The tumultuous Kyrie Irving era in Boston has come to an end.
The six-time NBA All-Star, who was obtained via trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017, signed with the Brooklyn Nets as soon as free agency began this summer, joining forces with Kevin Durant in a move that came as a surprise to very few.
In need of a point guard after Irving’s departure, the Celtics agreed to terms with Kemba Walker, who has played for the Charlotte Bobcats-turned-Hornets since being drafted ninth overall out of the University of Connecticut in 2011.
Walker will be the Celtics’s third starting point guard in five years. He joins a team with a plethora of young talent, including Jayston Tatum and Jaylen Brown, that is in desperate need of togetherness and leadership after a difficult end to Irving’s term.
And former NBA star and current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose says Walker is exactly the man for the job.
Is there anything Simone Biles can’t do?
The 22-year-old gymnast has impressed judges and fans time and time again, collecting a total of 22 gold medals, 4 silver medals and 4 bronze medals so far in her international career.
But Biles is always looking to outdo herself.
During a training session at the GK U.S. Classic in Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday, Biles added a never-before-seen element to her floor routine. According to the Olympic Channel on Twitter, no female athlete has ever completed the move in competition.
Two-time World Cup champion Alex Morgan knew there was something special about the 2019 U.S. women’s national soccer team – its voice.
The 2019 roster, which was without Abby Wambach and Hope Solo but gained names like Rose Lavelle and Crystal Dunn, quickly delivered record TV ratings. Their comments and actions off the field, however, were what sent them to an unprecedented level of fame.
The players of the USWNT this year were targets of criticism from fans and analysts for running up scores and celebrating goals. United States President Donald Trump even weighed in, sparking a feud with Morgan’s co-captain, Megan Rapinoe, mid-tournament over her comments regarding the traditional White House championship visit and her protests during the national anthem.
That deluge of backlash would be difficult for anyone to weather, but Morgan believes that growth between the 2015 World Cup and this year’s iteration helped to prepare the 2019 team.
“In 2015, we realized that we had the microphone but we were still new at learning how to use it,” she told AOL.com on behalf of DICK’S Sporting Goods. “I think we grew into that in the last four years.”
LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
This offseason, the NBA has officially become a league of duos — two superstars joining forces on one team in the hopes of winning a championship. With the dynastic Golden State Warriors falling to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 Finals and losing several key players to injury or free agency since, it feels like this upcoming season is anyone’s game.
Through all the max contracts and requested trades, however, ESPN analyst Jalen Rose says there’s one static pair that isn’t getting the attention they deserve: the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
“The problem is, they got to the playoffs the past few years and they got swept,” Rose told AOL.com of the Blazers, courtesy of Dick’s Sporting Goods. “What ends up happening is we dismiss what they do in the regular season and say, ‘Show us in the playoffs.’ Then this year, they made it to the Western Conference Finals.”
Youth sports across the nation are being threatened.
School budgets, family income and gender inequality are all putting American kids’ ability to participate in after-school sports at risk.
Currently, 24% of U.S. high schools don’t offer sports programs. Fees to play community sports are rising, and nearly two-thirds of school sports budgets are stagnant or decreasing, leaving families at a loss for how to get their children involved.
DICK’S Sporting Goods believes every kid deserves a chance to play and is stepping up to the plate to help turn those dreams into reality.
The company will be matching up to $1 million in donations made to the DICK’S Foundation at store checkouts from now until September 13, 2019, with the goal of providing access to sports for one million youth athletes over the next five years.
DICK’S will also be partnering with the Women’s Sports Foundation to expand research on the participation and retention of young girls in sports. As it stands now, 56% of teenage girls do not participate in any sport, compared to 48% of boys.
USWNT star and World Cup champion Alex Morgan, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and NBA star turned ESPN analyst Jalen Rose are among the famous faces supporting the cause. Former Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn also joins Fitzgerald and Rose on the DICK’S Sporting Goods Sports Matter Advisory Board.
The Open Championship did not get off to a good start for Rory McIlroy on Thursday.
The Northern Irish golfer was among the favorites to win heading into the action at Royal Portrush, but that dream quickly became a longshot after a quadruple-bogey on his first hole of the tournament.
As if the score wasn’t bad enough, McIlroy’s errant tee shot to start the round went sailing into the crowd and struck a fan, breaking her cell phone in the process. The spectator, who McIlroy apologized to after the incident, was identified as 34-year-old Anna McKelvey.
Every athlete faces criticism at one point or another. It’s the nature of the job. But for female athletes, the comments can quickly cross a line.
Even those at the highest level face backlash, including U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team players, who are fighting to receive pay equal to that of their male counterparts, and Serena Williams, who was recently asked if she would put aside her celebrity and fight for equality to focus more on tennis.
As trying as it can be at times, former Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn said that women in sports – including the USWNT and Williams – can best silence their critics by simply continuing to win.
“Women just need to keep doing what they’re doing,” Vonn told AOL.com courtesy of Red Bull. “Keep working hard and keep winning. That’s the best way to have your voice be heard. Silence your haters with success.”
Odell Beckham Jr. has never shied away from a unique outfit.
At this year’s Met Gala, the superstar raised eyebrows in a sleeveless suit top, bow tie and a kilt to fit into the event’s “Camp” theme. To his credit, he pulled it off and even joked that his bagpipes “didn’t make it” into the prestigious gala.
On Wednesday night in Los Angeles, Beckham’s fashion choices were once again the subject of Twitter chatter. He arrived at the annual ESPY Awards red carpet in a tan getup over a white button-down shirt – and fans on social media were, as always, quick with their comparisons.
A day in Lindsey Vonn’s life looks much different today than it used to.
The former Olympic skier and one of the most decorated female athletes of all time announced her retirement over the winter after toying with the idea for several months.
“I thought about it and talked about it last fall,” she told AOL.com of her ultimate decision to retire. “I was getting really tired of having surgeries. I had two surgeries just last summer alone.”
It was an injury in November that really sealed the deal for Vonn, who says she was “literally being held together” by her knee braces while she was on the slopes after tearing her LCL. After the 2019 World Championships in Sweden, where she took home a bronze medal, she called it a career.
“I had a lot of grand plans to have an amazing last season, but not everything works out the way you think it’s going to or the way you hope it’s going to,” she said. “I did the best I could with the hand I was dealt.”
The United States Women’s National Team may be publicly feuding with the sitting president, but a former commander in chief has taken to Twitter to show his support for the champions.
Former President Barack Obama posted a photo and a heartfelt message to the World Cup winners on Wednesday as they paraded through the streets of New York City.
Obama showed off a personalized team jersey and praised the players “for being such a strong inspiration to women and girls – and everybody – all across the country.”