Table of Contents

Updated: July 10, 2012, 2:13 PM ET

40 WORK FORCE

He plays in a lunch-bucket town, so he's perfect for the part. Ben Wallace may not have the hoops pedigree, but when he goes to work, he can hold his own with the best players in the NBA. by John Gustafson

44 HER CALL

Six seasons ago, Violet Palmer was an NBA groundbreaker. Now she's just a damn good referee who's getting better. One big reason? That look. by Ric Bucher

52 BLIND TRUST

Julius Peppers kept to himself, trusting no one. Then someone gave him a pill that promisted a boost for his tired legs. It cost him four games-and his good name. by Tom Friend

60 PUCK-ESTROIKA

Mighty Ducks Vitaly Vishnevski and Ruslan Salei are part of a new wave of imports from the old U.S.S.R. who love Amercia-but still trust only one another.

68 FAR FROM HEAVEN

He's living in paradise. But Hawaii hoops star Carl English still dreams of coming home to the memories he left behind on the distant shores of Newfoundland.

74 ON THE ROPES

Inside the boxing ring, Johnny Tapia has been a champion five times. Outside of it, he's lived a vida loca laced with drugs, alcohol-and one tragedy after another. by Tim Keown

78 BUBBALICIOUS

In a soaring sport full of wild riders and even wilder spirits, 17-year-old Supercross superstar Bubba Stewart flies up, up and away above them all. by Chris Palmer

66 TOTAL ACCESS: SAFE HOUSE

What's under the hood at NASCAR's high-tech, high-security R&D operation in North Carolina? Here's a sneak peek. by Dave McCall

DEPARTMENTS

13 THE SPORTS GUY

14 STUART SCOTT'S TWO WAY

16 THE POST

18 DO THE MATH by Steve Hirdt

22 ZOOM

29 THE JUMP

98 OUTTAKES by Dan Patrick/Vince Carter

58 IN THE CROSSHAIRS: JAROMIR JAGR

Last year, he was an outsider tabbed as a savior. This year, the Caps are his team. How far can he take them?

86 NHL

A five-time All-Star, Sharks captain Owen Nolan may be looking at a court martial ... Lights! Camera! Action! Ron Duguay stakes-again! ... Sami Kapanen would rather be in Philadelphia.

88 BASEBALL

Why is this man smiling? Because he's back home, a lot richer and not expected to win. (Good thing.) Check out what Sweet Lou and nine other new managers are thinking.

90 NFL

Can San Jose SabreCats QB Mark Grieb follow in the footsteps of ex-Arena Football starts Kurt Warner and Tommy Maddox? ... Rashaan Salaam believes life does have a second act.

91 COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The Big East's dumping Temple after 2004, but coach Bobby Wallace has a plan to make it pay in 2003 ... Arizona State may have found the ultimate sleeper.

92 NBA

While most teams are busting a gut trying to get into the playoffs, four-and they know who they are-are shooting for an even bigger prize: LeBron James ... KG comes of age.

94 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Maryland's Drew Nicholas and Oklahoma State's Tony Allen have been promoted from second fiddle to first chair ... What are Jaspers?

96 THE BIZ

You think Vin Baker is just an overpaid Celtic with a spare tire? He's also part of the ex-owner's scheme to make every buck he could before he got out of town.