Gary Smith, a four-time National Magazine Award winner, retired last month after 32 years at Sports Illustrated.

"We were on the Santa Monica Freeway, Ali's driving 70 miles an hour and his eyes are drifting asleep—the medication for Parkinson's would do that to him. I'm thinking, 'Oh, crap.' We're weaving between lanes, cars are honking, and I'm wondering in the passenger seat, 'Should I grab the wheel from the greatest champ of all-time?' The writer in me wants to let it go, let the crash happen just so I get a scene for the story. But the human in me was just getting scared as hell."

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