Edition 6.30.14

Coming off a great week of sports, one of our favorite moments was when Commissioner Adam Silver drafted Isaiah Austin on behalf of the NBA. Read more about the back-story in our stories section, but for now, watch a beautiful moment that transcends play…


World Cup

If you thought group play was interesting (which it was!) then boy oh boy has the single-elimination tourney play been a sight to be seen for the 16 remaining teams. Saturday kicked off an insanely great match between Brazil and Chile that went past extra time into penalty kicks. Although there was a little bit of a goal controversy earlier in the game, Brazil would still go onto win 3-2 in the penalty kicks and moved on to the next round. The next match was just as entertaining as Colombia defeated Uruguay 2-0. Uruguay was playing without Luis Suarez, who was suspended for the biting incident. Anyways, it’s onto to the next match for these two, as Columbia and Brazil will play in the next round of the tournament. A big question leading up to the next round will be the health of Brazil’s star player, Neymar.

Talk about Sunday Funday as the World Cup soccer continued with two great matches. First up, we had the Netherlands versus Mexico, a game that featured an insane comeback by the Dutch who would go onto score two late goals in the game and a win 2-1 over Team Mexico. Later in the afternoon, Costa Rica played with 10 men and defeated Greece in penalty kicks after the great performance of goalkeeper Keylor Navas. They would win 5-3 in the PK round, and will go on to play the Dutch in the next round of the single-elimination play.

Everyone seems to have Team USA fever, and for good reason — this team has been awesome to watch! What’s next for the Americans? A big game on Tuesday against a very talented Team Belgium. Can the United States get the win? The Belgians are tough but anything is possible when you believe… we hope! The game kicks off Tuesday at 4pm, so get your red, white and blue ready!

There are so many other good matches to check out this week… the World Cup really is the best. Here is your World Cup bracket for single-elimination tournament play. Don’t miss out on the fun!


What do you watch when you love basketball, but basketball season is over? The NBA Draft, of course! In case you missed it, here’s what happened in a nutshell: Andrew Wiggins went #1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Jabari Parker was selected #2 to the Milwaukee Bucks. There was a toss-up between which one of these guys would go first, but both are great and are win-win guys. After these two picks is when things started to get interesting as the injured Joel Embiid went #3 to the Philadelphia 76ers. It was unclear how far he might fall given the injury, but we were glad to see him get picked close to the top. You can see the rest of the picks here. This draft featured one of the most hyped class of prospects in quite awhile… only time will tell what the future holds for each of these young stars.

So what do we do now that the NBA Draft is over? Pay attention to free agency (until summer league starts)! What’s new here? Let’s see, after a meeting last week, the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem have all opted out of their contracts. Does this mean they might leave, too? Not necessarily, it could mean that the Miami Heat might be able to restructure their contracts with LeBron James, Wade, Bosh and Haslem with the hopes that they could also add more talent to their squad. Speaking of LeBron, he’s been awfully quiet this week but it’s still quite possible he could pursue his free agency with each of the other teams seeking his talents. Other than that, Carmelo Anthony will begin exploring his free agency prospects, and talks about where Kevin Love will end up still loom large. See, this is still fun!

Lastly, it appears Jason Kidd might be leaving the Brooklyn Nets. After one season with the Nets, it appears that a failed request for more power might lead Kidd out the door to another team… in Milwaukee (as in the Bucks). Possibly in the form of a trade. Needless to say, this one is about to get rather interesting!


The O’Bannon Trial is still going on in Judge Claudia Wilken’s courtroom. This important case could transform the NCAA and college athletics as we know it, and while after three weeks it wraps up Friday, a decision will not come until August.

In all things awesome, Brittney Griner set an WNBA record! That’s right, the Phoenix Mercury star recorded a record 11 blocks in a win over the Tulsa Shock. Oh yeah, and she had 21 points in the big victory, too. Boom!

Wimbledon continues this week as many of the favorites still remain in the hunt!


Hilarious throwbacks from the US Mens National Soccer Team — check out these guys before they were stars!


JoJo’s Journey
From Cameroon to the 3rd pick in the NBA Draft
The story of Joel Embiid’s rise as a basketball player in only a few years time

Heartbreak Warfare
How the Netherlands managed a win over Mexico
While watching the World Cup, emotions may run rampant — but this game took the cake

Life Changing News
As Adam Silver announced the first round of the NBA Draft, he paused…
…To honor Isaiah Austin of Baylor, a previously projected first-round pick who was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome last week

Getting to Know You
How well do you know DaMarcus Beasley?
How DaMarcus Beasley invented and re-invented himself to secure a place in American Soccer history

The Afterglow
Jabari’s special moment
Here’s what really happens right after you get selected in the NBA Draft


Edition 6.23.14

Didn’t we almost have it all? (or at least a big World Cup win…?) Okay, so maybe that USA-Portugal match was a little bit of a bummer and you need a Monday morning pick me up. Look no further than the American Outlaws tribute video reminding us why we should all still “believe” in Team USA! or get excited because Wimbledon starts today!


World Cup

Where do broken hearts go? The United States tied Portugal 2-2 on Sunday evening in a game that felt more like a loss than a draw. Portugal scored 5 minutes into the game, and the US’s first goal by Jermaine Jones came in the second half. Team USA would go on to take a 2-1 lead after Clint Dempsey scored a goal late in the second half, and looked to be well on their way to getting the win. That is until Cristiano Ronaldo set up a beautiful cross that led to a last minute equalizing goal by Silvestre Varela in extra time. And with that, the game ended in a tie. So, what does this mean? Can Team USA can still advance? It’s slightly complicated but here is how the Group G could play out with the last two games this week between Portugal and Ghana and the United States and Germany on Thursday:

  • United States: Will advance with a win or tie against Germany
  • Germany: Will advance with a win or tie against the United States
  • Portugal: Will advance with a win against Ghana and a Germany/United States win if they have the tiebreaker with the loser
  • Ghana: Will advance with a win against Portugal and a Germany/United States win if they have the tiebreaker with the loser

Not complicated at all, right…? In any event, GO TEAM USA!

As you can see, so many big things have happened with the World Cup! We’ve been very impressed by the Netherlands, Argentina, Costa Rica and France. We also LOVE the celebrations. Now, let’s take a look at who’s qualified for the tournament so far:

  • Who’s in: Belgium, Netherlands, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Argentina
  • Who’s out: Spain, England, Bos/Herz, Australia, and Cameroon

There are a few big match-ups to look forward to this week, including: Brazil vs. Cameroon on Monday, Italy vs. Uruguay on Tuesday, Honduras vs. Switzerland on Wednesday and France vs. Ecuador on Wednesday. The single elimination tournament starts Saturday. Go Soccer, Go America!


There may not be any games, but it’s still a big week for hoops. This upcoming Thursday is the NBA Draft, where some of the best young basketball prospects will hope to hear their names called by Commissioner Adam Silver. What should we expect? Before this weekend, experts were predicting that Kansas’ star freshman Joel Embiid would be the Number 1 pick. Sadly JoJo injured his foot last week and will be out for 4-6 months to recover from a stress fracture. What does this mean? Well, Joel Embiid will still likely be a top 5 pick, but it’s much more likely that the Cleveland Cavaliers will select either Jabari Parker of Duke or Andrew Wiggins of Kansas with their Number 1 pick. One other name to know is Dante Exum  he’s a talented point guard from Australia who will likely also be a top 5 pick. What’s the other fun thing about draft night? The trades! Trust us, there’ll be lots of them.

Also, our hearts are with Isaiah Austin. The former Baylor basketball player was preparing to hear his named called in this week’s NBA Draft. Unfortunately, after undergoing preliminary health tests in a workout for teams, it was discovered that Austin has Marfan Syndrome, a career ending condition that will effect his heart. Our thoughts go out to him in this difficult time.

The NBA Draft isn’t the only  interesting thing going on in the hoops world. There are lots and lots of basketball rumors floating around about what will happen with star players Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks. Carmelo is expected to opt out of the final year on his contract with the Knicks. He is a free agent who can choose his path — whether he wants to stay with in New York or go to another team like the Chicago Bulls. Love, on the other hand, is still under contract but is very unlikely to stay in Minny for one more year. So, the odds of the TWolves trading him are very high. The  Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics both appear to be interested. Stay tuned… something could happen as early as this week!

Speaking of free agency, the Miami Heat is another team to keep an eye on. After losing to the San Antonio Spurs in the Championship just a week ago, the Heat are right back in the news. President of the team Pat Riley held a press conference last week where he declared he will do whatever it takes to keep the big three (LeBron, DWade and Bosh), and will look to add younger players to the roster. This summer is going to be interesting, indeed!


The NCAA is in the midst of a class action antitrust lawsuit against former college athletes. The O’Bannon case, filed by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, challenges the NCAA’s use of student athletes to make a profit and questions whether or not the athletes have a right to the profit as well. The case was filed five years ago, but has been many years in the making. Much has been made of NCAA President Mark Emmert’s testimony and what it means. This is definitely complicated, but is absolutely relevant to understanding the dynamics in NCAA sports, possible reforms, and what might change going forward.

And the winner of the Women’s US Open is…Michele Wie! It’s the first Major win of her career and a long-time coming. Congrats!

Michael Vick is getting ready for a new stage in his football career. The new quarterback of the New York Jets spoke with reporters about his career, his mistakes, what he’s overcome, his comeback and what he wants most in the future: a championship ring.

In all things NASCAR, Carl Edwards won at Sonoma Raceway to get his first road racing victory of the year.


Tatted Up
The wild ways that die-hard sports fans commemorate their favorite players, teams, and games



Did you ever wonder why we call it soccer?
The debate on why we call the World Cup sport by a different name than everyone else

The next generation is here
The children of the 90’s are the new faces in women’s tennis
They’re full of potential, and fighting to reach the top — watch out for these ladies!

Inclined to fight
Taking a swing at segregation in boxing
Ever wonder about how the history of segregation impacted boxing?

A twist on #WCW
Social media — a great way to share your experiences with everyone around you
Looking at the history of the World Cup through fans’ anecdotes

Remembering the life and death of Eddie Griffin
Grantland’s Jonathan Abrams writes about the life of the once-promising hoops star

Edition 6.16.14

Good morning, Team SQ! Let’s start today off with this spectacular goal by Argentina’s Lionel Messi… can you say WOW?!




The San Antonio Spurs are your 2014 NBA Champions. After a heart-breaking loss in last year’s finals against the two-time defending champions the Miami Heat, the Spurs fought through adversity and used that loss to bring them back to the NBA Finals to face the Heat again this year. And in 5 games, the Spurs defeated the Heat to win this year’s title. It’s the 5th title for Tim Duncan and Coach Popovich, and the icing on the cake for an era of excellence. Young rising star Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs is your MVP. Congrats, San Antonio!

So what does this mean for the Heat? Now that the season is over, there are quite a few players that have a decision to make about where they will play next season. LeBron James is one of those players. The Heat’s big 3 (including LeBron) have the option to opt out, play one more year, or renegotiate their contracts now. This will be a big storyline for the off-season. Let’s just say that all fans will be eager to see what happens– especially fans in LA, Cleveland, and Miami.

Speaking of free agents… other off-season storylines headed your way: Where will Carmelo Anthony go? Will he stay in New York or go somewhere else? Who will be the Number 1 pick in the NBA Draft? Will the Spurs’ older stars retire? And, what coaching changes will be in play as we get closer to next season? See, even post-season can be fun!


The LA Kings are the 2014 Stanley Cup Champs! Wait, so there was more than one professional sports championship this weekend? You know that’s right! The LA Kings defeated the New York Rangers in five games, capping off a double overtime performance on Saturday night to win professional hockey’s greatest honor. Justin Williams of the Kings was named the MVP. Congrats to hockey’s new KINGS!

It may not have been the ending they wanted, but the New York Rangers had a great year. Needless to say, they probably don’t feel that way right now. The heartbreak in sports is real.

World Cup

World Cup Recap: Brazil beat Croatia 3-1 on Thursday, The last World Cup’s winning team, Spain, lost badly to the Netherlands last week 5-1 on Friday, England lost a heartbreaker to Italy 2-1 on Saturday, France put on a show in a big 3-1 win against Honduras on Sunday, Argentina beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-1 on Sunday, and Switzerland won 2-1 against Ecuador as well.

Cristiano Ronaldo has been struggling on and off with a knee injury. Should fans of team Portugal (and really, the World Cup in general) be concerned? Don’t fret, the futbol star claims he will be good to go when his team faces a talented Germany squad on Monday.

What else is happening this week? Team USA faces Team Ghana on Monday. Do the Americans have a chance? Coach Klinsman was rather quiet on that front. Other great games to keep an eye out for include: Brazil vs. Mexico on June 17 and Chile vs. Spain on June 18. There are also plenty of other games to watch as pool play continues this week! See the schedule here.


Martin Kaymer put on quite a performance and dominated the field to win this year’s U.S. Open down in Pinehurst, North Carolina. The golfer led the way most of the weekend and capped off his victory with a excellent final round.

The Atlanta Falcons are the new stars of Hard Knocks. The HBO drama, which features one NFL team per year, will show a behind the scenes look at the Falcons as they prepare for the season during training camp.

Jimmie Johnson got a big win in NASCAR. For the first time in his career, the driver won a race at the Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.



Harriet the Spy
The French World Cup Coach alleges that a drone was used to spy on his team



In light of Father’s Day…
Toughing it out with dad by your side
No matter how you spent time with your father figure this weekend, we hope you enjoyed yourselves!

Kind of a Big Deal
The US has finally started to catch the World Cup bug
As ESPN improved marketing and production of game coverage, American excitement grew

How the sports page began covering soccer
A brave newspaper reporter made the first trek to the World Cup 32 years ago

Shared Territory
The ladies are practicing alongside the men
For the first time, the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens are being played back-to-back at the same venue. Sounds like there’s a lot of excitement and collaboration going on!

Spreading the leadership around
Everyone is a leader on the US World Cup Team

Edition 6.9.14

Okay, even though it’s the NBA Finals and the NHL Finals, we can’t keep futbol/soccer off our minds… but maybe that’s because the Beats by Dre team just released this magnetic ad showing us the pregame routine and honors of the World Cup. Check it out here:




The NBA Finals are back! And in a Game 2 featuring air-conditioning (whew!) in San Antonio, the Miami Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs 98-96. The game was tight all evening, but 35 points from LeBron and clutch play down the stretch helped Miami knock off the Spurs in the last couple minutes. Both teams will head to Miami for game 3 on Tuesday night.

The NBA announced the All-NBA teams for this year, a recognition that celebrates the best players this season. Not surprisingly, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant was unanimously selected on all the ballots as a First-Team pick.

  • First Team: Kevin Durant (OKC), LeBron James (MIA), Joakim Noah (CHI), Chris Paul (LAC), James Harden (HOU)
  • Second Team: Stephen Curry (GSW), Tony Parker (SAN), Blake Griffin (LAC), Kevin Love (MIN), Dwight Howard (HOU)
  • Third Team: Paul George (IND), LaMarcus Aldridge (POR), Goran Dragic (PHX), Al Jefferson (CHA), Damian Lillard (POR)

What’s it like to be the president, partial owner, and coach of a team? Just ask Flip Saunders. That’s right, after conducting a coaching search, Saunders has decided to coach the Minnesota Timberwolves himself. This could get interesting. In other coaching news, the Utah Jazz announced that Quin Snyder will be their new coach. Expect the rumors about the LA Lakers and the NY Knicks to continue as each team looks to hire a new coach.

What’s coming up in all things NBA? Game 3! That’s right, Game 3 takes place Tuesday night in Miami. Get ready for a wild ride!


In a riveting Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the LA Kings topped the New York Rangers 5-4 in double overtime! Of interest here is that although the Kings are now up 2-0 in the series, they have yet to lead in regulation — in both games, they’ve need overtime to pull ahead. But you know what they say… a win is a win, and the Kings are winning.

Looking for a ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals? Good luck, and keep looking. It looks like Game 3 will be the “highest grossing game in league history.” Ain’t no business like championship business.

In coaching, there have been quite a few changes this off-season (for teams outside the Cup, that is). The Pittsburgh Penguins fired their coach Dan Bylsma and hired new GM Jim Rutherford. Meanwhile, the Detroit Red Wings hired Jeff Blashill to coach their team. Time will tell if these changes will help these traditional powerhouses climb back to the top.

Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals gets going Monday night. Get excited, and prepare for more overtime!


The French Open Championship match kicked off Sunday morning between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Just another chapter in their great rivalry. Despite Djokovic’s efforts, he couldn’t contain Rafa, who won his 9th French Open Final Championship trophy. It’s also his 14th major title, tying him with Pete Sampras for second all-time. On the women’s side, Maria Sharapova defeated Simona Halep for her second French Open trophy.

Speaking of tennis, Andy Murray has a new coach. Murray hired Amelie Mauresmo, a former top-ranked player to help him try to win a second straight Wimbledon title for the UK.

And the winner of the Belmont Stakes isTonalist. California Chrome finished in a tie for 4th, meaning the quest for a Triple Crown victory is over. One thing is for sure, California Chrome’s owner is not pleased with the system.

It may not be college basketball season, but this off-season has been full of developments. Former Carolina player Rashad McCants spoke with ESPN’s Outside the Lines about some extreme allegations involving his academic experience at UNC. Coach Roy Williams denied the accusations in an interview. Stay tuned, this story is not going away.

In the final friendly for the United States, the national team knocked off Team Nigeria 2-1. Jozy Altidore led the way for the Americans who will now head to Brazil to play in that whole World Cup thing. Get ready. (USA USA USA!)

In all things boxing, we have a new champ. Miguel Cotto defeated Sergio Martinez in 1o rounds on Saturday night in Madison Square Garden. The strong performance won him the middleweight championship title of the WORLD. In other boxing news, Oscar De La Hoya, one of boxing’s all-time greats, was inducted into the international boxing hall of fame over the weekend.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. picked up his second win of the season in his first win at Pocono, a NASCAR race in the Sprint Cup Series.

Will Smith is set to star in a film about concussions in the NFL. The film is based on a GQ article about the rise of concussions in professional football called “Brain Game.”



Spelling is T-O-U-G-H
Just ask Jimmy Kimmel, who took on this year’s National Spelling Bee champs on his show



The Quest
Ray-Ray and Rashard reunite in Miami
Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis have gone their separate ways since their days in Seattle but are back together in Miami and looking to win another title

Bye, Bye NYC
Radio City Music Hall probably won’t host the 2015 NFL Draft
Due to scheduling conflicts at venues around the city, the draft will most likely be held elsewhere

Nine for IX
In Honor of Title IX
espnW tells the powerful story of Tracey Stewart in this short video piece

Fresh Faces
The kids are more than alright
Are the future stars of the World Cup ready to show their stuff?

Campaign for Equality in Sports
Soccer player Robbie Rogers was one of the many participants in the YouTube video created to inspire athletes to continue doing what they love, regardless of who they love

Get on my level
A guide to enjoying the World Cup
How much do you actually know about soccer? Boost your knowledge!



Edition 6.2.14

Sometimes sports can be beautiful…whether you root for them or against them, the ball movement that San Antonio Spurs put on display in Oklahoma City was (at times) flawless. This play to start the game by Kawhi Leonard was just AWESOME.




Basketball is really fun, y’all. Saturday night featured one of the most fun games of the playoffs so far as the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 in OKC.  The game featured mini-leads and comebacks, injuries, turnovers and heroic plays. Despite playing without Tony Parker for the entire second half, San Antonio led the way for most of the game and even a strong push from Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder wasn’t enough to counter the amazing team play of Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan and the Spurs. So what’s next? Well, the San Antonio Spurs are your Western Conference champs and will rest up before taking on the other big winner of the weekend, the Miami Heat.

Speaking of the Miami Heat, the Eastern Conference came down to the Heat and the Indiana Pacers but this Game 6 wasn’t nearly as close as the Spurs’ overtime win. Once the ball was tipped, the Pacers really had no chance — The Heat dominated the game Friday night and came out on top with a strong win. LeBron James and Co. brought their  “A” game, and looked more than ready to attempt to win their third straight NBA Championship title. What stands in their way? Naturally, the San Antonio Spurs, who are looking for revenge after losing to the Heat in heartbreaking fashion during last year’s NBA Finals.

Oklahoma City’s Derek Fisher is a popular man. Both the LA Lakers (where Fisher won several championships) and the New York Knicks (where his former Coach Phil Jackson works) are rumored to be interested in interviewing him for the head coaching position. A couple things to note about this: 1) Fisher has yet to retire as a basketball player so that’s step one. 2) if he does retire, then will he want to jump right into coaching? and 3) Does his lack of coaching experience matter? Maybe, maybe not.

What’s our prediction for the NBA Finals? It’s a tough call, and that’s what SQ Primers are for, so stay tuned… But, in the meantime, mark your calendar for Game 1 of the Finals, which kicks off June 5th. The rematch is on!


The New York Rangers are officially your Eastern Conference champs! After a big Game 6 win against the Montreal Canadiens, the Rangers are moving onward to the Stanley Cup Finals. There’s good reason to believe they’ve got a shot at winning it all with the strong play of goalie Henrik Lundqvist, but there’s no doubt that the Western Conference champion will be ready for them.

And just who will represent the West? The LA Kings! After 7 thrilling games, the series between the LA Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks came down to an amazing winner-takes-all Game 7 that went into overtime on Sunday night where the LA Kings won the chance to compete for the Stanley Cup. Seriously the game had an insane game-winner by Alec Martinez. The West has been viewed as the better conference all season, but who knows what will happen when the puck hits the ice.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals begins on June 4th, get ready!


The French Open sure has been interesting so far. For the first time in a decade, Roger Federer will not be in the quarterfinals, as he lost to Ernests Gulbis over the weekend. Other big losses so far in the French Open include Serena Williams’ loss to Garbiñe Muguruza, and Li Na’s loss to Kristina Mladenovic.

The World Cup is just around the corner and we couldn’t be more excited. In a friendly on Sunday in New York City, the United States National Team defeated the Turkish National Team 2-1. The US has a long road ahead, but the second win of their three friendlies is something… you gotta start somewhere.

Is 2014 the year of Jimmie Johnson? One thing’s for sure — he is on a roll, as he grabbed another big NASCAR win in the Sprint Cup series at Dover yesterday.


Headed to Miami!
Actor and prankster Simon Brodkin tries to board a plane to Miami with England’s World Cup Team



Going once, Going twice… SOLD
…For a whopping TWO BILLION dollars
The NBA has approved former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s bid to buy the LA Clippers from Donald Sterling

A Match Made in Heaven
Spurs’ player Tim Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich are headed to another championship
It’s a great time to look back on their relationship

A proposed settlement to pay college players featured in NCAA-branded videogames
Featured basketball and football players will be compensated for their likenesses

Heard enough about Johnny Manziel?
It sounds like Johnny Manziel has had enough of the publicity, too
At the final day of the NFL Players Association Rookie Premiere, he wasn’t participating in interviews

Are you missing college football?
Check out Sports Illustrated’s guide to the rest of the offseason
If you’re a fan of college football, look no further — all of the important dates, events, and info you need ’til the season starts up again!