Sports — International

‘Significant’ virus spread could thwart NBA restart: Silver

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — NBA commissioner Adam Silver reiterated Tuesday that a “significant spread” of coronavirus could burst the league’s safety “bubble” and cause a second shutdown of the season. Silver said he fully expects some players who gather in Florida to resume the suspended season will test positive for coronavirus, especially as teams first arrive in Orlando from their home markets. But he said fresh outbreaks after players go through quarantine procedures […]

Fighting coronavirus, dreaming of Olympics: meet Japan’s boxing nurse

by Harumi OZAWA TOKOROZAWA, Japan (AFP) — Olympic boxing hopeful Arisa Tsubata is used to taking blows in the ring but it is during her work as a nurse that she faces her toughest opponent: coronavirus. The 27-year-old juggles a brutal training regime in boxing gloves with long, irregular hours in surgical gloves at a hospital near Tokyo. Tsubata mainly treats cancer patients but she said the virus was a constant threat, with medical experts […]

Beal out for Wizards in NBA restart with shoulder injury

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, the NBA’s number two scorer, will not play in the 2019-20 season restart due to a right shoulder injury, the team announced Tuesday. It’s another major setback for the Wizards, who will also enter the Orlando bubble this week without injured star forward John Wall and Latvian Davis Bertans, who opted out June 22 over injury worries. “This was a difficult decision and one that […]

Howard will play for Lakers when NBA resumes in Orlando

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard says he will play when the NBA season resumes in Orlando on July 30 despite concerns the restart might distract from his social activism. Howard announced his decision to join LeBron James and his other Laker teammates in a CNN appearance late Monday, citing his contract and his hunger to win an NBA crown at age 34. “Yes, I will be joining my […]

Boxing legend Duran leaves hospital after COVID-19 scare

PANAMA CITY, Panama (AFP) — Panamanian Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran was released from hospital Thursday after being treated for coronavirus, the six-time boxing world champion announced via social media. “Today, with the blessing of God, I returned home after battling the COVID-19 virus. It was a World Championship fight,” Duran wrote on his Instagram account. The message included a video showing him leaving the hospital in a wheelchair and wearing a face mask, as […]

Lakers ink JR Smith for NBA restart

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Free agent guard JR Smith has signed with the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA’s season restart, a move that reunited him with superstar LeBron James. “OFFICIAL: Welcome to the squad,” the Lakers tweeted over a photo of Smith in a Lakers uniform on Wednesday. Smith, winner of the NBA’s Sixth Man Award as top reserve in 2013 with the Knicks, teamed with James to win an NBA title […]

Bryant will be featured on special NBA video game cover

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Kobe Bryant, the late Los Angeles Lakers star killed in a January helicopter crash, will be among three NBA standouts featured on the NBA 2K21 video game cover, manufacturer 2K said Thursday. Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star guard who won two Olympic gold medals, died at age 41 along with his daughter Gianna and seven others in the California crash. Bryant will be on the cover […]

76ers’s Aussie guard Simmons at full strength heading into NBA restart

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Philadelphia’s All-Star guard Ben Simmons says he’s at full strength heading into the NBA restart, having used the coronavirus shutdown to recover from injury. “I’m feeling better than I was when I started this season,” the 23-year-old told reporters on a Zoom call on Thursday. The NBA season has been suspended since March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Simmons hasn’t played since February 22 when he suffered a […]

Silver says, NBA no-risk free way to play but bubble safest

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — NBA commissioner Adam Silver says there are no risk-free options to finishing the season in a coronavirus pandemic but the league’s bubble plan is the safest, most responsible way. In a Time 100 online talk Tuesday, Silver addressed the NBA’s restart plan, with 22 teams playing games without spectators in Orlando under quarantine starting July 30, and said NBA relations with China have improved since last year. The league […]

Two Nets players positive for COVID ahead of NBA restart

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Brooklyn Nets center DeAndre Jordan will not play again this season and teammate Spencer Dinwiddie’s participation is also in doubt after both tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday. The NBA is planning to go ahead with its restart plans at Disney World in Orlando on July 30, despite Florida is battling a surge in coronavirus cases in the past few days. “Found out last night and confirmed again […]

Nets ace Chandler to skip NBA restart

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Brooklyn Nets forward Wilson Chandler ruled himself out of the NBA’s restarted season on Sunday, citing safety fears because of the coronavirus. Chandler told ESPN he had opted to skip the restart in Orlando in order to spend more time with his family. “As difficult as it will be to not be with my teammates, the health and well-being of my family has to come first,” Chandler told ESPN. […]

Panamanian boxing legend Roberto Duran hospitalized with COVID-19

  PANAMA CITY, Panama (AFP) — Panamanian Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran, six-time boxing world champion, was hospitalized in non-life-threatening condition Thursday with the novel coronavirus, his children said on the same day that Panama hit a new record of daily cases. “Test results have just arrived for my dad, and they confirm he is positive for COVID-19,” the legendary fighter’s son Robin Duran said on Instagram. “Thank God for now he doesn’t have symptoms […]