Happy Wednesday, everyone! Hope your week is coming along nicely.

For the second straight day, we have some big news that happened overnight to get to before we go over everything else. Late last night, the Broncos reportedly entered into a purchase and sale agreement with Walmart heir Rob Walton. Walton and his family are set to purchase the Broncos for a whopping $4.65 billion. That's more money than any American sports franchise has ever sold for.

OK, now let's get to the rest of the news.

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Good morning to everyone but especially to...


You don't win two straight Stanley Cups by accident. The Lightning showed their championship pedigree with a dominant 4-1 win last night over the Rangers to even the Eastern Conference Final at two games apiece.

  • Pat Maroon opened the scoring in the first period, and Nikita Kucherov doubled the lead in the second. Steven Stamkos made it 3-0 in the third before Artemi Panarin made it 3-1. Ondrej Palat scored an empty-netter late to finish things off.
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy made 33 saves on 34 shots.
  • After losing the first five meetings of this season between these teams (three regular-season games plus Games 1 and 2 of this series), the Lightning have won two straight.

Just three days ago, the Lightning were a period away from a 3-0 series hole. Now, they're headed back to New York tied 2-2, and the quest for a three-peat is very much still alive.

Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for...



As it turns out, losing a dozen games in a row isn't great for your job security. The Angels fired manager Joe Maddon yesterday after a promising start to the season was derailed by a 12-game losing streak. That streak was extended to 13 games last night in their first game under interim manager Phil Nevin.

  • Maddon finishes this stint with the Angels with a 130-148 record and zero playoff appearances.
  • The Angels' playoff chances surged as high as 81.4 percent in mid-May according to FanGraphs; currently they are around 30 percent.

Maddon is the second manager to be fired this season, joining former Phillies skipper Joe Girardi, who was fired on June 3. There are plenty of similarities between the two situations, notes our MLB expert Mike Axisa.

  • Axisa: "Similar to the Phillies and Girardi, the Angels gave Maddon a star-laden yet top heavy roster that was short on depth. Both teams have obvious roster construction issues, but, like Girardi, Maddon did not seem to do the best he could with the personnel available to him. His lineup and bullpen decisions left a lot to be desired, especially lately, during the 12-game losing streak."

The Angels can only hope that there are similarities between how both teams respond, too. Philadelphia is 4-0 under interim manager Rob Thomson, including a sweep of -- hey, look at that! -- the Angels.

Not so honorable mentions

LIV Golf participants can still play in US Open; Tiger Woods (injury) will not 🏌

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Yesterday was a wild and impactful day for golf. Let's catch you up:

We touched on Johnson's decision a little bit in yesterday's newsletter, so let's talk about his new league: LIV Golf -- the deep-pocketed, Saudi Arabia-backed league (here's everything you need to know about it) -- hosted press conferences and its player draft yesterday, ahead of its debut event in London.

It went... quite poorly.

  • Talor Gooch said he wasn't smart enough to understand sportswashing.
  • Graeme McDowell defended his decision to the join the league, in part, by saying "we are not politicians."
  • A media member was cut off mid-question and removed from a press conference for not being "polite."
  • The team logos and names, as golf expert Kyle Porter so eloquently put it, "both look as if they were conceived in an art contest for children of the league's participants."

Before its first event even started, LIV Golf made a fool of itself, and there are big questions to be answered, writes Porter.

  • Porter: "LIV Golf has applied to receive OWGR points, through which its players could maintain statuses as top-50 or top-20 golfers in the world so they can continue to play their way into the majors. ... If the folks running the OWGR don't recognize LIV Golf as a legitimate tour -- a monstrous, sport-shaping 'if' at this point -- then LIV Golf will be propped up by D.J. and Lefty in the short term but will struggle to sustain itself in the long-term once those players cycle out of playing in the majors and eventually retire."

On the other hand, it wasn't all bad news for LIV Golf and its players. The US Golf Association said LIV Golf players who are qualified for this year's US Open can indeed play in it. The PGA Tour has been adamant that players who go to LIV will face disciplinary action, but the PGA Tour doesn't run the majors. That's a win for LIV and a loss for the PGA Tour, noted our golf reporter Patrick McDonald.

Details emerge behind two more lawsuits facing Deshaun Watson 🏈


In the past eight days, two more women have filed civil lawsuits against Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. In total, there are now 24 such lawsuits that allege sexual misconduct by Watson.

Yesterday, more details from the lawsuits emerged in reporting from the New York Times. Among them are...

  • Watson used more massage therapists than was previously believed.
  • Watson's former team, the Texans, provided him with hotel membership for massages and provided him non-disclosure agreements.
  • Multiple women who did not sue Watson or go to the police also allege Watson of sexual misconduct.

You can read all the latest here. (Warning: This story includes details of alleged sexual misconduct.)

In late May, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league was "nearing the end" of its investigation of Watson. It's unclear if these newest allegations will impact that timeline or not.

Will Draymond Green make or break Warriors' title hopes? 🏀

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The NBA Finals have already produced plenty of storylines. One of the biggest has been the antics of Draymond Green.

The Warriors' fiery forward picked up a technical foul in Game 2 and could have, on several occasions, earned a second one and been ejected. But he didn't. And, more important, the Warriors won.

How will those antics impact the rest of the series? Green walks the fine line of provoking/frustrating opponents and hurting his own team. Remember the 2016 Finals, when he hit LeBron James, got suspended for Game 5, and the Cavaliers climbed out of a 3-1 series deficit to win it all? NBA columnist Bill Reiter says the Larry O'Brien Trophy could hang in the balance of his behavior.

  • Reiter: "Green is one of my absolute favorite players in the game, and his rebel-may-die approach on and off the court is captivating. Authenticity is rare, and rarer still when combined with actual greatness. But sometimes the rebel not caring has real consequences -- say like in 2016, or perhaps at some point in this series. Go too far on the court, as he almost did in Game 2, and missing gametime could be enough to turn things the Celtics way."

Also, here are our experts' picks for tonight's game. Enjoy!

What we're watching Wednesday 📺

🏀 NBA Finals Game 3: Warriors at Celtics, 8 p.m. on ABC
🏀 Sky at Mystics, 8 p.m. on CBS Sports Network
🥎 Women's College World Series Game 1: Texas vs No. 1 Oklahoma, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN