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On this day two years ago, the sports world lost Kobe Bryant. His legacy lives on through the countless players he inspired — and anyone who’s adopted the Mamba Mentality.

Ortiz’s Legacy Is Confirmed

Arguably the greatest designated hitter of all time has claimed a spot in Cooperstown — despite his similarly qualified peers being snubbed.

David Ortiz was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday — the only inductee in this year’s class — garnering 77.9% of the vote in his first year of eligibility. He’s the fifth first-ballot Hall of Famer in Red Sox history.

Though his stats don’t always stack up to those of HOF snub Barry Bonds — and like Bonds, he too was linked to PEDs, though less infamously — Ortiz made a major impact on the game.

  • He grades above the average Hall of Famer on three of Baseball Reference’s four Hall of Fame statistics. 
  • The Dominican slugger won the Edgar Martinez Award for the league’s best designated hitter a record eight times — three more than the award’s namesake.
  • Ortiz led MLB in home runs once and RBI three times, ranking 17th and 23rd all-time in each of those categories, respectively. 
  • Known for clutch performances, he hit 11 walk-off HR in the regular season and is one of only three players in MLB history to hit two in the postseason. 

His tremendous playing career was a lucrative one — his $160 million in earnings rank 40th all-time. 

Ortiz was also a leader for Boston, both on the field and off — perhaps best exemplified in 2013. 

His speech following the Boston Marathon bombings became a rallying cry on the Red Sox’s run to the World Series — where Ortiz batted a remarkable .688 (second-best ever) with two HR and six RBI for his only career World Series MVP.

Comeback Kids

The Clippers haven’t played a single game with both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George — yet somehow they’re still a threat in the West and a team to watch in the second half. 

On paper, the Clippers are an average team fighting for a play-in spot, but does an average team routinely erase enormous deficits? 

Los Angeles has made a habit of such heroics lately. On Tuesday, the Clips overcame a 35-point deficit in Washington, the second-largest comeback in NBA history.

  • They’re the second team to win after being down 7+ points with 20 seconds remaining — teams were previously 1-16,239 in that situation.
  • They’re the first team to erase a 24-point deficit and win three times in a season.
  • All three have come in the span of two weeks against the Nuggets, Sixers, and Wizards.

Leonard might return from a partially torn ACL if the team can stay afloat, while George (elbow) hasn’t played in over a month and could return in a “few weeks.”

There’s little reason to rush Kawhi and/or George back since they’re five games from falling out of a play-in spot. Plus, both are signed through 2023-24 with a player option for 2024-25 — and will earn a combined $255 million over the next three years.

And comebacks are nothing new for a Kawhi-less Clips squad. Just last season, they reached their first-ever Western Conference Finals after a 25-point comeback against the Utah Jazz.

Making Headlines

Australian Open: Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev rallied from two sets down to defeat Felix Auger-Aliassime and advance to the semifinals. Medvedev will face Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday.

NFL: Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski told TMZ that he’d retire if he was forced to make a decision right now.

NCAAF: Wisconsin has reportedly emerged as a potential transfer destination for former Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams. He is also considering USC and LSU.

Today's Action

*All times are EST unless otherwise noted.
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.

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