The ESPN Daily: Inside the Lakers’ unprecedented failure

LAKERS’ CULTURE OF FEAR AND ANXIETY

The failed reboot of the NBA’s crown jewel … The Lakers had Magic Johnson. They had LeBron James. Their future looked bright. *Narrator voice*: It wasn’t. That much is obvious now, but few people knew at the time just how dysfunctional the organization was behind the scenes. Baxter Holmes talks to current and former Lakers employees for an inside look at how “Lakers 2.0” crashed on startup. Read More

THINGS TO CARE ABOUT

Bill Buckner was more than just a play … Too many will remember the late Bill Buckner for the ball going between his legs in the 1986 World Series, but Tim Kurkjian wants us all to know about the totality of the player. He had more hits than Ted Williams, never struck out three times in a game, and was one of the most ferocious competitors in baseball. Read More

Boston’s reign of dominance … Unfortunately for those who don’t live in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the 21st century has been pretty darn good for Boston sports. The Bruins got off to a solid start in their latest attempt to add to that legacy, but before Game 2, how much do you know about (and we’re sorry to all non-Boston fans for what we’re about to say here) “Titletown.” Take the quiz

The NFL’s unfinished offseason business … We’re less than 100 days until the start of the 2019 NFL season, and hordes of questions still remain unanswered. We’ve got the details on the biggest unsigned free agents, the top position battles and the stories you’ll need to know before the first kickoff. Read More

THINGS TO WATCH

OVERHEARD

“My No. 1 goal is to play in the NBA. I wanted to be an NBA player before I ever wanted to be a college player.”
— RJ Hampton, on choosing to skip college for a New Zealand pro team, via Get Up! Read More

REMEMBER WHEN?

On this date in 2010, the incomparable Roy Halladay threw the 20th perfect game in MLB history, blanking the Marlins while striking out 11. It came 20 days after Dallas Braden’s perfecto, making it the first time multiple perfect games had been thrown in the same month.

WHAT’S ON TONIGHT?

Scripps National Spelling Bee preliminaries (8 a.m., 12:45 p.m. ET, ESPN3): Can you spell “strathspey”? What about “taurine”? Now you can, obviously, since we typed them out, but the young spellers at the biggest Bee of them all have no such help. Come and be reminded how much you’ve forgotten from your elementary education as these kids face off in a joust of logography.

Arsenal vs. Chelsea (3 p.m. ET, TNT): It’s another all-English European final as the Gunners take on the Blues in the Europa League title match. If Eden Hazard delivers this win for Chelsea, it could significantly soften the blow if he ends up leaving for Real Madrid. Read More

Blues at Bruins (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN): The Bruins started slowly in Game 1 but came roaring back off the strength of Torey Klug’s humongous helmetless hit. They’ll try to build on that momentum in their second Stanley Cup home game.

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