The ESPN Daily: Kings of the North

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A first for the Raptors ... Ladies and gentlemen, your 2018-19 NBA champions. The Toronto Raptors took down the Golden State Warriors in six games for their first-ever NBA title. Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry led Toronto with 26 points apiece, while Klay Thompson's valiant 30-point effort was cut short by a leg injury in the third quarter. While the celebration is still going strong in Toronto, Zach Lowe traces the Raptors' unlikely path to a title. Read More

The Kawhi pitch ... The Raptors have their title, but what does this mean for the future of one Kawhi Leonard? He's one of the most inscrutable superstars in the NBA, but is there something that he really wants? Here's one way Toronto could put its best foot forward in an effort to keep Kawhi in the north for years to come. Read More


Tom Schwarz is looking for an upset ... He's undefeated, but Tom Schwartz is a huge underdog in his fight against lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. It'd be a Rocky-esque upset if Schwarz wins, but does he have a chance? The German heavyweight explains to us why he ha's gotten the opportunity of a lifetime. Read More

Six Anthony Davis trades we'd like to see ... He wasn't traded this season, but teams including the Lakers and Celtics are still all about picking up Anthony Davis in a blockbuster trade. Our NBA insiders have six huge swaps that could change the face of the league. Check them out on ESPN+. Read More

How the Blues went from worst to first ... They were literally the worst team in the NHL. That was the situation the St. Louis Blues faced Jan. 2, when they were mired in last place. Somehow, they managed to claw their way out of that hole all the way to a Stanley Cup title. Here's the story of how they hit the reset button and won themselves a championship in the process. Read More


The short, unhappy life of the AAF ... It was positioned as a spring complement to the NFL, and in many ways the Alliance of American Football delivered. Big-name players signed up, millions watched it, and it was hurtling toward its first-ever title game. But the AAF began to implode even before the first game kicked off. We have interviews with more than 40 players, coaches, executives and others to tell the inside story of the league's dramatic failure. Read More

A pitcher's fastest fastball ... Not all fastballs are created equal. Sure, they share something in common (being "thrown harder than other pitches") but sometimes a pitcher just has to dial things up, you know? Really reach back and let loose. A pitcher's hardest fastball can be up to four miles per hour faster than average and is usually reserved for very particular situations. We crunched the numbers to find out when pitchers throw them the most -- and to whom. Read More

How Aaron Pico learned to fight ... Two years ago, he was considered perhaps the best prospect in MMA history. Then he lost his first fight in 24 seconds. How do you come back from something like that? For Aaron Pico, who's returning to Madison Square Garden at Bellator 222, his story has changed quite a bit. ... Or, depending on how you look at it, not at all. Read More


Chris Brickley's Declared ... He's famous for his elite list of NBA training clientele. Yet off the court, he has remained a phantom. Chris Brickley talks about his past and his dreams, all while building toward the future alongside four prospects headed to the NBA draft. Watch


"Man. F--- everyone. You just got to believe in yourself and work hard and just keep believing."
-- Jordan Binnington, on the Blues' Stanley Cup victory. Read more


On this date in 1998, Michael Jordan's step-back jumper over Bryon Russell gave him his sixth championship with the Bulls. It'd also be his last shot as a member of that franchise. Watch


Tyson Fury-Tom Schwarz weigh-in (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2): Fury is one of the biggest personalities in boxing, so you won't want to miss his weigh-in against Schwarz today. Be prepared for an intense staredown and maybe even a little trash talk.

Michigan vs. Texas Tech (Saturday, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN); Florida State vs. Arkansas (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN): The College World Series starts this weekend, with the best players in college baseball competing to bring home a title. Before you watch, make sure to check out some of MLB stars' best memories from the CWS, then see if you can predict which of today's players will make it to the big time. Read more

Fury vs. Schwarz (Saturday, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+): Fury once said that he would never go to Las Vegas until he was boxing there. That will happen Saturday night, as the colorful lineal heavyweight champion defends his title against Tom Schwarz at the MGM Grand Garden. You can also catch the preliminaries on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes at 7 p.m. ET.