👋 Happy Tuesday morning! And happy Tuesday night...
Former do-it-all point guard and current Twitter analyst Magic Johnson joined ESPN's "First Take" yesterday morning to explain his decision to step down as the Los Angeles Lakers' president of basketball operations last month.
What happened: Throughout the interview, Magic described an organization lacking a true chain of command and in desperate need of a more organized power structure.
Between the lines: Magic's main target yesterday was Pelinka, who he claimed was talking negatively about him behind his back — specifically telling people that he wasn't working hard.
The bottom line: We should take these comments with a grain of salt, as we're only getting Magic's side of the story and I sense he was a much bigger part of the problem than he realizes. Overall, though, this is the crux of the issue:
"Jeanie needs to empower someone. … What happens is everyone has their opinions and there is so much information coming at her. When I say, 'We have to do this,' she can't make a decision because people are saying, 'Don't go Magic's way, go left.' … You can't run a corporation like this. You can't let everyone think they can have a voice or opinion about the final decision."— Magic Johnson
P.S. ... Is this the most disrespectful question of all time? I can't stop watching.
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spotlight Series: Each day this week, we'll be highlighting a sports-related company that's worth knowing more about. Yesterday we covered Fanatics. Today we'll be covering Nasdaq.
When you think of Nasdaq, chances are you think of the U.S.-based stock exchange. However, the company has numerous other lines of business, none more interesting than their foray into sports betting.
What Nasdaq does: In addition to operating its own stock exchange in New York, Nasdaq is a technology provider for other global marketplaces. One of its core customers: sports betting operators.
The backdrop: The rise of in-play betting (ability to place bets after events have started) has taken the systems that were built for the retail or very early online eras, and it has completely overwhelmed them. Everything has been digitized and, in the process, sped up.
The bottom line: The same changes that have happened to the financial markets over the past few decades are happening to the sports betting markets, too, making Nasdaq an ideal partner for sports books around the globe.
College softball: Trine University (Indiana) advanced to the Division III Women's College World Series after executing the hidden-ball trick of the century. You have to see this.
College softball (cont'd): Meanwhile in Division I, top-seeded Oklahoma was one of seven seeded teams facing win-or-go home games on Sunday. All seven prevailed.
Media: With the WNBA set to tip-off on Friday, The Athletic just announced that its expanding its coverage to give readers on-the-ground access to all 12 teams. Love to see it.
Hockey: A month after the Canadian Women's Hockey League folded, over 200 of the world's top players have formally launched the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association in an effort to help create a "single, viable women's professional league in North America."
Soccer: Lyon (France), the gold standard in women's club soccer, beat Barcelona 4-1 on Saturday to claim its record fourth straight Champions League title.
Track and field: Championship sprinter Dutee Chand, 23, has become India's first openly gay pro athlete, less than a year after the country's top court overturned a longstanding ban on gay sex.
Photo: Steve Dykes/Getty Images
From Mike Sykes: After months of internal discussion, the NCAA has opted not to govern and hold championships for collegiate esports, Sports Business Journal reports.
The backdrop: The NCAA hired a consulting firm to research what esports would look like under their umbrella. Long story short, they don't really know.
Why it matters: Had the NCAA decided to get into esports, it would have instantly provided much-needed infrastructure for an industry that lacks a true talent pipeline. So this stings a little bit.
The bottom line: The NCAA is done with esports for now, leaving third-party organizations to continue growing the industry and establishing leagues and competitions.
Photo: Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images
40 years ago today, the Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final to win their fourth consecutive championship.
🎥 Watch: Trophy ceremony
Mike Trout is one of six AL players to hit 250 homers before their age 28 season.
Answer at the bottom.
BALI, INDONESIA — Carissa Moore of Hawaii exits the water after a freesurf session at the 2019 Corona Bali Protected, a World Surf League event. Go deeper.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND — Rafael Alba of Cuba competes against Maicon Siqueira of Brazil in the semifinal of the Mens +87kg during Day 5 of the World Taekwondo Championships. See all the medal winners.
ONTARIO, CALIFORNIA — Cyclists during Stage 6 of the 14th Amgen Tour of California, the only World Tour race in the U.S. Cool video showing the routes the men and women took.
Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Axios Pick 3 is powered by The Action Network, your one-stop shop for all things sports betting. Download the app today.
1. 🏀 Will the Bucks (-2.5) cover the spread against the Raptors?
2. 🏒 Will the Sharks score over or under 2.5 goals against the Blues?
3. 🏀 How many combined points and rebounds will Giannis have tonight?
🎰 Play now: Make your picks (cutoff time: 8pm ET)
Yesterday's results: 25.2% correctly predicted that the Warriors (-3.5) would NOT cover the spread … 41.7% correctly predicted that Warriors-Trail Blazers would go over 220 points … 8.3% correctly predicted that Jake Arrieta would surrender 1 run against the Cubs.
See you tomorrow,
Kendall "Poor Frank" Baker
Trivia answer: Alex Rodriguez, Jimmie Foxx, Ken Griffey Jr., Mickey Mantle and Juan Gonzalez