NFL teams are known for being extremely detailed when evaluating potential draft picks -- often to the point that they can seem neurotic about their close study. As Saints tight end Benjamin Watson explains, the process of interviewing with all the NFL franchises is grueling work, and each interview is different. But some stand out as more bizarre than the others. Guess which team's intense style struck the 11-year NFL vet as over-the-top?

The NFL draft combine features lots of impressive athletic performances, and it's a great chance to see some stars of tomorrow working out today. Interest in the combine continues to grow each year, even though there is no actual football being played.

On the latest episode of The Rundown, a collaboration between TYT Sports and ThePostGame, we discuss how much stock we should be putting into the NFL combine.

Do you love the NFL combine? Or is it a colossal waste of time? Leave a comment below, and check back for more segments of The Rundown.

LeBron James has good genes. His son, LeBron James, Jr., is only 10 years old, but he's not merely a competent basketball player -- he's a downright impressive one.

Fourth grade is pretty young to make observations about a young kid's prospects as a professional basketball player, but Junior is making a pretty strong case that he's a force to be reckoned with. At an All-Star basketball tournament hosted by former NBA player John Lucas, James Jr. strung together a highlight reel that showcases many impressive skills on offense:

Not only does he have a strong three-point shot, but he seems to have mastered the floater in the paint well -- a nice asset that requires a soft touch.

He's very capable at crossing over and driving into the paint, but perhaps most impressive is his court vision and ability to find his teammates for open shots. On numerous occasions, James Jr. waits for defenders to collapse on him before he kicks it out to an open teammate or finds a wide-open man under the basket for a layup.

Even with raw talent, that basketball IQ can be tough to develop. Plenty of current pros haven't figured out how to balance aggressive scoring with floor awareness and timely passing (heretofore known as Dion Waiters Syndrome).

The way James Jr. runs the offense and blends scoring with passing does, indeed, recall the playing style of his dad. Pretty big shoes to fill, granted, but if he's this good this young -- this is an All-Star tournament, mind you, not just some YMCA ball -- the ceiling is pretty high.

For a little more film, check out this video of James Jr.'s AAU tournament performance from last year:

LaMarcus Aldridge is walking through the temporary NBA House next to Madison Square Garden on the Friday of All-Star Weekend. A wave of fans recognizes the 6-11 forward/center and converges. Aldridge's entourage parts the sea as much as possible, but he slows down to engage with fans. Aldridge patiently ducks his head down for selfies with a few children before being pulled away.

"The Bulls should have never traded Tyrus Thomas for you," a fan hollers.

Aldridge pauses, turns around, chuckles and walks on. Back in 2006 at the NBA draft held in New York, Aldridge was selected second overall by the Bulls. His draft rights were immediately shipped to the Portland Trail Blazers for the fourth pick, Tyrus Thomas, and Victor Khryapa."I remember everything," Aldridge says. "I was anxious and just wondering about where I was going to be and what team and what number. I was getting dressed for the draft and my mom was here in this city and my agent called me and told me I was going No. 2 to Chicago, but I was going to Portland. It felt good to have the information early and not be sitting at my table all worried, and it was a fun feeling for me. My mom was there and I knew I could take care of her with no worries."

Aldridge was back at Madison Square Garden for his fourth All-Star Game. Khryapa left the NBA in 2008 and Thomas is currently in the D-League.

Because he plays in Portland, Aldridge has perhaps had the most overlooked stretch of four straight years averaging at least 21 points and eight rebounds. With averages of 23.6 points and 10.3 rebounds at the All-Star break this season, Aldridge is well on his way to making that five.

But the league's quiet superstar, a Dallas native, wanted a taste of one of the NBA's big markets when he left Texas as a sophomore nine years ago.

"Coming out of college, I wanted to be in Chicago," Aldridge says. "I just loved the city and the tradition, but if I went to Chicago, maybe I wouldn't have had the opportunity to become the player that I am."

That has happened in Portland.

"It's a small city and I'm a homebody," Aldridge says. "I'm usually at home most of the time with friends and family. Being there is fun because I don't do much anyway. And those fans are so loyal. They back us up no matter what. I just love them."

Aldridge's growth has been slow and steady. Even within the small market of Portland, Aldridge was overshadowed Brandon Roy, the sixth overall pick in 2006. Roy, who edged him for Rookie of the Year, led the team in scoring in 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10, making All-Star Games all three season. The shooting guard also had Pacific Northwest roots, coming from Seattle.

Aldridge averaged at least 17.8 points and 7.5 rebounds in Roy's three All-Star seasons. When Roy went down with knee injuries in 2010-11 that eventually derailed his career, Aldridge had to be the guy in Portland.

Last season, Aldridge's 23.2 points and 11.1 rebounds were career bests. He finished eighth in scoring and seventh in rebounding.

Just short of his 30th birthday on July 19, Aldridge will become a coveted free agent after the five-year $65 million extension he signed in 2010 expires. Yet, Aldridge has only expressed a desire to stay in the Portland market. His argument: He wants to be the best Portland Trail Blazer ever.

"I'm definitely top two in every stat category in the organization," he says. "To definitely be the best I need to get a ring and get to the NBA Finals."

Aldridge trails only Clyde Drexler in points, field goals and rebounds. He trails only Drexler and Terry Porter in minutes played and is rapidly closing on Drexler, Porter, Jerome Kersey, Clifford Robinson and Jim Paxson in games played. Of course, Bill Walton might not have the stats, but he is responsible for the franchise's only NBA title.

Last spring, the 54-win, fifth-seeded Blazers took down the Rockets in the first round in six games. Aldridge opened the series with 46- and 43-point games in victories in Houston. Although the Blazers lost to the top seeded and eventual NBA champion Spurs in five games in the conference semifinals, Aldridge averaged 26.2 points in the postseason. Only Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and James Harden averaged more points.When Aldridge's Blazers found themselves left in the West with the Spurs, Thunder and Clippers, the team noticed it had something going.

"That was after last season," Aldridge said of the team's realization it could compete for a title. "We felt like we had learned versus the Spurs. We came back with the mindset that we could be better defensively and execute. Overall, trying to be better at every aspect of our game. We started the season off with those goals and it was showing. We had a little bit of a slide but we're back on track now."

The Blazers reached the All-Star break third in the Western Conference at 36-17. The team's current .679 winning percentage would be its best since 1999-2000 when Scottie Pippen, Rasheed Wallace, Steve Smith and Damon Stoudamire led the Blazers to the conference finals. (The Lakers came back from 15 down in Game 7 of that series, capped off by the Kobe-to-Shaq alley-oop, but that is a story for another day.)

"We feel like we have a lot of room to grow," Aldridge says. We feel like we can do it and we have to get better defensively every night and focus on the little things. For the most part, we think we're as good as any team in the league right now."

The core of Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Robin Lopez and Nicolas Batum is not getting the Blazers on national television every week, but it is putting wins in the standings. This season, Lillard reached his first All-Star Game as the second injury replacement in the Western Conference. When Lillard was snubbed from the original West roster, Aldridge notes, "I said some things I can't say." Portland's dynamic duo has developed a big brother-little brother chemistry, as Aldridge has watched the 2012-13 Rookie of the Year improve.

"He has that mentality of a winner," Aldridge says. "He gets better every year. He has ice in his veins. He's gotten better as a passer. I've watched him grow and now he's one of the best point guards in this league."

Aldridge is the glue holding Lillard and the rest of the mostly young team together. Chris Kaman and Steve Blake brought in some more veteran leadership this past offseason, but Aldridge is the centerpiece.

Despite his leadership, Aldridge needs his teammates when the going is tough. In a Jan. 19 game against the Kings, Aldridge injured a ligament in his thumb, and surgery appeared inevitable. Inevitable to mostly everyone except Aldridge, who decided to delay the surgery.

Asked whether he thought his season was done in January, Aldridge says: "It was. My initial reaction from the diagnosis was I was going to be out 6-8 weeks and have surgery and then reevaluate it. And I kind of made my own decision of wanting to play through it and I got the support of the organization and the doctors and tried it out. Here I am."

Aldridge said the team did not pressure him to have surgery.

"They supported me either way," he says. "When I said I was out, they all felt bad for me because I was going be an All-Star and was having a great season, but there was no pressure to come back."

Health concerns have gone on for a long time for Aldridge. Despite never missing more than 19 games in a season, Aldridge had one very rare scare with eight games left his rookie season. On April 9, 2007, Aldridge experienced shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat, a condition he had experienced since he was a kid. He was taken to Providence Hospital in Portland, where he was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a disorder of the conduction system of the heart.

Aldridge would rather talk about his figurative heart on the basketball court than his physical heart. Now almost eight years since his diagnosis, Aldridge has attended an annual checkup but never had a related issue pop back up.

"I had to have a procedure done and I've been good ever since," he says. "It was scary, but luckily I had the right doctors and I've been fine ever since."

Aldridge says he does not think about WPW when he is on the court or living his everyday life. Over All-Star Weekend, Aldridge was giddy he could take some time away from the arena to relax with family and friends. For the first time in Aldridge's four All-Star trips, new NBA policy would give him an extended break, including four full days off after the All-Star Game. After all, Adam Silver has to cater to the homebodies like Aldridge."He's done great," Aldridge says of the commissioner, now in his second year. "He's definitely handled issues quickly and the way he feels. I'm a fan of having this week off from the All-Star Game. Guys who were here in the past didn't really get a lot of time off. He gets an A-plus so far."

With averages of 23.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, there is not much that can bother Aldridge. Right now, he is leading his upstart team to a low Western Conference seed, and if he can stay healthy, the Blazers may be in prime position to make a run. With the West as wide open as ever, Aldridge and the little guys in Portland see a light.

Unfortunately for Aldridge, there are no more trips this season to see some of his biggest fans in Chicago.

"Fans say they wish they never traded me -- it was the worst trade ever," he says. "They don't understand why they picked Tyrus Thomas. Even to this day, I still hear good things. Even to this day, that's an honor."

Aldridge says he has never talked to Thomas about the trade. Then again, Aldridge does not talk with much of anybody outside his immediately friends and family and the Trail Blazers community. He is a homebody. After all, who knows if he would have succeeded in Chicago?

"Like I always say, I think everything works itself out. It worked itself out."

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So what if it started out as a novelty competition? The Beer Mile is now a full-on race, one that runners approach with veneration and tons of training. It's not as easy as it sounds: kicking back four beers in the course of running a full mile on a track. Even famous athletes like Lance Armstrong have fallen short of their goals, while mothers in their 40s assert their dominance in the fast-rising race. Here's some insight from Elizabeth Herndon, who set the women's world record in December, on what it takes for an athlete to succeed in running the Beer Mile.

Herndon, 29, is a geology professor at Kent State.

The make-or-break scouting event for every prospective NFL draftee for 2015 begins at the draft combine in Indianapolis. No single event, outside of a quarterback's throwing session on campus, comes close to having the shaping and formative impact on athletes' futures than these few days to come. Every single head coach, executive and scout, and even a few owners are in attendance. A player who performs dramatically in the testing, one-on-one meetings and position workouts can see his draft round dramatically improve. Players who disappoint may see precipitous decrease in their value.

Most potential draftees have been training for the past six weeks at a combine preparation facility. They have been on strict nutritional diets. They have worked with trainers and position specific coaches to perform the five drills and to show up well in the workouts. This has become a highly competitive business. Players freed from the practice and play season regimen can show dramatic improvement in their physical capacity.

The players arrive by position on a staggered basis over the seven days. They may have traveled a long distance and be greeted with colder weather. Most arrive somewhat fatigued, and the scheduling can be so intense that it prolongs their weariness. First up are the physicals. Players are measured and weighed like beef on the hoof. A series of medical personnel administer "the mother of all physicals." If a player's knee is slightly tender on arrival, it is throbbing after having a series of doctors probe it.

There are five physical drills that are offered. The first is running a 40-yard dash. In a speed-centric league, there is an obsession with 40 time. A defensive back or wide receiver who runs in the 4.3 range or below will see his draft stock accelerate rapidly. A sub-par 40 for a running back will produce a plummet in assessment. Linemen may be measured more by their time in the first ten or twenty yards. Two different times I had wide receivers who were the fastest player in the combine -- they both jumped into the first round.

The next drill is a bench press of 225 pounds. This is critical for offensive and defensive lineman. Players with long arms have a greater distance to push and may have difficulty matching their short armed competitors in number. I represented Igor Olshansky, defensive end from Oregon who set the record of 43 lifts back in 2004. It was broken the next year. Players are then tested in a vertical leap to see how high they can get off the ground. For defensive backs and wide receivers this is an important measure. Players then do a standing broad jump and a lateral cone drill to show maneuverability.

Teams have the opportunity to meet with players one-on-one in sessions that may include a coach, general manager, and coordinator or position coach. This is the chance to look a draftee in the eyes and make judgments about character and coachability. This is an athlete's chance to clarify any aberrational behavior in his past. A gifted athlete like Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has the opportunity to explain himself and quiet concerns.

Players are then able to work out at their position on the field. This is the chance for teams to see a player up close and assess his skill set in real time. For a quarterback who is not a surefire first-round draft pick, throwing in this forum can truly help his status. It is harder to make an impression, however, when he is throwing to receivers that he has never thrown to before.

The draft may occur in April and May, but many of the fates of college hopefuls rest on their ability to perform under pressure in the next week.

It was just a few years ago that runners everywhere were jumping on to the minimalist running craze, going to such extremes as wearing shoes built with minimal features to glove-like products featuring individual toe-holes. Some runners even reverted back to running barefoot, building up their feet for rigorous running over uneven terrain.

But now that research has debunked some health benefits of barefoot and minimalist running, we appear to be swinging back in a whole new direction -- and arriving at a new extreme. New running shoes featuring an unprecedented array of support and cushioning features are designed to give runners the greatest degree of assistance possible.

File these under a new trend: "Maximalist" running.

These shoes aren't just a gimmick or a product on the periphery. As reported in The New York Times, Olympic medalist Leo Manzano swears that maximalist running footwear cured his feet of chronic plantar fasciitis after about one week.

"They're not your normal shoe, but I actually think they're better than normal," Manzano told the NYT. "When I first saw them, because they're so big, I thought they'd be heavy. But they're incredibly light. My legs felt really fresh after a long run in them. It's like running on a cloud."

The shoes, which come from a brand called Hoka One One, range in price from $130 to $170. Last year, the company sold 550,000 pairs.

"I run 70 to 80 miles a week, which is extreme, and I was suffering from extreme issues," Manzano said. "So I need extreme support."

Thanks to the evidence of risk in minimalist running footwear, accentuated by a lawsuit filed against minimalist shoemaker Vibram, Hoka One One has a great market opportunity to sell a lot of shoes in the United States while leading a reversal of running trends.

There's no evidence that maximalist shoes are any safer or more efficient, but Hoka One One also refuses to make any such claims.

Anecdotal evidence like Manzano's testimony will have to do for now, but the true benefits -- or lack thereof -- of maximalist shoes will be determined over time.

NBA rookie Zach LaVine did more than simply win the Slam Dunk Contest -- he blew away the field. Following what might some day be regarded as a coming-out party for the budding Timberwolves star, LaVine made it clear he's focused on developing one character trait in particular: his confidence. Mentioning some of the game's greatest stars, LaVine lays out his plan to develop himself into a great basketball player.

Kyle Korver may not have won the three-point contest at NBA All-Star Weekend this year, but that's probably of little concern to the Hawks swingman. He's shooting 52 percent from three this season and is statistically on pace to have one of the greatest shooting seasons in NBA history. And while Korver didn't build himself in the mold of any one great shooter, he does maintain a short list of fellowed sharpshooters that helped turn him into a legitimate NBA All-Star.

What makes a champion? Hard work, dedication, and maybe a little extra time in front of the TV. If you don't think that sounds right, get a load of Stephen Curry's secret to improving his odds in the three-point shooting contest at the NBA All-Star weekend. Against a stacked field, Curry showed that while talent goes a long way, attention to detail often proves the decisive factor in crowning champions. Curry made 13 consecutive shots at point in the final round to win the event emphatically.

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