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The Lead

The award-winning daily sports show from Wondery and The Athletic, known for delivering the best storytelling in sports. Every weekday, co-hosts Tiffany Oshinsky and Anders Kelto dive into the biggest and most fascinating sports stories of the day, as told by the reporters who cover them up close. The Lead cuts through the chatter and brings you in-depth reporting and emotional stories, to help make sense of the complicated sports landscape. New episodes every Monday through Friday.

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  • 14.06.2021
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    13:35
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    The Push To Get More NFL Players Vaccinated

    As NFL teams move closer to the start of the 2021 season, many have run into a challenging dilemma -- how to handle players who are hesitant or flat out unwilling to get a Covid vaccine. This has led to some frustration on the part of coaches, executives, agents, and others working behind the scenes, who are trying to find ways to persuade players to get their shots. The Athletic's Lindsay Jones recently spoke with people from around the league about the situation, and joins us today to discuss the growing push to get more NFL players vaccinated and how it is or isn't working. Read Lindsay Jones's recent story about the NFL and vaccination rates.

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  • 11.06.2021
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    Why Former Pro Athletes Are Leading The 'Psychedelic Revolution'

    There's been a lot of talk in recent years about the 'psychedelic revolution' coming in mental health, thanks to studies that have shown that drugs like MDMA (ecstasy or molly) and psilocybin (magic mushrooms), together with therapy, can have positive effects for people suffering from PTSD, depression, and other mental illnesses. But what many people might not realize is that athletes -- who often suffer from these same conditions -- are helping lead the charge. The Athletic's Dan Robson recently wrote about this phenomenon, and he joins us to discuss why many former pro athletes are taking up the cause and how some of their lives have been transformed by their experiences with the drugs. Read Dan Robson's full story about athletes and psychedelics.

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  • 10.06.2021
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    Julio Jones Has The Titans Dreaming Of A Super Bowl

    Hopes are high in Nashville after the trade that brought superstar wide receiver Julio Jones from the Atlanta Falcons to the Tennessee Titans this week. Today, we’re joined by The Athletic’s Joe Rexrode to look at the gamble that the Titans (and their risk-taking GM, Jon Robinson) are taking by bringing in the 32-year-old, how his new teammates have responded, and why an offense featuring Jones, Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown has Tennessee dreaming of a Super Bowl. Read Joe Rexrode’s story about Julio Jones landing with Tennessee: https://theathletic.com/2635345/2021/06/06/titans-julio-jones-are-close-to-teaming-up-and-nashville-should-rejoice/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 09.06.2021
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    The Night The USMNT's 'Golden Generation' Came Of Age

    Soccer fans were treated to an unforgettable spectacle on Sunday night when the U.S. Men's National Team squared off against Mexico in the final of the CONCACAF Nation's League. It was the first big test for what many are calling the 'Golden Generation' of U.S. men's soccer -- a collection of young players who are playing for some of the very best clubs in the world. The Athletic's Paul Tenorio joins us to break down the absolutely unforgettable match, which included everything from controversial penalty kicks and pitch invaders to red cards and fan projectiles, and why the character and skill displayed by the U.S. team should give fans plenty of optimism. Read Paul Tenorio's story about the game: https://theathletic.com/2636376/2021/06/07/usmnt-mexico-nations-league-final/

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  • 08.06.2021
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    The Utah Jazz Are Still Flying Under The Radar

    The Utah Jazz finished the regular season with the best record in the NBA, but it seems like many people still aren’t taking them seriously as bona fide title contenders. Today, The Athletic’s Tony Jones joins us to break down the challenges that the Jazz have faced this season — from an injury controversy with Donovan Mitchell to a terrifying incident on an airplane — and whether this team is still being overlooked as they get ready to take on the Clippers. Follow Tony Jones’s coverage of the Utah Jazz: https://theathletic.com/author/tony-jones/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 07.06.2021
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    Vlad Guerrero Jr. Is Finally Living Up To The Hype

    Three years ago, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was one of the most prized prospects in all of baseball. His plate discipline, raw power, and notable lineage led everyone to believe he was destined for stardom at the major league level. Now after facing some adversity during his first two seasons as a pro, Guerrero is living up to the billing. The 22-year-old first baseman is leading the American League is just about every offensive category and he's also become a surprisingly limber defensive player. The Athletic's Kaitlyn McGrath joins the show to talk about Guerrero's breakout campaign and whether he can sustain this level of play going forward. You can read Kaitlyn McGrath's story about Vladimir Guerrero Jr. here: https://theathletic.com/2527434/2021/04/19/vladimir-guerrero-jr-s-hot-start-has-him-looking-like-the-elite-hitter-the-blue-jays-knew-he-could-be/

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  • 04.06.2021
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    WNBA Story Lines: Liberty Thriving, Dream Rising, Sky Falling

    We’re a few weeks into the WNBA’s 25th season, and already it’s been filled with signature moments from star players, including Sabrina Ionescu of the New York Liberty recording just the ninth triple-double in league history. Today, The Athletic’s Chantel Jennings on some of the most notable early-season story lines, including one contender (the Chicago Sky) that has struggled early with Candace Parker injured. Plus, a coaching shakeup for the defending champs, the Seattle Storm, and a fast start for the Atlanta Dream, a team powered by windmills (sort of). Follow Chantel Jennings’s coverage of the WNBA: https://theathletic.com/author/chantel-jennings/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 03.06.2021
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    Why Coach K Is Calling It Quits

    On Wednesday, the college basketball world received some surprising news with reports that Mike Krzyzewski is planning to retire at the end of next season after four decades as the head coach of Duke men’s basketball. Today, we’re joined by The Athletic’s Brendan Marks to look at the factors behind Coach K’s decision, and what to expect during the legendary coach's farewell season. Read Shams Charania, Seth Davis and Brendan Marks’s story about Mike Krzyzewski’s plans to retire: https://theathletic.com/2583383/2021/06/02/coach-k-plans-to-retire-after-season-inside-the-factors-for-the-decision-and-dukes-plans-for-their-next-head-coach/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 02.06.2021
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    The Brain Behind The Beard: Inside James Harden's Basketball Mind

    On Tuesday night, the Brooklyn Nets — led by Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and a huge game from James Harden — knocked out the Boston Celtics for the team’s first playoff series win in seven years. Today, we’re joined by The Athletic’s Alex Schiffer to look at one key component of Brooklyn's success — the mind of Harden — and why that basketball brain could be the driving force for a Nets title run. Read Alex Schiffer’s story about James Harden’s basketball mind: https://theathletic.com/2597501/2021/05/20/inside-james-hardens-beautiful-mind-the-tool-that-could-lead-the-former-mvp-and-the-nets-to-an-nba-title/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 01.06.2021
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    The Friendship That Changed An NHL Superstar And A Rock Legend

    During this year's NHL playoffs, a lot of people had been rooting for veteran Toronto Maple Leafs forward (and noted nice guy) Joe Thornton. At age 41, the former #1 overall pick had been striving to win the first Stanley Cup of his long and storied career before the Leafs were eliminated by the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night. But what many people don’t know is that, for years, Thornton maintained a close relationship with a transcendent Canadian rock star: the late lead singer of The Tragically Hip, Gord Downie. Josh Kloke first broke the details of their unlikely friendship, and he joins us today to explain how the hockey superstar and the rock and roll icon saw similarities in their respective art forms and drew inspiration from one another right up until the end of Downie's life. Read Joshua Kloke's story about Joe Thornton and Gord Downie: https://theathletic.com/2542210/2021/04/28/joe-thornton-and-gord-downie-inside-a-friendship-that-changed-a-hockey-star-and-inspired-a-music-legend/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Inside The Dallas Mavericks' Roller Coaster Season (Rebroadcast)

    One of the most fascinating matchups in the first round of the NBA Playoffs has been the Dallas Mavericks against the Los Angeles Clippers -- a rematch of last year's battle in the NBA bubble. Today, we're rebroadcasting an episode that originally aired back in late March. The Athletic's Tim Cato joined us to talk about the Mavericks' roller coaster of a season, why they've experienced such highs and lows, and how dangerous this team could be come playoff time. More from Tim Cato: https://theathletic.com/author/tim-cato/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    How Manchester City Took Back Control

    Manchester City will be the favorites when they take on Chelsea in the Champions League Final on Saturday in Portugal. And while City's march to the final now feels almost inevitable, especially on the heels of yet another Premier League title, it's easy forget that this team was floundering in the middle of the pack just six months ago. The Athletic's Sam Lee joins us today to explain how the team turned their season around, thanks in large part to three key players, and what another Champions League title would mean for manager Pep Guardiola's legacy. More from Sam Lee: https://theathletic.com/2555687/2021/05/11/slower-attacks-and-a-code-of-honour-inside-story-of-how-guardiolas-manchester-city-took-back-control-of-english-football/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Tim Tebow In Jacksonville: Bold Move Or Red Flag?

    The Jacksonville Jaguars are at the start of a brand new chapter, with a new head coach in Urban Meyer and a franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence. But right now, a lot of the talk in Jacksonville is centered around a former quarterback-turned-tight end: Tim Tebow. Today, The Athletic’s Lindsay Jones joins us to discuss why the Jags are trying to bring back Tebow now — at age 33 — and what this polarizing experiment might say about the Urban Meyer regime. Read Lindsay Jones’s story about Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer: https://theathletic.com/2603123/2021/05/20/jones-tim-tebows-and-urban-meyers-egos-collide-in-a-large-jaguars-misstep/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Why Old School Hockey Goalies Love Marc-Andre Fleury

    The Vegas Golden Knights are one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup this year, and that's thanks in part to their 36 year-old goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury. The 3-time Stanley Cup Champion has been red-hot for the Knights so far this post-season after putting up the best numbers of his career during the regular season, despite questions about his age and longevity coming into the year. The Athletic's Jesse Granger joins us to break down what makes Fleury so special in goal and why some of the greatest goalies of all time believe Fleury is the most exciting netminder in the game today. Read Jesse Granger's recent story about Marc-Andre Fleury: https://theathletic.com/2559791/2021/05/13/vegas-marc-andre-fleury-better-than-ever-at-36-celebrates-joining-his-idols-in-nhl-record-books/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Why Chris Paul And The Suns Are A Perfect Fit

    The Phoenix Suns had the second best record in the NBA's Western Conference and a huge reason why was the play of their 36-year-old point guard, Chris Paul. The Suns acquired the surefire Hall of Famer this offseason and he has repaid them handsomely with MVP-caliber play this season. The Athletic's Sam Amick recently spoke with CP3 about why Phoenix was the perfect place for him to call home this season and whether the Suns have what it takes to make a run at a title and fill the only hole remaining on Paul's resume. Read Sam Amick's story about Chris Paul here: https://theathletic.com/2535983/2021/04/23/chris-paul-lets-us-in-on-how-hes-still-balling-for-the-suns-and-why-you-just-dont-know-him-if-you-are-surprised-by-it/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    The White Sox Clash Over Unwritten Rules

    Last week, when Yermin Mercedes of the White Sox homered on a 3-0 pitch in a blowout win over the Twins, it put the team — and manager Tony La Russa — at the center of the latest heated debate over baseball’s unwritten rules. Today, we’re joined by The Athletic’s James Fegan to look at all the fallout from last week’s incident, and whether it’s only a matter of time until there’s more conflict in the Chicago clubhouse. Read James Fegan’s story about the White Sox and baseball’s unwritten rules: https://theathletic.com/2597980/2021/05/18/tony-la-russas-enforcement-of-unwritten-rules-put-him-at-odds-with-his-own-yermin-mercedes/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 31.05.2021
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    From Punchline To Playoffs: The Atlanta Hawks' Wild Season

    Over the second half of the NBA season, not many teams have been as hot as the Atlanta Hawks, who posted a 27-11 record under interim coach Nate McMillan after going 14-20 (with a ton of late-game collapses) under previous head coach Lloyd Pierce. Today, The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner on all the ups and downs of the Hawks season, and just how dangerous Trae Young, Bogdan Bogdanovic and John Collins could be as they take on the Knicks in the playoffs. Read Chris Kirschner’s story about the Hawks’ long road to the playoffs: https://theathletic.com/2584324/2021/05/13/the-long-winding-journey-of-rebuilding-hawks-to-playoff-berth-were-here-now/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 31.05.2021
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    'Trey Day': How Trey Lance's Hometown Celebrated The NFL Draft

    When the San Francisco 49ers selected North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with the third overall pick at the 2021 NFL Draft, it made headlines across the country. But nowhere did it generate more excitement than in his hometown of Marshall, Minnesota. The Athletic’s Dan Hayes recently traveled from the Twin Cities to the rural town that gave birth to one of college football's biggest stars, and Dan joins us today to talk about the town, why Trey Lance was so overlooked there, and how folks in Marshall rang in draft night. Read Dan Hayes' full story about Trey Lance and 'Trey Day': https://theathletic.com/2579305/2021/05/14/buzzer-beaters-and-trey-day-how-49ers-qb-trey-lance-was-groomed-and-celebrated-by-his-minnesota-hometown/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Shohei Ohtani Is Doing The Impossible

    Major League Baseball's current home run leader is also... one of its best starting pitchers? It might seem too strange to be believed, but Shohei Ohtani is changing everything we thought we knew about what's possible in professional baseball. Today, we're joined by The Athletic's Jayson Stark who tells us about some of the Angels superstar's most impressive achievements and whether or not he can sustain his two-way play for an entire 162 game season. Read all of Jayson Stark's Major League Baseball coverage here: https://theathletic.com/author/jayson-stark/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Can LeBron And The Lakers Get Their Swagger Back?

    The defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers got LeBron James back on the court over the weekend, but they’re in a position that very people would have expected heading into this season, having to scrap their way into the playoffs — and into a play-in tournament matchup against Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Today, The Athletic’s Bill Oram on all the adversity that LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers have faced this season, and why they’re still confident heading toward the playoffs. Follow Bill Oram’s coverage of the Lakers: https://theathletic.com/author/bill-oram/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 31.05.2021
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    NHL Playoffs: McDavid's Excellence, Crosby's Countdown, and Auston Matthews' Superpower

    The NHL Playoffs began this weekend, and the first few games have not disappointed. The Athletic's James Mirtle joins us today to break down the biggest and most fascinating storylines to follow in this year's playoffs. Can Connor McDavid's individual brilliance lift the Edmonton Oilers above mediocrity? Can the offensively talented Pittsburgh Penguins give "Sid the Kid" a fourth shot at the Cup? Will the Toronto Maple Leafs break their epic playoff drought at the expense of their oldest rival? And can anyone stop the Colorado Avalanche? Plus, we hear what NHL goalies say makes Leafs star Auston Matthews so difficult to stop. More from James Mirtle: https://theathletic.com/author/james-mirtle/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Anthony Edwards Makes His Final Run At Rookie Of The Year

    Early on this season, Anthony Edwards looked like a 19-year-old rookie trying to figure things out in the NBA. But lately, the number one pick in the 2020 NBA Draft has flipped the switch. Today, The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski on how Edwards managed to level up his game and make a run at Rookie of the Year, and what the team’s core of Edwards, D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns is trying to prove during the final days of the regular season. Read Jon Krawczynski’s story about Anthony Edwards’s run at Rookie of the Year: https://theathletic.com/2570240/2021/05/06/anthony-edwards-is-making-one-final-push-for-the-rookie-of-the-year-award/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Jacob DeGrom's Age-Defying Fastball, Explained

    So far, 2021 has been the year of the pitcher -- and none have been better than Mets ace Jacob DeGrom. But what has made DeGrom's performance this year so remarkable is that, among other things, he’s throwing harder as he gets older. Tim Britton, who covers the Mets for The Athletic, recently spoke with people who know DeGrom and have worked with him over the years, to try and figure out how DeGrom is adding velocity as he moves into his mid-thirties, if it's an anomaly or part of a trend, and what all of this could mean for the future of baseball. More from Tim Britton: https://theathletic.com/author/tim-britton/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    WNBA Preview: Seattle's Dominance, Ionescu's Return, Rising Rookies

    Will the Seattle Storm (and their big three of Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird, and Jewell Loyd) repeat their dominance from last season? What will young superstar Sabrina Ionescu look like this season after missing almost all of last year with an injury? And who will bring home MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Championship honors in 2021? The Athletic's Chantel Jennings joins us to answer all of these questions and more. More from Chantel Jennings: https://theathletic.com/author/chantel-jennings/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Red Bull And The Blueprint: Jaycee Horn's Rise To The NFL

    The Carolina Panthers turned some heads in the 2021 NFL Draft by selecting cornerback Jaycee Horn eighth overall, when Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields was among the players still available. Today, we’re joined by The Athletic’s Joe Person to look at why the Panthers made Horn their choice, and how he was groomed for success by his dad — former New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl wide receiver Joe Horn — through a combination of grit, competitiveness, Red Bull and an unconventional approach to youth sports. Read Joe Person’s full story about Jaycee and Joe Horn: https://theathletic.com/2569369/2021/05/06/red-bull-games-in-the-hood-and-a-fathers-touch-how-jaycee-horn-became-panthers-top-dog/?source=theleadpodcaast Listen ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App. https://wondery.app.link/thelead

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Have The Bucks Finally Found Their Missing Piece?

    The Milwaukee Bucks have been one of the best regular season teams in the NBA over the past two seasons, but that success hasn't really translated to the playoffs. To try and improve their fortunes in the postseason the team acquired guard Jrue Holiday this offseason in a blockbuster trade. Today we're joined by The Athletic's Eric Nehm who fills us in on how the Holiday experiment has been working out and whether or not the move will help propel them past the likes of Brooklyn and Philadelphia and into the NBA Finals. You can read Eric Nehm's Milwaukee Bucks coverage here: https://theathletic.com/author/eric-nehm/ Listen ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App. https://wondery.app.link/thelead

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  • 31.05.2021
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    "He's Going To Hurt Someone": Why The NHL Won't Stop Its Most Dangerous Player

    Tom Wilson is a feared man. The Washington Capitals winger has served multiple suspensions during his NHL career and is considered by many to be the most reckless and dangerous hockey player in the entire NHL (while also being a very good player). And all of that is why the hockey world was thrown into turmoil this week after Wilson made two very dangerous plays in a game against the New York Rangers, one of which could have ended in a severe -- perhaps even fatal -- injury to Rangers star Artemi Panarin. The Athletic's Sean Gentille, who has followed Wilson's career closely over the years, joins us to discuss why the incident created such an uproar, who within the NHL is now coming under fire, and why Wilson's behavior is unlikely to change any time soon. Read Sean Gentille's story about Tom Wilson: https://theathletic.com/2566394/2021/05/04/like-him-or-hate-him-tom-wilson-knows-what-the-nhl-wants-and-how-to-get-away-with-it/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    What’s The End Game For Aaron Rodgers?

    Over the last week, the focus of the football world was supposed to be on the NFL Draft. Instead, all eyes have been on the league’s reigning MVP, Aaron Rodgers. Today, The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman on how things have unfolded since Rodgers dropped the news that he no longer wants to be in Green Bay, the many things he’s been up to this offseason (including hosting Jeopardy!, and his engagement to Shailene Woodley), and what the superstar quarterback ultimately wants. Follow Matt Schneidman’s coverage of the Aaron Rodgers saga: https://theathletic.com/author/matt-schneidman/?source=theleadpodcast Listen ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App. https://wondery.app.link/thelead

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  • 31.05.2021
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    The Wizards' Playoff Push Leaves Fans Divided

    The Washington Wizards have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA recently, and have been making a big push toward the playoffs. And while some long-suffering fans are thrilled about the prospect of playoff hoops returning to Washington D.C., others feel the team is shooting itself in the foot by eliminating their chances at a lottery pick in the NBA Draft. The Athletic's David Aldridge, who has covered the team for many seasons, joins us to break down both sides of the divide, and discusses what the best strategy is for the team moving forward. Read David Aldridge's recent story about the Wizards: https://theathletic.com/2527005/2021/04/19/aldridge-the-wizards-are-back-in-the-playoff-race-but-do-the-means-justify-the-ends/ Listen ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App. https://wondery.app.link/thelead

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Why Does Everyone Hate Neymar?

    In today's Champion's League semifinal match between Paris St. Germain and Manchester City, one player in particular will be heavily scrutinized and critiqued -- PSG's Brazilian superstar, Neymar. For years, he has dazzled the soccer world with his incredible skills, and simultaneously enraged many fans and opponents with his over-the-top antics. The Athletic's Jack Lang, who has written extensively about Brazilian soccer, joins us today to talk about how Neymar became one of the most polarizing players in history, what's at stake for him in today's highly anticipated match, and why much of the hatred directed toward Neymar -- particularly from British soccer fans -- is misguided. Read Jack Lang's story about why you might want to rethink the way you feel about Neymar: https://theathletic.com/2518636/2021/04/14/seriously-what-is-it-that-makes-you-hate-neymar/ Listen ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App. https://wondery.app.link/thelead

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  • 31.05.2021
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    NFL Draft Grades: The Good, The Bad And The Raiders

    The 2021 NFL Draft is officially behind us, and over the course of three days in Cleveland, we saw the expected (Trevor Lawrence to the Jags), the unexpected (the Bears trading up to get Justin Fields) and the confusing (the Raiders). Today, we’re joined by The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia, who hands out his letter grades for some of the best, worst and strangest moves from the 2021 NFL Draft — and to offer his perspective on the ongoing Aaron Rodgers-Packers saga. Follow Sheil Kapadia’s coverage of the NFL: https://theathletic.com/author/sheil-kapadia/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 31.05.2021
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    NFL Draft: How The Quarterback Chips Fell

    The 2021 NFL Draft started out as everyone expected, with Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson going first and second overall to the Jaguars and Jets. From there, things got interesting. Today, The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue joins us to break down the biggest and most surprising moments of the night, including the 49ers choosing Trey Lance, the Bears’ bold trade up for Justin Fields, the Bengals reuniting Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, and the Patriots landing Alabama QB Mac Jones. Follow Jourdan Rodrigue’s coverage of the Rams: https://theathletic.com/author/jourdan-rodrigue/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 31.05.2021
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    From Small-Town Mississippi to the NFL: D'Wayne Eskridge's Unlikely Journey

    The NFL Draft always brings intense speculation, insight and analysis. But it also brings some of the most emotional moments in sports -- moments when players and their families realize a lifelong dream and see their futures transformed in a single moment. Today, The Athletic's Nick Baumgardner brings us the story of Western Michigan wide receiver D'Wayne Eskridge, a converted track star who has followed an unlikely path from a small town in Mississippi to the NFL Draft, and the remarkable sacrifices and support his family found along the way. Read Nick Baumgardner's story: https://theathletic.com/2529614/2021/04/23/dwayne-eskridges-nfl-draft-dream-became-reality-thanks-to-his-village-i-dont-do-anything-alone/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Duck Hunt and Grit: How The Hurricanes Became Stanley Cup Contenders

    Just three years ago, the Carolina Hurricanes were in the midst of a decade-long NHL playoff drought. Today, they have the best record in the league and have already clinched a playoff berth. Along the way, the team captured the hearts and minds (and in some cases, the ire) of the hockey world with their elaborate 'Storm Surge' celebrations. Sara Civian, who covers the 'Canes for The Athletic, joins us today to explain how those celebrations, along with new leadership and a whole lot of resilience, have transformed the Hurricanes into a true Stanley Cup contender. More from Sara Civian: https://theathletic.com/author/sara-civian/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Steph Curry’s White Hot April

    Stephen Curry put up historic numbers in April and almost single-handedly dragged this Warriors team into playoff contention. The two-time MVP has made a strong case for a third trophy, and silenced many of his critics in the process. Today, The Athletic's Zach Harper joins us to talk about Curry's incredible performances over the past few weeks and to break down the rest of the NBA's Western Conference playoff picture. Read all of Zach Harper's NBA coverage here: https://theathletic.com/author/zach-harper/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    NFL Draft Spotlight: The QBs At The Top

    Much of the debate around this year’s NFL draft, which kicks off on Thursday, has been about the talented group of quarterbacks at the top of the class. From Clemson's Trevor Lawrence to BYU's Zach Wilson, and Ohio State's Justin Fields to North Dakota State's Trey Lance, many NFL teams will be betting big on a potential franchise QB -- and hoping their pick pays off. The Athletic's Andy Staples joins us to break down what makes each of these quarterbacks special, where they're likely to end up, and what surprises we could see on draft day. More from Andy Staples: https://theathletic.com/author/andy-staples/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    How The Rockies Became The Hottest Mess In Baseball

    Just three seasons ago, the Colorado Rockies won 91 games and reached the postseason. Now, in 2021, they are considered by many to be the worst team in baseball. Today, we’re joined by The Athletic’s Nick Groke to look at the series of missteps that took the Rockies from contender to punchline, and how they went from one of the proudest days in their history — the signing of Nolan Arenado to a massive contract extension in 2019 — to a dramatic falling out between Arenado and the front office less than a year later. Read Nick Groke and Ken Rosenthal’s story about the Rockies-Nolan Arenado saga: https://theathletic.com/2467223/2021/03/22/communication-failures-poor-decisions-and-messy-breakups-how-it-all-went-wrong-for-the-colorado-rockies/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 31.05.2021
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    The Life and Death of the European Super League

    It has been one of the most spectacular collapses in sports history. On Sunday, many of the world's largest soccer clubs announced that they were forming a new 'Super League' -- by invitation only, and accessible only to the wealthiest and most historic teams in the land. But then came the backlash. Fans, players, managers, sponsors, pundits, and non-participating teams cried foul and created such an uproar that, within just two days, the league had all but fallen apart. The Athletic's Adam Crafton has been covering the fast-moving story up close, and he joins us today to discuss the remarkable rise and fall of Europe's most ambitious -- and most short-lived -- soccer league.

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Is Mike Trout Loyal to a Fault?

    When Mike Trout signed his record breaking contract with the Los Angeles Angels two years ago, some people were surprised that the best player in baseball was choosing to stay with a team that had only made the playoffs once in a decade, and didn’t look like it would be a World Series contender any time soon. Since then, things have arguably gotten even worse, with the Angels finishing below .500 for the past two seasons. The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya recently did a long interview with Trout, and he joins us today to talk about the superstar's commitment to the Angelss, the questions around his will to win the World Series, and whether the Angels are finally building a contending team around him. Read Fabian Arday's story about Mike Trout's loyalty: https://theathletic.com/2487459/2021/04/01/mike-trouts-baseball-genius-has-a-gaping-void-october-he-knows-you-know-what-its-time/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Are the Nets Running Out of Time?

    The Brooklyn Nets have gone all-in on winning the NBA title this year, but for much of the season, their Big Three of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving has had a hard time just staying on the floor. Today, we’re joined by The Athletic’s Alex Schiffer to look at how Steve Nash and the Nets have tried to weather a storm of injuries and absences, and whether time is running out on their quest to build chemistry between their superstars. Read Alex Schiffer’s story about the Nets and chemistry: https://theathletic.com/2508915/2021/04/09/the-nets-are-running-out-of-time-to-develop-chemistry-history-isnt-exactly-on-brooklyns-side/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 31.05.2021
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    NFL Draft Spotlight: Ja'Marr Chase's Year Away

    The NFL Draft is fast approaching and LSU's Ja'Marr Chase is widely expected to be the first receiver to come off the board. Chase burst onto the national scene during the Tigers undefeated championship run in 2019, but he raised some eyebrows by choosing to opt out of the 2020 season over COVID-19 concerns. Today, we're joined by The Athletic's Larry Holder to talk about how Ja'Marr and his family decided to forgo his junior season of college football and whether this might be a model for prospects in the future. Read Larry Holder's story about Ja'Marr Chase here: https://theathletic.com/2504321/2021/04/13/lsu-jamarr-chase-is-so-good-that-defenders-and-his-dad-agree-the-nfl-draft-has-a-clear-wr1-but-chase-wont-hear-it/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    From San Quentin To The NBA: 'Showtime' Taylor's Redemption

    Last weekend, there was a fresh new voice calling out the starting lineups inside Chase Center, and getting Golden State Warriors fans hyped in the process. It belonged to Aaron 'Showtime' Taylor, a man who cut his teeth as a basketball announcer inside San Quentin State Prison -- and who spent more than 25 years behind bars. The Athletic's Marcus Thompson II has been following Taylor's incredible journey for years, and he joins us today to explain how Taylor went from nerdy kid to armed robber, to prison play-by-play guy, to NBA announcer -- and how he believes his fate was sealed by a botched robbery that nearly cost him his life. Read Marcus Thompson II's full story about Aaron Taylor: https://theathletic.com/2506509/2021/04/09/from-san-quentin-to-chase-center-the-voice-of-aaron-showtime-taylor-is-just-getting-warm/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Why Are MLS Team Values Skyrocketing?

    Major League Soccer is still not making money, and only about a quarter of the league’s teams turn a profit, according to Forbes. And yet the cost of buying an MLS team, or buying into the league, is skyrocketing -- and growing at a much faster rate than the NFL, NBA, or MLB. We've also seen celebrities like Will Ferrell, Matthew McConaughey, Magic Johnson, James Harden and others become partial owners of MLS teams. The Athletic’s Sam Stejskal joins us to explain why, and to break down some of the biggest storylines to follow during the 2021 MLS season, which kicks off on Friday. More from Sam Stejskal: https://theathletic.com/author/sam-stejskal/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    What's Changed For Paul George And The Surging Clippers

    While the defending champion L.A. Lakers are trying to stay afloat until they get LeBron James and Anthony Davis back, the team that shares an arena with them has been taking things to another level. Today, we’re joined by The Athletic’s Law Murray to look at why things have really started to click for Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers. Plus, the challenges that this pandemic — and empty seats — have presented to the team’s famous super fan, Clipper Darrell. Read Law Murray’s story about Clipper Darrell: https://theathletic.com/2467946/2021/04/02/clipper-darrell-and-a-superfans-separation-anxiety/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 31.05.2021
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    The ‘Hockey Shaman’ Who Rebuilt the NHL’s Hottest Goalie

    The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the best teams in the NHL this year and goalie Jack Campbell has been a major factor in their success. As a teenager, Campbell was touted as the next great phenom in American hockey, but his time with the Dallas Stars was derailed by injury and a loss of confidence. After getting traded to Los Angeles, Campbell met Dusty Imoo, a coach who is described as a sort-of "hockey shaman," and who helped steer Campbell away from potentially ending his professional career. Today, The Athletic's James Mirtle joins us to talk about the special relationship Imoo forged with Campbell and how it helped put the goalie back on the path to greatness. Read James Mirtle's story about Jack Campbell here: https://theathletic.com/2494891/2021/04/05/im-not-gonna-lie-about-my-life-how-jack-campbell-was-saved-on-his-way-to-the-maple-leafs/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Trevor Bauer and MLB's Sticky Baseball Dilemma

    It's been an eventful few days for the Los Angeles Dodgers. On Thursday it was revealed that MLB was inspecting baseballs used by the team's new star pitcher, Trevor Bauer, in a game against the Oakland A's -- and that the balls had visible markings and were sticky, according to an exclusive report from The Athletic. The following day, the team played its home opener in Dodger Stadium, in front of thousands fans (for the first time in more than a year), and hoisted its 2020 World Series championship banner. The Athletic's Molly Knight joins us to break down the Dodgers' up-and-down start to the 2021 season, why players from a former dynasty think the Dodgers will repeat as champions, and the dilemma that Major League Baseball faces as it tries to rein in the widespread use of sticky substances. More from Molly Knight: https://theathletic.com/author/molly-knight/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Is NBA Top Shot The Beanie Babies Of 2021?

    If you’ve been near a screen in the last six months or so, there’s a pretty decent chance you’ve heard the terms NBA Top Shot and NFT, which have star athletes ranging from Rob Gronkowski to Patrick Mahomes to Bryson DeChambeau getting in on the action. Today, The Athletic’s Bill Shea explains exactly what NBA Top Shot and NFTs are, why pro sports leagues are supporting them, and whether the whole thing — like Beanie Babies — is a bubble. Read Bill Shea’s story about NBA Top Shot and NFTs: https://theathletic.com/2484646/2021/03/30/bitcoin-crypto-nfts-ethereum-sports-business/?source=theleadpodcast

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  • 31.05.2021
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    The White Sox' Style and Swagger

    By 1989, the Chicago White Sox knew they needed to refresh their image. The team had struggled for years and became known for their constantly changing uniforms. Then, thanks to some savvy marketing and a team of high-profile stars, the South Siders managed to create a brand that has survived the test of time. Today, The Athletic's Jon Greenberg joins us to talk about why the White Sox logo resonates across the hip hop community and how the team's current crop young stars are bringing some of that swagger back to baseball. Read Jon Greenberg's story about the White Sox logo change here: https://theathletic.com/2482781/2021/03/31/look-good-play-good-tim-anderson-and-the-white-sox-are-ready-to-take-over-every-bit-of-the-baseball-world/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Why Rob Manfred Moved The MLB All-Star Game

    On Friday, many people were caught off guard by Commissioner Rob Manfred's decision to move the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game out of Georgia, in response to the state's controversial new voting law and growing public pressure. And on Tuesday, MLB announced that the game would instead be held in Colorado. Amidst all the noise and political posturing surrounding the decision, The Athletic’s Evan Drellich joins us to break down what actually drove Manfred's decision to move the game, and what it reveals about the state of Major League Baseball. More from Evan Drellich: https://theathletic.com/author/evan-drellich/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    The Promise That Led Brandon Staley Into Coaching

    When Brandon Staley first spoke to the media as head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers earlier this year, he went out of his way to give credit to his parents. As it turns out, Staley’s commitment to his family — and to his twin brother Jason — led to an unlikely connection that helped spark his career as a coach. Today, The Athletic’s Daniel Popper joins us to tell that story, and to look at the family ownership drama that’s currently surrounding the Chargers. Read Daniel Popper’s full story about Brandon Staley: https://theathletic.com/2437569/2021/03/23/a-brothers-promise-and-the-d-ii-season-that-led-brandon-staley-to-the-chargers/?source=theleadpodcast

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