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Lineup

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SOCCER

24 Lionel Messi

The five-time world player of the year shares his excitement about playing in the U.S.

As told to Grant Wahl

SOCCER

30 Javier Hernández

Mexico's star explains the art of goal scoring

By Grant Wahl

NBA PLAYOFFS

36 The Thunder

OKC's Founding Fathers are hitting their primes

By Lee Jenkins

NHL PLAYOFFS

42 Goaltenders

A workhorse No. 1 is the key ... right? Wrong

By Alex Prewitt

MLB

46 Bullpen Strategy

Relievers remain baseball's greatest mystery

By Albert Chen

OLYMPICS

50 Katie Ledecky

Why the world's best female swimmer is so normal

By S.L. Price

Departments

4 SI.com

6 Leading Off

12 Inbox

14 Scorecard

18 Faces in The Crowd

60 Point After

Michael Rosenberg: A new stadium is in everyone's future

ON THE COVER: Yu Tsai (Messi) Greg Nelson (Durant)

PHOTO

Photograph by Greg Nelson

ON POINT A shared history has helped Russell Westbrook and the Thunder advance in the West.