Zidane suggested Hakimi move was more than a football decision

By Sports Desk July 02, 2020

Zidane explained why Achraf Hakimi was being sold hours before he sealed his Inter Milan move.

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  • Kobe Bryant: A shooting record and a prolific finish - the Lakers great's final NBA game Kobe Bryant: A shooting record and a prolific finish - the Lakers great's final NBA game

    It was something only Kobe Bryant could have done.

    At the end of an illustrious 20-year career that included five NBA championship wins, 18 All-Star selections and All-NBA First Team honours on 11 occasions, Bryant said farewell to the Los Angeles Lakers with a Hollywood ending.

    He produced one of the most memorable final appearances the league has seen against the Utah Jazz on April 13, 2016.

    On the anniversary of his death alongside 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash, we look back at one of the finest moments of his career.

    POINTING THE WAY

    After Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea's bizarre rendition of the United States' national anthem, the 18,997 fans inside Staples Center were treated to something far more familiar.

    Bryant racked up 60 points against the Jazz, which was the most scored by a player in a single game in the NBA that season. However, it was the first time he had gone past 50 since 2009, when he poured in 61 against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

    Bryant was 6-of-21 from three-point range and had plenty of joy in the paint, where he accumulated 22 points. He scored a total of 16 unassisted points, with his final seven baskets coming via his own work.

    SHOOT YOUR SHOT

    If you don't shoot you don't score, and Bryant did his utmost to get points on the board. His 50 field goal attempts eclipsed the record of 49 set by the great Michael Jordan against the Orlando Magic in 1993. The 2008 MVP took 15 more shots than the rest of his team-mates combined.

    Bryant nailed 18 of 40 shots with a defender within 3.5 feet against the Jazz and despite his record-breaking number of attempts he still took care of the ball, committing just two turnovers.

    SLOW START, STRONG FINISH

    It was not immediately clear the game was going to go so well for Bryant. He missed his first five shots and did not have a make until after the first six minutes of the game.

    However, he eventually found his rhythm and was flying by the time the fourth quarter came around, scoring 13 unanswered points after the Jazz moved 96-86 ahead with two minutes and 35 seconds remaining.

    His final act was a length-of-the-floor pass to Jordan Clarkson – his fourth assist of the game – for a dunk to seal an iconic 101-96 victory that underlined his legacy as an all-time great.

  • Lampard sacking shows 'brutality' of football, says Mourinho Lampard sacking shows 'brutality' of football, says Mourinho

    Jose Mourinho feels Chelsea's decision to sack Frank Lampard highlights the "brutality" of football.

    The Blues ended Lampard's reign after just 18 months on Monday, with former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel poised to replace him.

    Mourinho has had two spells as Chelsea manager, both of which ended mid-season, and is well aware of the pressures at Stamford Bridge.

    The Tottenham boss regrets any managerial sackings but felt particularly sad for his former player Lampard.

    "I don't think Frank wants to speak to me or with anyone apart from his close circle of family and friends," Mourinho, who turned 58 on Tuesday, told reporters.

    "But I am always sad when a colleague loses his job.

    "And Frank is not just a colleague - he is an important person in my career - so I feel sorry he did [get sacked].

    "But it is the brutality of football, especially modern football so when you become a manager you know that sooner or later it is going to happen to you."

    Mourinho was speaking after a late surge gave Tottenham a 4-1 away win over Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup.

    Spurs are fifth in the Premier League, four points and four places ahead of rivals Chelsea, who have only won eight of their first 19 top-flight games this season.

    In a statement after his sacking, Lampard said he was disappointed at being prevented from taking Chelsea to the next level.

    But the former Derby County boss expressed pride at the emergence of several academy players during his tenure.

  • Melbourne Victory 2-1 Perth Glory: Dramatic Brimmer double seals late comeback win Melbourne Victory 2-1 Perth Glory: Dramatic Brimmer double seals late comeback win

    Jake Brimmer opened his A-League account with a late double against his former club as Melbourne Victory came from behind to beat Perth Glory 2-1 on Australia Day.

    Ex-Perth midfielder Brimmer scored twice in the space of four minutes to give the Victory their first win of the campaign – his second coming from the penalty spot in the final minute of regulation time.

    Robbie Kruse made his first start for the Victory in almost a year and he was denied a goal to mark the occasion by a brilliant save from Tando Velaphi, who started in place of Liam Reddy for Perth after they conceded eight goals in their first two games.

    Velaphi kept out Brimmer either side of half-time and the Glory took advantage by moving in front when Bruno Fornaroli nodded Carlo Armiento's left-wing cross in at the back post just after the hour mark.

    The Perth goalkeeper made six saves but was finally beaten when Brimmer rose highest to head Adama Traore's cross into the bottom-right corner.

    After Josh Rawlins handled a corner inside the box, Brimmer swept the spot-kick past Velaphi as the Victory avoided defeat at AAMI Park after a club-record three-game losing streak at the venue in the A-League.

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