Cardiff fans plan protest march

first_imgDetails of protests planned by Cardiff fans for March 22 over the club’s change from blue to red shirts have been released. The Welsh outfit play Liverpool at Cardiff City Stadium in the Barclays Premier League at 3pm that day and a group of home supporters are set to march to the venue from the nearby Admiral Napier pub an hour before kick-off. Having reached the ground, they then plan to sing “pro-blue songs” and give a “show of blue pride” outside the main reception area. It is proposed that they will then once again make their point known from the stands from 19 minutes and 27 seconds into the match with scarves, flags and songs. Cardiff won the FA Cup, their only major honour, in 1927. A statement on the Cardiff City Supporters Club website said of the protest: “It will be an opportunity for all Cardiff City fans to show that they do not support the rebrand of the club’s colours and strongly desire a return to Cardiff City’s traditional blue kit and Bluebird badge. “The march is backed by all major fan groups and will be supported by members of The Cardiff City Supporters Trust, The Cardiff City Supporters Club, Cardiff City Forum, Cardiff City Online and Bluebirds Unite. “In addition all other supporters groups, individual supporters and their families are invited and encouraged to attend. “The one and only objective of the march is for fans to display a mass show of pride in Cardiff City’s heritage and tradition and to peacefully demonstrate our strong desire to return to our blue kit with Bluebird badge.” Cardiff owner Vincent Tan’s controversial decision to change the team’s shirts from blue to red and badge from a bluebird to dragon design took effect from the start of the 2012/13 season. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Wenger has confidence in Gibbs

first_imgManager Arsene Wenger is convinced Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs has what it takes to follow Ashley Cole and become a mainstay for club and country. “For a long time it was Ashley Cole (for England), (there was) no discussion. Now it is a bit more open.” Wenger continued: “It is a good example (for Gibbs) to follow because Ashley is top. “You see stories about Ashley Cole, but on the day of a game, when it mattered and when you had to be there, he was always there. You have to respect that.” Arsenal will be without Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey for at least a month because of a hamstring injury picked up against Spurs, while captain Mikel Arteta is also sidelined by a calf problem. England’s Jack Wilshere, however, has recovered from a twisted ankle. Wenger maintains the club, having brought in a new fitness coach Shad Forsythe, who worked previously with the German national team, continue to take advice on possible causes for any soft tissue injuries, even to analysing the Emirates Stadium playing surface. “We are getting things together, getting a report on all the different opinions, what happened to him (Ramsey). It is a real concern” said Wenger. “We made a lot of changes, in the way we prepare, in the way we work on prevention for injuries. “We have not found out why it happened. “When you work on the prevention for injuries it’s a question mark ‘why do you get the injuries?’ “We know a lot more than 18 years ago than when I arrived, but still not enough to predict 100 per cent scientifically what happens to everybody.” Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Wenger will have been at Arsenal for 18 years. The French coach, who turns 65 in October and last season marked 1,000 matches in charge, insists he “never looks back”, but continues to believes in the “huge potential” of his current squad. The Gunners boss has never won the Champions League, reaching the 2006 final where they were beaten 2-1 by Barcelona in Paris. “It is much more predictable today, the outcome of the Champions League, than it was 10 years ago. It is harder to win it, but as well more exciting,” Wenger said. “If you make a poll tomorrow and say to people ‘give me four clubs who will win the Champions League’, then 80 or 90 per cent of people will say ‘there are these four clubs’. “I don’t think that we are one of the four who will be favourites to win it, but football is strange – and not always predictable, so let’s first qualify from the group stage and then we will see.” Gibbs, however, is the only English left-back with Champions League action this season, as Arsenal prepare for Wednesday’s Group D tie against Galatasaray at the Emirates Stadium. Wenger believes Gibbs – with only three senior England appearances, the last coming after a three-year absence against Germany in November 2013 – can go on to emulate Cole, who was first choice for both Arsenal and then Chelsea while earning a century of international caps. “Kieran looks to me that he’s going into second gear now and he realises that he can trust his body, he can trust his talent,” said Wenger of the Arsenal Academy graduate. “He has such a great potential that now if he just lets it go, because he can dribble as well, because when he arrived at the club he was 16 and he was a winger, midfielder, and I saw that potential didn’t really come out. “I saw he was intelligent and maybe I could transform him into a defender. It was a bit similar to Ashley Cole. “We try always to show him confidence. “I let Gael Clichy go because he was a young, English left-back. That’s the main reason I left Clichy go. I wanted to give him a chance. “Against Tottenham on Saturday he showed his personality to impose himself on the game and took the game by the scruff of the neck for a long period in the second half and that’s what you want to see from him because all the talent is there. Gibbs has shaken off recent injury setbacks and is now a solid member of the Gunners defence. Following the international retirement of Cole after not being selected for the World Cup by Roy Hodgson, Everton’s Leighton Baines and, if fully fit, Manchester United teenager Luke Shaw look set to be the preferred options for the European Championship campaign, which continues next week against San Marino and then Estonia. Press Associationlast_img read more

A look at England’s previous record in major tournament semi-finals

first_imgBy Kathryn Batte, PAENGLAND have reached the World Cup semi-finals after beating New Zealand by 119 runs at Chester-le-Street on Wednesday.Here, PA looks at England’s record of reaching the knockout stages of major tournaments.CWC 1975 – Semi-final v Australia, Headingley, LeedsEngland reached the semi-finals in the first edition of the CWC but were defeated by Australia. In what is still the best World Cup performance to date by a bowler, Gary Gilmour took six for 14 with England bowled out for 93 after having fallen to 37 for seven. Australia also fell to 39 for six before Gilmour hit 28 runs from 28 balls to seal a four-wicket victory.CWC 1979 – Semi-final V New Zealand, Old Trafford, ManchesterNew Zealand elected to bowl after winning the toss and England quickly fell to 38 for two. However, 53 from Mike Brearley and 71 from Graham Gooch lifted England’s innings with the final score reaching 221. New Zealand’s John Wright hit 69 but the loss of wickets hampered their efforts. After failing to hit the required 14 runs in the final over, England went on to play the West Indies in the final but lost by 92 runs.CWC 1983 – Semi-final v India, Old Trafford, ManchesterEngland won the toss and elected to bat but restrictive Indian bowling led them to be bowled out for 213. In response, India’s Yashpal Sharma and Sandeep Patil made half-centuries as they reached their target in 54.4 overs, winning by six wickets and subjecting England to another semi-final defeat.ICC Champions Trophy 2004 – Semi-final v Australia, Edgbaston, BirminghamEngland faced Australia in their first Champions Trophy semi-final and elected to bowl. Darren Gough took three for 48 as Australia reached 259 for nine. England’s Michael Vaughn hit 86 in reply, as the target was reached after 46.3 overs with England notching 262 for four. The West Indies awaited in the final but England went on to lose by two wickets.ICC Champions Trophy 2009 – Semi-final v Australia, SuperSport Park, Centurion, South AfricaAfter defeat in the 2004 semi-final, Australia claimed revenge over their rivals. Tim Bresnan hit an impressive 80 but England were all out for 257. The Aussies made their victory look easy, losing only one wicket as they reached their target with Shane Watson hitting 136 not out. Australia went on to beat New Zealand by six wickets in the final.ICC World Twenty20, 2010 – Semi-final v Sri Lanka, Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, St LuciaThe third edition of the World Twenty20 tournament took place 10 months after the second due to the cancellation of the Champions Trophy in 2008. Sri Lanka were all out for 128 as Stuart Broad took two for 21. After a score of 42 from Kevin Pietersen, England reached their target in 16 overs leaving them to face Australia in the final.After another fine Pietersen performance, linking up for an 111-run partnership with Paul Collingwood, England claimed their first International Cricket Council (ICC) world championship.ICC Champions Trophy 2013 – Semi-final v South Africa, The Oval, LondonEngland elected to bowl after winning the toss and James Tredwell took an impressive three for 19 in seven overs as South Africa were bowled out for 175. Jonathan Trott’s 82 was the top score for England as they reached their target – losing only three wickets in the process. They went on to face India in the final at Edgbaston but narrowly lost by five runs.ICC World Twenty20 2016 – Semi-final v New Zealand, Feroz Shah Kolta, DelhiEngland won the toss and elected to bowl with New Zealand reaching 153 for eight from their 20 overs. England replied as Jason Roy scored the second-fastest half-century for an English player in a World Twenty20 match as he reached the landmark off 26 balls. The target was met after 17.1 overs as England progressed to the final where they were narrowly beaten by the West Indies.ICC Champions Trophy 2017 – Semi-final v Pakistan, Sophia Gardens, CardiffAfter qualifying for the semi-finals by winning their first two group games, England faced Pakistan in Cardiff. Joe Root hit 46 as Hasan Ali took three for 35, with England reaching 211 before they were bowled out.Pakistan lost only two wickets as they reached their target in 37.1 overs after Azhar Ali finished with 76. They went on to beat rivals India by 180 runs in the final.last_img read more

Narine’s heroics earn Mercenary playoffs title

first_img…Rems stutter in another last-over meltdownBy Frederick HalleyTORONTO, Canada – While Mercenary were celebrating their third championship success of the 2019 Ontario Softball Cricket League (OSCL) season, Rems were once again made to lick their wounds after another last-over meltdown in their Division One regular season (20 overs) playoffs championship clash at the Ashtonbee Number One ground here last Saturday.Seemingly well set to cart off the Paul & Sons 15-over title on the adjacent Number Two ground two Saturdays ago, Rems suffered a heart-breaking last ball defeat to the same opponents. This time around, Mercenary needed 11 runs in the final over of the tense encounter with the last pair of Daryl Narine and Bolanauth “Bunty” Sukhu at the wicket.Narendra Madholall was entrusted to bowl the last over, one that’s probably still lingering in his mind as it turned out to be disastrous. After sending down a wide in the first delivery, the next two were clobbered for sixes by Narine, much to the delight of his teammates and supporters who stormed the field to celebrate their win. The victory earned them the Oil Changers Trophy, sponsored by Anil Beharrylall Sarwan.MVP Daryl Narine receives his award from Adam Ramadhar on behalf of the sponsor.Earlier, the game was evenly contested throughout with Mercenary being set 116 for victory after restricting Rems to 115 for six in their allotted 30 overs. Former Guyana and West Indies opener, Rajendra Chandrika, was the mainstay at the top of the order with a top score of 35 (one four) as wickets fell regularly around him.Narine, who batted at number seven and was later named his team’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), was undefeated on 24 (3x6s) when victory was achieved. Chien Gittens was Rems best bowler with four for 26 from his four overs while Surujpaul Deosaran and Madholall claimed two for 20 and 22 respectively.The consistent Gittens, who has been a welcome addition to Rems side, was once again among the runs, smashing two sixes in his 29. Skipper Richard Dias supported with 21 (2x4s); the two sharing an important 53-run third-wicket partnership. There was one wicket each for Aftab Shamsudeen, Satrohan “Bade” Balkarran and Avinash Sookdeo for 14, 16 and 27 runs respectively. Gittens copped the MVP award for the losing team.Mercenary’s victory ensured they finished the 2019 season with three championships – topping the Division One regular season, winning the playoffs championship and the Paul & Sons 15-over title. Rems, on the other hand, carted off the Caribbean Sensation 10/10 crown and had to settle for the runners-up spot in both the playoffs championships and the 15-over.Sookdeo and Narine were presented with cash incentives on behalf of their club. Sookdeo got his for his all-round performance during the season while Narine for his heroics in the final.Meanwhile, at the presentation ceremony which followed, long-standing president of the OSCL, Albert Ramcharran, announced that he won’t be seeking re-election at the association’s next annual general meetlng scheduled for early in the new year. Ramcharran expressed thanks to the several sponsors and to the participating teams.last_img read more

WG basketball teams earn tough sweep of Liverpool

first_imgShare this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story On consecutive Tuesday nights at Onondaga Community College’s Allyn Hall in December, each of West Genesee’s basketball teams took defeats to Liverpool. Come January, both sets of Wildcats made sure it didn’t happen again.Back at OCC again for Saturday night’s marquee game of the Pathfinder Bank Zebra Classic, WG’s boys pulled out a 67-62 victory, its seventh win a row. In Camillus a night earlier, the girls Wildcats made its own late comeback to prevail 58-53 over the Warriors.Adding to the value of the boys game was that, again, it matched up the last two state Class AA champions. Liverpool had won 66-53 back in that initial meeting Dec. 10, and was quite familiar with the Allyn Hall floor since it was used for all of the Warriors’ home games this winter. Tags: basketballWest Genesee Sparked by six straight points from Will Amica, WG went on an 8-0 run to close the first quarter, and maintained that lead through a foul-filled first half, only to have Liverpool storm back and go in front 40-38 late in the third period before Anthony Dattellas hit six straight points to return the lead to the Wildcats.After that, no one had a lead more than five points the rest of the way. Josh Young, with a career-high 22 points, paced a Warriors team that led for most of the fourth quarter.But they were tied, 58-58, when Amica made his biggest play of the night, a block on a Warriors breakaway to prevent a go-ahead basket with 1:30 to play. They exchanged free throws before Adam Dudzinski, with 30 seconds left, hit a driving layup to put his team in front for good. Trying to answer, the Warriors instead turned it over when Jack Pento stepped on the baseline.Amica took it from there, hitting on five of six free throws in the waning seconds to give him 22 points for the night as eight of Dudzinski’s 13 points came in the fourth quarter, John Benson adding 11 points.It was on this same OCC floor on Dec. 17 when WG’s girls team got upended 49-44, unable to hold a fourth-quarter lead as the Warriors outscored them 20-10 late.The same scenario presented itself in Friday’s rematch, which didn’t seem too likely when the Wildcats jumped out 14-5, only to see Liverpool unleash its attack through the game’s middle stages.Led by Naveah Wingate, who had 21 points and 15 rebounds, the Warriors made up ground and then, in the third quarter, outscored WG 19-10, giving itself a 40-35 advantage.Just like that first game, though, it was the team five points down that finished fast. The Wildcats utilized a diverse attack in charging to the lead and ultimately outscoring Liverpool 23-13 in those final eight minutes.WG had nine different players score points when compared to the Warriors’ five, with Catie Cunningham’s 14 points in front of a well-balanced attack. Molly Benetti got 11 points, with Meredith James adding nine points and Ellen Kearney six points.Before all this, WG’s boys had won three times in four days from Jan. 16 to 19, holding off Nottingham and then dominating the annual Juggler Classic at Utica-Notre Dame.In the opening round, the Wildcats handled Buffalo’s Cardinal O’Hara 69-48, using a 27-11 outburst in the third quarter to take control.Amica put up 15 points as Benson had 12 points and Kam Jones got 10 points. Dudzinski had nine points, with Eric Leubner stepping up to earn eight points and Jack Dalgety getting six points.When West Canada Valley knocked off host Utica-Notre Dame 76-70, it was the Indians drawing the Wildcats in the Jan. 19 final, which WG had little trouble with, earning a 90-64 victory.It was 27-6 through one period, and after WCV closed within 39-29 by halftime, the Wildcats ran away in the second half as Benson, with 22 points, and Dudzinski, with 21 points, both had season-high totals, as did Jones, who had 15 points. Amica got 13 points.Both of the Wildcats’ teams go up against Corcoran and Baldwinsville next week.last_img read more

Management keep faith in Tipp starting 15 for All Ireland replay.

first_imgThe Tipperary team to play Kilkenny in Saturday’s All Ireland Senior Hurling Final Replay in Croke Park shows no change from that which started the drawn game.Lar Corbett will start his 6th All-Ireland Senior Final in search of his third medal while Padraic Maher, Paddy Stapleton, Shane McGrath, Noel McGrath and team captain Brendan Maher will start their 5th All-Ireland Senior Final.Thousands turned out once again at Semple Stadium in Thurles last evening to give the Tipp hurlers a rousing send-off ahead of the All Ireland replay. The final training session ahead of the Kilkenny clash was open to the public with fans once again taking the opportunity to show their support for Eamon O’Shea’s men.With the drawn game being hailed as an absolute classic Tipp fans are hoping for more of the same but with a positive outcome for the Premier County.Meanwhile Brian Cody has made three changes in personnel on the Kilkenny team.Padraig Walsh replaces Joey Holden at wing back while Kieran Joyce is in for Brian Hogan at centre back.In the forwards John Power takes over from Walter Walsh at corner forward.You can hear the All-Ireland Hurling Final Replay between Tipperary and Kilkenny this Saturday LIVE on Tipp FM.Throw-in at Croke Park is at 5 o’ clock – our big-match build-up gets underway from 4:30, in association with Lyoness Loyalty Card, Clonmel.last_img read more

After record world medal haul, Simone Biles a face of 2020 Olympics

first_imgRead: Naomi Osaka To Choose Japanese Nationality For 2020 Tokyo Olympics FOLLOW US WATCH US LIVE First Published: 14th October, 2019 20:50 IST LIVE TV SUBSCRIBE TO US Read: Aamir Sohail: Pak Players Prepare More For WWE, Olympics Than CricketBiles’ contenders and her preparationKhorkina won 20 world championship medals between 1994 and 2001 and held the women’s record until Biles overtook her Tuesday. One record is likely to remain out of Biles’ reach, however. Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina won a record 15 Olympic medals between 1956 and 1964. Biles won five Olympic medals in Rio de Janeiro, and could add six more next year in Tokyo, but appears highly unlikely to stick around until the 2024 Olympics. However, there’s another record to aim for. Matching her world championship performance from last week would make Biles the first female gymnast to win five gold medals at a single Olympics, and the first female athlete to do so in any sport since East German swimmer Kristin Otto in 1988. After Biles pioneered a new beam dismount and triple-double on the floor this season, her coach Laurent Landi says he favors refining her existing routines for the Olympics over adding yet more upgrades. COMMENTcenter_img Next stop Tokyo for Simone Biles. With Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, both retired since the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the U.S. gymnast will be the face of the games for much of the world. In gymnastics, no one else comes close. Biles won five of the six gold medals at last week’s world championships and broke the all-time record of 25 medals by any gymnast, male or female.”She’s just above anything else that we have seen in the sport,” five-time Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci said of Biles on Sunday, praising “the domination that she has toward all the other gymnasts that competed here.”Read: Shahid Afridi Says T10 Is Best Format To Represent Cricket At OlympicsPraises and mixed comments for Biles’ talentBiles has not just got the talent. She’s got the character of an Olympic star. There’s the laser-like focus on training, the same easygoing humor which endeared the world to Bolt, and – crucially in the modern era – a savvy social-media style. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said Sunday that Biles’ star status would make gymnastics a must-see event at the Tokyo Olympics. “You can have legends confirming their status as we have just seen with Simone Biles, this amazing performance there on the beam, but you also have new stars,” he said. “Gymnastics has all the ingredients to be top another time, I must say. A top Olympic event in Tokyo.” Despite its dispute with Biles over the scoring for her new double-double beam dismount – its grade was lessened in part so as not to encourage less-skilled gymnasts to attempt the risky move – the International Gymnastics Federation knows Biles is crucial to the sport.Read: “Mary Kom Is Destined To Win Tokyo Olympic Gold”: Akhil KumarLabeling her “wonder woman” and “a hero,” FIG president Morinari Watanabe is keen for Biles not to retire after the Tokyo Olympics. “I hope she will continue after 2020 because she is an excellent athlete,” he said Sunday. Biles is certainly the only athlete who could pull off her look in training at the U.S. nationals in August. She caused a stir with a leotard bearing her surname and a goat’s head picked out in sequins, a nod to “Greatest Of All Time.” Few disagree, but Biles hasn’t yet won everyone over. Associated Press Television News “There’s no need to turn her into some unbeatable queen. If I was 15 years younger, I’d definitely take the fight to the American,” the Russian gymnast Svetlana Khorkina said in comments on the Russian Olympic Committee website Thursday. “I can find plenty of (upgrades), but you need to be realistic and only the medals count at the end,” he said. “We don’t need to show off everything we can do.” Last Updated: 14th October, 2019 20:50 IST After Record World Medal Haul, Simone Biles A Face Of 2020 Olympics After record world medal haul, Simone Biles a face of 2020 Olympics. Biles won five gold medals at last week’s world championships with a total of 25 medals Written Bylast_img read more

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant modeled his footwork partly after former Portland guard Clyde Drexler

first_imgThe pair only played 35 NBA games together in the 2014-15 season. But Portland forward Ed Davis fielded plenty of memories playing with Bryant.Davis admired that Bryant shot left-handed last January in New Orleans after tearing the rotator cuff in his right shoulder, which required season-ending surgery.“I thought it was just Kobe being Kobe and thinking, ‘I’ll try this with my left,’” Davis said. “I thought it was something minor. I felt bad.”Davis loved that Bryant chewed out teammates during one practice with expletives and compared their softness to toilet paper. “He was totally against soft guys and guys who don’t have the same mindset with him. But that wasn’t really a problem with me,” Davis said. “I saw some guys tuck their tail and some guys went back at them.”Lastly, Davis left the Lakers seeing first-hand all the stories about Bryant’s dedication to his craft.“He takes his game seriously on a whole other level. I played with a lot of All-Stars and he’s by far the most about basketball,” Davis said. “That’s all that goes through his mind.”Injury updateThe soreness in Larry Nance Jr.’s right knee initially did not keep him off the court, as he camouflaged the aches with hustle and athleticism. But the pain in Nance Jr.’s knee has remained serious enough to sideline him for the past four contests, including Saturday in Portland. “He’s getting better. If it was up to him, he would probably try to play, but he’s not,” Scott said. “It’s not like we’re fighting for playoff position, so there’s no need to rush the young man back.”After completing sprints drills on Saturday, Nance Jr. reported “feeling a lot less pain.” He plans to practice on Monday with hopes to play in Tuesday’s game against Dallas at Staples Center.“Obviously I hate sitting out and not being able to help the team,” Nance Jr. said. “But at the same time, I’m trying to get back.”Endless criticThere might mark one thing besides losing that makes Bryant upset. That subject is AAU basketball, which Bryant acknowledged he has become “extremely critical” of over the years.“I hate it. It doesn’t teach our players how to play the right way and how to think the game and how to play in combinations of threes,” Bryant said. “Everything is a reward system. I think coaches who are teaching the game are getting rewarded in one fashion or another. It’s just a showcase. I think it’s absolutely horrible for the game.”Even though Bryant grew up in that generation, he argued he steered away from that because of his upbringing in Italy. “Everything there was still fundamentally sound, so I learned all the basics,” Bryant said. “I think we’re doing a tremendous disservice to our young basketball players right now. That’s something that needs to be fixed and definitely one of the things I will focus on.”Favorite momentBryant has always considered his fifth NBA championship as the best because it came against the hated Boston Celtics. But Bryant enjoyed the Lakers’ 2008-09 team that won against Orlando the most. That marked Bryant winning his first NBA title without Shaquille O’Neal. Bryant also enjoyed his teammates, including Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher, Trevor Ariza, Lamar Odom and Luke Walton.“2008-09 was the most fun I’ve ever had playing on the team,” Bryant said. “All of us hung out all day together, the entire team. I never played with a team that was so close. That was a fun season.” After matching up against Drexler during the Showtime Era, Lakers coach Byron Scott found Bryant’s footwork “pretty similar to Drexler, partly because of their size. Bryant is 6-6, while Drexler is 6-7.”“Both of those guys had tremendous footwork and both were able to do it in the perimeter and in the post,” Scott said. “That’s Kobe. He watches almost every great player.”Bryant has also modeled his footwork after Jordan, Olajuwon and former Lakers forward James Worthy. But Drexler’s approach prompted Bryant to perfect his versatility.“I remember watching as a kid and thinking I got to be able to use both (feet), depending on what the defense is doing,” Bryant said. “(Drexler) also has extremely quick hands and understood passing lanes very well. He obviously had an all-around floor game besides the dunking.” Fond memories PORTLAND >> First came the pump fakes. Then came the sharp cuts and jabs to throw his defender off-balance. Those moves have represented Kobe Bryant’s signature traits through 20 NBA seasons. He has used them to navigate double-teams, fight Father Time and score at a prolific rate. And those skills partly stemmed from Bryant studying former Portland Trail Blazers guard Clyde Drexler, whom Bryant praised for his “unorthodox footwork.”“I learned so much from Clyde,” said Bryant, who played his final game in Portland on Saturday at Moda Center. “You look at guys who are right-handed, they normally used their left when they pivoted. Then you’re always jabbing and attacking with your right. He was the opposite. He pivoted with his right foot. So his game was a little unorthodox and harder to defend.”So much that Bryant considered Drexler one of the five toughest opponents he ever faced, a list that also included Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Though Bryant only matched up with Drexler during his final two NBA seasons in Houston (1996-98), Drexler’s 15-year NBA career entailed scoring a career 22,195 points, landing 10 All-Star appearances and having his No. 22 jersey retired both with Portland and Houston. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

No talk of expansion at College Football Playoff spring meetings

first_img Alabama coach Nick Saban to return to work ‘in the very near future’ after hip surgery Added Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott: “We have ongoing discussions, but I wouldn’t describe any momentum.”Moreover, there are no plans to change the protocol for selecting the top four teams in the country, according to multiple commissioners in attendance Wednesday, ESPN.com reported, although ACC commissioner John Swofford said there have been discussions over the past several months about the protocol the commissioners designed for the 13 committee members to use.But the consensus, Swofford said, is that the CFP is “in a good place there as well.”While the current system is subjective, ESPN.com notes, the current process requires the 13-member selection committee to “place an emphasis on winning conference championships, strength of schedule and head-to-head competition when comparing teams with similar records and pedigree.”Several commissioners suggested the feedback they got Wednesday from selection committee chairman and Oregon AD Rob Mullens was that the committee considers a team’s entire resume. “The committee looks at all 13 games,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock said (via USA Today). Four teams are good for now, they say, and quite possibly the seven years remaining on the current contract, The Dallas Morning News reported.”That’s my view and has been my view. … The four-team College Football Playoff has achieved exactly what was stated up front,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said. Related News How much momentum is there for expanding the College Football Playoff from four teams to six or eight or 16? Zero.That’s the consensus among Power 5 commissioners at the annual CFP spring meetings Wednesday in Irving, Texas.center_img Over the past five years, only two conferences have landed a team or teams in every College Football Playoff: the ACC and SEC. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have been shut out the past two years, and the Pac-12 has missed three of the five playoffs.Still, Scott said the current protocol has “really stood the test of time very nicely,” a big comment on the lack of momentum for change of any kind at meetings Swofford described as “business as usual.”The commissioners were scheduled to meet again Thursday morning, but the meetings are expected to conclude by noon CT. Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher after AD’s departure: ‘I plan on being here a long time’last_img read more

Lakers’ LeBron James dons shirt in support of embattled QB Colin Kaepernick

first_imgLOS ANGELES — When LeBron James strolled into Staples Center on Thursday night ahead of the Lakers’ preseason game, his wardrobe immediately drew attention for evoking another athlete.James was wearing a branded Nike long-sleeve shirt that read “KAEPERNICK” on the back.The shirt, James later confirmed, was a symbol of support to Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who has struggled to get a job in the league since he sparked a movement of athletes to kneel during the national anthem at games. The gesture was meant to protest police violence against African American men – a cause to which James is sympathetic. James drew attention to the case of Trayvon Martin when he was with the Miami Heat, the first of many political stances he’s expressed since.For James, his shirt represented several of his loyalties. Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Related Articles AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“I wear a Kaepernick shirt tonight, one because I mean it’s Nike, and I’m a Nike guy,” he said. “And two, I support Kaep. I always support Kaep and what he stands for, what he believes in.”James also has corporate ties to Kaepernick through Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign this year, of which Kaepernick is the figurehead. James, in general, has also been supportive of athletes taking stances on social issues, represented by his “More Than An Athlete” slogan for his media company Uninterrupted.“Obviously I’ve seen it with the global spot Nike was able to put out not too long ago where he was the face of, and I was happy to be a part of it,” he said. “So I’m a supporter of Kaep.” Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more