Even after jilting his hometown four years ago, LeBron James hinted at a return. But this early? With this untested team? The King knows he might not don another NBA crown soon, but this much is certain: Cleveland once again has reason to believe
G√∂√∂√∂√∂al! It took a while, but the World Cup final finally got its signature moment in the 113th minute. With Germany and Argentina scoreless in the second session of extra time, Mario G√∂tze (19) settled a cross from André Sch√ºrrle with his chest and, before the ball hit the ground, booted it past goalkeeper Sergio Romero. Germany held on for a 1--0 win, its fourth World Cup championship and first since 1990 (page 15).
PHOTODANIEL CHRISTEN EQ IMAGES/ICON SMI (INSET)
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PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY GREG NELSON FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
Once And Future King Much has changed since November 2005, when this photo was taken, but the two subjects in this scene would be painted in the same colors today: Manu Ginóbili (20) still wears the Spurs' white, and LeBron James (23) is back in Cavaliers red. After opting out of his contract with the Heat, The Chosen One chose Cleveland last Friday with a simple message for fans in the area where he grew up: I'm coming home (page 36).
SEVEN PHOTOSPHOTOGRAPHS BY BRAD MANGIN FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
Goodbye By The Bay Candlestick Park will be demolished in 2015, but San Francisco's beloved—O.K., beliked—stadium is having one last summer in the sun. Last Saturday, 25,000 people gathered to watch NFL greats in the Legends of Candlestick flag football game. Among the boldfaced names: 1. former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo with grandson Asher Heldfond; 2. Hall of Famer Jerry Rice; 3. Hall of Famers Dan Marino (13) and Joe Montana (16); 4. Montana; 5. former 49ers running back Roger Craig (in red) with Carnell Lake; 6. former Niners Dwight Hicks (22), Ronnie Lott (42) and Charles Haley (94); and 7. former wideout Dwight Clark.
Before he became the premier postseason performer of his generation, the Patriots icon was a middling college quarterback who invited skepticism, even scorn, from fans and his coaches. That was all—and that was everything