Bradley Roby is enjoying a strong rookie season as a defensive back with the Broncos. Roby was Denver's first-round pick, but his high draft status wasn't always a given because of injuries. Trainer Travelle Gaines and our panel of fitness experts explain how they trained Roby to excel at the NFL Draft combine:

One of the biggest questions in the upcoming NBA season is how well Kobe Bryant can perform after sustaining two major leg injuries in the past 18 months. Bryant tore his left Achilles tendon on April 12, 2003. Then on Dec. 17, 2003, he suffered a fracture in his left knee.

Taking into account the injuries and the recovery process, our roundtable of fitness experts analyze Bryant's situation. Here are Travelle Gaines, personal trainer for many professional athletes; Dr. Patrick Khaziran, a specialist in helping athletes recover from injury; and AJ Diggs, a basketball skills instructor:

By Jacques Slade
Kustoo.com

In the age of the Internet, data have proven to be one of our greatest assets. Nike Basketball took a similar approach to the design and technology behind the 12th signature shoe for LeBron James, the LeBron 12, which is scheduled for release Oct. 30.

Driven by insights gleamed from LeBron's visits to the Nike Sports Research Lab and his designer, Jason Petrie, the LeBron 12 incorporates Nike's newest technologies in several different ways. From Nike Zoom to hexagon-shaped outsole pods, to the classic inner booty sock liner, the 12 is meant to be LeBron's best shoe yet.

Nike senior product line manager Kevin Dodson gives us a deeper look in the technology that makes up the LeBron 12 and how the company used data to help put the pieces together.

In 1998 Tyree Washington was part of a 4x400-meter relay team that set the world record. Washington, Antonio Pettigrew, Michael Johnson and Jerome Young clocked a time of 2 minutes, 54.2 seconds. But in 2008, Pettigrew testified in federal court that he had used performance-enhancing drugs from 1997 to 2001. The world record was taken away.

That experience is among the reasons why Washington, a motivational speaker and coach, has established a foundation called Killaroid. Its mission to teach young athletes how to make the right decisions when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs. Here is more of Washington's story in his own words:

Stevie Johnson was born in San Francisco in 1986, which was in the midst of the 49ers' remarkable run to five Super Bowl titles in 14 years.

Johnson played at Angelo Rodriguez High School in Fairfield, Calif., less than 100 miles from Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. After two years at Chabot College in Hayward, Calif, he transferred to Kentucky and then became a seventh-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2008.

After six seasons, the Bills traded him to the 49ers for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2015.

"This was the home team," Johnson says. "As kids playing in the street, you always want to play for your home team. That's what it is right now."

Johnson is part of a receiving core that includes three-time Pro Bowler Anquan Boldin, two-time All-American Michael Crabtree and two-time Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis. On a broader level, Johnson joins a history that includes Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens. He is wearing the same jersey as those receivers he admired as a child.

"It seems like it's too good to be true," Johnson says. "What are the odds of playing for your home team? I never thought about this. I just wanted to be on the same level as those guys. Now, I'm playing for the home team."

Johnson played with Owens for a season in Buffalo during the twilight of the six-time Pro Bowler's career. Although Johnson says they did not talk much about the 49ers, Owens was a mentor in learning to play the wide receiver position. Johnson recorded three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons from 2010-2012 after his one season under TO's tutelage.

In Buffalo, Johnson played for four different coaches and made zero playoff appearances. In San Francisco, the atmosphere is more stable, but the franchise's glorious history means high expectations.

"It's pretty obvious once you step into the facility and talk with Coach [Jim] Harbaugh and the guys in the locker room," Johnson says. "It's pretty obvious what it means to be a 49er and they've proven it three straight years. Now, we're trying to win that Lombardi."

In his first year on the team, Johnson is experiencing a heavy dose of Jim Harbaugh.

"He keeps you on your toes," Johnson says of his coach. "He definitely takes care of you as a player. He's intense. He is what you see on TV, but he's cooler when you see him on a daily basis."

Off the field, Johnson, the 49ers and the rest of the NFL have dealt with a series of concerns regarding domestic violence, drug use and other non-football-related affairs. In San Francisco specifically, the 49ers have been under the radar for allowing defensive tackle Ray McDonald to stay in the lineup while accused of domestic violence.

Johnson says he is focused on winning a Super Bowl championship in San Francisco and tries to keep his focus on the field.

"At the end of the day, it's our job," he says of being an NFL player. "Everything that's going on around it, it's not going to sweet. We know that. We just got to continue to work, whether you're involved in it or not involved with it. You just got to continue to work. Everyone's doing that around the league and we're doing it in San Francisco."

The 49ers' new stadium is known for being a technological marvel, so perhaps it is fitting that Johnson is a spokesman for mophie, a California company that builds smartphone accessories such as remote chargers. Johnson plans on distributing some to his fellow NFL players to help generate buzz.

Jerry Rice had a rather successful NFL career. In a 20-year NFL career, Rice had 1,549 receptions, 22,895 receiving yards and 197 receiving touchdowns -- all NFL records. He won three Super Bowls, made 13 Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl MVP. It is easy to say Rice is the greatest wide receiver of all-time. In fact, in 2010, the NFL Network ranked Rice No. 1 on its The Top 100: NFL's Greatest Players list.

Now a decade retired, Rice has the opportunity to view the wide receiver position as a spectator, critic and coach.

"Julio Jones, Roddy White, Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Percy Harvin," Rice says when asked to name some of the modern receivers he admires. "There are a lot of receivers out there. I just look at those guys and appreciate their talent and what they do on the football field."

One player in particular who Rice scrutinizes is Johnson. The Lions receiver is only 28, but his 579 receptions and 9,492 receiving yards in seven-plus seasons is nothing to ignore. Johnson is a much taller and heavier receiver, although he lacks Rice's speed. Rice notes Johnson's unique athleticism and "Megatron" qualities.

"He can take the coverage off a secondary, he can out-jump you and he can strike fear into opposing defenses," Rice says.

On the opposite end, Rice can connect to the defensive backs of the current NFL. For two decades, Rice burned and embarrassed most of the cornerbacks thrown at him. However, there are certain modern defensive backs Rice would have loved to test his talents against.

"[Patrick] Peterson from Arizona, [Richard] Sherman from the Seattle Seahawks, [Darrelle] Revis," Rice says of notable cornerbacks. "You look at these guys and they feel like they're shutdown corners. You always want to go up against the best. I remember going up against Deion Sanders and Darrell Green and they brought out the best in me."

Sanders, whose 53 interceptions and natural athletic ability made him one of the best defensive backs in the history of the NFL, also made him one of Rice's consistent rivals. Sanders played with the Falcons, Cowboys and Redskins, all NFC rivals of Rice and the 49ers in his heyday.

"Deion and I, we talk about this today when we see each other," Rice says. "The battles that we had, the night before, he's pacing around, I'm up pacing around. We knew the magnitude of the next day and that it was going to be the ultimate challenge and we looked forward to it,

Sanders did, however, play one season in San Francisco -- a Super Bowl XXIX championship year in 1994. Rice remembers the showdowns the two had in practice as two especially talented individuals met day in, day out.

"We also had some confrontations during practice because you never wanted someone to outdo you, but I think that competition brought out the best," Rice says. "It made me a better receiver and him a better defensive back. I think that's why we were able to excel on the football field."

In his post-NFL career, Rice is devoted time to giving back to rising childhood athletes. Rice is working with Lysol as the first-ever "Healthy Habits Coach." Rice works with children and their families to explain the benefits of proper nutrition, exercise and hygiene. With school starting around the country, children are in especial need of Rice's expertise.

Field goals on the last play decided the outcome of three games on the NFL's opening Sunday, including the Steelers' 30-27 win against Cleveland. But it was Pittsburgh returner/receiver Antonio Brown who delivered the kick that fans will be talking about for years.

While running back a punt in the second quarter, Brown eluded several Cleveland defenders, then attempted to hurdle over punter Spencer Lanning. Instead he ended up kicking Lanning in the facemask, which got him flagged 15 yards for unnecessary roughness. But the play was one of the day's buzziest moments, and it blew up on social media.

“I thought he was going low and I tried to leap over him," Brown told reporters after the game. "It was just a bad outcome of a play."

Brown's move might been spontaneous, but his offseason goal of increasing his explosiveness featured workouts with lots of jumping. Check out some of the drills Brown did, and you can see why he was ready to unleash the hurdle attempt Sunday against Lanning:

Brown had a breakthrough season in 2013 with 110 receptions for 1,499 yards and eight touchdowns to earn second team NFL All-Pro.

See Slideshow >>

Pitcher Mo'ne Davis and her team from Philadelphia won't be winning the Little League World Series, but their run has been inspiring. Sports Illustrated featured Davis on its cover, and she earned lots of fans from coast to coast. One of them is Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

"I watched her pitch the other day," Kershaw said. "She's got a great arm. It looks very fluid. It was really, really impressive."

Could Davis eventually crack the gender barrier in Major League Baseball?

"She's throwing 70 miles an hour now," Kershaw said. "If she's throwing 90 at the end of high school, you might see her."

He did not write a letter, he was not the first overall pick in this year's NBA draft and he was not part of a month-long trade saga. But Kyrie Irving may be the player most affected by the Cleveland Cavaliers' summer circus.

Despite being rookie of the year Award, a two-time All-Star and an All-Star Game MVP, the point guard has had his struggles during his three NBA seasons. The Cavs missed the playoffs every season, and Irving pointed the finger at himself Wednesday, telling RealGM's Shams Charania, "I haven't been a leader -- not at all."

Irving explained that quote in mored depth to ThePostGame on Thursday at the Jeep Summer Celebration in New York City.

"The leadership part is an ongoing thing," Irving said. "It's no perfect thing. It more or less just the truth about it. The first three years I was in the 'role of being the leader' and I didn't really know how to lead."

As the first overall pick out of Duke in 2011, Irving was Cleveland's first superstar in the post-LeBron 1.0 Era, but came with a different pedigree. The New Jersey native can create from the backcourt, but he is far from the scoring and rebounding force that James is.

Starting this year, Irving will shift into the role as second or third-fiddle (depending on Kevin Love's play) to The King. Depending on how many years James has left, Irving may not be the "the guy" for a long time. Irving signed a five-year $90 million contract this July. James signed for two years but has said he intends to be there for the long haul, which is fine with Irving.

"You're playing with the greatest player in the world," he said. "That statement speaks for itself."

Although he's giddy about playing with James, Irving said being the face of a franchise in flux his first three seasons built his character even if the on-court results were not up to bar.

"I was the franchise player and I had all the expectations on me, which I'm cool with," Irving said. "Dealing with expectations every day made me hold myself to a higher standard. That's what I've learned to do. That's what I'm still learning to do."

This summer, Irving is a part of the USA Basketball team that will travel to Spain for the FIBA World Cup starting Aug. 30. Irving, not James or Love, is the one member of Cleveland's new big three currently playing for the national team. Irving says he is trying to stay "level," focusing on USA's play while the NBA world crowds around his Cleveland teammates.

From the roster spot, Irving will get a taste of playing with NBA superstars before joining forces with James and Love. With that said, he is not going to become an alpha male overnight.

"This USA experience is not going to propel me to become the quote-unquote leader," Irving said. "I'm going to use this opportunity to play with a bunch of great guys and cherish this opportunity. I'm playing with these guys I've dreamt of playing with. I mean some of the best players in the NBA are on the wings. That's something I'm enjoying right now."

Irving is part of a loaded USA point-guard pool featuring Derrick Rose, Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard. Irving made a start for the Americans on Wednesday night with Rose taking the game off. During the exhibitions, the coaching staff has not been afraid to keep cycling through the guards.

Of course, Irving knows the head coach very well. Mike Krzyzewski recruited Irving to play one season in Durham.

"It's a great honor to get the opportunity to play for him again," Irving said. "That's something I'll cherish for a lifetime. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to play for Team USA, but also playing for my college coach. It makes my job that much easier."

Irving knew about his coach's style going into the summer, but he recognizes other players are enjoying the uniqueness of Coach K as a man who leads players from NBA stars to NCAA walk-ons.

"It's a comfortable state for all of us," Irving says. "He's not one of these coaches that is overbearing and all the time hands on. He allows us to be ourselves, to have our space, our time and do whatever's needed to get ready for the game and he respects us. That's all you can ask for."

Between USA Basketball exhibitions at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday and Friday, Irving shot baskets with children along the East River on Thursday as part of the Jeep Summer Celebration at Manhattan's South Street Seaport. The event also included some soccer and ice cream sandwiches along with Rev Run (Run-DMC) and DJ Ruckus playing a DJ set.

"It's truly genuine and it's about the youth and community," Irving said.

Jeep, a USA Basketball partner since 2012, is donating $1 to the United Service Organizations for every use of the hashtag #jeepsummer on Instagram through Sept. 5 and nearly 40,000. Users of the hashtag can also win such prizes as a Jeep Wrangler, USA Basketball tickets and Jeep paraphernalia.

James Harden got his first taste of the international game at the 2012 Olympics as a reserve player for Team USA. The Americans won the gold with stars such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony leading the way. None of those three will be playing this year at the FIBA World Cup in Spain, and Harden will be counted on to provide scoring and leadership for the U.S.

Harden said his experience in 2012 and again now in preparation for the World Cup has helped him to become a better player in the NBA.

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