👋 Good morning! Nobody wants to coach the Lakers, everybody is betting on Tony Romo to win a golf tournament and a track star accidentally impaled himself on a javelin (he's okay). Just another day on planet Earth.
Elsewhere in sports…
24 hours after Liverpool shocked the world by overcoming a 3-0 deficit against Barcelona, Tottenham pulled off a miracle of their own, coming from behind in the second half and advancing past Ajax in the final seconds.
What happened: Ajax entered the second leg with a 1-0 advantage and scored two unanswered goals in the first half to go up 3-0 on aggregate.
What's next: On June 1, Tottenham and Liverpool will meet in the first All-England Champions League final since 2008, when 23-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United beat Didier Drogba and Chelsea in a shootout.
Ian Karmel wrote a great piece on The Ringer earlier this week about Damian Lillard's buzzer-beater against the Thunder. His point about "being for the moments" resonated with me and certainly applies here:
"I'm not sure of the right way to enjoy sports anymore. ... Stats are more important than aesthetics are more important than story lines are more important than stats, and it seems like the only thing people really believe in is what they're mad about other people doing."
"We're up to our necks in information and interaction, but we wield both clumsily. I'm tired of being right; I just want to be happy, and that's why I'm for the moments."
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
We have arrived at the conference finals portion of the Stanley Cup playoffs, which has thus far gone exactly as no one expected.
📺 Tonight (NBCSN): Hurricanes at Bruins, 8pm ET
Photo: Ezra Klein/Getty Images
Warriors 104, Rockets 99 (GS leads 3-2)
Bucks 116, Celtics 91 (MIL wins 4-1)
📺 Tonight (ESPN): Raptors at Sixers, 8pm ET (TOR leads 3-2) ... Nuggets at Trail Blazers, 10:30 (DEN leads 3-2).
Last week marked the 28th anniversary of Rickey Henderson setting the all-time stolen base record. He finished his career with 1,406, giving him a comfortable lead atop the leaderboard:
Why it matters: With every passing year, Henderson's record feels more and more unbreakable. It's one of those statistics that tells the story of how a sport was played a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
What's happening: Thanks to the rise of the home run, and the subsequent dip in batting average and total number of hits, the art of the steal is slowly disappearing from the game, Free Baseball's Jeff Tracy writes in his tri-weekly newsletter.
The bottom line: "The idea behind stealing a base is to get yourself into a better position to score," writes Tracy. "But a home run will score you from anywhere, and there have never been more of those than there are today."
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
As details continue to emerge about the AAF's collapse, it's become quite clear that this was a classic startup tale of excited employees drawn by a company's mission, only to be thrown into an underfunded, mismanaged dumpster fire.
Dallas Braden makes history. Photo: Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images
Nine years ago today, Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics pitched the 19th perfect game in MLB history in a 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
The big picture: There have been four perfect games since, including one 20 days later.
In 1998, the losers of the NBA Finals and men's college basketball national championship game were from the same state.
Answer at the bottom.
Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images
The Yukon Quest is a smaller and younger race than the world famous Iditarod, but it's considered to be the more difficult of the two Alaska-based dog sled races.
Details: Both races are about 1,000 miles, but the Quest begins in February while the Iditarod starts in March, which puts it in a "much colder and darker part of the year," writes Deadspin's Elisa Shoenberger.
Go deeper: Shoenberger has the story of three mushers and their dog teams who got caught in a massive blizzard during this year's event. Wild.
🎾 Shot of the day: Gael Monfils pulled off an epic forehand shot with all his weight hurtling in the opposite direction. Look where he starts his jump, look where he ends up and — oh yeah — look what he does with the tennis ball.
⚾️ Catch of the day: Jackie Bradley Jr. saved the game for Boston with the home run robbery of the season.
🏀 NBA draft: Zion Williamson headlines the list of 66 players invited to next week's NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. See the full list.
🏈 College football: Highest-ranked FBS programs according to a new Academic Progress Rate (APR) report: Air Force, Northwestern, Clemson, Duke … Lowest-ranked: Florida State, East Carolina, Southern Miss, Tulsa.
💰 Gambling: Still one of the best things I've ever read.
See you tomorrow,
Kendall "All-in on the Blues" Baker
Trivia answer: Utah (the Jazz lost to the Bulls and the Utah Utes lost to Kentucky)
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