James equals Malone record
LeBron James, who won his fourth NBA Most Valuable Player Award in five seasons this year, was the only unanimous choice on the All-NBA First Team all-star squad announced by the league on Thursday. The Miami Heat superstar was joined on the lineup chosen by a media panel by NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City, Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, Tim Duncan of Antonio and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. It was the 11th first-team nod for Bryant, matching the record set by Utah Jazz Hall of Fame forward Karl Malone. The All-NBA Second Team included two non-US players, San Antonio guard Tony Parker of France and Spanish center Marc Gasol of Memphis, plus Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook and forwards Blake Griffin of the Clippers and Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks.
Williams hangs up jersey
New Zealand’s second-highest capped lock Ali Williams announced his retirement from international rugby union yesterday. The 32-year-old has played 77 Tests for world champions the All Blacks in his 10-year international career. Ian Jones played 79 Tests for the national side. “Guys, I just want to let you know first that I’m retiring from international rugby. I’m hanging up the black jersey,” the Auckland Blues captain wrote on his Twitter feed. “It’s been an amazing 10 years, but it’s time to call it quits. But I’m not hanging up the boots yet.” Williams made his All Blacks debut in 2002 against England and was a near automatic choice for most of his career. He suffered a serious Achilles injury in 2009 and needed three operations, before returning to win the World Cup on home soil in 2011, though he was mainly used off the bench.
Rauf pulled from Trophy
Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf has been withdrawn from next month’s Champions Trophy by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday because Indian police are investigating his performances during the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). “In the wake of reports ... we feel that is in Asad’s best interests, as well as those of the sport and the event itself, that he is withdrawn from participating in the ICC Champions Trophy,” the ICC said in a statement. The Champions Trophy runs from June 6 to June 23 in England and Wales. Rauf had been scheduled to officiate in a warmup match between Australia and the West Indies on June 1 in Cardiff. He was also due to take charge of two group matches in the tournament. Three players from IPL franchise the Rajasthan Royals were suspended last week after allegations of spot-fixing. Bookmakers and their associates have been arrested across India in the past week.
Wolfsburg stun Lyon in final
German club VfL Wolfsburg ended Olympique Lyonnais’ two-year reign as women’s UEFA Champions League holders with a shock 1-0 win over the French side in Thursday’s final at Stamford Bridge in London. Lyon, who have appeared in the last four Champions League finals, had won 35 of their 36 matches in all competitions this season, securing a seventh consecutive French league title in the process, but the German champions sprang a major surprise thanks to Martina Muller’s second-half penalty. Muller drove her spot-kick past Sarah Bouhaddi in the 73rd minute after Laura Georges had handled in the area. Ralf Kellermann’s team held on through the nervous final minutes to secure their first continental crown.