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ESPN The Magazine
16 min read
Sports

Body 2017

EVERYBODY HAS A BODY, BUT NO BODY IS PERFECT. Think all great athletes are flawless? Javier Baez was born with crooked feet that needed braces—and now patrols the infield for the Cubs. Kirstie Ennis lost a leg in Afghanistan—then made herself into a multisport superstar. Guard Isaiah Thomas peaked at 5-foot-9—and last season scored more points than anyone his height in NBA history. Heck, softball player A.J. Andrews broke multiple bones in her hand—and still became the first woman to win a Gold Glove. Yes, everybody has a body—and as this, our ninth Body Issue, proves, every body tells a stor
ESPN The Magazine
12 min read
Sports

Still Standing

Greg Oden has a recurring dream. He’s playing defense for the Trail Blazers. He blocks a shot and passes to the outlet and sprints down-court, light and fast and strong. He’s three years removed from his last NBA appearance now, trying to build a new life out of the lows of his last one, but in the dream he can still play. He can still run. He glides to the paint, catches a return pass and dunks. Coast-to-coast. The crowd explodes. He feels a sweet rush of adrenaline. Fans love him, and he loves himself—all joy and no shame. ODEN IS IN the lobby of the academic support center on the Ohio Stat
Bloomberg Businessweek
3 min read
Sports

Alibaba Tries To Get in the Game

Joshua D. Bateman Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s e-commerce leader, has been attempting for a few years to multiply sales of sporting goods and related merchandise on its platforms, which totaled about 76 billion yuan ($11.3 billion) last year. (The U.S. market is more than 10 times that.) The problem is that, for its size, China doesn’t have much of a sports industry. So a relatively tiny arm of the company is trying to make one. Alisports, a 210-person subsidiary funded partly by Chinese telecom Sina Corp. and venture company Yunfeng Capital Co., is tapping its primary parent’s troves