Zion 2.0 and the Celtics’ “Big 3” Double Up In Sports Illustrated’s Dual Cover Basketball Preview Issue
Inside the Basketball Preview Issue, available
at SI.com and on newsstands today: Can New Orleans Pelicans’
superstar Zion Williamson and the Boston Celtics trio of Jayson
Tatum, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown set the NBA ablaze this
season?; Plus, secret techniques from the top wide receivers in the
NFL, an excerpt from Joe Maddon’s new book; and more
The last time we saw New Orleans Pelicans’ superstar Zion
Williamson playing in the NBA, he was dominating the competition
and earning himself his first All-Star selection. But that was two
seasons ago, and after he missed all of last season with a
fractured right foot there were questions about whether he’d ever
have the NBA impact expected when he was the No. 1 draft pick in
2019. In All Eyes on Zion, senior writer Howard Beck profiles the
hard work Williamson put in this offseason, recovering from his
injury and rebuilding physically and mentally. The second cover for
Sports Illustrated’s basketball preview features the Boston
Celtics’ Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown, who spoke
with Chris Mannix about putting their NBA Finals loss and
controversial offseason behind them. The NBA and College Basketball
Preview issue is on sale today at newsstands and at SI.com/issues,
with more features below.
This press release features multimedia. View
the full release here:
The Basketball Preview Issue is available
at SI.com and on newsstands today. (Photo: Business Wire)
NBA Preview Features
- All Eyes On Zion: It’s been more than a year
since Zion Williamson played an NBA game. Now recovered from
injury, the Pelicans’ 22-year-old phenom is ready to show the world
the new and improved Zion, according to Howard Beck.
- Green Light: Trade rumors linger and a sudden
preseason coaching change hangs over the Celtics franchise. But
their core of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart are
hyper-motivated to finish the job after last season’s NBA Finals
loss and bring another title to Boston, by Chris Mannix.
- Challenge Guys: Who’s the most influential person on an
NBA bench? Chris Mannix makes the case for why the challenge
guys—the assistants who decide when and why to officially challenge
a referee’s call—could be the difference between a win and a
- Scouting Reports: Breaking down every team’s chances,
division by division. Including awards picks, SI Sportsbook odds,
and our NBA Finals pick: Warriors over Bucks.
College Basketball Preview Features
- Full Drew Experience: Gonzaga’s top player could have
left, but the NCAA gets another year of the Drew Timme Experience.
His famous ‘stache will shine, but Greg Bishop tells us his real
focus is on bringing Gonzaga that elusive national championship.
Plus, Jeremy Woo on why big men are back on campus, and how an
offseason of coaching changes will shape the season.
- Nothing But Love: The Stanford women’s loss in the Final
Four last season sent the program back to the drawing board. Their
drive for a title this season will be powered by lots of talent on
the court and unique off-court assets (a happiness professor,
anyone?), by Ben Pickman.
- SI’s Men’s Top 25. Our top 4: North Carolina, Gonzaga,
Houston and Kentucky.
- SI’s Women’s Top 25. Our top 4: South Carolina,
Stanford, Texas and Iowa.
- The Great Wide Open: Wide receiver has become the NFL’s
marquee position, and four pass catchers rise above the rest for
their skill and dominance. Here’s how Davante Adams, Ja’Marr Chase,
Cooper Kupp and Justin Jefferson do it from Conor Orr and Albert
- Fallen Angel: Joe Maddon was one of MLB’s most
accomplished and experienced managers, but that didn’t stop the
Angels from firing him last June after the team underperformed for
two weeks. In an excerpt from his new book, we learn from Tom
Verducci and Joe Maddon what that firing says about the culture war
between baseball’s data-driven front offices and the men in
- Astro in Exile: As the Astros head into the MLB
postseason as a favorite to reach the World Series, the man who
built much of their roster – former GM Jeff Luhnow – is running
low-level soccer teams in Spain and Mexico. According to Stephanie
Apstein, while nearly everyone else involved in Houston’s cheating
scandal three years ago has been welcomed back into the game,
Luhnow is still in baseball exile – and feels like he doesn’t have
anything to prove to anyone.
Also in this issue:
- A photo tour of what might be boxing’s last great boxing
trilogy: the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin rivalry that
culminated with an epic bout last month.
- Michael Rosenberg on why the power of star players makes one
wonder: who would ever want to run an NBA team?
- The upstart outfit that’s redefining what it means to be a
NASCAR racing team from Madeline Coleman.
- SI Gameplan: Mark Bechtel reviews a new book on the history of
the World Series.
- SI Full Frame: Photographer Eric Rasco remembers the World
Series’ longest game.
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@sportsillustrated, or Facebook.
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