The ESPN Daily: Step aside, Kevin Bacon

THINGS TO CARE ABOUT

From ‘soft’ to an NBA playoff force … Nikola Jokic landed in Denver four years ago as a largely unknown, Coca-Cola-guzzling second-round draft pick out of Serbia. At his root, he’s like a 7-foot kid who enjoys “Game of Thrones,” sweets and his pet horses. But on the court, he’s got an affinity for a creative passing game, and it’s really working. Read More

What in the world happened at the Kentucky Derby? In the 145-year history of the Kentucky Derby, Saturday’s result was a first. We’re diving into what happened, why exactly the apparent winner was disqualified and what was at stake. (Hint: It was millions and millions of dollars.) Read More

Let’s check in on the rookies … The draft is over and many of the league’s rookies have already hit the practice fields for minicamps with their new teams, giving a glimpse of the future — and the work ahead. Here’s a collection of the sights and sounds from some of the NFL’s newest members. Read More

SAY WHAT?

Six degrees of Shaq … There’s six degrees of separation … and then there’s this. Can you believe that since 1984, every NBA Finals has featured a player who was once a teammate of Shaquille O’Neal? That’s more than 60 different players on teams he wasn’t even a part of. Kevin Bacon could never. Watch

THINGS TO WATCH

OVERHEARD

“It was just weird for him to be like, ‘I’m out of here.’ And not even have no, like, ‘Hey, Bron — kiss my ass. I’m out of here.’ I would have been OK with that.”

— LeBron James said he was stunned when he was told Magic Johnson had abruptly stepped down as Lakers president of basketball operations. Read More

REMEMBER WHEN?

It was 104 years ago today that the Sultan of Swat hit his first home run. The rest is history.

WHAT’S ON TONIGHT?

Milwaukee at Boston (7 p.m. ET, TNT) & Golden State at Houston (9:30 p.m. ET, TNT): Monday features two home teams with their backs against the wall, as the Celtics and Rockets want to avoid falling in a 3-1 hole. There’s no way either team wants to have to beat The Greek Freak or the Warriors three times in a row to stay alive.

Boston at Columbus (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN) & San Jose at Colorado (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN): The Blue Jackets and Avalanche might be the biggest Cinderellas in the topsy-turvy NHL playoffs, but both need to win tonight to keep the fairy tale going.

Philadelphia at St. Louis (8 p.m. ET, ESPN): You wouldn’t know it from hearing Philly fans boo Bryce Harper, but the Phillies are in first place. The Cardinals were in first before this past weekend’s series with the Cubs and would like to get back on top with the quickness.

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