44 HARD CORE Thanks to the tools and 'tude of Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace and Rip Hamilton-not to mention new addition Sheed-the 2004-model Bad Boys are badder than ever.

52 8 BALL Somehow, Kobe Bryant has managed to persevere through this season from hell. His teammates are trying to do the same. BY TOM FRIEND

62 ROUGHNECK The Leafs are hoping that Gary Roberts, after two spinal surgeries that forced him to retire, can carry them to a Stanley Cup. BY LINDSAY BERRA

70 A NICE YOUNG MAN Baltimore's third-year safety, Ed Reed, has the desire and ability a team would kill for. Not to mention a personality to die for. BY BRUCE FELDMAN

78 FINDER'S FEE Like many talented young ballplayers from the Dominican, Luis Soto had to hook on with some shady characters to fulfill his dream. BY TOM FARREY

86 A MAN APART Angels centerfielder Garret Anderson has had more hits than anyone in the bigs since '95. You didn't know? That suits him just fine. BY DIANE K. SHAH

94 TIME CHANGE As a '60s activist, Brooks Johnson longed to make a difference. Now, for dozens of Olympic track and field hopefuls, he has. BY SHAUN ASSAEL

76 THE COUNTDOWN Only one in 37,703 thoroughbreds born in North America in 2001 can win the Derby. As the big day approaches, jockey Shane Sellers hopes he s on the right one. BY EDDIE MATZ

108 BASEBALL The Astros couldn't imagine they could afford RF Richard Hidalgo. Now they can't imagine being without him ... When Tigers ace Jason Johnson needs relief, he doesn't look at the bullpen.

112 COLLEGE FOOTBALL If OSU QB Donovan Woods is going to make an impact on his team's O, he's going to need his big bro's help. He's one of a bunch of young sibs following in the family footsteps.

92 TOTAL ACCESS: BRICK SLAYER The Indy Qualifying, not the 500, is the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing." Don't believe us? Ask Helio Castroneves. BY URSULA LIANG 102

NBA Peoria Central's Shaun Livingston, a 6'7" highlight reel, is one of four prep players who could star on draft day ... The absolute last thing we'll say about LeBron this season. (Well, maybe not.) 104 NHL When the Bruins signed free agent D Sergei Gonchar, they thought it was their ticket to the Finals. Oops! ... A solid core of young stars hopes to lead Team USA on a gold rush.

106 MOTORSPORTS Dodge's team of newbie Kasey Kahne and soon-to-retire Bill Elliott is blowing the doors off the competition ... The Screamin' Eagles get their hogs up to speed ... Is F1 done?

114 NFL The Bengals' drafting of Michigan RB Chris Perry was one of the moves that teams made on draft day to fine-tune their rosters ... Jon Gruden tries to bring pride and poise to the Bucs.

116 BIZ If there's a lockout next season, pro lacrosse could be the main draw at NHL arenas. Watching it will be a lot more fun than listening to the owners and their new math lessons.



16 THE SPORTS GUY Bill Simmons

18 OPEN LOOK Dan Le Batard



103 DO THE MATH Steve Hirdt

118 OUTTAKES Dan Patrick / Eric Gagne

120 0:01 / TIN CUP