Plus: The Mag’s NBA Preview & Countdown to the NEXT Athlete Begins
Shortly after graduating from high school, Phil Ivey told his parents that he wanted to be a professional poker player. Now at 32, with seven World Series of Poker bracelets, Ivey is regarded as the best poker player in the world. He is also a millionaire celebrity who gets to hang backstage with Jay-Z and golf with Michael Jordan. In “4 Days, 3 Nights,” in the new issue of ESPN The Magazine on sale now, writer Chad Millman joined Ivey as he jetted from one casino to the next, betting and winning millions. And although this is all a dream come true for Ivey, he says his biggest accomplishment would be to win the Main Event, the final table at the World Series of Poker presented by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky beginning Nov. 7.
Is Celtics PG Rajon Rondo ready to prove skeptics wrong? In “Chemistry Test,” writer Ric Bucher reports on the young playmaker and how he looks to rebound this season both on the floor and in the clubhouse. The Mag’s NBA preview also includes team report cards for each of the 30 NBA clubs, covering how they fare in a variety of subjects including biology, economics and history. Also, writer Sam Alipour uses The Magazine’s compatibility test to rate how well matched Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest will be now that they are teammates.
NEXT: THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS
After much debate, The Magazine narrowed the list of future phenoms to a talented 20. Meet the first five Chosen Ones now (and the other 15 later), with No. 1 being revealed in The Mag’s annual NEXT issue, Monday, Dec. 14.
20. Jones Brothers
- Arthur Jones, senior nose tackle, Syracuse football
- Chandler Jones, sophomore defensive end, Syracuse football
- Jon Jones, UFC
19. Ellery Hollingsworth, snowboarding
18. Juan Martin Del Porto, tennis
17. Rory McIlroy, PGA
16. Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech basketball
PLAYER X.In his fifth column for The Magazine, “Player X,” an anonymous NFL star, dishes on team chemistry and why fights among players and coaches aren’t too uncommon in the league.
PASSING FANCY. The decades-old route-running tree has branched out into a high-concept blend of art and technique, yet the underlying message from NFL coaches to receivers remains unchanged: Get open. Seth Wickersham reports.
WHO WILL TAKE THE FALL? Clutch players make or break any MLB team’s postseason run. What makes a Mr. October? Fastball command, short stroke and plate patience, for starters. Buster Olney reports.
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