Best Rainy-Day Activity 2023 | The Edge Rock Gym | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times

If this were the Yosemite New Times, recommending rock climbing on a rainy day would not only be dangerous but an expensive legal liability. Fortunately, we are the Miami New Times, where our pancake-like topography demands that any form of rock climbing take place on manmade indoor cliffs. It's a form of recreation that allows even the most novice climber to (safely) ascend colorful rocks via climbing holds. In our minds, there's no better location to soar toward the ceiling than the Edge Rock Gym, which boasts more than 10,000 square feet of indoor rock climbing in Kendall (elevation approximately 17 feet). There's no need to "wait out the rain" at home when you can climb on a 15-foot synthetic boulder, 35-foot walls, or avail yourself of a regular ol' gym upstairs. No buddy? No problem: The Edge is equipped with "auto-belays," a machine that will catch you more reliably than any pal in the event you begin to plummet.

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Silver linings are often tough to come by in sports. But when it comes to the Florida Panthers' acquisition of Matthew Tkachuk for longtime Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau last offseason, the success of the blockbuster trade cannot be denied. Tkachuk didn't merely have a good season in his first year in Sunrise; he had an incredible season for any newcomer. Tkachuk ended the regular season with 109 points on 40 goals and 69 assists, landing his performance in the top five all-time points for a player in his first year with a new team. This confirmed the Panthers' suspicion that this trade set them up not just for the present but also, given that Tkachuk is just 25 years old, one that solidifies their offense for years to come. What may be even more valuable than his points is Tkachuk's infectious personality, something that shone through during some tough stretches in what appeared destined to be a disappointing year — until the Panthers found an entirely new gear after facing down elimination in the first playoff round.

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Besides making his second All-Star appearance and once again being the Ironman rock of the Miami Heat's regular season, Bam Adebayo is simply, as the kids would say, him. Holding it down on the defensive end is Adebayo's best-known claim to stardom but his offensive game made another leap this season as he averaged more than 20 points a game for the first time in his career and scored 38 points in a single game on multiple occasions. Adebayo — clearly a power forward playing center his entire career in the NBA — continues to dominate on a nightly basis against men much heavier and often taller than he is. This is not only a testament to his talents but his willingness to accept a challenge for the good of the team. While the team as a whole didn't have the regular season it would have hoped, Adebayo continued his ascent to becoming not only one of the top players in the NBA but securing his spot on the Mount Rushmore of all-time-best Miami Heat players — right next to "Himmy" Butler!

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Not every offseason a baseball team can trade for the prior year's reigning batting champion, but that's what the Miami Marlins did when they swapped pitcher Pablo Lopez to the Minnesota Twins for Luis Arráez. After hitting .316 to top the American League, all Arráez has done in his first 50 games as a Marlin was to sport an eye-popping .371 batting average to lead all of Major League Baseball by a long shot. In April, Arráez became the first Marlins player to hit for the cycle, swatting a single, double, triple, and home run in a single game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Not too shabby at all. Already armed with undeniably strong starting pitching, the Marlins desperately needed a stellar bat in the lineup — and they got one.

Every successful sports team has at least one player who might not jump off the stat sheet after the game but is just as vital to the team's success as those who get treated to the Gatorade bath. For Inter Miami, DeAndre Yedlin is that lesser-celebrated but just as important cog in the greater machine. A U.S. Men's National Soccer Team veteran, Yedlin is no stranger to big games that call for steady defenders capable of adhering themselves to the opponent's lead striker. Since joining Inter Miami in 2022, Yedlin has delivered that steady foot and then some. In 2022, Yedlin was named to the MLS All-Star team, becoming one of the league's 26 best players. He's since solidified his role as a team leader who has seen it all and is prepared to share his experience as the team competes for a title. You might call Yedlin the Udonis Haslem of Inter Miami — an accolade that should make any local sports star proud.

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In order to acquire wide receiver Tyreek Hill last offseason, the Miami Dolphins bet the farm (or, in this case, precious draft picks) to the Kansas City Chiefs. It paid off: In 2023, Hill casually broke Dolphins franchise records for receiving yards (1,710) and receptions (119). Hill wasn't merely the best player on the Dolphins last season; he was the best wide receiver in all of football. That might be quite the honor for most Dolphins football players, but for Hill, it's just another year on a résumé that seems destined for the Hall of Fame. From striking fear into the souls of opposing defenses to bringing swagger back to the Dolphins' locker room, Hill might be only five-foot-ten, but he stands head and shoulders above the competition.

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To say Stephen Ross' tenure as owner of the Miami Dolphins was tumultuous would be a gross understatement. It was rockier than South Pointe Pier. But as in life, sports offer redemption for those who pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and get it right. Granting final authority to general manager Chris Grier at last and then hitting the bull's eye with the Mike McDaniel head-coach hire could very well flip the script on Ross' current NFL owner narrative. (Which, let's face it, could do with a hard 180.) Those moves, coupled with the team's fearless pursuit of big-time players (see "Best Dolphins Player"), are helping to recalibrate the franchise's algorithm. As far as he is from perfect, you have to give Stephen Ross credit when it's due: The past 12 months have yielded the sort of trajectory that might lead to a Super Bowl parade if you squint just right. It'd be the first one in 50 years.

Jim Larrañaga was a hall-of-fame coaching legend before he took the Miami Hurricanes to the Final Four in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament (AKA March Madness) in 2023. We're here to report that he's now achieved statue-in-front-of-the-arena status. Going 29-8 and winning the ACC are commendable feats for anyone who aspires to the honor of being chosen Miami New Times' "Best Coach," but making those accomplishments a jumping-off point for a Final Four run ends the discussion. It isn't just the Xs and Os that make Larrañaga a great coach; it's his direct impact on the players in the Hurricanes' locker room. His presence alone causes each player to achieve their best. From TikTok dances after wins to pep talks after losses, it's tough to envision a coach better suited to lead young men.

Punters have a lousy marketing team. Most people associate punters with failure, but it's not their fault that their appearance in a game is the result of failures by their team's offense. In reality, they're a key piece of the 3D chess puzzle transpiring between the sidelines. For the Miami Hurricanes, punter Lou Hedley has been a secret weapon for years — and one they'll likely miss as he moves on to the NFL next season. Hedley averaged a brow-raising 45.3 yards per punt for the 'Canes last season, making him a semifinalist for a Ray Guy Award and the William V. Campbell Trophy for scholar-athletes. If that wasn't enough, Hedley is 29 years old. He earned his master's degree, then forfeited a year of eligibility to declare for the draft — a trajectory almost unheard of for a punter. Oh, and he's tattooed from head to toe and hails from Mandurrah, a town on the western coast of Australia. Hedley wasn't selected in April's NFL Draft, but the New Orleans Saints snagged him as an undrafted free agent.

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After helping to advance University of Miami to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in the school's history, it seems only fair that star 6-foot-4 guard Isaiah Wong would be named not just the ACC Men's Basketball Player of the Year but also, ahem, New Times' Best College Basketball Player of 2023. It was a tough choice — all of the 'Canes men's hoopsters shone. But Wong shone a little brighter, averaging 15.9 points, 3.4 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game. Then he announced that he was forgoing his remaining year of college eligibility to enter the 2023 NBA Draft, scheduled for... today, June 22, the day this issue hits the streets!

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®