Sports

What could Caitlin Clark’s WNBA transition from Iowa look like?
Sports

What could Caitlin Clark’s WNBA transition from Iowa look like?

Connected media - Connected media Reality is coming. In the words of Diana Taurasi, as spoken to Scott Van Pelt on SportsCenter, Caitlin Clark is due for a reckoning when she gets to the WNBA. After four years of dominating the college game, Clark is starting the next chapter of her career at the bottom as one of the youngest players in the most talented league in the world. Regardless of what the overall arc of Clark’s career ends up being, it is unlikely that she hits the ground running as the best player on the court every night, as she did at Iowa. Diana Taurasi on Caitlin Clark coming to WNBA «Reality is coming….you look superhuman playing against some 18 years olds but you’re going to come play with some grown women that have been playing professional basketball for a long tim...
NFL Draft 2024 live updates: Latest mock draft, rankings, trades and start time
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NFL Draft 2024 live updates: Latest mock draft, rankings, trades and start time

Connected media - Connected media By now, you probably understand what Bills general manager Brandon Beane is all about. He has a history of trading up. He did it for Josh Allen, Tremaine Edmunds, Cody Ford, Dawson Knox, Zack Moss, Kaiir Elam, Khalil Shakir and Dalton Kincaid. That’s eight times in six drafts, four in the first round. To his credit, he actually has traded down during one draft, doing so twice in the 2022 second round before taking James Cook. Beane said he had a trade to move down last year and would have done it if he couldn’t get Kincaid — but he didn’t. Despite giving us the information, he doesn’t get credit for doing the move, because ultimately, he did what he has always done in the first round. He chased after a player who excited him, just as he always said h...
NFL Draft 2024 ‘The Beast’ Guide: Dane Brugler’s scouting reports and player rankings
Sports

NFL Draft 2024 ‘The Beast’ Guide: Dane Brugler’s scouting reports and player rankings

Associated media - Associated media Finally! It’s here. I’m thrilled to share this year’s draft guide with everyone. I don’t remember who first referred to it as “The Beast,” but I use that moniker as motivation to make sure this annual primer lives up to the nickname — and I don’t think I’ve let you down this year. Every NFL prospect is a puzzle. And it is a scout’s job to find the puzzle pieces to create as clear a picture of each player as possible. Those puzzle pieces include everything from the player’s physical traits to his mental makeup to the details of his upbringing — and everything in between. That’s precisely how I attack this draft guide. Over the last 18 months, I’ve collected as many puzzle pieces as I could dig up, through countless hours of tape study and ...
NBA Pre-Postseason Player Tiers 1 and 2: Wembanyama quickly rising; Giannis, Jokić steady at top
Sports

NBA Pre-Postseason Player Tiers 1 and 2: Wembanyama quickly rising; Giannis, Jokić steady at top

Associated media - Connected media Yesterday, I largely focused on setting the table for the updated NBA Pre-Postseason Players Tiers before revealing Tier 3 (players between the 24th and 42nd spot) and Tier 4 (Nos. 43-80). Today, I’m going to get a little more into some of the more interesting and/or challenging placements, as well as note a few overall trends. For starters, a consistent bit of feedback — and one I’ve gotten from multiple sources since the release of Tiers 3 and 4 — is the always difficult evaluation of which player is more valuable between an elite role player and a good-but-not-great primary or secondary creator. A senior analytics staffer within the league went so far as to argue they would prefer essentially the entirety of Tier 4A, largely made up of elite role...
U.S. Soccer took a gamble waiting for Emma Hayes, leaving USWNT’s style of play in limbo
Sports

U.S. Soccer took a gamble waiting for Emma Hayes, leaving USWNT’s style of play in limbo

Connected media - Linked media In November, U.S. Soccer gambled that it was worth sacrificing a year of continuous preparation under a permanent manager to hire Emma Hayes. For eight months following the 2023 World Cup, interim management has overseen the U.S. women’s national team. To her credit, Twila Kilgore’s tenure as placeholder helped turn over the player pool and saw her team win a pair of tune-up competitions this spring. Still, it’s been a lost year for the program at a time when it was in sore need of a clear new vision. Hayes’ first games as USWNT manager in June are still two months away, bringing the post-World Cup interlude to 10 months — and a full seven months from her appointment in November. With the CONCACAF W Gold Cup and SheBelieves Cup in the rearview, it’s tim...
Ryan Giggs and football: A very complicated relationship
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Ryan Giggs and football: A very complicated relationship

Connected media - Associated media The celebration was almost as glorious as the goal itself. The fuzz of chest hair, the twirling shirt, the body swerve to evade the Manchester United fans who had run on the pitch in their euphoria. On Sunday, it is 25 years since Patrick Vieira, a genuine great of Arsenal’s midfield, played a wayward pass amid the high drama of an FA Cup semi-final between the leading two English sides of the time. Ryan Giggs took the ball and then he was off and running, picking up speed from inside his own half, slaloming past opponents, one by one. Vieira tried to get back but Giggs, crossing the halfway line, dipped his shoulder to get away. Lee Dixon was next to come across. He, too, could not get near him. Arsenal had the most famously parsimonious defence in...