👋 Happy Monday! Welcome back.
Today's word count: 1,876 words (7 minutes).
The global death toll from the coronavirus rose to 3,038 last night, as officials confirmed the virus had killed a second person in the U.S. Just like the first death, it occurred in Evergreen Health hospital in Washington state.
The latest sports headlines:
Photo: TF-Images/Getty Images
Bayern Munich and Hoffenheim refused to play the final 10 minutes of their match on Saturday in protest of derogatory signs directed at Hoffenheim's billionaire owner Dietmar Hopp.
The backdrop: Hopp, who co-founded German software giant SAP and played for Hoffenheim's youth team, has pumped gobs of money into the club since taking over in 2000, fueling its rise from the fifth division to the Bundesliga.
Between the lines: "While that kind of spending is much more commonplace in American sports, it is frowned upon in Germany, which has a rule written specifically to protect against it," writes Yahoo Sports' Joey Gulino.
The big picture: This story serves as a great reminder of how much sports culture differs globally. As leagues like the NBA continue to expand, it's worth remembering that while the language of sports is universal, sports fandom — and the role that money plays in sports — is not the same from country to country.
"I understand this can be a hard thing to process for a lot of people in [England] because the culture is so different. I think what Hopp has done is to our mind not wrong at all. ... German fans see it as unnatural that a wealthy individual makes a club bigger and better than it should be. That's just part of the German football culture."— Soccer writer Lars Sivertsen, via BT Sport
What to watch: If players are willing to make a statement like this in support of a billionaire owner, hopefully they'll start to do the same for their black teammates who continue to be targeted by racist abuse.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during the 1982 NBA Finals at The Forum. Photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images
Speaking of billionaire owners pouring their own money into sports teams, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is in advanced talks to purchase The Forum from the Madison Square Garden Company, per multiple reports.
Why it matters: Ballmer's plan to build a $1 billion arena near The Forum triggered multiple lawsuits, including three by MSG, so purchasing the Forum from them would clear a major hurdle in the Clippers' pursuit of a new home.
The backdrop: The Forum was home to the Lakers from 1967 to 1999, an era in which the franchise won six NBA titles and built a modern sports dynasty led by Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
The bottom line: That hallowed Lakers ground could soon be owned by the rival Clippers, who have plans to carve out their own space and build their own image in their big brothers' old backyard.
From the vault: The ultimate sports bar: Athletes unwind at the Forum Club (L.A. Times in 1992)
Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Running in her first-ever sanctioned marathon, Molly Seidel took second place at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials to secure one of three spots on the U.S. women's team for the Tokyo Games.
The backdrop: As I mentioned last week, this event played out amid an arms race in shoe technology.
Go deeper: At Olympic marathon trials, the agony of fourth place (NYT)
Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
Zion Williamson scored a career-high 35 points, but the Pelicans fell to the shorthanded Lakers, 114-112, last night thanks to LeBron James' 13th triple-double of the season (34-12-13), which ties him with Luka Dončić for most in the NBA.
The bottom line: Two of the most hyped athletes of the 21st century are now going head-to-head on basketball's biggest stage, and their first two matchups were somehow even better than advertised.
58 years ago today, Wilt Chamberlain scored an NBA-record 100 points in the Philadelphia Warriors' 169-147 win over the New York Knicks, breaking his own record (78 points) from three months earlier.
The backdrop: The NBA in the early 1960s was nothing like today, so the events of March 2, 1962 reflect a much different time.
"We get to Hershey about two or three o'clock in the afternoon. There were no hotels for us to stay in because we wouldn't do those kinds of things in those days. We went straight to the arena where we had to wait around for five or six hours before the game.
"In this arena they happened to have a shooting gallery, little penny arcade, so some of the guys went there and I started shooting rifles ... and I couldn't miss anything. So if there was ever a clue that I was gonna have a hot day, this was definitely the clue."— Wilt Chamberlain
Postgame: In the locker room, Warriors stat guru Harvey Pollack scribbled "100" on a white sheet of paper. The result was an iconic image.
🎥 Go deeper: Wilt's 100-point game (YouTube)
Photo: Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Archery dodgeball, also known as archery tag or combat archery, was founded as a sport in 2011 and has since grown to more than 1,300 locations throughout the U.S.
How it works: Teams begin each round by racing to the central dividing line, where they grab as many foam-tipped arrows as possible and attempt to hit their opponents while simultaneously dodging — or catching — incoming fire.
What they're saying: "It's easy to think the most accurate shot wins, but really the game is more about being quick on your feet, being fast with the bow and having solid cardio conditioning," 37-year-old Darren Reckner, who trains regularly with his team, told WSJ (subscription).
Photo: Hector Vivas/Getty Images
Rafael Nadal launched his arms in elation following a 6-3, 6-2 win over 22-year-old American Taylor Fritz to claim victory at the Mexican Open on Saturday.
Answer at the bottom.
Kendall "If you can dodge an arrow, you can dodge a ball" Baker
Trivia answer: Jimmy Connors (109 singles titles), Roger Federer (103), Ivan Lendl (94)