Jason Kidd’s NBA Finals mind games fall flat, plus the rare legit Tiger Woods comparison

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Good morning! Stick around for nine years, if you want.

While you were sleeping: Celtics’ best player is … whoever!

Comps: Scottie Scheffler’s stripes

Golf nerds (hi: 🙋) can tell you the phrase “the best since Tiger!” will pique your interest but usually makes you groan with disapproval once you check the receipts. If you’re not a golf nut, here’s a baseball comp:

  • The statement: “The best since Tiger Woods” is like an announcer saying, “Bob is the first guy to throw 105 mph since 2004. WOW!”
  • The problem: Tiger was like a pitcher throwing 105 … for a 115-pitch complete game. Reaching 105 MPH isn’t the same. It’s just reminiscent of what he did … all the time.

But when Scottie Scheffler won yesterday at The Memorial, we could at least say this: This is what Tiger Woods looked like.

An actual “Wow!” stat from venerable The Athletic contributor Justin Ray:

“Scottie Scheffler is the first player to head to the U.S. Open with five or more PGA Tour wins including a major that season since Arnold Palmer in 1962.”

The thing with Scottie is this: He’s not Tiger, but he’s winning a ton. Like Tiger.

It’s U.S. Open week. Keep it here.

News to know

Alcaraz makes Grand Slam history
Carlos Alcaraz, the 21-year-old Spanish star, beat Alexander Zverev of Germany yesterday to win his first French Open title. It is his third Grand Slam title, a win that puts him on track to become an all-time great. He became the first men’s player to win his first three Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces.

Hurley’s Lakers decision soon?
UConn head coach Dan Hurley either will become the coach of the Lakers or won’t. He met with the team on Friday, but nothing was announced over the weekend. We should know in the next 24 hours. He is assured of a raise. Keep it here and you’ll know.

More news

Feedback loop: Answered in the form of a question

Thanks to the many thousands of you who voted in our Sunday poll on the best game show of all time — in honor of the retiring Pat Sajak. If we’d handicapped it, sure, Pulse Sportsbook would have had “Jeopardy!” the favorite, maybe even “Jeopardy!” -350. But we did not expect total domination on this level. The numbers:

A few thoughts in appreciation of an overwhelming champ:

  • “Jeopardy!” is the rare show capable of generating stars. Consider: Current host Ken Jennings’ legendary winning streak happened 40 years after the show’s 1964 debut. Allowing contestants to keep a title belt until beaten created a fresh sensation.
  • James Holzhauer breaking the game was yet another massive draw just a few years ago. This is legit, tense, competition on TV. As we said yesterday: Sports!
  • “Jeopardy!” gave us Turd Ferguson. I implore you. Watch. (But in seriousness: This is a multi-generational cultural touchstone. Even calls to the mound are accompanied by this show’s music.)

And yes, we got one vote for Giannis Antetokounmpo’s brother Thanasis. The Bounce can explain.

Watch This Game

Stanley Cup: Oilers at Panthers
8 p.m. ET on ABC
So far, Edmonton is down despite completely dominating Game 1. This is a hockey thing that happens when a goalie is absolutely unconscious. No, really.

MLB: Yankees at Royals
8 p.m. ET on MLB.tv
Yep, sorry for going Yankees-heavy the last few days, but this begins a series between two of the AL’s four best teams so far.

Get tickets to games like these here.

Pulse Picks

Sabreena Merchant has new WNBA power rankings, where we have a new No. 1, and Brittney Griner’s 2024 debut has boosted the Phoenix Mercury, who are 2-0 with her on the floor.

Speaking of the Yanks: Over the weekend, the Dodgers took two of three from New York — and their fans took over much of Yankee Stadium.

Lots of weekend baseball travel. Fans at MLB’s London Series: “My flight cost $1,200, but we just had to be here.”

Wait, Manchester United is pursuing Tomas Tuchel? What a mess. Lest you think we are hyperbolic, let’s quote the piece: “But seriously, what a mess. Wasn’t this meant to be the start of a new era of enlightened thinking at United under Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s leadership?” Read up.

Presenting the 2024 All-“Wait, They’re Still Playing College Football?!” Team, led by Miami’s ninth-year senior. Not a typo.

Most-clicked in the newsletter yesterday: When in London, celebrate a homer soccer-style, as Bryce Harper explained.

Most-read on the website yesterday: “Alexander Zverev’s case settlement does not give tennis the certainty it wants.”

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(Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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