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Leading Off

March 03, 2014
March 03, 2014

Table of Contents
March 3, 2014

SI.com
THE MAIL
2014 OLYMPICS
MOTOR SPORTS
BASEBALL
  • THE MONEYBALL ERA MOCKED SMALL BALL, BUT DIDN'T TOTALLY DISCREDIT IT. WITH THE GAME IN THE MIDST OF A SCORING DROUGHT, TAKING CARE OF THE LITTLE THINGS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER

THE BIRTH OF SHOWTIME
  • In the early '80s, Pat Riley and Magic Johnson began a transformation that put the Lakers on the leading edge of sports culture. But it took a really, really strange series of events—and some Magicavellian maneuvering—to set the stage

Brazil
  • AS THE WORLD TURNS ITS EYES TOWARD THE NEXT OLYMPIC GAMES, IN RIO, AND ON THE EVE OF A WORLD CUP IN THE SPIRITUAL HOME OF SOCCER, A QUESTION HANGS IN THE AIR LIKE A LINGERING CLOUD OF TEAR GAS: HOW DO YOU RECONCILE

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Leading Off

PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS KEANE FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDGetting Loose for 'Cuse With a showdown against No. 1 Syracuse just three hours away last Saturday, Duke forward Jabari Parker stopped by a makeshift court outside Cameron Indoor Stadium to throw down a few dunks for fans. That Blue-Devil-may-care approach worked after the ACC game tipped off as well: With game highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds, Parker led fifth-ranked Duke to a 66--60 victory that was clinched with 10.4 seconds left, when Orange coach Jim Boeheim drew two technicals for disputing a charging call.PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY GREG NELSON FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDHeat Waves Miami forwards Chris Bosh (1) and LeBron James couldn't prevent impossibly long-limbed Thunder star Kevin Durant from releasing one of his 22 shots last Thursday. The NBA's leading scorer finished with 28 points in a 103--81 loss—Oklahoma City's worst defeat at home this season—but at least Durant finished: Midway through the fourth quarter James, going up for a dunk, had his nose broken on a block attempt by Serge Ibaka.PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID WALBERG FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDSteering Clear The field for the Daytona 500 didn't have many chances to run in the sun: Just 38 laps were completed on Sunday before storms rolled in, causing a record six-hour, 22-minute rain delay that also brought the Goodyear blimp (from which this shot was taken) to ground. When the 56th Great American Race ended at 11:18 p.m., Dale Earnhardt Jr. (page 40) was headed to Victory Lane for the second time at Daytona and for the first time in 56 starts.