds

  • February 10, 2000 — Reds get: Ken Griffey Jr.; Mariners get: Mike Cameron, Antonio Perez, Brett Tomko and Jake Meyer

After 11 seasons in Seattle, Ken Griffey Jr asked for a trade in 1999 in order to be closer to his home in Orlando, Florida. By going to Cincinnati in one of the biggest MLB trades of all time, he accomplished that goal geographically, if not spiritually. Although the Reds had high hopes for their star player (“The Michael Jordan of baseball has come to Cincinnati,” boasted general manager Jim Bowden), they finished with a winning record just once in Griffey’s nine seasons in Cincinnati. Although Griffey was productive with the Reds, he struggled to stay healthy and missed an average of 57 games per season there. Surprisingly, the Mariners got on just fine without Griffey, winning a record-setting 116 games in 2001 with major contributions from Mike Cameron, who headlined the package they got in return from the Reds. 

6. Mookie Betts to LA Dodgers

  • February 10, 2020 — Dodgers get: Mookie Betts, David Price; Red Sox get: Jeter Downs, Alex Verdugo and Connor Wong

Barely even a year removed from winning the World Series in 2018, the Red Sox completely overhauled their roster by trading franchise cornerstone Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a smattering of prospects. Just as the Red Sox prioritized the team’s finances over winning by selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1919, they once again shed one of the best players in franchise history to clean up their books almost exactly 100 years later. With the Dodgers, Betts received a deserved 12 year, $365 million extension and helped push the Dodgers over the hump as they the first World Series title in 2020 for the first time since 1988.

7. Tom Seaver to Cincinnati Reds

  • June 15, 1977 —Reds get: Tom Seaver; Mets get: Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Dan Norman and Pat Zachry

From 1967 to 1977, Tom Seaver was the Mets; he was nicknamed “The Franchise,” after all. The first great Met, Seaver was as beloved in New Yorkas just about any athlete has ever been, winning three Cy Youngs and a World Series ring across his 10 seasons in Queens. As such, the Mets’ decision to low-ball Seaver during contract negotiations and ultimately pull the trigger on one of the biggest MLB trades remains a sore spot to this day. In a delicious piece of karmic justice, the Mets immediately plummeted to the bottom of the standings following the deal while Seaver enjoyed a strong second act as a member of the Big Red Machine.

8. Pedro Martinez to Boston Red Sox

  • November 18, 1997 — Red Sox get: Pedro Martinez; Expos get: Carl Pavano, Tony Armas

Fresh off winning the National League Cy Young with the Montreal Expos in 1997, Martinez joined the Boston Red Sox ahead of the 1998 season. Somehow, he got even better in Boston; his six year run from 1998-2003 represents some of the most dominant pitching that MLB has ever seen. In return for Martinez, the Expos received Carl Pavano, who put together four-and-a-half unremarkable seasons in Montreal before finally making good on his potential with the Florida Marlins. 

9. Roy Halladay to Philadelphia Phillies

December 16, 2009 — Phillies get: Roy Halladay; Blue Jays get: Travis d’Arnaud, Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor

Having represented the NL in the previous two World Series, the Philadelphia Phillies seemed poised to become a juggernaut after swinging one of the biggest MLB trades to get Roy Halladay from the Toronto Blue Jays. The consensus best pitcher in MLB at the time, Halladay made an immediate impact in Philly, winning NL Cy Young in his first season with the team and then finishing second the next year. Most memorable of all, Halladay threw a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in the 2010 NLDS, making him the first (and only) pitcher since 1955 to author a postseason no-hitter. 

10. Rickey Henderson traded to New York Yankees and then Oakland Athletics

  • December 5, 1984 — Yankees get: Rickey Henderson, Bert Bradley; Athletics get: Tim Birtsas, Jay Howell, Stan Javier, Eric Plunk and Jose Rijo.
  • June 21, 1989 — Athletics get: Rickey Henderson; Yankees get: Greg Cadaret, Eric Plunk and Luis Polonia

In 1984, the New York Yankees traded for Rickey Henderson, who had established himself as baseball’s most electrifying player over the last five seasons with the Athletics. In 1988, the Yankees sent Henderson back to Oakland. Across his round trip from Oakland to New York and then back again, Henderson maintained a .292 batting average, while averaging 18 home runs and a mind-boggling 93 steals across 13 seasons, chipping in a World Series title in 1989 and an MVP in 1990 for good measure.  Most impressive, he’s the only player to headline some of the biggest MLB trades ever, twice!

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What is the FA Community Shield?

The 2022-23 Premier League season will kick off next weekend, but England’s domestic season begins sooner with the tradition of the FA Community Shield.

For over 100 years the Community Shield has been in place to signify the start of the season in England’s top flight.

Two sides meet with the previous Premier League and FA Cup winners the week before the new season.

In the event that the winner of each competition is the same club, the Premier League runner up is selected to participate.

This season, Manchester City and Liverpool will meet at Wembley Stadium on July 30 in this year’s FA Community Shield.

History of FA Community Shield

The event started back in 1898 and was billed as a professionals versus amateurs match.

The original match pitted First Division champions Manchester United against Southern Division winners Queens Park Rangers.

Over the next few decades the Community Shield eventually developed into a Premier League and FA Cup winners competition.

Most Successful Community Shield Side

Man United has won more Community Shield titles than any other club in England.

Since its founding, the Red Devils have won or shared 21 titles, while Arsenal and Liverpool are close behind with 16 and 15, respectively.

Nigel French – EMPICS / Contributor

Overall, 25 different clubs have either won or shared the FA Community Shield.

When is this year’s Community Shield?

The 2022 Community Shield will be played on July 30 at Wembley Stadium.

Liverpool and Man City will meet in the affair after playing several tight matches a season ago.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola will certainly have their sides prepared after a busy summer.

Man City added Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips and Julian Alvarez, while the Reds signed Benfica star Darwin Nunez.

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How Nike Continues To Be Committed To Gold

Nike continues to be committed to elevating the experience of its track and field athletes, and as they say themselves, they are never done chasing gold. Throughout the past week-and-a-half or so, Nike made a return to its Eugene, Oregon birthplace to host the world’s best track, field and running athletes because, well,  there was no better place to start the next leg of the Nike Track Town Takeover than home.

The Takeover culminated by celebrating their athletes against the backdrop of Hayward Field – merging the past and the present to honor five decades of building a community around this sport. The brand’s first ever athlete, Steve Prefontaine, was featured on the iconic Hayward Field Tower, alongside the next generation of Nike athletes who have already changed the game: Ryan Crouser, Athing Mu, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Faith Kipyegon and Fred Kerley.

As mentioned earlier, Nike remains committed to the world’s best with their athletes being the greatest inspiration behind their top innovations. Nike is currently partnered with more track & field athletes than any other brand in the world – including sponsoring approximately a third of the women who competed in Eugene this past week, in what is a true partnership, on and off the track, road or field.

From working with them to inform the design of record-breaking footwear and apparel that optimize their performance to partaking in initiatives that seek to understand how they can better serve female athletes by turning insights into action, Nike is 100% dedicated.

Time and time again, they’ve proven in their labs that Nike racing shoes and spikes provide measurable benefits, but ultimately, it’s the athletes on the track, field and on the roads who validate their work. The athletes competing in their footwear have absolutely dominated across competition in Eugene – with a total of 58% of podium athletes in Nike footwear (24 gold medals, 25 silver medals and 20 bronze medals).

Nike also continues to evolve their apparel through their partnership with USA Track & Field, designing their largest offering of competition apparel for women ever, including an assortment of 30 pieces based on weather, comfort, material, or personal preference. The collection of briefs, shorts, tights, bras, arm and leg sleeves lets her choose how she wants to look, feel and compete.

To celebrate the bold spirit of the women of track and field, Nike also designed a special women’s spike colorway for this moment. Featuring vibrant colors and details that symbolize strength, empowerment, intensity, unity, passion and power, the colorway was seen on the women’s 100m World champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and the entire women’s 1500m podium, including Faith Kipyegon, the World champion and Olympic gold medalist. 

And the most important part of all this, is their community initiative. Daily community runs, and athlete inspirational huddles, were just two of the many events Nike has had to better the community. 

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Is a Kevin Durant Trade Even Possible?

For the most part, Kevin Durant has enjoyed a relatively frictionless career. In Oklahoma City, Durant vaulted the Thunder into the playoffs during his third season and won at least 50 games in his last six healthy seasons in OKC. Then, thanks to an unprecedented salary cap spike, Durant decamped for Golden State, where he took home two Finals MVPs at a canter, sleepily piecing together historically great postseason runs as Steph Curry’s co-pilot. Whereas Lebron James and Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant forged images of themselves as imperial hardwood Caesars, Durant has always been content to be himself, do himself, and chill. Veni, vidi, vici? No, Ego sum, efficio, glaccio. 

As such, the ongoing Brooklyn boondoggle is the first time that Durant hasn’t been able to step into success as if it’s his birthright. Last year’s first round sweep against the Celtics is probably an on-court low-water mark for Durant and the vibes have become so odious that governor Joseph Tsai is openly pining for the days of Jared Dudley and dignified defeat. 

Accordingly, the recent report that the Nets and Celtics have explored a trade oriented around Jaylen Brown feels like the first steps towards something actually happening. At long last, there was a rumor that hinted at potential action. With Kevin Durant, the Celtics would instantly become the obvious best team in the NBA, even if it means sacrificing Marcus Smart, the honorary capo of the Boston Media Mafia. Similarly, the Nets would be able to save face by adding Brown, a budding star who sneakily outplayed Jayson Tatum in the Finals despite not being able to dribble. Never mind that the trade talks happened two-ish weeks ago or that the deal is exceedingly unlikely to actually happen (if the trade were going to happen, it would’ve happened by now), all news is good news during this fallow stretch of the offseason.

By demanding a trade, Durant has revealed the basic fact that he’s nearly untradable—the arcane legalese of the collective bargaining agreement has scuppered potential suitors such as the Miami Heat; the Phoenix Suns, an early clubhouse favorite, can’t put together a package after DeAndre Ayton grew tired of their pointless negging and signed an offer sheet with the Pacers. Whereas his talent makes him a limitless player on the court, his greatness inherently circumscribes his world of off-court possibilities; Kevin Durant—arguably the most gifted player ever—can’t simply be traded. Accordingly, barely any teams have enough ammo to trade for Durant and even fewer can do so while still fielding a contending team around him. 

For years, Durant has been the lowest-maintenance, high-maintenance player in the NBA. Sure, he’s moody and friends with Kyrie Irving, but there’s a simplicity and purity in the way he approaches the game. In Durant’s hands, basketball becomes meditative, a personal flowstate of immaculate footwork and mechanics removed from the hubbub of the NBA; Durant is fundamentally the same player whether he’s playing with Steph Curry or Kyrie Irving or Nic Claxton. But now, this summer has been one of the first times that Durant has had to confront the material costs of stardom, realizing that he doesn’t actually want to lie in the bed that he partially made. 

Although Durant is no stranger to rumor mill slop, his trade demand feels like it’s catalyzed by meta-basketball reasons while his ones in free agency were fuelled by his on-court aesthetics and values. He left OKC for Golden State because he was seduced by their style; he left the Warriors for Brooklyn because he wanted to experience sharing the court with a basketball genius like Irving. Conversely, his malcontent in Brooklyn seems to stem from a greater awareness of a hierarchy of needs beyond getting buckets. Interestingly, Durant hasn’t explicitly listed his preferred destinations—he merely wants to go to a good team. It’s undeniable that Kevin Durant is driving the bus—the question is which direction he takes it.

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When Did the WNBA Start?

The WNBA has been a professional sports league in the United States for over 25 seasons. The league is currently built out with 12 different teams and over 140 of the best female basketball players in the world. It was no small feat to get a professional women’s basketball league established, but because of the exceptional play of the 1995-96 U.S. national team, we have the league today. So when did the WNBA start?

1992-1994 USA Women’s Basketball
(Photo credit should read CHRIS WILKINS/AFP via Getty Images)

Before the WNBA, the biggest stage for a female professional basketball player was the Olympics and other international competitions. In 1988, the Men’s national team failed to make the gold-medal game, and finished with a bronze medal. The international format of basketball would be forever changed as NBA players would now be allowed to play in the Olympics. The following Olympics, which took place in 1992, were dominated by the Michael Jordan-led Dream Team. While the Men’s game was reaching new heights, the women’s national team was facing its biggest challenge yet. 

As the 1992 Mens ‘Dream Team’ would go on to claim gold, the women’s national team would only claim a bronze medal. This was a huge blow for a program that had just won the previous two gold medals. Things would go from bad to worse when the women’s national team would place bronze again at the FIBA World Cup in 1994. 

There was too much talent for these teams to not be finishing with gold, so something needed to change. The NBA and USA Basketball would sponsor a national-team program that would see their squad play 52 games in preparation for the 1996 Olympics. What that team would do was nothing short of incredible.

1995-96 USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team
(Photo by Manny Millan /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

Leading the 1996 Women’s ‘Dream Team’ was Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer. VanDerveer’s track record as a coach in women’s basketball was as good, if not better than anyone. The roster would be built out with the eleven best Olympic prospects and they would embark on a 10-month journey to prepare for the 1996 Olympics. 

Winning a gold medal wasn’t the only objective this squad had. They were a testing ground for the NBA to see what the popularity for Women’s basketball could be. Not only did these athletes have the pressure of winning gold on their shoulders, they also had to show how deserving they were of their own professional league. 

To call the run the USA women’s senior national team had in 1995-96 “dominant” would be an understatement. They first started with a three-month tour facing off against the best collegiate squads in the country. They went undefeated, winning those games by an average margin of 45.2 points. The elite squad’s undefeated streak continued overseas. 

After a tournament in China that saw them play eight games in eight days, while traveling to three different cities, the team remained undefeated. They would end their pre-Olympic tour in North America, winning the last six games on their schedule. The final record for this team? 52-0. They would go on to win gold handedly at the 1996 Olympics, and the NBA was itching to start its sister league.

WNBA’s Creation
(Photo by NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images)

The WNBA was announced on April 24, 1996. Teammates on the 1996 squad, Rebecca Lobo, Lisa Leslie, and Sheryl Swoopes, were all in attendance. The league would start with eight teams in Charlotte, Cleveland, Houston, New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Sacramento, and Utah. 


The league officially kicked off on June 21, 1997, with a match up between the New York Liberty and the Los Angeles Sparks. Now, the league has been going strong for over 25 years and has elevated women’s basketball to new heights. As the league continues to grow, we can never forget the work that 1996 USA women’s team put in.