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NBA preview: 75th anniversary season set up to be one of the greats



bbc– A Hall of Fame-bound player who refuses to be vaccinated. A superstar point guard desperate to find a new team. And one of the greatest of all time desperate to prove he’s still got it.

As the NBA celebrates its 75th anniversary, it promises to be a season full of twists and turns.

It’s been three months since the Milwaukee Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, defeated the Phoenix Suns and were crowned NBA champions for the first time since 1971.

In doing so, Antetokounmpo, nicknamed ‘The Greek Freak’, silenced many of his critics and was also named the Finals’ Most Valuable Player (MVP).

After a busy off-season which featured some eyebrow-raising trades, the league starts again on Tuesday night (00:30 BST Wednesday).

Here are some of the key factors which could play a part in where the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship trophy ends up next summer.

Is it Championship or bust for the Brooklyn Nets?

Ask most experts and they’ll tell you Brooklyn is the most likely destination for the title. Although that prediction comes with an ‘if’ – if they can get their big three – Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden – on the court at the same time.

Before a ball has even been tipped that projected journey has hit a bump in the road.

“In New York City, in order to work in an indoor public space you have to be vaccinated. And Kyrie Irving has taken the stance that he is not going to get vaccinated which would make him ineligible to play games,” explained Chris Carrino, the Nets’ play-by-play announcer.

“I think it’s fair to say that there’s a high expectation level to win the championship, but if they don’t win it, it’s not a disaster,” he added.


The Nets were heavily favoured to win the title last year but injuries meant their star-studded trio only played a handful of games together.

Irving’s salary for the upcoming season is $33m (£24m) – so if he remains ineligible to play there is the possibility he could be traded to a state where Covid rules are not as strict as they are in New York.

“I hope that Kyrie, despite how strongly he feels about the vaccination, ultimately decides to get vaccinated because I’d love to see him play basketball this season,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said on the eve of the new season.

“This is between Irving and New York City right now. This is not a league issue… but I think it would have been best for everyone if every player were vaccinated.”

If Irving leaves New York a straight swap deal for Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons has been touted as a possible solution.

However, the 76ers are thought to be keen on keeping the 25-year-old three-time All-Star.

The Australian is unhappy with his team and initially failed to report to pre-season training, although he’s since joined up with the squad.

LeBron James & friends

Not only has LeBron James spent more than half of his life in the NBA – he’s consistently been one of its best performers. Now aged 36, the big question is how much longer can that last?

The four-time NBA champion missed a chunk of last season because of an ankle injury then returned only for his Los Angeles Lakers to be eliminated in round one of the play-offs.

Often debated alongside Michael Jordan as the game’s GOAT, James will be eager to prove he’s still the main attraction. He’s used his influence to convince long time friend Carmelo Anthony, 37, to join him in L.A.

Also back in the famous purple and gold jersey is Rajon Rondo, 35, who previously played for them in 2018-2020. Key to any hopes the Lakers have is how well nine-time All-Star Russell Westbrook, signed from the Washington Wizards, fits into their system.

It’ll be the 32-year-old’s fourth team in three years.

With his all-action displays he’s proven he can be the main man – what James and the Lakers need him to be is a good co-star. A role Westbrook is yet to warm to so far during his 14-year NBA career.

‘The league is Giannis’ for the taking’

It’s no surprise that after winning their first title in 50 years the city of Milwaukee is still on a high following victory in the summer.

It’s thanks largely to Antetokounmpo – who at times can be impossible to guard. At 6ft 11in and 110kg he’s been described as the most dominant force in the league since Shaquille O’Neal.

And if that wasn’t scary enough for the opposition – the 26-year-old hasn’t peaked yet according to those that watch him week in week out.

“I really hope there’s not a sense of being content especially among the players. I’m hoping they come out with that fire and get back to the championship game and win another title,” Nathan Marzion told BBC Sport. The 21-year-old writes for Behind the Bucks website.

“I think Giannis can be more dominant than he was last season. I see him averaging 30 points a game, shooting 70% from the free throw line and improving his jumpers. The league is his for the taking,” Marzion added.

Dark horses

Thanks largely to the acquisition of Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors, the Miami Heat could be this year’s surprise package.

Lowry an NBA champion in 2019 brings the experience and leadership skills that will complement the Heat’s squad of young talented players.

The same could be said for the signing of PJ Tuckerwho, who was part of the Milwaukee Bucks’ title winning team last season. Add to the mix All-Star players Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo and the Heat could have one of the deepest squads in the league.

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PSG: Parisian Return Dream For Spain



Long removed from the Spanish selection, Sergio Ramos could know very big news today. The Paris Saint-Germain central defender has been very serious since the start of the season and he could now reap the fruits of his labor, he who had suffered a long calf injury.

Paris Saint-Germain emerged from a 7-0 victory over Pays de Cassel in the round of 16 of the Coupe de France. This is the third time this season that Christophe Galtier’s team has managed to score so many goals in a match, after the 7-1 against LOSC in the league and the 7-2 against Maccabi Haïfa in the Ligue des Champions. With this victory, PSG is qualified for the round of 16 where it will find Olympique de Marseille for the 2nd Classic of this fiscal year 2022/2023.

Autumn champion, Paris Saint-Germain is only 3 points ahead of its runner-up RC Lens. With 47 points, the Parisians managed a very big first part of the season in Ligue 1, with a record of 15 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses. Great news recently fell concerning one of Galtier’s players, enough to motivate him to attack a second part of the season which will be busy in Paris.

Luis de la Fuente in Favor of Ramos’ Return

According to information reported by the AS newspaper, the new coach of the Spanish national team Luis de la Fuente will soon meet Sergio Ramos to discuss the prospect of his return to La Roja! A moment eagerly awaited by the central defender of Paris Saint-Germain who had a very bad time not being called up for selection with Luis Enrique, he who missed the last World Cup in which he could have participated.

Spain have just inherited Italy in the draw for the Final 4 of the League of Nations which takes place this Wednesday. Sergio Ramos could therefore make his return 2 years later, he who had played his last match in the red jersey against Kosovo on March 31, 2021. Better still, the legend of Real Madrid could even be entrusted with the role of captain of the club. team by Luis de la Fuente, who has a lot of consideration for the Parisian number 4. Author of 2092 minutes played in a total of 26 games with Paris this season, Ramos shows his ability to play at the highest level at almost 37 years old.

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Today’s Transfer Market Updates: January 16



Lots of news on this Monday of the transfer market. From Nicola’s bench in the balance, to the sensational victory of Atalanta over Salernitana for 8-2. Market bombs involving Inter and Barcelona, engaged in an exchange. Today’s news will make fans dream!

Mychailo Mudryk to Chelsea

Here we go! The transfer of the Ukrainian player, as already anticipated yesterday, is now official. An exhibition operation, the one that led the Shakhtar striker to wear the Blues shirt. He had already distinguished himself as a promising profile and thus convinced the Chelsea management that the English team decided to shell out 100 million euros and thus beat the competition from Arsenal, who went so far as to offer 70 million euros as a basis fixed and more than 25 million in bonuses, which are not always easy to achieve, as reported by the transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano. The boy’s will has always pushed the negotiation towards a transfer to Arsenal, but the Blues have been very convincing, both with the rich contract offered to the player, but also with the important commissions that will be paid to the boy’s agents. And then there are the requests from Shakhtar to consider, who immediately made it clear that they only wanted to listen to offers starting from a base of 100 million. When Mychajlo realized that Arsenal’s offer was already the maximum of their possibilities, he accepted the Chelsea court. The Ukrainian footballer binds to Chelsea until 2030, a very long contract, which protects the growth of the footballer, who will immediately have the opportunity to take the field and demonstrate his real value.

Bomb From Spain: Exchange Depay – Correa!

Sensational indiscretion from Spain, where many newspapers describe a very advanced negotiation between Barcelona and Inter, engaged in an equal exchange, which would bring Memphis Depay to Milan and Joaquin Correa to Barcelona. A negotiation that would make many fans happy and certainly both clubs. The Dutchman Depay’s contract is about to expire and the limited playing time that Xavi has given him so far suggests that the management will hardly be willing to offer him a renewal. Very good reason to help Memphis find new accommodation right away. There have been many polls, especially from second tier Premier League clubs. A few days later Manchester United came forward, for what would have been a sensational comeback. However, the English club has moved on to other objectives, making Weghorst official. Atletico Madrid have also come forward for the player, having to replace Joao Felix, who is on loan at Chelsea. However, contacts with Barça have shown that, under current conditions, the negotiation cannot take off.

As for Inter, Correa has absolutely not convinced. Last season he was tormented by physical problems, while this year he had much less. Different situation but the performance of the Tucu has never been positive. Performance that led the Nerazzurri management to consider a possible transfer. The investment made to convince Lotito and bring Joaquin to the Nerazzurri was important, but Tucu has never convinced. And taking a look at Inzaghi’s attack, we immediately understand why the arrival of Depay cannot be excluded: Lukaku tormented by injuries, Dzeko who cannot always play as a starter and then Correa who is not convincing. Depay at Inter would be a reinforcement of no small value and Correa at Barcelona would be a good chance to find a different audience, which possibly doesn’t boo, unlike the Nerazzurri.

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Verona: Hongla can leave. Salernitana and Cremonese strongly interested in the player. Ballardini signs with Cremonese until 2024. Inter have not yet received any official request for Marcelo Brozovic. Nicola in the balance, the granata management did not take the defeat against Atalanta well.

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Leeds Sign Hoffenheim Forward Georginho Rutter For Record £35.5m



Leeds broke transfer record to sign striker Georginio Rutter from Hoffenheim for £35.5m.

The deal follows negotiations between the two clubs earlier this week, with the France Under-21 international’s transfer topping the club’s record transfer fee of £27million paid for Rodrygo from Valencia in August 2020.

Rutter, 20, has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract at Elland Road, until the summer of 2028.

A glimpse of what Leeds can expect from new signing Rutter
Tell Sky Sports News: “There is a lot of emotion today. It’s an important day. I am very happy to be here and very excited to start.

“I run and I bring a lot of energy to the field. I like to dribble and play beautifully, score goals and get assists. I hope [I can get the goals that take Leeds up the table]. ”

Rutter has scored twice in 17 games in all competitions for Hoffenheim this season and has a record tally of 11 goals in 64 appearances for the Bundesliga side.

He is Leeds’ second clean signing in January after bringing in Austrian defender Max Wober from Red Bull Salzburg for £11m.

Rutter is not eligible to play Wednesday’s FA Cup third round replay with Cardiff City, but will be introduced to the crowd before kick-off at Elland Road.

He could make his Leeds debut in the Premier League home game against Brentford on Sunday January 22, live Sky Sports.

Jesse Marsh’s side are 14th in the Premier League, two points above the relegation zone, after Friday night’s loss to Aston Villa.

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