ESPN The Magazine Releases Double Issue Featuring NEXT 2010 & The ESPN 100


ESPN The Magazine Releases Double Issue Featuring NEXT 2010 & The ESPN 100

On the Covers:  2010 NEXT Athlete Kevin Durant & QB Michael Vick
The ESPN 100 ‘Year in Sports Test’ – Take the Toughest Quiz of 2009

Six weeks of countdowns and 15 phenoms laterESPN The Magazine has reached the summit of NEXT – and found there the athlete destined to make the biggest impact on sports in the coming year, and for years to come. This year’s pick is Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant. At 6-foot-9, the 21-year-old with the delicate touch, lightning speed and rare work ethic, the cover-athlete is looking to blaze his own trail and become a rare kind of player: the superstar nobody has the heart to hate.  Teammate Russell Westbrook puts Durant on the hot seat; video available at ESPN.com091214_Mag_Durant[1]


  • Shane Battier, on Durant: “No matter how talented a young player is, his first year is sink or swim. Can he survive a man’s league? Obviously Kevin did, and he did it pretty well.”
  • Rockets Coach Rick Adelman, on Durant: “He’s got all the ability in the world. And he keeps getting better.”

2010 NEXT runners-up:

2.     Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans tailback

3.     John Wall, University of Kentucky basketball

4.     Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals pitcher

5.     Melanie Oudin, Tennis



The NEXT/ESPN 100 issue, on newsstands today, features a first-person piece told to Mag writer Dave Fleming, in which the cover feature, Michael Vick, opens up about his time in prison, regret and how baldy he’s itching to begin the second half of his career.






Michael Vick Quotes:

  • I’m always being asked, “What was prison like?” Well, every day felt like a bad dream. I had plenty of moments where I was like, what happened? Was it all worth it? Everything I risked? Why didn’t I take the initiative to stop it?
  • People I encounter every day, those are the ones who build up confidence in me. Because they are always saying, “Mike, we’re pulling for you.” Some of them also say, “Listen, we might not like what you did, but we’re pulling for you.” But that’s what gives me the drive to move on and do better. As a man, first, and as a football player second.
  • Now it’s time for the second half of my career. I was a dynamic player before I left the game, and I will be again. Every day I’m making progress. It might be baby steps, but I’m getting there. I feel like that old swagger is coming back, and I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. 

The ESPN 100’s, The Mag’s annual list of the biggest achievements, letdowns and sports controversies, No. 1 spot is held by Usain Bolt, who outran the world…AGAIN. Vick is in at No. 13.

The flip side also includes the “Year in Sports Test” – questions on the 2009 sports year. Find out who Michael Jordan didn’t target in his HOF acceptance speech; What “Ichiro” means in Japanese; and which PGA player wore pink pants at the BMW PGA Championships in support of breast cancer and Phil Mickelson’s wife and mother?


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