Tom Goldman

With a few minutes left in game two of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, this past Sunday, something unremarkable happened: Quinn Cook scored.

It was a layup, and it happened when the game already was decided and the bench players, like Warriors reserve guard Cook, were on the court. Unremarkable. Still, there was Cook in a Warriors uniform, playing and scoring in the Finals. Kind of amazing for those who followed his story.

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DETROW: Tiger Woods made his much-anticipated return to the Masters this week, and Shohei Ohtani, a pitcher who can hit, is tearing it up for the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles.

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Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy ended his drought in convincing fashion Sunday.

The four-time major tournament winner went on a final-round birdie binge to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla. It was his first victory since 2016. McIlroy pulled away at the end with five birdies on the last six holes for an 8-under par 64.

As dominant as his win was, McIlroy shared the spotlight with Tiger Woods, who finished eight shots back.

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GONYEA: Tiger Woods is building another comeback, and the Paralympics are intersecting with global politics. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins me now. Good morning, Tom.

The Paralympics begins a 10-day run Friday in South Korea, featuring the world's best athletes with disabilities. Close to 700 athletes are gathered in Pyeongchang, where they'll compete in six sports, including alpine skiing, biathlon and snowboarding.

Most of these athletes have dramatic stories — about succeeding in sport despite physical disabilities, and about the journeys that led them to South Korea.

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We live in an age of heightened awareness about concussions. From battlefields around the world to football fields in the U.S., we've heard about the dangers caused when the brain rattles around inside the skull and the possible link between concussions and the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

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The U.S. Figure Skating Championships ended Sunday in San Jose, Calif., with some new champions in place and, even more significantly, an Olympic team.

Fourteen skaters in individual, pairs and dance categories will travel to South Korea next month to try to bolster America's sterling reputation in one of the Olympics' most popular sports.

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I'm Scott Simon. Just when we need it - time for sports.

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SIMON: The Major League playoffs have begun. Who are the defending champion of the world? Oh, I remember. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Tom, thanks so much for being with us.

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NFL quarterback Cam Newton is in the midst of another controversy. Newton made a comment to a female football writer on Wednesday that's being called sexist by some, simply dumb by others. NPR's Tom Goldman has our report.

The tumult in the sports world continued Monday after President Trump's incendiary remarks criticizing NFL players who have protested racial inequality during the playing of the national anthem. While the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals showed solidarity with the protesters before their Monday night football game, NASCAR figures and Olympic athletes also weighed in.

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And what is sports these days? The president of the United States is speaking of sports from the bully - and I guess I do mean bully - pulpit and tragic football news this week. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us.

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