Monday, June 20th, 2016


Daybreak By The Lake

"In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned." So wrote LeBron James when he announced his return to Cleveland. And just a couple years later, his superhuman effort led the Cavaliers to an unlikely, record-breaking NBA title -- and ended Cleveland's fifty-two year championship drought. Here are the best moments from Game 7.

+ Bethlehem Shoals in GQ: "After spending years carefully crafting his public image, LeBron James's best version of himself has turned out to be the simplest one: The guy who came back home to end the losing once and for all."

+ Like most big sports stories, this one is about more than sports. It's also about those sections of America that have been left behind as an information revolution supplanted the industrial one. If you want to understand what this title means to northeast Ohio, watch the documentary Believeland. And read Paul I. Franklin on fathers, sons, and sports: "Anybody who grew up in Cleveland knows that our sports teams are everything."

+ Related: Minnesota, you're on the clock.

+ Even though, as a Warriors fan, leading with this story has made me throw-up in my mouth about forty times (though I suppose that could also be caused by the handful of Xanax I swallowed during Game 7), I'd like to thank both teams for giving us a much-needed break from reality. And I'll hold to the theory that the Warriors didn't lose despite the 73 win season. They lost because of it. Teams can only play so many big, high pressure, must-win games in one season. The best records don't end in championships.


Armored Foodtrucks

The NYT's Nicholas Casey on the brutal state of affairs in Venezuela: "With delivery trucks under constant attack, the nation's food is now transported under armed guard. Soldiers stand watch over bakeries. The police fire rubber bullets at desperate mobs storming grocery stores, pharmacies and butcher shops. A 4-year-old girl was shot to death as street gangs fought over food. Venezuela is convulsing from hunger."


The Host With the Least

In a troubling record, there are now about 65 million refugees around the world. And as Quartz reports, the world's least developed countries are also the ones hosting the most refugees.

+ Also from Quartz, this pretty incredible (but not all that surprising) story: Refugees in Greece need internet so badly that they'll stop a riot to let the WiFi guys work.

+ TNR: Why the first Olympic refugee team won't be the last.


The Mouse That Roars

In Vanity Fair, Nick Bilton describes the rise of the world's deadliest startup: "ISIS has truly disrupted the very notion of war. We don't need tanks and guns to destroy this enemy as much as we need technology and data. In fact, American officials don't even really know exactly who we are fighting and how many of them there are."

+ Using tech to spur human combatants could be a stepping stone to a war that is more completely networked: NY Mag envisions the hack that could take down New York City


Cincy and Sensibility

Can the most downtrodden and crime-ridden neighborhoods be transformed? And if so, is this the way? "It's a transformation that's happened in a blink of an eye, turning a neighborhood that in 2009 topped Compton in Los Angeles for the 'most dangerous' title into something that looks and feels like Greenwich Village. And it didn't happen by accident." How big money and a business plan helped Cincinnati salvage the nation's most dangerous neighborhood.


The Big Lewandowski

After a rough week in the polls -- and getting an earful from just about everyone involved in his campaign, including his kids -- Donald Trump fired his controversial campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

+ "She declined my request to talk. Instead, she arranged something more surreal: I could talk about her with Donald Trump, in front of her." Olivia Nuzzi on the mystifying triumph of Hope Hicks, Donald Trump's right-hand woman.


The Bubbles Bubble

I powered down a cold can of LaCroix sparkling water as I drove my Volvo to my SOMA office this morning. In other words, I am the ultimate cliche. Suddenly, everyone is drinking LaCroix. But it's not really a new product. And despite the international-sounding name, it's from Wisconsin. The folks at Vox try to explain why LaCroix sparkling water is suddenly everywhere.


You’ll Bonnaroo The Day

"It was also a hectic weekend for the police, who by the following Monday, had arrested or cited hundreds of concertgoers, mostly for public intoxication and illegal drugs." The Marshall Project on the lawyers who have customized their practices to serve a growing population: People busted at outdoor music festivals. (If you're at an event where about 100,000 people are partying and you're the one who gets arrested for it, you might want to consider pacing yourself.)


Game of Spoilers

Don't read this if you're not caught up on Game of Thrones. But, if you are, this is an interesting interview with a certain actor who played a certain character. (Last night's episode definitely made me rethink my relationship with my two Beagle puppies.)


Bottom of the News

"The pouch might not look like the latest techno-bling out of Silicon Valley, but it's become the go-to tool for a slew of artists -- including Dave Chappelle, the Lumineers and Louis C.K. -- trying to reclaim their live performances." WaPo on the artists who are forcing audience members to lock up their phones on the way into shows.

+ And a little more NBA fun. From The Atlantic: The Rise of the Free Team T-Shirt. And from The Onion: Cavs Teammates Sheepishly Tell Kevin Love They're Not Aware Of Any Postgame Parties.

+ Only a few days left to grab your NextDraft Internet Superhero T-Shirt.