• After a surging rise to superstardom in 2015, Ronda Rousey’s fighting career came to a screeching halt when Holly Holm knocked her out in November at UFC 193.

    But that hasn’t stopped the Hollywood darling and best-selling author from doing things like hosting "Saturday Night Live" back in January – the first mixed martial arts fighter to do so.

    In fact, Rousey’s popularity may never be higher, and on Saturday, her portfolio got a major boost when “Rowdy” was announced as one of three cover models for the upcoming issue of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition.

    The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion will accompany models Hailey Clauson and Ashley Graham on the iconic magazine's cover, joining past honorees like Elle McPherson and Kate Upton.

    The issue will be available on newsstands on Feb. 15.

     

    Read More »from Ronda Rousey to grace cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition
  • Shortly after his deserved win in one of the greatest Slam Dunk Contests of all time, 20-year old Zach LaVine decided to pay tribute to late Minnesota Timberwolves coach and president Flip Saunders in an Instagram post:

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    From the caption:

    I dedicate this dunk contest and the trophy to my late coach, Flip Saunders and the Saunders family. He's the one that always believed in me and drafted me! We all loved Flip and his memory will live on forever!

    There’s not much to add to this. As Zach noted, Saunders drafted LaVine after his somewhat nondescript freshman year at UCLA, and told him he could be an NBA-level starting point guard. He was patient with his rookie and clearly looking forward to a second year with the returning Dunk Contest champion prior to Flip’s passing following his battle with Hodgkin Lymphoma last October.

    LaVine, like quite a few of us, was lucky to have Flip Saunders in his life. For however

    Read More »from Zach LaVine dedicates his Slam Dunk Contest win to Flip Saunders
  • In what was arguably the greatest NBA slam-dunk contest ever, Minnesota’s Zach LaVine prevailed on Saturday night after a one-on-one showdown with Orlando’s Aaron Gordon left the two just about out of perfect dunks to throw down.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    We think. There’s a stadium full of people in Toronto that wouldn’t mind seeing the lights be turned back on, and another opportunity to see the guys go at it for another round.

    LaVine defended his 2015 dunk contest win with yet another stirring display that was no doubt spurred on by the presence of Gordon. The Magic forward likely would have been in last year’s contest had it not been for a left foot fracture that cut out a goodly chunk of his rookie season. Gordon pushed the defending and eventual champ to his limit, resulting in a record six consecutive perfect scores.

    (Denver’s Will Barton and Detroit’s Andre Drummond also participated.)

    Barton’s first-round entry wasn’t bad, and

    Read More »from Zach LaVine tops Aaron Gordon in a slam-dunk contest for the ages
  • Of course it’s Golden State. Of course it’s the Splash Brothers.

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    Warriors guards Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry not only met up in the final round of Saturday’s NBA Three-Point Shootout, but they put on the best shooting displays of the night at the exact right time while – with apologies to Phoenix Suns rookie Devin Booker, who shared the final round stage with the two – basically competing head to head. Curry exploded for 23 points in the final round, a seemingly insurmountable score to overcome until Klay Thompson nailed his final eight shots to finish with a Shootout-high and Shootout-winning 27 points.

    Thompson both knocked off the defending champion while taking in his first Shootout victory in his second shot at the trophy. Watch his blistering final round:

    Klay entered his penultimate rack with 13 points, needing 11 points to top his teammate with 16 available. With his “Money Ball Rack” scheduled to

    Read More »from Klay Thompson downs Stephen Curry to win the Three-Point Shootout
  • When Kevin Hart challenged Warriors forward Draymond Green to a 3-point contest last week, we all had a good laugh. After all, Green's shooting 42 percent from distance this year, and Hart is a freakin' comedian.

     Surely, you jest, 5-foot-4 Kevin Hart, thought the 6-foot-7 Draymond Green, who accepted Hart's challenge.

    The two spent the past week trading barbs on social media, culminating in Green saying he originally accepted the challenge as a joke, but was prepared to lay the smack down. To which Hart responded:

    Read More »from It was all fun and games until Kevin Hart tied Draymond Green in a 3-point contest
  • It's been a while since Jordan Spieth played on a Sunday without a chance to win. 

    That's the situation the world No. 1 finds himself in heading into the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Spieth barely made the 54-hole cut after wrapping up his third round, a 2-over 74 at Pebble Beach Golf Links, to get through the tournament's three-course rotation. However, at 1 under par through three rounds, Spieth trails leader Phil Mickelson by 15 shots heading into the final round.

    It'll be a low-key final round for Spieth, and it sounds like he's kind of relieved.

    “I’m not in contention. It will be the first stress-free round that I’ve really had in quite a while where I’ve played a Sunday not having a chance to win,” Spieth said. “It’s not good, but at the same time, I think I can get into a groove and not lose any hair over the back nine. I’m going to fire at some pins.”

    Spieth has been off in all facets of his game through the week. However, the most glaring problem has been

    Read More »from Spieth struggles to make 54-hole cut at Pebble Beach
  • Phil Mickelson is on the verge of his first PGA Tour win since the 2013 British Open. 

    With a Saturday 6-under 66 at Pebble Beach Golf Links, Mickelson earned a two-shot lead entering the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Mickelson is at 16-under 199, with Japanese player Hiroshi Iwata in second and playing alongside the five-time major winner in the final group back at Pebble Beach on Sunday.

    “It’s fun to be back in the thick of it,” Mickelson said.

    Freddie Jacobson and Sung Kang share third place at 13 under par, with Roberto Castro and Jonas Blixt tied for fifth at 12 under.

    This is Mickelson's first 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour since the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion. 

    Mickelson made his Saturday charge with a hot putter, needing just 21 putts to get around the famed Monterey seaside course. However, Mickelson took so few putts not only because he made six birdies but also because he up-and-down for momentum-saving pars again and again. Mickelson expect to play better from

    Read More »from Mickelson leads by 2 in search of fifth Pebble Beach win
  • Karl-Anthony Towns shows how many points he scored to win it. (Getty Images)Karl-Anthony Towns shows how many points he scored to win it. (Getty Images)The NBA’s Skills Challenge was expanded to include big men in 2016, and if Saturday’s back and forth is any indication, the future is bright for this league’s tallest types.

    And its shortest ones.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns became the second rookie (Damian Lillard, 2013) and by far the tallest NBA player to win the competition.

    Towns knocked off 5-11 Boston Celtics All-Star Isaiah Thomas, who was one made three-pointer away from being the shortest player to ever win the event. KAT, at 7-feet tall, is also the youngest player to have ever won the Skills Challenge.

    Watch:

    Towns beat out Golden State All-Star Draymond Green and Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins in the NBA’s unofficial “big” bracket before taking on the diminutive Thomas in the final round. The challenge asks that players dribble through obstacles before firing a 25-foot chest pass into a target, followed by a drive up court

    Read More »from Karl-Anthony Towns is your tallest-ever Skills Challenge winner
  • It took a dubious call and a fortuitous rebound, but the United States women's national team is a single win away from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

    A hard-fought 1-0 win over Mexico on Saturday afternoon cemented first place in Group A with a game to spare, meaning the Americans move on to an all-or-nothing semifinal Friday. The winner of that game and the opposite semi will earn berths to the Summer Games. A doubtful penalty called on a stout Mexican team in the 79th minute and Carli Lloyd's pounce on her own rebound after Cecilia Santiago saved her initial attempt decided the game.

    The lady Yanks had made a habit of hammering their southern neighbors in recent years. In the past, it didn't much matter what kind of approach Leo Cuellar's teams took to the contests. The outcome was always the same: a lopsided American win. Although El Tri has historically been staffed for the most part from the U.S. college ranks, they had simply never been competitive.

    Until Saturday. Mexico,

    Read More »from U.S. women move closer to Olympics with controversial victory over Mexico
  • Before suffering her first loss at the hands (and feet) of Holly Holm, Ronda Rousey was dead-set on becoming the greatest fighter the world has ever seen. She wanted to retire as the undefeated, unquestionable greatest of all-time.

    Now, after her shocking loss to Holm, the whole ‘undefeated’ part of her plans went out the window. According to one all-time sporting great, however, becoming the best fighter of her generation is still within her grasp.Holly Holm upset Ronda Rousey to become the women's bantamweight champion. (AFP)Holly Holm upset Ronda Rousey to become the women's bantamweight champion. (AFP)

    “I think the true mark of a champion is how you get up from that,” Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant told USA Today on Friday. “If she goes through her entire career undefeated, she becomes this mythical figure that nobody can relate to. She got beat. We all get beat at some point or another in our lives. Now it’s a matter of how she bounces back from that. I think that’s what makes her a true champion.”

    Bryant, the five-time NBA champion and two-time NBA Finals MVP, is in Toronto celebrating his 18th All-Star game appearance. He has

    Read More »from Kobe Bryant says he tried consoling Ronda Rousey after her KO loss

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