Three things you need to know today (special all-sports edition).
U.S. Open golf: The U.S. Open, the second of golf's four major tournaments for 2011, tees off Thursday morning at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.
With Tiger Woods, a three-time winner of the Open, not playing because of injury, determining a favorite is difficult, writes GOLF magazine's Cameron Morfit.
Much of the focus will be on Phil Mickelson, who has four victories in major tournaments but has yet to win a U.S. Open. Mickelson has finished second five times in the U.S. Open. But Mickelson has never fared well at Congressional, Morfit writes.
Other players to watch include Briton Luke Donald, the world's No. 1-ranked player; Steve Stricker, currently the highest-ranked American in the world and a winner at last weekend's Memorial Tournament in Ohio; defending champion Graeme McDowell, and Hunter Mahan, who shot 62 in the last competitive round he played at Congressional, Morfit writes.
Mavericks' parade: The NBA champion Dallas Mavericks have their official victory parade in downtown Dallas on Thursday. The Mavericks finished off the Miami Heat on Sunday night in the best-of-seven NBA Finals, 4-2.
The parade begins at 10 a.m. and takes a 1.6-mile route through downtown Dallas, CNN affiliate WFAA reports.
Police are warning the expected crowds could create gridlock in Dallas, with as many as a quarter-million people turning out to salute the NBA champions.
Officials are also warning parade-goers to be ready for the summertime Dallas heat and bring plenty of water to the event, WFAA reports. The forecast is for 85 degrees and sunny when the parade begins.
Salute to LeBron?: While Dallas salutes its champions, a minor-league baseball team is acknowledging the Heat's LeBron James on Thursday.
The Peoria Chiefs, a Class A minor-league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, will give every fan attending Thursday night's game a replica of James' NBA championship ring. That means as each fan passes through the turnstiles of O'Brien Field, he or she will be handed ... nothing.
The Chiefs said in a press release they'd also like to skip the fourth inning in Thursday's game, a jab at James' NBA Finals performance in which he scored a total of 21 points in the fourth quarters of all six games combined.