👋 Good morning! First of all, Happy Thanksgiving everybody (h/t Dan Snyder).
Today's word count: 1,694 words (6 minutes)
Photo: Mike Young/Getty Images
David Stern, who served as the NBA's commissioner from 1984 through 2014, died on Wednesday following a three-week hospitalization after suffering a brain hemorrhage on Dec. 12. He was 77.
Why he mattered: The son of a Manhattan deli owner, Stern helped turn a modest regional sport into a global behemoth, launched the WNBA, understood where the sports world was headed long before it got there and was a good man.
What they're saying: Most obituaries read like longwinded Wikipedia entries. But with Stern, the vast majority have been more profound — pulling back the curtain on who he really was; how he treated people; what he believed.
TrueHoop's Henry Abbott wrote the best of the bunch — a remarkable tribute filled with memorable anecdotes and honest analysis. Here's how it starts:
Josh Allen, Deshaun Watson, Derrick Henry, Tom Brady. Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Dalvin Cook, Michael Thomas, Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz. Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. — Indiana was up 22-9 late the fourth quarter of the Gator Bowl and had a 97.7% chance of winning their first bowl since 1991 (longest drought by a Power 5 school), but Tennessee scored twice in the final five minutes to pull off the miracle, 23-22.
DALLAS — Amid a chorus of "MVP!" chants, Luka Dončić put up 31 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Mavericks past the Nets, 123-111, and pull Dallas within a game of Houston for fourth place in the West.
KAPALUA, HAWAII — The 2020 PGA Tour season officially kicked off yesterday at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where Chile's Joaquín Niemann (above) holds a one stroke lead over Justin Thomas.
Buffalo's Jack Eichel and Edmonton's Connor McDavid — forever linked after being selected first (McDavid) and second (Eichel) in the 2015 draft — went head-to-head for the ninth time last night.
Go deeper: NHL All-Star Game rosters revealed (they both made it, of course)
🥍 7th team
Not a single NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL team has a dog as its primary logo. Kind of weird considering how prominent dogs are in society, right? Enter the Premier Lacrosse League, whose first expansion team, and seventh team overall, will be known as Waterdogs Lacrosse Club.
💵 40 states
28 college football coaches and 12 college basketball coaches are the highest-paid public employees in their respective states. That's 40 out of 50 states where a college sports coach is the top-earning public official. See for yourself.
🏀 2 undefeated teams
No. 8 Auburn (12-0) and No. 13 San Diego State (13-0) are the only two undefeated teams left in men's D-I college hoops. The Tigers begin SEC play against Mississippi State tomorrow, while the Aztecs face a dangerous Utah State team that began the year ranked No. 17.
100 years ago today, the Yankees purchased Babe Ruth from the Red Sox for $100,000.
Fun fact: Exactly 53 years after the Babe's historic signing, George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees from CBS, making Jan. 3 the most significant date in franchise history.
Photo: Claus Bech/AFP via Getty Images
Magnus Carlsen is the best chess player on the planet — and he just so happens to be one of the best fantasy soccer players, too.
The bottom line: The Magnus Carlsen of fantasy soccer is... Magnus Carlsen.
Go deeper: Magnus Carlsen explains how his mind works (YouTube)
Now that Jason Garrett has been fired, all six active head coaches who began their NFL head coaching careers in 2010 or earlier have won Super Bowls.
Answer at the bottom.
Enjoy the weekend,
Kendall "Come work with me" Baker
Trivia answer: Bill Belichick, Sean Payton, Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh, Pete Carroll, Jon Gruden