James sweet-talks neighbors
LeBron James has sent cupcakes to neighbors of his home in Akron, Ohio, to apologize for the ruckus caused by the announcement of his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers two weeks ago. Cavaliers fans and journalists converged on the NBA star’s home to await his July 11 decision on whether he would come back to northeast Ohio or stay with the Miami Heat. A commotion ensued and police were called to direct traffic. To make amends, the LeBron James Family Foundation sent a note of apology accompanied by a dozen cupcakes to neighbors on Tuesday, media outlets reported. Several neighbors tweeted photographs of the cupcakes and the note saying: “We are sorry for the chaos” and that the James family is “so blessed to have understanding neighbors like you.”
Maccabi players ‘attacked’
A pre-season friendly between Maccabi Haifa and Ligue 1 side LOSC Lille Metropole in Austria had to be abandoned on Wednesday when a group of pro-Palestinian supporters invaded the pitch and attacked some of the Israeli squad’s players. Lille said on Twitter that the referee called a halt to the game after a group of youths waving Palestinian flags and placards ran onto the pitch at the Austrian venue with just three minutes of the game left. After a series of brief scuffles, the protestors were led away by security officers and the game called off with the French side 2-0 ahead at the time. “Maccabi Haifa Football Club believes in coexistence, tolerance and is against violence,” a club statement given to the Jerusalem Post read. “We denounce the violence that was used against us. This didn’t happen because of sport or football, it happened because we are a team which represents Israel.”
S Korean FA hires TV pundit
TV pundit Lee Yong-soo was named as the South Korean Football Association’s new technical chief yesterday, charged with appointing a new head coach for the upcoming Asian Cup. Lee, who does commentary for the KBS station and is a physical education professor at Sejong University in Seoul, resumes the role he held in 2002 when South Korea finished fourth at their home FIFA World Cup. He replaces Hwangbo Kwan, who, along with head coach Hong Myung-bo, stepped down after South Korea managed only one point in a group-stage exit at the recently concluded World Cup in Brazil. “I decided someone had to do it and so I am back after some 10 years,” Lee, 54, was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency. “The most pressing matter now is obviously to name the new national team head coach. I am not yet at a point where I can say whether we will bring in a South Korean coach or a foreign coach.”
Machete attackers charged
Two men have been charged over a machete attack on three French rugby union internationals after a spat outside a bar, prosecutors said on Wednesday. The attack on Aurelien Rougerie, Julien Pierre and Benjamin Kayser occurred overnight on Saturday as the three ASM Clermont players were returning to their hotel in Millau. The youths, aged 20 and 21, were charged with “aggravated and premeditated group violence using arms,” local prosecutor Yves Delperie said. “They were recognized by witnesses and the victims.” The pair are from the French Antilles and have police records: the younger for extortion and the other for drugs. Kayser and Rougerie suffered arm injuries, and Pierre suffered deep cuts on his hip.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first