James hopes Lakers can eventually rekindle their revival season

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — LeBron James says the abrupt shutdown of the NBA season due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic has left the Los Angeles Lakers feeling like they still have something to prove. The Lakers were in the midst of a revival season, having made the playoffs for the first time in seven years, when the league suspended the 2019-20 season on March 11 after Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. At […]

Blazers’ Lillard wants playoff shot should NBA resume

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — If and when the NBA resumes the 2019-20 season shut down in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Portland star Damian Lillard wants the Trail Blazers to have a chance to play their way into the post-season. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said this week that the league is considering multiple scenarios for finishing out a season that was halted on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested […]

NBA star Antetokounmpo donates masks to Greek city

ATHENS, Greece (AFP) — Greek basketball star Giannis Antetokounmpo and his brothers donated 10,000 surgical masks to the Athens suburb of Zografou on Wednesday to help fight the coronavirus outbreak. “The municipality of Zografou wants to express its great gratitude to the Antetokounmpo family for offering 10,000 masks to the residents of the city as a measure of protection against the COVID-19 virus,” a statement from the municipality said. The gesture from the family, “in […]

Silver: No NBA decisions likely until May

by Rebecca BRYAN LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says he thinks it will be at least May before any decision can be made about the resumption of the 2019-20 season that was shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Essentially, what I’ve told my folks over the last week is that we just should just accept that, at least for the month of April, we won’t be in a position to […]

FIFA cancels all June internationals over virus

PARIS, France (AFP) — All international football matches scheduled for June were postponed on Friday following the first meeting of FIFA’s coronavirus working group. It was also decided to hold discussions with confederations to draw up a revised schedule for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers which have been shelved. “The FIFA-Confederations working group… has unanimously approved a series of recommendations following its first meeting, which was organised via conference call today,” said a FIFA statement. […]

NBA Lakers, Nets symptom free after 14-day isolations

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — The Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers have completed 14-day home isolations without any players showing symptoms of coronavirus, the NBA clubs said on Wednesday. The clubs intend to continue to follow safety guidelines set by health and government officials regarding social distance and sheltering in place. Nets general manager Sean Marks, the first New Zealand-born player in the NBA, said the four Nets players who had tested positive […]

Jordan NBA documentary finished early for April debut

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — A 10-part documentary series on retired NBA legend Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls dynasty has been finished early for an April release to US and worldwide audiences, presenters announced Tuesday. “The Last Dance” originally was expected to debut in early June alongside the start of the 2020 NBA Finals before the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has shut down sports leagues, but now will start April 19 on […]

NBA 2K Players Tournament to give hungry fans taste of basketball

  NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — NBA fans starved for action amid the shut-down forced by the coronavirus pandemic will get a taste of competition in an NBA 2K Players Tournament starting on Friday. Kevin Durant may have been sidelined all season as he recovers from a torn Achilles tendon, but the Brooklyn Nets star is the top seed in the 16-man field of current NBA players taking on the virtual challenge. The NBA, […]

From winners to worriers: isolated athletes face mental health risks

by Talek HARRIS HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Fear, stress and money worries: coronavirus lockdown is hard for anyone, but athletes are facing extra mental health risks as they go from highly active lifestyles to isolation and boredom, experts warn. While some housebound athletes have posted upbeat videos of themselves training or attempting internet challenges such as juggling toilet rolls, the stress caused by the extreme adjustment and uncertain future looks likely to take its […]

USA Rugby files for bankruptcy as COVID-19 worsens financial woes

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — USA Rugby, its financial troubles exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, has filed for bankruptcy, the federation said on Monday. In a statement posted on its website, USA Rugby said it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows financially struggling organizations to reorganize and restructure debt. “Existing financial challenges have been accelerated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on rugby activities,” USA Rugby said. Sport around the world […]

Bryant’s towel fetches $33,000 at auction, report

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — The towel that Kobe Bryant wore over his shoulders during his farewell speech after his final National Basketball League game has fetched over $33,000 at auction, the US media said on Sunday. With the towel draped around him to help mop up his sweat, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar closed his speech with his signature phrase, “Mamba Out.” The towel ended up in the hands of a fan as […]

Celtics guard Smart ‘corona-free’, 10 days after positive test

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who tested positive for the new coronavirus 10 days ago, has been cleared by American health officials, he announced Sunday on Twitter. “Corona Free as of two days ago. Cleared by Mass (Massachusetts) Dept of Health,” Smart wrote on social media. “Thanks for everyone’s thoughts and prayers and I’m doing the same for everyone that’s been affected by this. Stay safe and stay together- […]