‘The Loudest Voice’ Cast vs. Real Life: See Russell Crowe As Roger Ailes & More

Russell Crowe transforms into Roger Ailes, Naomi Watts becomes Gretchen Carlson, and more stars morph into Fox News players for the upcoming miniseries ‘The Loudest Voice’. See pics of the actors vs. their IRL counterparts before tuning in.

Roger Ailes died in May 2017 at age 77, but his horrific legacy lives on in the new Showtime miniseries, The Loudest Voice. The series, based on Gabriel Sherman‘s bestselling book, The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News – and Divided a Country, focuses on the rise and fall of the Fox News Channel head from his first days at the network, to the accusations of sexual harassment and assault from some of the biggest names at the network. The first episode opens with Ailes lying dead on the floor of his Florida home after suffering a subdural hematoma. He’s played by an unrecognizable Russell Crowe, wearing extensive prosthetics to achieve the look of the elderly, portly businessman. “I had to take my body to a certain place but then used prosthetics. I used a body pad as well, when you add it all up all of production, I was in the makeup chair a total of four days,” Crowe told Inside Edition on June 25.

Sienna Miller also underwent an extensive transformation to play his wife, Elizabeth Ailes. “It was a lot of work to transform into Beth, but I loved it. I found it so liberating,” she told the program at the premiere of the miniseries. It appears that Sienna also wore prosthetics for the role, as the 37-year-old actress played someone significantly older than herself. The blonde coif was picture-perfect, as well. Naomi Watts plays former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, and looks just like her! From the hair, to the outfits, it’s perfect. Gretchen said she’s eager to see her portrayal, but is focused on one thing in particular: “I’m going to play special attention to her American Minnesota accent since she’s an Aussie,” she told Vulture!

To see the cast of The Loudest Voice transform into their characters, scroll through our gallery above. The Loudest Voice premieres Sunday, June 30 at 10:00pm on Showtime.

Another First for Cori Gauff: A Must-See Match at Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON, England — When Cori Gauff, 15, became the youngest qualifier in Wimbledon’s history, the latest superlative in a budding career already full of them, she had a wish.

She said she “would love to share the court with Serena or Venus,” both of whom reached Grand Slam finals as 17-year-olds.

On Monday, in her first appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament, she will get that wish. Gauff, the youngest player in the women’s singles draw, will play the most tantalizing first-round match at Wimbledon against the oldest player in the draw: 39-year-old Venus Williams, who had reached four of her nine Wimbledon finals before Gauff was born.

It is a fitting destination for the journey steered by Cori Gauff’s parents, Corey and Candi Gauff, who often followed the road map drawn by the Williams family’s patriarch, Richard, including a shared training base of Pompey Park in Delray Beach, Fla.

“The Williams family in general made me realize that it was possible,” said Corey Gauff, who remains his daughter’s primary coach. “There wasn’t a lot of color in the sport, and particularly in our country, African-American girls weren’t playing tennis.”

Like the Williams family, the Gauffs sought the assistance of established coaches to further develop Cori’s talents. When she was 10, Gauff traveled to the Mouratoglou Academy in France to try out for its Champ’Seed Foundation, which provides assistance for aspiring players.

ImageCori Gauff, center, who is called Coco, with her parents, Corey, left, and Candi, at the Wimbledon practice courts.

CreditJane Stockdale for The New York Times

Patrick Mouratoglou, the academy’s founder, has coached Serena Williams since 2012. He was immediately impressed by Gauff’s athleticism and her toughness, including the way she handled intense interviews designed to test the young players’ resolve.

Gauff has continued to handle the heat of the spotlight admirably, Mouratoglou said.

“Consider the pressure that she has to deal with since a few years already,” he added. “Because she’s making history — at her level, it’s not like Serena — but she’s the youngest to do this, to do that, and the expectations are unbelievable. I’ve seen her very tight and very much under pressure on several occasions. She’s always fighting, and she’s still winning.”

Serena Williams, who trains occasionally at the Mouratoglou Academy, said that she saw some of her own family in Cori Gauff and her family.

“I see her out there working, training, her and her dad; it reminds me of the time where I was out there with my dad,” Williams said. “I can’t help but look inside of myself and be proud and be happy for her.”

Many of the expectations on Gauff come in the form of investments from businesses that have wanted to get in on the ground floor of her career. Roger Federer’s agency, Team8, signed her at 13. She has endorsement contracts with New Balance and the pasta manufacturer Barilla.

Worries over how that pressure could affect young girls whose tennis abilities outpaced their maturity led the WTA to institute an age eligibility rule, which limits the number of tournaments teenagers can play. The successes of Gauff, who was the youngest to reach the United States Open girls’ final two years ago at 13, have renewed debates on the restrictions. She will be allowed to compete at only five more WTA tournaments before her 16th birthday next March. Instead she has played largely on the lower I.T.F. tour.

Mouratoglou called the rule “a mistake,” saying it intensifies the stress during the limited number of tournaments and slows development. The rule is often attributed to the high-profile flameout of the 1990s prodigy Jennifer Capriati.

“The learning experience of a match, there’s nothing that can replace that,” Mouratoglou said. “Of course it’s very difficult when you’re not allowed to play as much as you need to, to gain experience. The pressure: You don’t have the right to mess up one match, because you have so few.”


CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times

Gauff is proving to be a quick study despite limited time on court. She did not play any tournaments between a second-round loss at French Open qualifying in late May and her arrival to Wimbledon, but she showed significant growth within that month.

Gauff, ranked 301st and given a wild card into the Wimbledon qualifying tournament, started by beating the highest-ranked player in the field, No. 94 Aliona Bolsova, who had reached the fourth round of the French Open. In the final round, Gauff dominated the No. 128 Greet Minnen, 6-1, 6-1.

Gauff credited her success in part to the grass-specific drills, which emphasized slices and coming forward, led by the Mouratoglou Academy coach Jean-Christophe Faurel.

“I prefer to bang from the baseline, but I’m happy he made me do all those weird drills,” she said.

Corey Gauff said the biggest improvements he’d seen in his daughter had been in her demeanor.

“I said, ‘You need to get better at your body language, and I think that stroke will give you a lot more than you think,’ ” he said.

Cori Gauff, who is in high school, has had other assessments to complete during the tournament, including a science test she completed at 11 p.m. the night before her win over Minnen.

Candi Gauff, who like her husband was a collegiate athlete, said her “first priority is to make sure that I am the mom and that I’m raising a teenage daughter.” Candi Gauff added that she wanted to ensure her daughter’s well-being as she faces the challenges of stardom and the attention of social media.

“There’s a lot of moods that a teenage female can go through,” Candi Gauff said. “We’re making sure we acknowledge her development, acknowledge her feelings, and make sure that anything that’s awkward that may be going on is communicated.”

In many ways, she comes off as a typical teenager, like with her fandom of the musician Jaden Smith. She also shows a broad curiosity for current events and history, which defies the assumptions about a tunnel-visioned tennis prodigy.

The link on her Instagram, for example, is to a Unicef news release titled “Children killed, injured, detained and abused amid escalating violence and unrest in Sudan.”

She also has shown a passion for African-American history, including a recent Instagram story about the Juneteenth on June 19, which commemorates the emancipation of slaves.

“During Black History Month I was posting one random fact that you don’t learn at school a day,” Gauff said. “Because there’s so many things that I didn’t know if it wasn’t for the internet and social media.”


CreditJane Stockdale for The New York Times

Her father said the power of her voice will grow along with her game.

“I’ve always challenged her, from the beginning of this when we started, telling her that she’ll be able to change the world with her racket,” Corey Gauff said. “So I’m not going to encourage her, when she gets there, to stick her head in the ground and ignore social issues.”

Looking up at the vibrant blue sky after her final qualifying win on Thursday, he said he hoped that his daughter could keep her mind-set bright even as her surroundings grow more daunting.

“Forget this tournament, Wimbledon, or any tournament: Just go for it in life, and be happy in the moment,” he said. “Don’t stress. You’re not perfect — it’s O.K. Strive for perfection, but don’t think that you are perfect.”

Perfection may be unattainable, but Gauff is already on to something very good.

“I’m thankful that my parents never put any limitations on my goals, because sometimes parents can do that,” she said. “My parents always told me to shoot as high as I wanted to.”

Conflicts spur alarming increase in missing…

15 June 2019

Conflicts spur alarming increase in missing persons: Red Cross
Parents and relatives hold pictures of girls missing since they were abducted by Boko Haram on April 14, 2014 in Chibok, northern Nigeria (AFP Photo/Audu Ali MARTE)

The UN Security Council have adopted the first-ever resolution on missing persons in conflict as the International Red Cross reported an alarming increase in cases of disappearances worldwide including Myanmar. 

The resolution was drafted by Kuwait, which drew from its own bitter experience of seeking to account for more than 300 people still missing from the Gulf war nearly 30 years ago. 

One of the biggest caseloads of missing persons is in Syria where families are searching for 60,000 people who have disappeared since the beginning of the war eight years ago, according to the International Commission on Missing Persons.

Peter Maurer, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, told the council that there was “an alarming increase in cases in recent years” of missing persons.

Last year, 45,000 names were added to the ICRC’s tracing lists, said Maurer, adding this figure was “the tip of the iceberg and does not convey the true extent of the problem.”

Among those on the ICRC’s missing list are 10,000 people from Syria and 13,000 from Nigeria, said UN aid official Rheena Ghelani.

There have been cases of forced disappearances in Myanmar, South Sudan and Yemen while the fate of many persons who went missing years or decades ago in the Balkans, Lebanon, Nepal and Sri Lanka remains unknown, she said.

The council unanimously backed the resolution urging governments to take practical steps such as setting up registries to help families searching for answers.

Drafted with help from the ICRC, the measure also supports Red Cross efforts to gain access to detention centers during conflict.

Addressing the council, Britain stressed that providing answers to the families of the missing was key to helping societies rebuild after devastating conflict.

“Long after conflict ends, families and communities are deeply affected by those who remain missing,” said British Deputy UN Ambassador Jonathan Allen. 

“They relive conflicts as others are able to move on.”

In Nigeria, 112 of the Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram five years ago remain missing.  In Iraq, families are searching for 3,000 Yazidis who disappeared after Islamic State fighters overran their village in 2014.


Conchita Martínez Learned in 1994 That Grass Was Not Just for Cows

Thrilled to have a few days off after a grueling but exhilarating clay-court season, Conchita Martínez, the former world No. 2 from Spain, was happy to be back home in Esplugues de Llobregat, a municipality just outside Barcelona, for a few days between Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

She had just sent her coaching pupil, the world No. 3 Karolina Pliskova, off to compete at a WTA tournament in Birmingham, England, after weaning her off clay. Pliskova won the Italian Open on clay but was upset in the third round at Roland Garros; she needed to become reacquainted with grass.

Via FaceTime, Martínez, 47, showed off her 500-bottle wine cellar (her favorites include French Bordeaux, Spanish Priorat, wines from Tuscany and from Napa in California), and her trophy case. Displayed prominently is the Wimbledon Plate she won 25 years ago when she ousted the nine-time champion Martina Navratilova to capture her only Grand Slam title and become the first Spanish woman to win Wimbledon.

The following conversation has been edited and condensed.

You’ve been back to Wimbledon many times since 1994. Do you ever walk around and just reminisce?

It will always be a special place for me. The best day is the Sunday before. That’s when I sometimes walk alone and remember. There is nobody there yet, and the courts, the grass, is so green because they haven’t been used yet. And the flowers. Everything is just perfect.

Even though you were the third seed and had reached the semifinals the year before, not many people gave you a chance against Navratilova, a great grass-court player.

I thought, if I’m going to win one, it’s going to be Roland Garros. But after I reached the semis the year before, I started to become a little more friendly to the grass instead of saying, “Grass is for cows.”

ImageConchita Martínez, right, with Karolina Pliskova, whom she coaches.

CreditPete Kiehart for The New York Times

Grass is a very hard surface; one day you can play great on it, and another day someone surprises you. You have to accept that you might get bad bounces and you’re not going to play a perfect match. Or it rains and the court gets very, very fast.

But it didn’t rain after the second day that year, and the conditions were perfect for me because the court was very dry.

The top seed, Steffi Graf, was upset in the first round that year. Did that change the whole feeling of the tournament for everyone else?

I remember that day exactly. It was raining on and off. I was in the city with friends instead of at my rented home near the club. We were watching on TV. But it was too early to say, “Oh, she lost, so it’s a chance for me.” Seven matches in 14 days in a Grand Slam is a lot. But when you lose the most favored to win the tournament, yeah, you all think about it.

You beat Lindsay Davenport in the quarterfinals and then Lori McNeil 10-8 in the third set to reach the final. How bad were your nerves?

At the end, you can’t think of nerves; you just have to play. She was serving and volleying really well. I had to pass her off the backhand, sometimes with the slice and sometimes with topspin. I guess it worked. And against Martina, I had just beaten her in Rome [en route to the title] so that gave me confidence. I just said, “Why not on grass?” I guess I had the right attitude, no?

You came up in a golden age of women’s tennis, with Navratilova and Chris Evert, Graf, Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati, Davenport, Martina Hingis and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario. Now that you see the game as a coach, is this a golden era, too?

There are a lot of players now, so this is a wonderful story. But now players hit with a lot of power from everywhere and not as much variety and thought. [Ashleigh] Barty winning the French was special because she has slice, topspin, she comes to the net, she hits drop shots. So, this is more like my era, no?

You’re one of only a few successful women coaches. Why?

This question has been coming my way for years. We’re starting to see a few more, and hopefully people can see what we bring to the table. The more successful the players are, the more they will talk highly about us, and maybe more players are going to hire women coaches.

Neville wants ‘serial winner mentality’

Phil Neville wants England Women to develop ‘serial winner mentality’ like USA

Last Updated: 30/06/19 8:29am

England Women head coach Phil Neville wants his side to “develop the serial winner mentality” – and warned going home from the World Cup on the back of a semi-final defeat “would represent failure”

The Lionesses produced the most impressive display of their campaign in France so far with a 3-0 win over Norway on Thursday to progress to the last four of a major tournament for the third successive time.

Smith: England shouldn’t fear anyone

Waiting next in Lyon on Tuesday night are defending champions the United States, who ended the hosts’ challenge with a 2-1 win at Parc des Princes as they remain very much focused on what would be a fourth World Cup triumph.

It is such determination to be the best which Neville believes the current England squad must emulate if they are to make the most of their opportunity.

Neville says a defeat to USA Women on Tuesday  would represent a "failure" Neville says a defeat to USA Women on Tuesday  would represent a "failure"

Neville says a defeat to USA Women on Tuesday would represent a “failure”

“A semi-final defeat would represent failure. This England team is ready to win now,” Neville said.

“I think the FA (Football Association) know I am doing a good job but I said to the players this morning that it would be easy now for them to think ‘whatever happens now, we have got to the semi-final, my reputation is intact, we’ll probably get invited to Downing Street, everybody loves us at home’. I don’t want that.

“We have to develop the serial winner mentality. We have to develop that ruthlessness.

“I don’t want us saying that there is no pressure on us. That’s the safe way to think. We have to be even braver.

“The only way for us to go back home is as winners. If we don’t, we have to keep striving to understand that losing in a semi-final is not OK.”


Peter Shilton believes England are getting better and better at the Women's World Cup, and congratulates Jill Scott on breaking his appearance record in World Cup finals.

Peter Shilton believes England are getting better and better at the Women’s World Cup, and congratulates Jill Scott on breaking his appearance record in World Cup finals.

Neville accepts England will have to raise their performance levels yet again to get past the USA, whose “ruthlessness is their strength”.

He said: “We have got to be 20 per cent braver than we have ever been before to win this game.

“This is the game we wanted. We have always known that when we got to the World Cup, we were going to have to beat the USA if we were going to win the tournament.

“We have reached the moment now where we have to deliver. This is the moment my players have been waiting for.

“We are not going to back away from this challenge. We have planned and prepared for this.

“We are in great shape. I don’t think they will look forward to playing us. If they are looking at teams who can challenge them, we will be number one or two on their list.”

Neville had arranged for Dame Katherine Grainger – the most-decorated British female Olympian with five rowing medals, three silvers coming before gold at London 2012 – to record a video for the squad as they prepared for the quarter-final against Norway, for his players to “hear her message – winning hurts”.

Great Britain's Anna Watkins (R) and Katherine Grainger won the gold medal in the women's double sculls at London 2012 Great Britain's Anna Watkins (R) and Katherine Grainger won the gold medal in the women's double sculls at London 2012

Great Britain’s Anna Watkins (R) and Katherine Grainger won the gold medal in the women’s double sculls at London 2012

He added: “We have to suffer and go beyond our expectations. We have to trust in the pain we have gone through and the sacrifices we have made and go with your heart and your head and accept it is going to hurt.

“What she told them had a more powerful effect than anything I could have said.”

With France losing to the USA, England are among the top three European sides at the World Cup, which will secure a place for Great Britain at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The squad is set to be made up of players from other Home Nations, and Neville is relishing those opportunities ahead.

“I will be the coach that takes the team to the Olympics. I have not thought about it but obviously when the USA won, it confirmed our place in Tokyo and it is exciting,” he said.

“Seven out of the eight teams in the quarter-finals were from Europe and qualifying for the Olympics was one of the targets I had for this year.

“It is going to be very special, but let’s go and win a World Cup first.”

Wimbledon 2019: Players to Watch

ImageFélix Auger-Aliassime, an 18-year-old from Canada, has risen to No. 21 from No. 104 in the rankings since February.

CreditTony O’Brien/Action Images Via Reuters

An 18-year-old Canadian sensation, Auger-Aliassime defeated Grigor Dimitrov, Nick Kyrgios, and Stefan Tsitsipas at the Queen’s Club Championships last week before losing to the resurgent Feliciano Lopez in the semifinals. Auger-Aliassimeis a breathtaking talent who is emerging as an heir apparent to the Big Four. He is 6-foot-3, lithe and graceful with a powerful serve, penetrating groundstrokes, speed and agility. He has soared to No. 21 from No. 104 in the rankings since February, but has yet to win a match at a Grand Slam event; he missed the French Open with an injury. After losing to Auger-Aliassime at Queen’s, Tsitsipas said: “There’s not much to come up with when you play against him. He’s pretty much solid from everywhere.”


CreditFocke Strangmann/EPA, via Shutterstock

Berrettini, a 6-foot-5 Italian, won the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, Germany, on grass two weeks ago by defeating Auger-Aliassime in the final. Berrettini, 23, faced only two break points throughout the tournament, holding serve for 50 straight service games. He followed that performance with a run to the semifinals at the Halle Open in Germany. Roger Federer, who won the tournament, took notice of Berrettini’s rising level of play, saying he was “somebody to watch out for here obviously, but also then at Wimbledon.” Berrettini backs up his lethal serve with a heavy, penetrating forehand. Having just cracked the top 20, he arrives at Wimbledon as a true dark horse.


CreditAlastair Grant/Associated Press

Medvedev, a 23-year-old Moscow native, reached a career-high ranking of 13 after advancing to the semifinals last week at Queen’s, where he lost to Gilles Simon. Medvedev, 6-foot-6, has a strong return of serve and a solid ground game that make him a formidable competitor on grass, his favorite surface. Medvedev has an accurate, heavy flat serve that he backs up with perfectly timed, cleanly hit groundstrokes, and his two-handed backhand is one of the best on tour.


CreditGlyn Kirk/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Bertens, 27, beat four former Grand Slam champions on her way to the Madrid Open title on clay in May. The victory vaulted her to No. 4 in the world, and she will go into Wimbledon aiming to become the first woman from the Netherlands to win a Grand Slam singles title. A powerful 6-footer, Bertens has a cannon of a serve, which she follows up with one of the heaviest forehands on tour. In her early years on tour, she was known as a talented shotmaker who struggled to close out matches and lacked the competitive fire needed to beat the top players. She contemplated retirement 18 months ago, but decided to rededicate herself. Under the guidance of her coach, Raemon Sluiter, Bertens has become a relentless attacker.


CreditJulian Finney/Getty Images

Kenin, ranked 28th in the world, has had an outstanding European season, reaching the fourth round at Roland Garros by stunning Serena Williams before losing to the eventual champion Ashleigh Barty in three sets. She won the Mallorca Open on grass last weekend by beating Belinda Bencic in a highly entertaining final. A 5-foot-7 American, Kenin has one of the game’s best backhands, but her ability to remain calm and thrive in pressure-filled moments is what sets her apart. At 20, Kenin has a shrewd tactical sense and an awareness of her opponents’ weaknesses. With a deft touch, Kenin uses the drop shot and lob to rattle an opponent who would prefer pounding groundstrokes from the baseline.


CreditClara Margais/EPA, via Shutterstock

Dominic Thiem’s former coach, Günter Bresnik, has praised Bencic, 22, as an “unbelievably smart player,” and she revels in confounding her opponents on a grass court. In 2016, Bencic rose to No. 7 in the world, but a series of injuries sidelined her. She is No. 13 now, after reaching the finals in Mallorca with an upset of the defending Wimbledon champion, Angelique Kerber. Bencic lost in the final to Kenin, who saved three match points in the second set. The 5-foot-9 Bencic was coached by Martina Hingis’s mother, Melanie Molitor, during her formative years, and her style of play is similar to Hingis’s, with superb feel and ball control.

Geoff Macdonald is the women’s tennis coach at Vanderbilt University.

A Glimpse at the Future Excites the Rangers

STAMFORD, Conn. — In a No. 45 practice jersey, sprinting up ice and conversing with teammates, Kaapo Kakko looked like any other eager rookie at the Rangers’ prospect development camp this week.

But those other prospects were not greeted by a throng of clapping fans at the airport upon arrival in New York. Their every move has not been chronicled on social media since the N.H.L. draft on Friday in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Kakko, an 18-year-old Finnish wing, stands out for more than the speed and power his 6-foot-2 frame could soon bring to the lineup. The No. 2 pick last Friday, he is the highest Rangers draft pick since they selected defenseman Brad Park second in 1966.

The hoopla around him is in stark contrast to what Dave Maloney, a former Rangers captain, experienced in 1974 when he was a first-round pick as a 17-year-old.

Maloney, now an MSG Network commentator, said he merely received a phone call from his lawyer to relay had been chosen by the Rangers.

He said that MSG had a draft show at Madison Square Garden and that fans were chanting Kakko’s name “a half-hour before we even came on the air.”

Maloney recalled that he did not even visit Manhattan for the first time until he and his fellow rookie defenseman, Ron Greschner, were summoned for an exhibition game.

“We got out of our taxi on Seventh Avenue in front of the Garden, and we didn’t even know where to go,” Maloney said.

Kakko has explored Manhattan in recent days. He and the young Rangers were at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night to see the home team edge the Toronto Blue Jays, and they got their first glimpse of the Garden with a group tour on Wednesday.

The entire experience has to feel like a whirlwind for the native of Turku, Finland — population just under 190,000.

“It’s fun to be here, so nice,” he said. “My next goal is to play in the N.H.L. next season. That’s it.”

Kakko has been joined this week by two more pearls in the franchise pipeline: forward Vitali Kravtsov, 19, the ninth overall pick in 2018, and goaltender Igor Shesterkin, 23, a fourth-round selection in 2014. Both have been playing in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.

All three have a legitimate chance to impact the Rangers this season, which had General Manager Jeff Gorton in a buoyant mood three months before training camp.

“To see them all in the same place, to see the level of players that I think we’ve acquired, it’s exciting for everybody here,” said Gorton, who has had six first-round selections over the past three drafts.

Kravtsov was born in the port city of Vladivostok, more than 6,400 miles from Manhattan. He arrived in the United States two months ago to train and become acclimated.

“This is a big start to my career,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of Ranger games on TV. I pretty much know every player.”

Kravtsov may need to learn some new names by the time the Rangers open the season at home against the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 3.

The Rangers could make a splash when free agency opens next Monday. Forwards like Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, Wayne Simmonds and the former Ranger Mats Zuccarello are available.

The Rangers have blueline depth after acquiring Jacob Trouba in a trade with Winnipeg and signing the college standout Adam Fox in the off-season.

Among defensemen with N.H.L. experience, only Brady Skjei is signed beyond 2020-21, and the Rangers have decisions to make on the high-priced veterans Kevin Shattenkirk, Brendan Smith and Marc Staal, all of whom have two years remaining on their contracts.

Their franchise goalie Henrik Lundqvist, 37, also has two years left on his contract, and his 23-year-old backup, Alexandar Georgiev, proved himself worthy of the N.H.L. last season.

But Shesterkin, the same age as Lundqvist was as a rookie in 2005, may be his heir apparent instead. Shesterkin comes to the Rangers with years of international experience; he had a 1.11 goals-against average with 24 wins in 28 games last season for SKA St. Petersburg, a top K.H.L. team.

“Henrik Lundqvist is my idol since I was a little boy,” Shesterkin said through an interpreter. “I very much look forward to seeing him on the ice and learning what he does on the ice. Playing with him someday on the same team, obviously there is some work to be done in that regard.”

In February 2018, in a letter to fans before a trading deadline in which they unloaded several veteran stars, team officials vowed they were “building the foundation for our next Stanley Cup contender.” That promise is starting to manifest on the ice.

A crop of teenagers appears poised to help the Rangers and Coach David Quinn. Forwards Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil, first-rounders from 2017, have N.H.L. experience. A 2018 first-rounder, the 6-foot-5 defenseman K’Andre Miller, is making strides at the University of Wisconsin, where he will return for his sophomore season.

“Our core group has been fun, getting to know the guys coming together before we actually put on the Rangers jersey,” Miller said. “I want to get here — this is the place I want to play.”

Maloney acknowledged that maturation timelines are far different since his teenage years splitting time between the Rangers and their farm team. A top prospect like Kakko is way ahead of the curve.

“These kids are so much savvier now,” he said. “They have been coming to these development camps for years. Same with Kravtsov and same with Miller. These are guys who are the elite. There are good reasons to be excited.”

Helicopters, Cap Spikes and the Decision: The N.B.A.’s Wildest Off-Seasons

Kawhi Leonard proved to be the biggest difference-maker that changed hands last off-season. Will he have that distinction again this year?CreditCreditFrank Gunn/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

June 29, 2019

So many marquee names. So much money for teams to spend. This Sunday, starting at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, the N.B.A. could witness one of the wildest off-seasons in league history.

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers are trying to lure Kawhi Leonard out of Canada after he just led the Toronto Raptors to the championship. Kevin Durant is considering the Knicks and the Nets, as well as the Clippers, along with a return to the Golden State Warriors.

Boston’s Kyrie Irving, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler and Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton join Leonard — plus the injured but still deeply coveted duo of Durant and Klay Thompson from the Warriors — as the headliners in a deep free-agent class. It’s a lot to track — especially with nine teams expected to have at least $30 million in salary-cap space and roughly 200 other free agents in a league that offers only 450 full-time jobs.

The forecast for considerable movement is promising, given the go-for-it sentiment that has infected numerous front offices. The league’s sudden lack of a clear-cut favorite for the first time since Golden State’s championship run began in 2015 — provided Leonard decides not to return to Toronto — invites daring and deal-making.

Just don’t forget that the bar is rather high for any summer to go down as an all-timer, thanks to the N.B.A.’s reputation for transactional bedlam. To refresh you on how competitive this category can be, here are five standout off-seasons that set the standard for chaos:

ImageShaquille O’Neal took a break from his duties for Team U.S.A. at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics to hold a news conference announcing his signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.

CreditMichael Gagne/Agence France-Presse, via Getty Images

For all the anticipation that the July marketplace generates in the modern N.B.A., we have yet to see an off-season that can match 1996 for leaguewide madness.

The Knicks signed Allan Houston and traded for Larry Johnson. Michael Jordan re-signed with the Chicago Bulls on a one-year, $30.4 million contract — lavish compensation at the time. The Miami Heat handed out the league’s first-ever contract exceeding $100 million, to Alonzo Mourning, then saw their seven-year, $98 million contract with Juwan Howard voided by the league for violating salary cap rules, sending Howard back to Washington. In mid-August, after things had died down, Phoenix dealt Charles Barkley to Houston.

But all of that was the (deep) undercard to Shaquille O’Neal’s first foray into free agency. Jerry West, then the Los Angeles Lakers’ general manager, persuaded the representatives for Kobe Bryant, 17, to insist that their client would play abroad if he wasn’t allowed to join the Lakers. Then West also traded Vlade Divac to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Bryant’s draft rights. That created nearly $5 million in extra salary-cap space.

On July 11, 1996, Charlotte and the Lakers finalized the Bryant trade. Seven days later, after West had created another $2 million-plus in cap space by trading Anthony Peeler and George Lynch to the Vancouver Grizzlies, O’Neal agreed to a seven-year, $120 million contract to leave Penny Hardaway and the Orlando Magic for the Lakers.

Shaq has maintained that an infamous Orlando Sentinel poll just two days before he committed to the Lakers sealed his decision to leave; 91.3 percent of more than 5,000 respondents had said he wasn’t worth a seven-year, $115 million deal. The Magic had gone 60-22 in the 1995-96 season, O’Neal’s last in Orlando. They have not won 60 games in a season since.


CreditBarton Silverman/The New York Times

When the Golden State Warriors followed a 73-win season in 2016 by signing Kevin Durant, there was an outcry that the Warriors were ruining basketball by hoarding superstars.

Often forgotten is that a similar scenario nearly played out with the San Antonio Spurs in the summer of 2003 — except the howling was muted in an era that predated social media and the proliferation of sports TV debate shows.

The Spurs’ response to beating the Nets in the 2003 finals was to stage one of the most ornate free-agent recruiting efforts ever to try to sign the Nets’ franchise star, Jason Kidd. The Spurs put up Kidd at a fancy golf resort in San Antonio in a nod to his other favorite sport, leading to multiple sightings of news helicopters overhead.

The Nets, though, won Kidd over after he returned to New Jersey. Duncan, the All-Star big man, and Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich made a trip East to continue lobbying Kidd, but the future Hall of Fame point guard ultimately decided to stay with the team he had just led to back-to-back finals appearances.


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It was a line that not only defined an off-season but that will likely follow LeBron James well beyond retirement: “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach.”

He said it as part a widely panned television event conceived to give the best basketball player of his generation, and a native son of Akron, Ohio, an unparalleled platform to announce that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat. That James took advantage of the enormous interest in his decision to raise money for the Boys & Girls Club was largely lost as people wrote him off as egotistic and debated whether his plan, to join forces with Dwyane Wade and, later, Chris Bosh on a South Beach superteam, was an insult to the stars of the past who tried to beat their friends rather than join them.

It didn’t calm things down any that the league’s new-age Big Three, seemingly assembled by the players themselves as much as by Pat Riley, Miami’s team president, subsequently held a welcoming parade at American Airlines Arena. They came out in their uniforms, Bosh flexed and yelled, and James promised “not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven …” championships.

Significant money was doled out to Amar’e Stoudemire, Joe Johnson and David Lee, but none of the other deals that summer could compare to Miami’s machinations.

The league’s Player Power era, with James as the foremost star, was officially underway. N.B.A. off-seasons would never be the same — as James showed us again in 2014 when he left South Beach to go back home to the Cavaliers.


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Had the Warriors won the 2016 finals, chances are Durant never joins them. But, as any N.B.A. fan knows, they blew a 3-1 lead and lost to LeBron’s Cavaliers. Even so, Golden State also needed the good fortune of a mammoth cap spike. A huge increase in the league’s new television contract and the players’ union’s refusal to let the league infuse the money gradually hiked the salary cap by a whopping $24.1 million. That enabled the Warriors to sign a superstar they wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise — and it also led to a leaguewide spending spree that is rarely remembered fondly.

The Lakers committed $137 million to Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov. The Knicks gave $122 million to Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee. Several more questionable deals were signed, which made the major paydays to franchise stalwarts such as Mike Conley (five years, $153 million from Memphis), DeMar DeRozan (five years, $139 million from Toronto) and Bradley Beal (five years, $128 million from Washington) seem reasonable by comparison.


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It was a summer of dramatic change and reckless spending. Wade left the Heat for the Chicago Bulls, Duncan retired, and Derrick Rose, to much mockery, declared the Knicks to be a “superteam.” Durant’s decision to sign with the Warriors, which he made public in a July 4 article published via the Players Tribune, naturally overshadowed it all.


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It should have been the most seismic move of the off-season, but speculation that LeBron James would join the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent had been rampant for so long — and the decision was made so quickly — that it was hard to feign surprise when the deal was announced on July 1.

Then the Lakers were upstaged twice.

On the day after James’s commitment to L.A., news broke that DeMarcus Cousins, the former All-Star center who was working his way back from a ruptured Achilles’ tendon, was joining the Warriors on a one-year bargain contract worth just $5.3 million.


CreditBen Margot/Associated Press

The Cousins signing, to many, presumably made the 2018-19 season a foregone conclusion.

But a different deal decided the season. Masai Ujiri, president of the Toronto Raptors, shocked the N.B.A. by trading away his franchise star, DeMar DeRozan, in a mid-July swap that netted Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. It seemed to be an enormous risk, with the Raptors coming off a 59-win season. Also both players Ujiri acquired were, effectively, rentals. On top of that, Leonard’s health was in doubt after he sat out nearly all of the 2017-18 season in San Antonio.

But Ujiri’s off-season dice rolls, which also included his decision to replace Coach Dwane Casey, led to Toronto’s first title. James, for the first since 2005, missed the playoffs entirely.

Paralympians See a Big Welcome in a Small Title Change

Jessica Long, a Paralympic swimmer, remembered feeling invisible at a large gathering with the news media in Chicago ahead of the 2008 Beijing Summer Games. She sat in a corner with two other American Paralympians, watching reporters interview their Olympic counterparts without paying any attention to the three of them.

But now, Long said in a recent telephone interview, she finally feels as though she is on a level playing field with the Olympians. The United States Olympic Committee voted last week to change its name to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Before the vote, the national Paralympic Committee had been a division of the national Olympic Committee since 2001. The United States is one of four countries that house the Paralympic and Olympic Committee within the same governing body.

“We’ve arrived,” said Long, now 27, a four-time Paralympian whose lower legs were amputated early in her childhood. She has won 23 medals. “When I was on the Beijing team with my friends, we were like: ‘Do you think we will ever get to that point? Do you think people will ever recognize Paralympics?’ For it to be in the name, it's a huge, huge step.”

Brad Snyder, one of three athletes on the U.S.O.P.C. board of directors, said he had tears in his eyes when he voted in Chicago. A Paralympic swimmer who is now training for triathlons, Snyder said he was overwhelmed to be part of the moment.

“It wasn’t the Paralympians in the room driving this,” said Snyder, 35, who served in the Navy and lost his eyesight after an explosion from a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. “It was everyone else, and that’s what made it so powerful.”

ImageBrad Snyder, center, a gold medalist in the 100-meter freestyle at the 2016 Paralympic Games.

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“It’s really the right thing for us to do as an organization,” Julie Dussliere, the chief of Paralympic sports for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, said. “Paralympics has been part of the organization for a long time, and getting it into the name was that final push across the finish line to make sure it’s integrated into everything we do.”

Over the past two and a half years, the committee has been involved in a series of scandals, including the revelation of years of sexual abuse by Lawrence G. Nassar, a doctor who worked for U.S.A. Gymnastics and received the equivalent of a life sentence last year.

The committee’s chief executive, Sarah Hirshland, was appointed last summer in an effort to turn things around. She has been credited as the driving force behind the merger.

“I think since Sarah has come on board, we have made a lot of positive changes,” Dussliere said. “At this point, I think we have gotten really close to parity for everything that we do in the Olympics and Paralympics.”

Hirshland was not available for comment, a committee spokeswoman said.

The move toward the new name started last September with changes to Operation Gold, the program that pays American athletes for winning medals at the Games. Prize money for Paralympians is now the same as it is for Olympians: $37,500 for a gold medal, $22,500 for silver and $15,000 for bronze. Before the change, Paralympic medals were worth only $7,500, $5,250 and $3,750.

For many, that decision changed their lives.


CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times

“I was able to finally buy a house and to start up an actual life,” Andrew Kurka, 27, a Paralympic Alpine skier who is paralyzed from the waist down, said. “It’s a drop in the bucket, we get it once every four years, but it makes a huge difference.”

The merger mirrors broader changes in the way disabilities are discussed. Major League Baseball, which had used the term disabled list for more than 100 years, switched to the phrase “injured list” this year in response to arguments that injuries are not a permanent part of someone’s identity.

Mary Hums, a sports management professor at the University of Louisville, was one of those who had urged M.L.B. to change its language.

“I truly believe that the words we use shape the image of the world in which we live,” said Hums, who has worked with Team U.S.A. during four Paralympic Games. “Changing from the U.S.O.C. now to the U.S.O.P.C., what it does is it elevates athletes who were invisible now to a level of visibility.”

Coverage of the Paralympics has grown as well. In 2018, NBC aired more than 250 hours of coverage, a record and nearly double the amount the network provided in 2014.

“I am positive there are athletes out there that are very new to the Paralympic movement, and hearing the name change is going to bring in more athletes,” Long, the American Paralympic swimmer, said. “And honestly it really is all about the next generation.”

Luis Alvarez, Champion of 9/11 Responders, Dies at 53

Luis G. Alvarez, a former New York City detective who pleaded with Congress this month to extend health benefits to police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers who responded to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, died on Saturday in a hospice in Rockville Centre, N.Y. He was 53.

His family announced his death in a post on Facebook. The cause was complications of colorectal cancer, for which Mr. Alvarez received a diagnosis in 2016. The disease was linked to the three months he had spent at the site of the toppled World Trade Center towers in Lower Manhattan, searching for survivors and for remains of his fellow officers on nearby rooftops and in the toxic rubble at ground zero.

Mr. Alvarez, the father of three sons, including two teenagers, delivered a raspy appeal before a House Judiciary subcommittee in Washington on June 11 to replenish the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

He appeared alongside Jon Stewart, the former host of “The Daily Show,” who delivered a passionate call for justice on behalf of the victims.

The refunding bill passed the full committee unanimously, and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican majority leader, agreed to allow the legislation to go to a floor vote in August.

“You need to be covered,” Mr. Alvarez said in an interview on Fox News a week after his testimony. “I’m lucky to have the health care that I’ve got, but there are guys out there who don’t have it. In terms of going through the stress of fighting cancer, they’re also fighting the financial stress of the health care.”

He added: “I’m no one special, and I did what all the other guys did. Now we are paying the price for it.” He continued:

“I got sick 16 years after the fact. And there’s workers out there who say, ‘This isn’t going to happen to me. I’m okay. The time has passed.’ The time doesn’t —— is not going to pass.”

Before the House committee Mr. Alvarez said: “I will not stand by and watch as my friends with cancer from 9/11 like me are valued less than anyone else because of when they get sick. You made me come here the day before my 69th round of chemo. I’m going to make sure that you never forget to take care of the 9/11 responders.”

The next day, though, he was too disoriented to receive treatment. Tests determined that his liver was failing. Within a week, he was admitted to a hospice in Rockville Centre, on Long Island.

Image“You made me come here the day before my 69th round of chemo,” Mr. Alvarez told the House committee. “I’m going to make sure that you never forget to take care of the 9/11 responders.”

CreditZach Gibson/Getty Images

Luis Gustavo Alvarez was born in October 1965 in Queens. After graduating in 1983 from Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School in the East Elmhurst neighborhood, he served in the Marines and studied at City College of the City University of New York. He joined the New York Police Department in 1990.

Initially assigned to the 108th Precinct in Long Island City, Queens, in 1993, he was transferred to the Narcotics Division and promoted to detective two years later. After working undercover as a detective first grade, he sought a less stressful assignment and, in 2004, volunteered for the Bomb Squad.

Mr. Alvarez was recognized five times for excellent police work. He retired on a disability in 2010. He later worked for the Department of Homeland Security in a less demanding job, retiring when his illness became too debilitating.

His survivors include his mother, Aida; his wife, Lanie Alvarez; his sons, David, Tyler and Ben; and his brothers, Fernando and Phil.

The $7.3 billion September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was opened to emergency responders and their families by the federal government in 2011 to compensate for deaths and illnesses related to toxic exposure from the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of Sept. 11, 2001, and the cleanup during the immediate aftermath.

The fund is projected to be depleted at the end of 2020.

“We will reach the point soon, most likely this year,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said this month, “when more will have died from 9/11-related illnesses than on 9/11 itself.”

So far, about 21,000 claimants have received some $5 billion. An additional 19,000 or so claims are pending.

To redeem new claims and prevent reductions in prior ones, the House Judiciary Committee endorsed the bill sponsored by Representatives Peter T. King, Republican of Long Island, and Carolyn Maloney, Democrat of Manhattan, to extend the fund for decades. The full House is expected to do so next month.

“I did not want to be anywhere else but ground zero when I was there,” Mr. Alvarez told Congress. He added, though: “Now the 9/11 illnesses have taken many of us, and we are all worried about our children, our spouses and our families and what happens if we are not here.”

On June 26, when emergency medical workers met with Mr. McConnell, one man clasped the senator’s hand; when that man, John Feal, a demolition supervisor who lost part of his foot in an accident at ground zero, released his grip, the senator was holding Mr. Alvarez’s New York City police badge.

“For a New York City police officer to give up his badge, that’s like somebody donating an organ,” Mr. Feal later told CNN, “and Luis wanted the Senate majority leader to understand the importance of this, and to be reminded that people are sick and dying.”