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Good morning. A friendly reminder that Luka Doncic is very good at basketball. As proof, we bring you this ridiculous game winner from late last night.
- Nathan
In today's Sprint:
📈  Amazon’s assets
🥍  Schedule reveal
🥊  McGregor-Poirier part 3
Trivia: Since 2000, which college program has won the most NCAA men’s lacrosse championships?
  1. Duke
  2. Syracuse
  3. Virginia
  4. Johns Hopkins

STREAMING
Bezos Branching Out
Jeff Bezos and his humble bookstore turned bougie grocery (Whole Foods), cloud provider (AWS), gaming giant (Twitch), and eCommerce monolith has mostly left sports alone.
Until this year: In March, Amazon announced a massive deal with the NFL to exclusively stream Thursday Night Football for 11 seasons beginning in 2023.
  • The cost? A cool $1 billion per year.
The real shocker was Bezos only going for Thursday Night Football.
Just getting started
The problem with airing live sporting events is, after the fact, they lose most of their value.
What Bezos sees: Inefficiency and opportunity, just like everywhere else. Amazon needed something us sports fans can watch the other six days of the week to pair with its new one-night gem.
After announcing partnerships with two of the most popular athletes worldwide, Amazon is filling that gap:
  • 23-time Grand Slam tennis champ Serena Williams is developing several scripted and unscripted projects for Amazon, beginning with a docuseries detailing the tennis star’s life on and off the court.
  • Man U and France superstar Paul Pogba signed a similar deal to make a documentary about his life. It’ll be called “The Pogmentary.”
The only questionable part of the strategy appears to be the Pogba documentary choice of name.
Zoom out: By acquiring the rights to TNF and partnering with two global athlete megastars, Amazon set up a massive sports distribution and content network in under two months.

LACROSSE
Respects
Yesterday, the Premier Lacrosse League shared its 2021 schedule and a Land Acknowledgement message.
  • “We recognize that our games will be played on lands that have been inhabited, cared for and respected by Indigenous people for centuries. They are the originators of lacrosse.”
Tradition: Native Americans created the sport and their impact is still felt today.
  • The Iroquois National team placed 3rd in both the 2014 and 2018 World Lacrosse Championship, despite having a population of 125K compared to 320M for the U.S. (1st) and 37M for Canada (2nd).
  • “Tewaaraton” was the Mohawk Native American word for the game of lacrosse. It meant “The Creator’s Game.” Today, the Tewaaraton Award is college lacrosse’s version of the Heisman.
Bottom line: Entering its 3rd season, the PLL continues its partnership with the Tewaaraton Foundation to drive awareness of the sport’s Native origins and make today’s game more accessible for Native American kids.

AROUND THE LEAGUES
MLB
(6-6) Chicago White Sox 8 vs. (6-5) Cleveland Indians 0
  • Chicago’s Carlos Rodon tossed a no-hitter, taking a perfect game bid into the ninth inning before an errant pitch hit a batter’s toe with one out.
(6-6) Toronto Blue Jays 5 vs. (5-7) NY Yankees 4
  • Aaron Judge hit two dingers early in the game, but it was the Blue Jays SS Bo Bichette who put one over the wall to walk off in the bottom of the 9th.
(3-6) Washington Nationals 6 vs. (6-6) St. Louis Cardinals 0
  • Cardinals Yadier Molina became the first catcher ever to catch 2,000 games for the same team.
Champions League - Quarter finals, second leg
Manchester City 2 vs. Borussia Dortmund 1, Man City 4-2 on aggregate
  • After going down a goal early, Man City scored two unanswered (including this Phil Foden stunner) to eliminate Dortmund. City face Paris Saint-Germain in the club’s first UCL semi-finals.
Real Madrid 0 vs. Liverpool 0, Madrid 3-1 on aggregate
  • Liverpool could not get going offensively, and Real Madrid advanced to the semi-finals to challenge Chelsea on April 27.
NBA
(38-17) Philadelphia 76ers 123 vs. (37-18) Brooklyn Nets 117
  • The Sixers gained the tie-breaker in a tight race against Brooklyn for the East’s top playoff seed. Philly fans let the Nets’ stars hear about it.

WATER COOLER TALK
🥊  The UFC officially scheduled a Dustin Poirier-Conor McGregor part 3 on July 10 in Vegas. Not sure if we’re more pumped for the lead up or the fight itself.
🏈  Jadeveon Clowney signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns and will line up opposite Myles Garrett on the defensive line. Rumor has it Big Ben is reconsidering retirement.
🏈  LA Rams DT Aaron Donald received a criminal complaint for assault in a nightclub fight that occurred last weekend. As you’d expect, he allegedly did some major damage.
🏃  The NCAA voted to allow college football and basketball players to transfer and play without sitting out a season, given it’s the player’s first transfer.

SPRINT'S PICKS
Stat: NBA 2021 All-Stars have missed 15% of games this season, on pace for the second highest rate in league history, as dangers of a compressed NBA season become more evident.
Quote: “I think that’s unhealthy...just always thinking you’ve got to prove somebody wrong, you’ve got to do more, you’ve got to be better.”
Trevor Lawrence spoke to SI for a cover piece highlighting the future #1 overall pick’s mental toughness and stability
Highlight: This foul by a Ukrainian defender on a Northern Ireland striker was so ridiculous I watched it about three times.

THURSDAY WATCHLIST
NBA
Milwaukee Bucks (34-20) vs. Atlanta Hawks (30-25) - 7:30 ET on TNT
Boston Celtics (29-26) vs. LA Lakers (34-21) - 10:00 ET on TNT
MLB
Texas Rangers (3-6) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (4-6) - 7:10 ET on ESPN+
NHL
Florida Panthers (27-12-4) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (28-12-2) - 7:00 ET on NBCS
Columbus Blue Jackets (15-20-9) vs. Dallas Stars (15-14-12) - 8:30 ET on ESPN+

TRIVIA ANSWER
B. Syracuse has won five NCAA lacrosse championships while Virginia (four) and Duke (three) are not far behind. The sport seems to have more parody recently, as no team has won twice since 2014.

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