ESPN Daily kicks off your morning with the best sports story you’ll hear all day. Monday through Friday, host Pablo Torre brings you an inside look at the most interesting stories at ESPN, as told by the top reporters and insiders on the planet.
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Trevor Lawrence’s greatest inspiration? Artist brother Chase Summary: The sports world is ripe with famous siblings–the Watt brothers, the Williams sisters, the Currys, the Gasols, and on and on. But a superstar’s non-athlete sibling doesn’t usually make news. Enter Chase Lawrence, the offbeat older brother of the top player in this week’s NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence. Brother Chase is an artist worth knowing and the single biggest influence on Trevor Lawrence himself. ESPN’s Dave Fleming joins the show to explain how the bond between these two is a hidden factor in Trevor’s rise, and the new collaboration that’s bringing their worlds together.
For the 2021 NFL Draft this week, we won’t have family cams or yacht cameos. Live and in-person from Cleveland, teams will match with top talent, including a handful of historically great young quarterbacks. And we’ll see what franchises that traded up for higher draft picks have in mind. ESPN analyst Mina Kimes previews all the drama. Then, goodbye to a goat who’s truly a GOAT.
It’s been a strange and turbulent NBA season, and the race for MVP is no different. While Nikola Jokic is leading the pack at the moment, familiar names like Steph Curry, Joel Embiid and even James Harden are all still very much in the race. Today, Zach Lowe breaks down the MVP favorites, and also explains how the New York Knicks, yes, the New York Knicks, became the hottest playoff team in the NBA.
After squaring off on Fight Island last year, Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal prepare to fight once again this Saturday at UFC 261 with the welterweight title on the line. Usman retained his belt by unanimous decision the first time around — but simply beating Masvidal was not enough for Usman: this time, he wants to break Masvidal’s soul. ESPN’s Dotun Akintoye joins the show to share the story of Usman, the man known as the Nigerian Nightmare, and tells us what fuels one of the greatest MMA fighters on the planet.
Deion Sanders was one of the NFL’s most flamboyant characters, where he earned nicknames like “Prime Time” and “Neon Deion.” Now, he’s just finished his first season as head coach at Jackson State (yes, spring football due to COVID-19). Our guest, sports writer Jean-Jacques Taylor, covered Sanders’ career for the NFL and reported on his coaching season for The Undefeated. Then, Myron Medcalf joins us from Minneapolis on the sports world’s reaction to a guilty verdict for the man who killed George Floyd.
Over the weekend, news broke that 12 of the biggest soccer teams from across Europe are attempting to break away and create their own “Super League.” The backlash was immediate and widespread, from politicians and royalty to fans across the world. Sam Borden joins the show to explain if the creation of the new league is even possible, and why it’s got the soccer world in an uproar. Then, Pablo shares the story of Gary Payton, a former NBA guard who doesn’t partake in cannabis at all, yet is the face of one of the most popular legal strains of marijuana.
MLB’s 2021 season is delivering wild numbers: eye-popping speed on the average fastball, and crazy-low batting averages. Look no further than the dominance of New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom. ESPN Baseball Insider Jeff Passan tells us why fastballs are faster and sliders more nasty. Hear how it’s all changing today’s game in ways that could harm its appeal, if MLB doesn’t take action. Then, an all-time hockey record is breaking tonight, and the two players involved and their careers couldn’t be more different.
The NFL Draft is American institution. And for the past 40 years, the unmistakable voice of that institution has been Mel Kiper Jr. His “Big Board” and mock drafts have become a rite of spring, a yearly ritual that signals your team will soon be “on the clock.” It is a remarkable climb for someone who used a typewriter to compile draft reports as a teenager, before the NFL Draft was even televised. Mel joins the show to explain how he helped turn his personal obsession into a national obsession…and made us all draft nerds in the process.
Allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against Deshaun Watson have until this week played out through lawyers’ statements and accuser anonymity. Now, more women are attaching their names to court filings and speaking in public. While some of Watson’s corporate sponsors are suspending deals with him, some women are speaking in support of Watson, saying their experiences with him were not inappropriate. Investigative reporter John Barr walks us through the conflicting narratives at play in these developments. Then, ahead of the WNBA draft Thursday night, Kevin Pelton weighs in on the league’s eligibility rules.
Quarterback Trey Lance is projected to be a top-10 pick in this year’s NFL draft. But the 20-year-old from North Dakota State has largely flown under the radar, overshadowed by big names like Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. Lance and his family have bucked trends from the start, and his path to the NFL has seemed fast, and yet also circuitous. Tim Keown shares Lance’s story, and why he’s captured the attention of NFL scouts everywhere.
Daryl Morey, Philadelphia 76ers general manager, co-founded an event 15 years ago that’s become the hub of all things data-driven in sports. At the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, researchers, athletes, coaches and commentators swap takes on the digital trends changing how games are played, and how business is done. Morey joins Pablo to definitely not apologize for anything, to discuss the rise of sports analytics, and how data can make teams and the NBA game itself even better. Then, Myron Medcalf gives us a view from Minnesota, where Twin Cities teams postponed games in the wake of the police shooting of Daunte Wright.
Baseball is steeped in time-honored traditions and a code of unwritten rules. But players in today’s game are starting to break those rules: flipping their bats, admiring their home runs, and, say, hitting a Grand Slam when up 10-3 in the 8th inning. Ok, that last one was just Fernando Tatis Jr. ESPN’s Joon Lee explains how baseball’s youngest generation is challenging the establishment and injecting their personalities into the game – and why that’s changing the sport for the better. Then, Pablo shares the story of a prison basketball game where an unlikely play-by-play star was born.
You might know about Freddie Freeman, the baseball player…the gold glover and four time All-Star…who battled back from covid to win NL MVP last year. But the Freddie Freeman you don’t know is even more remarkable. Buster Olney joins the show to take us inside Full Circle: The Freddie Freeman Story: airing this Sunday on E:60, and presents an exclusive and emotional portrait of one of the game’s best players. Freeman opens up as never before about the loss of loved ones, as well as the struggles he and his wife have endured in starting of a family of their own.
MLB moved the All-Star Game out of Georgia, after the state passed a law hampering voting access. As MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred takes heat from many directions, baseball’s move has cast a different kind of spotlight on the Masters tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. It’s teeing off as scheduled, and that’s not surprising to ESPN senior writer and baseball historian Howard Bryant. He breaks down the business side of MLB’s decision, how it’s reverberating, and the many stakeholders in play. Then, Pablo shares a personal connection with the pimento cheese sandwich, a time-honored staple at the Masters.
When the Jets traded Sam Darnold to the Panthers on Monday, they essentially announced to the world that they will be selecting a quarterback with the 2nd pick in the upcoming NFL draft. And at the top of this year’s draft…they’re not alone. The 2021 QB Draft class is one of the deepest in memory, and the top 5 QB prospects could all potentially be picked in the top 10. Some, like Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, are considered as sure a bet as any prospect since Andrew Luck. Others, like North Dakota State’s Trey Lance may not have the big program pedigree…but are still projected to be among the first players taken. Field Yates joins the show to assess the top 5 QB prospects…and makes his prediction for where they might end up. Then, ahead of the Masters Tournament, Sam Borden shares the story of Tim Tucker, golf genius
The Baylor Bears are your NCAA champions, for the first time in the program’s history. After decimating Houston in the Final Four, Baylor put on an offensive showcase powered by impressive scoring runs, and ended Gonzaga’s quest for a perfect season. Jalen Suggs and the Zags’ offense were unable to get anything going against the stalwart Baylor defense. Myron Medcalf joins us from Indianapolis to break down the title game and reflect on the 2021 tournament. Then, Pablo remarks on Aaron Rodgers’ self-aware debut as Jeopardy guest host.
Gonzaga and Baylor tip off tonight in the NCAA Championship after a thrilling pair of Final Four games. Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs hit a wild game-winning buzzer-beater in overtime on Saturday vs. UCLA that sent Sports Twitter into overdrive, as Gonzaga furthered its quest for a perfect season. Also on Saturday, Baylor blew out Houston with Jared Butler landing 17 points, and five players recording double figures. Jeff Borzello recounts Suggs’ 3 heard ’round the world. And LaChina Robinson breaks down how Stanford bested Arizona in another neck-and-neck game to become the women’s champions.
This weekend, the men’s and women’s NCAA Final Four games tip off in Indianapolis and San Antonio, respectively. On the men’s side, Gonzaga will look to fend off surprising UCLA, who just upset #1 Michigan, while Baylor and Houston face off in a rare Lone Star State showdown. Myron Medcalf is on the ground in Indianapolis and shares his insights on each Final Four matchup. For the women, powerhouse UConn, lead by star freshman Paige Bueckers, will do battle with Arizona, who’s making its first Final Four appearance. And Dawn Staley’s South Carolina Gamecocks look to continue their defensive stand against tournament favorite Stanford. LaChina Robinson is on site in San Antonio to preview the pair of games, and reflects on the women’s tournament thus far. Then, Katie Barnes updates us on the BFFs of the tournament: Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs and UConn’s Paige Bueckers, as they each prepare for the semifinals.
Baseball’s Opening Day is finally here! After a shortened 2020 season, MLB is back with a 162 game schedule and plenty of exciting storylines. With fans back in the stands, will the Houston Astros finally receive the reckoning many thought they’d get following their cheating scandal? Will Francisco Lindor live up to the hype and take the Mets to the postseason? Can the upstart Padres match up with the defending champion Dodgers? Tim Kurkjian runs through everything you need to know heading into this baseball season, and even gives Baltimore Orioles fans something to hope for. Then, new Cubs TV play-by-play announcer Boog Sciambi talks with Pablo about taking up the iconic broadcasting mantle at Wrigley Field.
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