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According to Andrian Wojnarowski Anthony Davis' agent Rich Paul has told ESPN, that he has notified the New Orleans Pelicans that All-NBA forward Anthony Davis has no intention of signing a contract extension if and when presented and that he has requested a trade.


44

Italy boss Roberto Mancini was scouting Cardiff striker Emiliano Sala who could have been given a call-up for the Azzurri national team.



Sala is an Argentinean striker but he has an Italian passport and Mancini sent his Italy scouts to watch him several times in Nantes, the club Sala was playing in before joining Cardiff.



The airplane that took the striker from France to Wales went missing on Monday night and rescue operations are ongoing even though the local Police has just revealed that there are no chances to find the 28-year-old alive.


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Welcome back to the Tuesday Shootaround roundtable! After a week off due to Christmas, we're back to discuss New Year's resolutions in college hoops, which non-favorites could steal a conference title and the non-conference matchup we'd have added to the schedule.
52
A year ago, Paul George's visits to Staples Center were borderline recruiting trips, featuring plenty of cheers, signs and chants. But after George spurned the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency last summer, fans greeted him with hearty boos on Wednesday, including every time he touched the ball.

"It was fun, it was fun," George said of the boos. "I look forward to the second time, later this season, where I'll be booed, and that's in the Midwest. It was fun. I enjoyed it regardless. The booing wasn't going to throw me off my game. I've been playing basketball for a really long time and a little booing and a little noise is not going to make me forget how to play basketball."
45

2018-2019 UEFA Champions League Draw - Round of 16

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40

Jabari Parker landed a very lucrative two-year contract when he signed with the Chicago Bulls during the offseason. However, it appears that his stay in the Windy City could be short-lived. According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls have "engaged in trade talks with several teams" in an attempt to find a resolution to Parker's situation.


43
Going into this season, all the buzz surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers was about LeBron James, and rightfully so. However, there was also a great deal of excitement for Brandon Ingram and his potential to be the No. 2 option to James.

Ingram, a former second-overall pick, had shown flashes in his first two seasons with the Lakers. Fans were also hopeful that 21-year-old would start to put it all together this season because of an offseason of weights and skills training with Micah Lancaster, who worked with Victor Oladipo before his breakout season with the Indiana Pacers.
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Is Charles Barkley coming around on the Celtics? The Hall of Fame NBA player-turned-broadcast personality was notoriously down on the Celtics last season. He said their season was “over” from the virtual start. He downplayed their early winning streak and dubiously doubted their chances before and during games (multiple times). He repeatedly snubbed Boston when listing the league’s top teams. He roasted Al Horford. He picked against them in the playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks — and the Philadelphia 76ers, even when they were up 3-1 in the series. Barkley did eventually (and incorrectly) predict the Celtics would win in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. But then during the offseason he questioned, as he has continued to do, how all the talent on the team’s now-healthy roster could share the court.


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One of the plays that most excited me during the Lakers’ preseason happened when LeBron James and Lonzo Ball connected for an alley-oop against the Warriors. James held the ball on the left wing and tossed it up for his teammate after Ball ran his defender into a Kyle Kuzma pick. It was their first action together — Ball had been out for 105 days with an injury — and an exciting glimpse into what this new Lakers team could be. After the game, Ball was asked what he looked forward to about playing with James. He said: “I’m looking forward to having a lot of fun, and win a lot of games. You know, he’s the best player in the world. I just do what I can to help him out.” Ball also mentioned the goal for the team is to play fast, and that he would be getting the ball to James a lot. And James, as the alley-oop showed, will be returning the favor.


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After the Celtics and Warriors tipped off the 2018-19 NBA season with victories on Tuesday, the more, shall we say, populated opening night was on Wednesday with 13 games on the slate. And very few of them disappointed. Here's a look at some of the major takeaways from Wednesday's action.

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Liverpool have announced forward Sadio Mane has undergone a successful procedure on the hand he injured while on international duty.
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Earlier, the undefeated Russian fighter's manager rejected Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson's "garbage" offer to quit the UFC and switch to Bellator MMA.

Khabib Nurmagomedov has come out swinging at 50 Cent over his criticism of his manager's choice of attire, telling the rapper to "Never talk bad about my brother."

In an Instagram post which 50 has since deleted, the G-Unit rapper went after Khabib's manager Ali Abdelaziz, posting a link to a TMZ story accompanied by a photo of Abdelaziz in a suit which the 43-year-old record producer felt was in bad taste.

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Rajon Rondo has a unique view of the Lakers-Celtics storied history, and now the point guard is driven to put his own stamp on the NBA's historic rivalry.

"I need another ring," Rondo said after practice on Monday. "It's simple. I want to be the first to win for the two most historic franchises that's ever put a basketball to use. So, I got one in Boston and I'd love to get one with this organization."
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Real Madrid and Barcelona don't settle for second best when it comes to box office moves in the transfer market, so given that England reached the World Cup semifinals during the summer and the Premier League is the biggest league in the world, surely any Englishman flourishing in his domestic competition would be a contender for a move to the Santiago Bernabeu or Camp Nou, right?

But as Gareth Southgate's men prepare to face Spain in Seville on Monday night, the reality is that only Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling would prompt Spain's two biggest clubs to send their scouts down to the Estadio Benito Villamarin.

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The Reds were thought to be one of a number of clubs interested in a transfer for the Welshman.

Ramsey will see his contract expire at the end of the season after Arsenal pulled out of negotiations.

It comes after the club feared that giving into the midfielder’s demands would see an already expanding wage bill balloon out of control.

And it would set a dangerous precedent among other players who would want pay parity with the former Cardiff man.
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Real Madrid star Toni Kroos has hinted at his frustrations with the tactics employed by new manager Julen Lopetegui, suggesting he should not be as defensively inclined as deeper-lying team-mate Casemiro. Lopetegui's Real have endured a difficult start to the season, and while Kroos has backed his side to bounce back from recent adversity, his comments while on international duty suggest he's not happy with his placement. The Germany playmaker said: "It's a challenge to reverse this situation. We've shown we can do it. We've always had phases like these. It doesn't worry me. I like playing deeper, but I'm not Casemiro." Casemiro, while no creative slouch himself, is largely regarded as the shielding force in Real's midfield, flanked by Kroos and Luka Modric on either side, who are tasked with the more acute orchestrating in attack.


40
Zinedine Zidane departed Real Madrid in shocking and unexpected circumstances, just three days after handing them a third successive UEFA Champions League crown. The Whites were not in a state of crisis or there was not even a single sign of melancholic atmosphere in the dressing room that justified the Frenchman’s departure.

But the former Real Madrid player said in his final interview before leaving that he felt the club was in need of a change at the helm after two and a half years of seeing the same person manage things. Fair enough. There was a big void which he left, but that could certainly be filled up.

Unfortunately, Florentino Perez rushed things in the Spanish capital and against all odds appointed Spain coach Julen Lopetegui. It was a big shock that the president handed out to the fan community after rumors of him searching the market and contacting Carlo Ancelotti, Mauricio Pochettino and even Antonio Conte amongst others.
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In a press conference with the Belgium national team on Thursday, Eden Hazard promised he would not be leaving Chelsea in January. But he also joked that to one day win the Ballon d'Or, he would need to be playing in Spain. There is a cheekiness and honesty about Hazard that allows him to get away with such comments. Few players have ever spoken so publicly and on so many occasions about their dream of playing at another elite club. With Hazard, though, there is no ego behind such ambition, and if he does fulfil his goal of playing at the Santiago Bernabeu, even Chelsea fans are unlikely to hold a grudge.


45

Eden Hazard’s comments regarding a possible move to Real Madrid have been well received by those already at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Goal of the understanding that the Chelsea forward’s transfer hints have excited star turns in the Spanish capital. The Blancos find themselves in a position where inspiration is being sought from somewhere, with a testing start to the 2018-19 campaign seeing them currently wedged in a four-match winless run which has seen them fail to find the target.


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The Lakers got their first glimpse of LeBron James and Lonzo Ball on the floor together and liked what they saw in limited minutes in Wednesday night's 123-113 preseason win over the Warriors.


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When Kevin Love picked up his phone on July 1 after the announcement, he ended his message to LeBron James with: "I love you." He said it again last month when the two former teammates got together in New York and Love got the chance to say it to James' family as well. Love and James are in a good place, which hasn't always been the case with teammates when James has left teams in the past. It absolutely wasn't the case when he left Cleveland the first time around, when several friendships eroded quickly and publicly. So last week I wasn't sure what Love was going to say when I asked him this: "Let's say next summer a star free agent calls you and asks what it's like to play with LeBron James. What would you say?" This is relevant for several reasons. One, the Los Angeles Lakers have constructed their game plan around landing another star in free agency next summer. Two, between Kyrie Irving asking out of Cleveland, Paul George not even ta

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king a meeting with the Lakers and Jimmy Butler reportedly not having L.A. on his preferred trade list, there is some question as to the drawing power James has among stars at the moment. Three, perhaps no teammate ran the gauntlet of positive and negative consequences of being with James more than Love did over the last four years.


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After two years of trying to scrape wins together with a rebuilding Los Angeles Lakers team, head coach Luke Walton will be faced with a different, but equally complex task of trying to develop players on a “win-now” team. Realistically, the Lakers won’t be competing for a title this season, but with LeBron James now on the roster, Walton will face pressure to at least compete for a championship. However, he’ll also have to continue to develop the young core of Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, and Kyle Kuzma but with less room for error. It’s a challenging task for any coach, but it’s one Walton seems up to the challenge for. After practice on Tuesday, Walton talked about how he handles managing a veteran heavy roster while putting a priority on developing his young players.


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The Cleveland Cavaliers need to learn from their mishandling of Kyrie Irving, and begin molding Cedi Osman and Collin Sexton into being the franchise face.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are going through changes. Kevin Love is still one of the premier power forwards in the NBA, and for at least a few years, he’ll be the focal point of the Cleveland offense. Love is 30, though, and he’s not getting any younger. That’s where Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman enter the equation.

It’s clear that Love’s going to be the center of the Cleveland universe now as the first option offensively, but Sexton and Osman project to be the other two primary playmakers for the near future. Both players are really young, and they’re hungry competitors that have a world of potential.
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With LeBron James no longer in the picture, Kevin Love isn’t worried about being asked to shoulder a much heavier offensive load in Cleveland this season.

“It’s not like I forgot how to play basketball,” Love says.

The 30-year-old does not expect, however, to be a top-five scorer in the NBA.
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Under Roman Abramovich Chelsea’s football has had one common theme. Hard-working, well-organised and disciplined.

Managers have always come and gone but as long the first-team wasn’t self-destructing those were the traits you could always associate with Chelsea.

With two exceptions.

The first was Carlo Ancelotti’s 2009-10 side, the Blues’ answer to Kevin Keegan’s Entertainers. That season Chelsea blitzed the league, scoring 103 goals on their way to the title. Twice they hit five goals, three times they scored seven and on the final day they put eight past Wigan.

The Belgian joined the Blues over six years ago, with a decision so teasing and drawn out it would embarrass Antoine Griezmann. In that time Hazard has established himself as Chelsea’s key player, one of the very best in the league.

Yet there has consistently been a sense of what might have been when it comes to Hazard's Chelsea career, which make his comments this week all the more interesting.

The Belgian a
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dmitted after scoring his eighth goal of the season in the 3-0 win at Southampton on Sunday that “sometimes in my head, I wake up in the morning and think I want to go. Sometimes I think I want to stay. It is a hard decision.” Of course when he says go he's referring to European champions Real Madrid, who have been heavily linked with the forward for some time.
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In case you hadn’t noticed, the Los Angeles Lakers have a cerebral, multi-talented player who is strong as an ox and competes like a runaway train. But no: We’re not talking about the NBA’s best player, LeBron James. Josh Hart is something of a makeshift James clone, and he could very quietly end up being the club’s second-most-important player because of the unusual, Swiss Army knife role he plays.

At first blush, that might seem preposterous. After all, the second-year Hart — who is all of 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds — may not even start for this talented team. The former college star who led Villanova to a national title took 6.0 shot attempts per game as a rookie, scoring 7.9 points and taking a definitive backseat to far more heralded Lakers youngsters such as Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma.

Yet there’s reason to believe that Hart, in his own way, will be just as important in the grand scheme. Hart’s ability to beat the defense before it’s set will be one of the Laker
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s’ greatest weapons — both when James is quarterbacking things and when he’s on the bench.
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The topic of NBA expansion as been floated around the past couple years to the point that it seems likely to happen under commissioner Adam Silver — even if the league sends mixed signals about the matter.

On Friday, the NBA will be back in Seattle for the Golden State Warriors’ preseason game against the Sacramento Kings. For Kevin Durant, it will be an opportunity to return to the city where he started his NBA career. For Seattle, it will be an opportunity to revisit the nostalgia of its NBA days and strengthen the call for the league’s permanent return to the Emerald City.

But why should the league stop there? There are plenty of cities that deserve NBA teams. If the NBA is ever serious about expansion, these eight cities should be at the top of the list.
55
A slew of NBA uniform leaks hit Twitter over the past few days showing us new uniforms for the Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Golden State Warriors, as well as a brief preview of what’s to come, including yet another new uniform style added to the usual rotation.
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Emile Smith Rowe has become the first Arsenal player born after the turn of the century to score for the Gunners.

The 18-year-old, making his Europa League debut, doubled Arsenal’s lead against Qarabag in the second-half.

It was a goal his performance deserved. He collected the ball from another academy graduate, Alex Iwobi, before calmly slotting the ball underneath the goalkeeper.

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Gareth Southgate has signed a new contract that will see him stay as England manager through to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

This follows the Three Lions matching their best-ever performance at a World Cup on foreign soil, with a fourth-place finish in Russia this summer.

Steve Holland has also agreed a new deal with The FA and will continue in his role as England assistant manager through to 2022.

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the national team through the next two major tournaments,” said Southgate, after signing his new deal.
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Although it’s only the preseason, it feels good to start off the new basketball year with a win. Despite being down after the end of the first, the Bulls exploded offensively the rest of the game, capping it off with a 37-19 fourth quarter. Chicago was able to walk away victorious in the preseason opener 128-116 over the visiting New Orleans Pelicans. There was a lot to like from this Bulls offense as they scored nearly 130 points. A lot of players had solid performances and gave some sort of optimism when the final buzzer sounded.


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LeBron James' first game with his third franchise opened up with a pair of highlight-worthy plays in the Los Angeles Lakers' preseason debut against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

True to form, James' first tally in the stat book as a Laker was an assist off a no-look, wraparound bounce pass that found Brandon Ingram for a dunk.

Less than a minute later, following a Rajon Rondo offensive rebound and pitch out, James stroked a 26-foot 3-pointer with 9:12 remaining in the first quarter, securing his first bucket with his new team.
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Sergio Ramos lamented Real Madrid's draw against Atletico Madrid as they missed the opportunity to capitalise on Barcelona dropping points.
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Tim Hardaway Jr. said he believes coach David Fizdale will make the right call on starters and won’t play favorites. Fizdale has opened up the competition for all five spots.

On the surface, Hardaway has an advantage, having known Fizdale for longer than any other Knick. Fizdale was first Miami’s video coordinator in 1997-98 when Hardaway’s father, Tim Sr., played for the Heat. And Tim Sr. was a scout for the team when Fizdale became a Heat assistant.

It would be an upset if the $71 million man isn’t starting at shooting guard opening night versus Atlanta on Oct. 17, but the 26-year-old Hardaway won’t win the job because of the close relationship between Fizdale and Hardaway’s father.

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Everyone had gone except Gareth Bale. "Together, let's go," said Sergio Ramos, leading his team out the dressing room. But as they headed through the door, Bale sat there still, just him and a kit man gathering up a few things. Eventually, he stood, paused briefly, looked back and then broke into a gentle jog, the sound of his studs on the floor breaking the silence as he went out the room and into history.
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Undefeated. Six games into the season and the Reds are yet to miss a step. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has steered his side to maximum points in the Premier League and a crucial European victory against PSG in the Champions League.

No-one wants this to stop. Winning is infectious. They players and the fans begin to expect it – demand it – and that is exactly what Klopp wants. As the fixtures come two-a-week for the rest of the season the manager will have to rotate to keep everyone fresh and keep the wins coming.
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Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to serve a one-game Champions League ban, sources have told ESPN FC, which would allow him to face Manchester United. He was sent off during the Italian champions' 2-0 win over Valencia on Wednesday for tugging the hair of defender Jeison Murillo. Ronaldo, 33, is set to serve an automatic one-match suspension which will rule him out of the home game against Young Boys on Oct. 2.


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Eden Hazard's hat trick helped Chelsea move top of the Premier League table on goal difference as they came from behind to defeat Cardiff City 4-1 at Stamford Bridge. Sol Bamba struck first for Cardiff, finishing from close range with a volley from a set piece in the 16th minute. But Hazard, who has scored in three consecutive games for the first time since October 2016, equalised in the 37th minute with a low drive into the corner from Olivier Giroud's pass, put Chelsea ahead six minutes later when he finished the deflection of Giroud's shot and then converted a penalty in the 80th. Willian finished Chelsea's scoring with a curler into the top right in the 83rd minute. Read more at: http://www.espn.com/soccer/english-premier-league/story/3634092/chelsea-move-top-as-eden-hazard-hits-hat-trick ;


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All eyes are already on 2020, when a star-studded group featuring Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett could become part of one of the best Hall classes ever.


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Boris Diaw officially retired from basketball on Thursday. His NBA career effectively came to a close last summer, when the French forward signed a deal to go back home and play for the Levallois Metropolitans (formerly Paris-Levallois).

Diaw spent 14 years in the NBA with the Hawks, Suns, Hornets, and Spurs before helping a young Utah Jazz team to its first playoff appearance since Jerry Sloan. His career included being named the 2006 NBA Most Improved Player of the Year and an NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.

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For the past two years, Nike has kept Colin Kaepernick on the bench despite an endorsement partnership that dates back to 2011. In 2016, Kaepernick started using his platform as an NFL player to protest the extrajudicial killing of unarmed African Americans by police officers, among other tentacles of racism that reach American society. Kaepernick’s protest made him hugely controversial, and during the past two years, Nike hasn’t used the former 49ers quarterback as a spokesman even though he was under contract. Nike knows how to market an NFL quarterback, but even its politically outspoken athletes have tended to be known for their on-field achievements first.

Nevertheless, on Monday, Nike introduced Kaepernick as the face of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, kicking off a new deal worth millions of dollars, comparable to the most lucrative deals Nike gives out to NFL players. The Oregon-based sportswear giant will not only use Kaepernick as a pitchman and style icon, but
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sell Kaepernick-branded apparel. This news comes at a time when even the memory of Kaepernick’s football career is fading.
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Juventus produced the outstanding piece of business to stun European football during the summer with the blockbuster signing of Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid, and the Serie A champions “can only benefit” from the attacker’s signing, according to Miralem Pjanic.

The Bosnian midfielder claims that his side are “very happy” with Ronaldo’s arrival in Turin, speaking to Juventus TV, and believes that the iconic forward will be a huge influence for the Italian giants.
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World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will fight on Sky Sports Box Office for at least another three years after signing a new deal with promoter Matchroom.


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Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed a deal with the Spanish tax authorities to plead guilty to tax fraud, resulting in a two-year suspended prison sentence, according to the Associated Press (h/t Sky Sports ).

Ronaldo, who left Real Madrid to sign for Serie A giants Juventus earlier this summer, will also be expected to pay a fine of as much as €19 million (£16.9 million).

The deal still needs to be rubber-stamped before a plea is entered and payment made. Things are expected to be made official in days, per the report.

The charges against Ronaldo date back as far as 2011, with the prolific forward accused of fraudulent action totalling €14.7 million, per the report.
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Real Madrid 's world has been turned upside down this summer with the departure of manager Zinedine Zidane and star player Cristiano Ronaldo. Not since the iconic Alfredo Di Stefano—a man who scored in every one of the club's five consecutive European Cup final victories—was ushered out the back door in 1964 have they experienced as much turmoil with their team. Nobody imagined Zidane—who coached the club to their third UEFA Champions League title on the bounce in May—would leave. It seems he didn't have the stomach to renovate an ageing squad, which floundered domestically last season, finishing 17 points adrift of Barcelona in the race for La Liga. Of the team that lined up against Liverpool in Kiev, Ukraine, five of their key players—the disruptive Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, Ronaldo and his great foil, Karim Benzema—are all the wrong side of 30.


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NBA league officials don’t believe open playoff seeding -- that is, seeding the top 16 teams in the playoffs regardless of conference -- is important enough to offset the added travel it would create for Eastern Conference teams. (Along those lines, be sure to check out some really interesting research from Sebastian Pycior at Nylon Calculus on how adopting the 2-3-2 format would counteract those travel impacts. You may remember that I recently called for using 2-3-2 for this purpose -- I had no idea it would save that much travel.)

There’s no question the NBA could figure out how to switch to open seeding with minimal impact if the league wanted to do it. The problem is that the league doesn’t want to do it. Something could change Adam Silver and his staff’s mind, though. Something that could happen this year.

What if LeBron James and the Lakers miss the NBA playoffs because of a stacked Western Conference while one or more markedly worse teams make the playoffs out of the East?
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What then?
89
Raptors President Masai Ujiri apolgoizes to DeMar DeRozan for "gap of miscommunication" regarding trade, thanks him for his contributions to Toronto.
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Liverpool have made a fresh bid of £66.8m to sign Brazil international goalkeeper Alisson from Roma and are confident of agreeing a deal, according to Sky in Italy.
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France were in trouble despite leading against Croatia in the World Cup final but a couple of moments of genius from Pogba and Mbappe did the trick
92
Eden Hazard cast fresh doubt over his Chelsea future as the Belgium star appeared to confirm his interest in replacing Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid.

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