👋 Good morning! Today's word count: 1,346 (~ 5 minute read).
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Six years ago, the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets made one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history.
The fallout: The Nets spent five years in a purgatory of their own creation, but have since turned the corner under the guidance of GM Sean Marks, who has found creative ways to acquire young, cheap talent.
Driving the news: Reports indicate that the Celtics are prepared to lose both Kyrie Irving (to Brooklyn of all places) and Al Horford this summer, meaning the future juggernaut is no more.
Sweden knocked the U.S. out of the 2016 Olympics. Photo: Steve Bardens-FIFA via Getty Images
The U.S. and Sweden, both of whom have already clinched berths in the round of 16, will face off this afternoon (3pm ET) in their final group stage match.
Teen sensation Zion Williamson is expected to go No. 1 overall to the Pelicans in tonight's NBA draft (7pm ET), the latest milestone in a basketball career that reads more like a superhero origin story.
Go deeper: The Ringer's Jordan Ritter Conn examines the path that Zion took to get here...
"Williamson is so big that even calling him 'Williamson' feels quaint. He is simply Zion, perhaps the most famous 18-year-old basketball player ever ... He is the kid who turned a tiny private school into a powerhouse and made college basketball's most-loathed program briefly cool."
"Somewhere along the way he became bigger than any city or team. The churning machines of recruiting hype and social and traditional media built a young man into a phenom. But now, as he enters the professional ranks, Williamson has become the machine."
Nikita Kucherov. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
The Tampa Bay Lightning were big winners at last night's NHL Awards with Nikita Kucherov taking home the Hart Trophy (MVP) and Andrei Vasilevskiy winning the Vezina Trophy (best goalie).
More winners (all awards):
Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/Picture Alliance via Getty Images
Bad thing #1: Adidas built its brand in the U.S. by embracing influential black athletes, but fewer than 4.5% of the workers at the company's North American headquarters are black, per the NYT, and members of that small group say they feel ignored and sometimes discriminated against.
Bad thing #2: The European Union General Court ruled against Adidas' claim that its famous three stripes, applied in any direction, deserve trademark protection.
Since the NBA draft lottery began in 1985, only four No. 1 picks have won an NBA title with the team that drafted them.
Answer at the bottom.
From Mike Sykes: Skateboarding's debut in the 2020 Olympics will give it a massive platform and global audience. On the surface, that sounds like a great thing, but it's also creating an identity crisis within the sport.
The backdrop: Three years ago, the International Olympic Committee voted to include five sports in the 2020 Games: Skateboarding, surfing, karate, sports climbing and softball/baseball (returning after a 12-year hiatus).
The big picture: Following the IOC's decision, skateboarders everywhere have debated the impact the Games will have on the sport's image and culture.
P.S. ... Tomorrow is International Go Skateboarding Day. Perfect opportunity to work on your 360 kickflip McTwist.
"They're drawing up business plans, starting marketing agencies, turning up at practice and even monitoring phone use. But by clearing out every obstacle on their kids' road to stardom, hyperinvolved moms and dads threaten to deprive young athletes of critical life experiences. And they're driving coaches and agents nuts."
"At their current rate, the Twins would bash 313 home runs in 2019, shattering the Yankees' all-time mark of 267 from last season. No team has ever had more than nine different players hit at least 15 home runs in a season. Barring significant injuries, the Twins could have as many as 11, all with a payroll far below MLB average."
"As the father of the bride, Jim said it was comforting to know firsthand that the man Paige has committed to sharing her life with was raised right."
We're trying something new this week called "The People's Choice," where we pose a question and then you, the readers, decide the answer through a week-long head-to-head bracket.
Click to vote: The champion will be announced tomorrow.
See you tomorrow,
Kendall "The Twins are the truth" Baker
Trivia answer: David Robinson (Spurs, 1987); Tim Duncan (Spurs, 1997); LeBron James (Cavs, 2003); Kyrie Irving (Cavs, 2011)