How Sneaker Culture Conquered the World

They wait in long lines in the bitter cold. They squeal with delight over the stitch on the shoes or the faux snakeskin upper. Colors more likely to be seen during Carnival in Rio than on any self-conscious American are hits. Catty quips about style choices are met with irrational exuberance over over-hyped new designs.

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No, these aren’t the insufferable Carrie wannabes taking up New York’s sidewalks—they are teenage boys and grown men all over the world going on about basketball sneakers.

In terms of American contributions to global style and comfort, the basketball sneaker has to rank up there with the T-shirt and riveted jeans. And as can be seen in any mall or casual glance around the subway, the sneakers left the court long ago.

Today, sneakers are a hugely lucrative juggernaut. In 2012, for instance, Nike’s line of LeBron James sneakers generated $300 million—in the U.S alone. Apparently everybody still wants to be like Mike—so much so that kids get shot over pairs of his namesake

Michael Jordan’s ‘flu game’ Nike Air Jordan shoes sell for $104,000

Holy Nikes! A former Utah Jazz ball boy who was given Michael Jordan’s shoes after the famous “flu game” in the 1997 NBA Finals has sold the pair for more than $104,000 in an online auction.

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Preston Truman reportedly asked Jordan for his Nike Air Jordan XII shoes after he led the Chicago Bulls to a 90-88 victory in Game 5 by scoring 38 points while suffering from flu symptoms. Jordan signed them and Truman kept the shoes in a safe deposit box until putting them up for auction this fall.

Truman was offered $11,000 by a memorabilia collector in 1998 but chose to wait 15 years before going to Grey Flannel Auction of Westhampton, N.Y., to hold online bidding, which started at $5,000.

The bid winner, who offered $104,765, was not identified. Michael Russek, operations director for Grey Flannel, said it was a record purchase for a pair of game-worn shoes, easily topping a previous purchase of Air Jordans from Jordan’s rookie season through another auction house for more than $31,000.

“He

Carli Lloyd Leads Women’s Soccer Team To A Decisive World Cup Win Over Japan

Most soccer players are ecstatic if they score one goal in a major tournament. So you can only imagine how Carli Lloyd must have felt after she managed to put away three goals, within a span of just 16 minutes in the biggest game of all – The 2015 World Cup Final against Japan.

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The excitement began a few minutes into the game when the U.S. midfielder who was also team captain, deftly snuck a ball past Japanese goalkeeper, Ayumi Kaihori. And then to Japan’s dismay she did it again! In addition to establishing a strong lead for the U.S. team, Lloyd also made history by scoring the fastest back-to-back goals in FIFA history.

But with over 85 minutes left in the game, there was still plenty of time for Japan to even the score. At least that was the consensus during the few minutes it took U.S. midfielder Lauren Holiday to score yet another goal bringing the score to 3-0.

Then, in what can only be described a

Sports Executive Rays Should Give Away Entire Season of Tickets

When the Tampa Bay Rays gave away 20,000 free ticketsto their regular season home finale, many in the sports world were confused. No matter what your attendance is, how could you ever give away your product?

Al Messerschmidt | Getty Images

Well, one sports executive, whose organization actually gives away all its tickets, thinks that the Rays should give away tickets to every game next year if it wants to increase revenues.

“The Rays averaged 23,000 fans per game this year,” said Kenny Nowling, president and CEO of the American Drag Racing League, which averaged 68,000 fans to each of its first 10 races this year by giving away its tickets away for free. “If I took over the ticketing department and we gave away all the tickets, I’d easily have standing room for at least 50 percent of the games and no game would draw less than 35,000.”

After multiplying the revenue from parking, concessions and souvenirs, Nowling said the Rays revenue will soar.

“The business is about the bottom line,” Nowling said. “I have a great deal of confidence that their

Mission Viejo’s Max Redfield is a sports multitasker

Three-sport high school standouts exist mostly in the history books. They’ve vanished along with rotary telephones and transistor radios.

That makes senior Max Redfield of Mission Viejo old-school. Football is his primary sport, but with encouragement from Coach Bob Johnson, he’s also a major contributor for the basketball and track teams.

“I love that he plays three sports,” Johnson said. “I’ve been a proponent of that forever. I like the attitude of going from one to another.”

So does Redfield, who played four sports as a freshman; he was on a club soccer team while playing football, basketball and track for the school.

His 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame, combined with speed, strength and power, makes him one of the best athletes in Orange County. And there are few better at free safety.

Redfield’s instincts, ability to close on a ballcarrier, leaping ability and toughness are just a few of the qualities Johnson and others admire. Redfield had two interceptions as a junior and caught 32 passes for 528 yards and five touchdowns playing receiver.

“It’s kind of a feeling where you think the ball is going to

Times sports section is honored by Associated Press

The Los Angeles Times was named one of the top-10 daily Sports sections among large-circulation papers and received five top-10 writing awards in the annual section and writing contest conducted by the Associated Press Sports Editors, which concluded Wednesday in Indianapolis.

The Times also received top-10 honors for its special section on the life of former Lakers owner Jerry Buss, and for its website and multimedia presentation.

Bill Plaschke received three top-10 awards in the writing divisions.

The top-10 winners in the writing divisions for The Times:

•Plaschke for column writing.

•Mike Bresnahan, David Wharton and Plaschke in breaking news for their coverage of Buss’ death.

•Gary Klein, also in breaking news, for his coverage of USC’s firing of former football coach Lane Kiffin.

•Plaschke in project writing, for his seven-part series looking at mostly unheralded contributors to the Dodgers’ 1988 World Series run.

•Ken Bensinger, Armand Emamdjomeh and Maloy Moore in the investigative category on professional athletes filing for workers’ compensation in California.

Also, Mike Hiserman and Emamdjomeh were awarded top-10 honors in the multimedia category for their interactive online comparison of Major League

Potential Landing Spots For Mark Richt

For 15 years, Mark Richt coached the Georgia Bulldogs football team. He had plenty of success over that span, including two SEC Championships. Richt has managed 10 or more wins in nine seasons. With a win in a bowl game this year, Richt can make that an even 10 seasons with double-digit wins. But no matter what happens in the Bulldogs’ bowl game this year, Richt will be leaving town afterwards.

Georgia’s athletic director, Greg McGarity, has informed Richt that his time as Georgia’s head football coach is up after this year’s bowl game. The catalyst was this disappointing 9-3 season, which saw the Bulldogs fall from preseason favorites to regular-season also-rans in the SEC East. Ending the season with four straight wins wasn’t enough to make up for a disappointing 5-3 start that included losses to SEC rivals like Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee.

Richt may be done in Georgia, but he’s already on the record saying that he’s not through with coaching. Plenty of big-name programs are sure to get on the phone with him. So where will Richt end up? Here are our top picks.

Florida State

Most of Richt’s

Can sharing the Crying Michael Jordan meme get you sued

Michael Jordan is weeping, and the tears aren’t likely to stop flowing anytime soon.

He’s crying because the Carolina Panthers lost the Super Bowl.

He’s crying because Holly Holm defeated Ronda Rousey.

He’s crying because Wednesday is his 53rd birthday.

There’s a good chance you’re familiar with Crying Michael Jordan, the viral meme that has become a sensation online and in social media. The now-famous image was captured when Jordan was introduced as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 11, 2009. That evening, he teared up during a memorably candid and edgy induction speech in Springfield, Massachusetts. It was a rare moment in which Jordan let his guard down and allowed us to see him in a vulnerable light.

Now, he’s a Halloween mask.

“It just seems to have an appropriateness for so many different circumstances,” said Andrew Selepak, director of the social media graduate program at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. “That face can be used for a meme for a number of different levels, whether it’s sports or non-sports related. But because of the passion people have for sports, I think it

Pablo Sandoval says he never weighed himself during offseason

In a bizarre interview Sunday morning upon arriving at the Fenway South complex, Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval said no one from the team ever asked him to lose weight in the offseason, that he hasn’t weighed himself since October, and that he has something to prove but isn’t affected by his disastrous 2015 season.

Other than that, it was a quiet morning in the clubhouse.

Although manager John Farrell said in January that Sandoval was “roughly 20 pounds lighter than the last game he played for us in 2015,” Sandoval didn’t appear that much lighter Sunday.

“I don’t weigh. I don’t weigh in at all,” Sandoval said after being asked how much weight he had lost. “I just do my work, try to do everything I can out there. I don’t weigh at all in the whole offseason. I just try to get better, be in a better position and, like I say, be an athlete.”

His contention that no one from the team asked him to lose weight was curious, given that Farrell, coach Torey Lovullo and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski all have said that the team mandated

Donatas Motiejunas’ back injury jeopardizes Rockets-Pistons deal

The deadline trade between the Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons might be voided because of back issues that have plagued power forward Donatas Motiejunas.

The Rockets sent Motiejunas and guard Marcus Thornton to the Pistons on Thursday for a protected 2016 first-round pick.

But Motiejunas, who hasn’t played in an NBA game since Dec. 31 because of his recovery from a sore back, is getting looked at closely by Pistons medical officials.

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy told reporters after Sunday’s loss to the  Pelicans that the NBA granted Detroit’s request for an extension to complete the trade. The Pistons had asked the league for an additional 24 hours to the 72-hour trade window to determine if Motiejunas can play for them.

The Pistons and Rockets have until 6 p.m. ET on Monday to finalize the deal, according to Van Gundy.

Motiejunas has played in a handful of D-League games for the Rockets since Dec. 31 and was on target to participate in NBA games again, including last Friday’s game at Phoenix.

Motiejunas underwent back surgery late last season and suffered several setbacks during his recovery.

If the deal is voided, it

Sources Warriors are favorite to sign Anderson Varejao

The Golden State Warriors have emerged as the heavy favorite to sign soon-to-be free agent Anderson Varejao, league sources told ESPN.

League sources told ESPN that Varejao is leaning strongly toward joining the Warriors now that he has cleared waivers.

But sources say that the San Antonio Spurs are still trying to convince Varejao to spurn the opportunity to join the NBA’s reigning champions.

The veteran big man spent the first 11 1/2 seasons of his career with the Cavaliers until being traded Thursday. Sources say Varejao ?has narrowed his choices down to Golden State and San Antonio after also attracting offers from, among others, Oklahoma City, Atlanta and the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Warriors would have to release a player to create an open roster spot but have a need for an additional contributor on the front line with Festus Ezeli recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery and Andrew Bogut nursing an Achilles injury.

Heading to Golden State would not only unite Varejao with his Brazilian national team teammate Leandro Barbosa but, of course, raise the possibility of an emotional homecoming to Cleveland during the NBA Finals if the ?Warriors and Cavs can

Baseball Is Back, Pitchers and Catchers Hold First Workouts

David Price made his first big-money throws of spring training as Boston’s prized offseason acquisition, while new Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke began Day 1 with his new club by drilling on the basics of covering first base.

Johnny Cueto showed off some orange-tinted dreadlocks beneath his off-kilter cap that will fit in perfectly with his new San Francisco Giants colors. His former team, the World Series champion Kansas City Royals, arrived in the desert and were set to get started Friday.

From Arizona to Florida, that familiar sound of baseballs snapping into gloves returned Thursday as many clubs held their first spring training workouts for pitchers and catchers that signaled the true start of a new year. In the greater Phoenix area, a cooling cloud cover provided a respite from the unseasonably warm 90-degree temperatures.

Now, all those franchises that went on offseason spending sprees for pitching are counting on those arms to bring heat.

Greinke, signed to a $206.5 million, six-year contract with surprise suitor Arizona, was picked as the Diamondbacks’ opening day starter in what manager Chip Hale called the easiest decision he has had to make. The right-hander is scheduled for

Kiszla Broncos-Seahawks a classic, but NFL’s OT rules must change

The winner of a classic football game should never be determined by pure, dumb luck.

Unlike the Super Bowl, the only difference Sunday between the Broncos and Seattle was a flip of the coin.

“We felt like we were the better team,” Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said.

Not to take anything away from the Seahawks’ 26-20 overtime victory against Denver, but if there’s anything we’ve learned from the NFL of late, it’s this: What’s fair got to do with anything in this league? And the more the rules change, the less we trust that justice is truly being served.

After Denver rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter on the road in the NFL’s rowdiest stadium, the silence of stunned Seahawks fans was deafening as quarterback Peyton Manning represented the Broncos on the coin flip to determine which team would get the football to begin overtime.

Manning called tails.

The Seahawks won.

NFL overtime rules are stupid.

“It puts a premium on the coin toss,” Manning said. “I called tails at the beginning of the game, and went with it again in overtime. It was heads, and

Car accident changed Buffs basketball coach Tad Boyle’s destiny

Tad Boyle jokes now that he survived a horrific car accident 16 years ago because “I’m so hard-headed.” But, frankly, the new Colorado men’s basketball coach remembers little about the collision.

“Except the part about waking up in a hospital bed,” he said.

Then in his eighth year as a Boulder-based stockbroker, Boyle was heading to work one morning when somebody ran a red light and plowed into his vehicle at the intersection of McCaslin Boulevard and South Boulder Road in Louisville. The collision crushed the front of Boyle’s car.

He was knocked unconscious, but the air bag likely saved his life.

“I tell people to remember that I once had a head injury, and if I forget to call a timeout I have an excuse,” Boyle said with a chuckle. “But really, that accident got me thinking. If my car had been a few feet farther into that intersection, I wouldn’t be around today.

“With an experience like that, you start to realize it could be over in an instant. That was life-changing for me. I decided then I’d better pursue my passion. I decided I wanted to be a

Watch Ichiro Make His MLB Pitching Debut

Weeks before his 42nd birthday, and on the final day of his 15th MLB season, Ichiro Suzuki’s dream of pitching in the majors finally came true.

As owners of one of the worst records in baseball, the Marlins have long been out of the playoff race, which set the table for them to have some fun in Sunday’s season finale. Trailing 6-2 in the eighth inning of Game 162, they decided to put Suzuki – the man who holds MLB’s record for hits in a single season – on the mound. And it sort of worked.

Suzuki pitched one inning of relief against the Phillies, giving up one run on two hits. Eleven of his 18 pitches were strikes, though, and he clocked an impressive 88 mph on his fastball. He also made Freddy Galvis look silly with a nifty breaking ball that would’ve had most people – like the 2015 version of Suzuki – swinging and missing.

Maybe Suzuki did know what he was doing, though. While he’s spent the last 15 years of his Hall of Fame career in the outfield, he was a pitcher during his high school years. He even took the

Arcade Fire’s Win Butler Named MVP at NBA Celebrity All-Star Game

Arcade Fire’s Win Butler helped guide the Drake-coached Team Canada to victory at Friday night’s NBA Celebrity All-Star Game at Toronto’s Ricoh Coliseum, with the singer posting a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Following the game, Butler accepted the game’s MVP Award with a center-court interview where Butler spoke about living in Canada and, briefly, talked about what American voters could learn from their northern neighbors.

“I’ve lived in the great city of Montreal for 15 years. I represented Montreal. If you guys want to fast track my Canadian citizenship, hopefully, this’ll help my permanent residence,” said Butler, who also participated in 2015’s all-star celebrity game. “I just want to say that I’m retiring as a celebrity right now, so I will not be eligible for the celebrity game next year. I’m retiring as a celebrity, so I brought this home for Canada. Respect to Drake, respect to Team Canada.”

The singer then added, “I just wanna say it’s an election year in the U.S., and the U.S. has a lot it can learn from Canada— healthcare, taking care of people, and I think…” At that point, ESPN reporter Sage Steele boxed out the 6’4″

See the 2013 Boston Marathon from the unique vantage point of its runners

In the first book on this tragic event, 4:09:43, Hal Higdon, a contributing editor at Runner’s World, tells the tale of Boston 2013. The book’s title refers to the numbers on the finish-line clock when the first bomb exploded. In 4:09:43, Higdon views Boston 2013 through the eyes of those running the race, focusing on 75 runners and their individual stories, collected uniquely through social media: blogs posted online, stories offered on Facebook, and e-mails sent to the author.

In 4:09:43, Higdon presents these stories, condensing and integrating them into a smooth-flowing narrative that begins with runners boarding the buses at Boston Common, continues with the wait at the Athletes’ Village in Hopkinton, and flows through eight separate towns. The story does not end until the 23,000 participants encounter the terror on Boylston Street. “These are not 75 separate stories,” says Higdon. “This is one story told as it might have been by a single runner with 75 pairs of eyes.”

One warning about reading 4:09:43: You will cry. But you will laugh too, because for most of those who covered the 26 miles 385 yards from Hopkinton to Boylston Street, this was a

Your ideal solution for strength, toning, stamina, and weight loss

Millions have experienced the benefits of the kettlebell, the ultimate training tool for fat loss, strength, stamina, and coordination. Effective and inexpensive, kettlebells are a training staple for top athletes and trainers around the world. Now, it’s your turn to see the impact and feel the results.

Kettlebell Training is an easy-to-use, no-nonsense guide that will get you started setting goals, assessing fitness, and selecting exercises. You’ll learn how to exercise safely and efficiently to maximize results. Each of the 95 exercises is accompanied by step-by-step instruction, detailed photo sequences, and training tips—instantly accessible and perfect for at home or in the gym.

Author Steve Cotter, a renowned kettlebell expert, martial artist, and certified strength and conditioning specialist, has trained elite athletes, professional football teams, Navy SEALs, and members of the U.S. Marine Corps. He has provided instruction to other kettlebell trainers in more than 40 countries, and now he is making this expertise available to you.

More than exercises, Kettlebell Training contains proven programs that will produce results. You’ll learn how to create a routine based on your individual needs, goals, and schedule. Or simply follow the sample fitness, strength, and conditioning programs or one of the sport-specific routines,

Nine ways dynamic stretching leads to powerlifting success

Powerlifters who don’t take warming up and stretching seriously are setting themselves up for disaster. Dan Austin, a 2011 Powerlifting Hall of Fame inductee, believes that many intermediate and advanced powerlifters fail to properly warm up and stretch, which will not only lead them to experience a loss in range of motion but could also cause them to suffer injuries or develop arthritis.

Powerlifters can avoid the problems associated with lack of warming up and improve their individual lifts, as well as their overall totals, through dynamic stretching. Austin, author of Powerlifting, says it is vital for powerlifters to make dynamic stretching part of their training regimens, calling it the best and most effective way to prepare their bodies for the weights they will be lifting. He pinpoints nine benefits that result from this combination of warming up and stretching at the same time:

  1. Higher body temperature. Increasing the body temperature allows the synovial fluid of the joint to turn to a liquid and coat the joint. “If you try to do work before the synovial fluid is warm, the joint can’t effectively move through the range of motion,” says Austin. “If you wait until

Why runners should practice yoga

Champaign, IL — Runners are very concerned with healthy lifestyles and often claim that the main reason they run is to stay in shape and stay healthy (according to Running USA’s National Runner Survey). But runners typically do not incorporate yoga into their routines. According to Christine Felstead, creator of the Yoga for Runners training program, runners have a tremendous amount to gain from adding yoga to their fitness regimen. Incorporating meditation, just one aspect of yoga, into a runner’s regime can have a huge benefit, as according to Felstead, “It may change your relationship with running and provide a completely new outlook on it. It can also heighten the mental benefits of running while eliminating the stress-inducing aspects of it.”
In her forthcoming book, Yoga for Runners (Human Kinetics, October 2013), Felstead describes how yoga benefits runners, including the following three benefits of meditation.

  1. Better Health. “Stress is harmful to health and is responsible for a range of problems affecting individuals and society at large,” states Felstead. In addition to physical ailments such as heart disease and high blood pressure, it can cause psychological distress, insomnia, and anxiety. Felstead points out that in addition to the