Fun Fact of the Day: Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook is married to his college sweetheart Nina Earl, who was a basketball player on UCLA’s women’s team. Can you say basketball prodigy in the making?
Back to winning! Last night, the Golden State Warriors bounced back from their Game 1 loss to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder (118-91) and tie up the Western Conference finals 1-1. The 1st half of the game was tight, but the Warriors went on a big run to cement the win in the 3rd quarter. Reigning 2x MVP Steph Curry led the team in scoring and wasn’t even derailed by the tennis-ball sized elbow he got from flying into the seats chasing after a loose ball.
Welcome to the Big Apple. The New York Knicks hired Jeff Hornacek as their new head coach. He’ll have to try and balance his up-tempo style with the Knicks president of basketball operations, Phil Jackson’s beloved triangle offense. What should I know about him? Hornacek previously coached the Phoenix Suns for 2.5 seasons. He started off blazing hot, leading the Suns to a 23-win improvement in his 1st season and even came in 2nd for coach of the year voting. Afterwards the Suns didn’t live up to expectations, so they axed Hornacek mid-season last year.
The Penguins tear through the Lightning. Last night, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning (4-2) to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals. The Penguins controlled the puck most of the game with Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Chris Kunitz all scoring 3rd period goals. The Lightning’s usual starting goalie Ben Bishop was still out due to a lower body injury, but he has been seen practicing so hopefully he’ll be back on the ice soon!
Seen and Heard
A blind eye off the field. Last fall, Baylor hired a law firm to review their treatment of sexual assault allegations against Baylor football players. Some ugly revelations. ESPN got ahold of documents that show Baylor officials (including coaches) knew about several assaults, sexual assaults, and domestic violence allegations involving football players. Most of the players didn’t receive discipline or miss playing time. Waco police love their football. In one case from 2011, Waco police even helped to keep an assault involving 3 football players out of the media. The police pulled the case from the computer system and instead kept the report in a locked office.
The first billion is the hardest. Maverick Carter is LeBron James’s high school friend turned business partner and agent. He was interviewed by GQ recently and may have revealed the amount of James’s lifetime Nike deal. When Carter was asked whether the deal was worth a cool $1 billion, he smiled and pointed toward the sky. Quit playing coy--was it more than a billion??!!! That’s a huuuuge rounding error from earlier estimates that were in the $400-600M range.
The Eastern Conference finals continue! Toronto Raptors @ Cleveland Cavaliers—the Cavs lead the series 1-0, 8:30pm ET on ESPN
The Western Conference finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue! St. Louis Blues @ San Jose Sharks—the series is tied 1-1, 9pm ET on NBCSN