Tom Brady joined LeBron James and a host of other sports stars from the United States in calling for a federal investigation into the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery.

In February, Arbery was killed while out jogging through a residential area of Brunswick, Georgia in broad daylight.

Father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested and charged with murder on Thursday after mobile phone footage of the 25-year-old's death emerged. Gregory McMichael used to work for the local police department.

Brady was one of the players to sign a letter by the NFL Players Coalition, which was sent to US Attorney General William Barr.

The letter called for action in order to restore a measure of faith in America's justice system – citing the local investigation and a failure until this week to arrest or charge the McMichaels as problematic.

"We must strive to achieve the lofty but basic promise of equal justice, a promise on which our democracy depends," the letter read.

"Having the DOJ [Department of Justice] intervene in this case and lead the investigation immediately will help us move toward that goal.

"If it does not, but instead choses to turn its back on this obvious injustice, the DOJ will relinquish its role as the champion for the defenceless and send the unmistakable message that the federal government will not protect us from violence, prejudice and injustice in our communities."

Brady's former New England Patriots team-mate Julian Edelman and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr were also among the 64 signatories.

On Twitter, James expressed his indignation over Arbery's death.

He wrote: "We're literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes! Can't even go for a damn jog man!

"Like WTF man are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!? No man fr [for real] ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!

"I'm sorry Ahmaud (Rest In Paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to the heavens above to your family!! #StayWoke #ProfiledCauseWeAreSimplyBlack"

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden also called for justice, saying the video showed Arbery was "killed in cold blood".

With 18 years having passed since Allen Iverson's famous "practice" rant, the former Philadelphia 76ers guard updated his comments to fit the modern day.

On May 7, 2002, Iverson, who was named NBA MVP in 2001 and would make 11 All-Star appearances in a Hall of Fame career, launched into a tirade when he was asked about skipping practice.

It remains one of the most iconic interactions between an NBA player and the media, and to mark the anniversary the former Sixers superstar recalled it with a slight tweak.

With the United States in the midst of combating the coronavirus pandemic, Iverson used it to attempt to remind his followers on Twitter of a key way they can help.

"We talkin about practicing social distancing!!!" he posted alongside a picture of him during his outburst.

For those unfamiliar with Iverson's initial comments, here they are:

"If a coach say I missed practice, and y'all hear it, then that's that. I might've missed one practice this year. But if somebody says, 'He doesn't come to practice' - it can be one practice, out of all the practices this year - that's enough. If I can't practice, I can't practice, man. If I'm hurt, I'm hurt. It ain't about that. It's not about that, at all.

"But it's easy to talk about, it's easy to sum it up when you just talk about practice. We sittin' in here, I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we in here talkin' about practice. I mean listen, we talkin' about practice. Not a game, not a game, not a game. We talkin' about practice. Not a game, not the game that I go out there and die for, and play every game like it's my last. Not the game. We talkin' about practice, man. I mean how silly is that? We talkin' 'bout practice. I know I'm supposed to be there, I know I'm supposed to lead by example. I know that, and I'm not shovin' it aside, you know, like it don't mean anything. I know it's important, I do. I honestly do.

"But we talkin' about practice, man. What are we talkin' about? Practice? We talkin' about practice, man. We talk - we talkin' about practice. We talkin' about practice! We ain't talkin' about the game, we talkin' about practice, man. When you come into the arena, and you see me play, you see me play, don't you? You see me give everything I got, right? But we talkin' about practice right now. We talkin' about practice.

"Man look, I hear you, it's funny to me too. I mean, it's strange, it's strange to me too. But we talkin' about practice, man. We not even talkin' about the game, the actual game, when it matters. We talkin' about practice."

Giannis Antetokounmpo said a hacker was behind a string of racist and insulting posts on his Twitter account, leaving him "disappointed and disgusted".

A series of controversial tweets from the NBA MVP's official account targeted the Milwaukee Bucks and his team-mate Khris Middleton, as well as LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

Insensitive comments were also published about Kobe Bryant, who died alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in California in January.

All of the incendiary posts have since been deleted.

In a statement published on Twitter, Antetokounmpo said: "Hey everybody! I'm back and would like to address the social media incident from earlier today! I was hacked and the situation is currently being investigated.

"The tweets and posts were extremely inappropriate and I am so disappointed and disgusted that somebody would say the terrible things that were said!

"I feel terrible that the Bucks, Khris, LeBron and the Curry family were included in the malicious and untrue tweets.

"I feel especially terrible for the Bryant family, during their time of grief they should not be subjected to this type of negativity and foul behaviour.

"Thank you all for always supporting my family and I, and please stay safe!"

A statement from the Bucks read: "Giannis Antetokounmpo's social media accounts were hacked this afternoon and have been taken down. An investigation is underway."

Antetokounmpo's brother Kostas, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, attempted to make followers aware the Bucks star was not behind the comments as they were published.

He later added: "Giannis' twitter, phone, email and bank accounts were hacked!

"He genuinely apologises for everything that was tweeted and he will be back as soon as possible!

"The things that were said by this hacker were extremely inappropriate and disgusting!"

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is in no rush for his team to return to practice, saying games were still "a long way away".

The NBA season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but teams can reportedly begin reopening practice facilities in certain states from Friday.

The Lakers were 49-14 and top of the Western Conference when the season was paused, but Vogel is prepared to take his time with his team's return.

"There's a competitive balance element to this that I personally am not really all that concerned about," Vogel told reporters on Wednesday, via ESPN.

"I think we're still a long way away from returning to play."

Vogel believes most teams will decide against returning on Friday amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen more than 265,000 people die worldwide.

While there have been suggestions the NBA could head straight into its playoffs when it restarts, Vogel said teams needed to play games before the postseason.

"I think we need some games. I don't know if they'd have to be regular-season games, in terms of finishing the season. Maybe they're exhibition games, you know what I mean, that you treat as sort of your dress rehearsal or whatever," he said.

"I think for the health of the league and for the health of everyone involved, the more we can get in for our league and our fans, the better.

"So I think if there's a way to get regular-season games in, that would be great, but safety's going to be the top priority. But the biggest thing for me is that there's got to be at least some exhibition games, which I think there would be."

Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff confirmed the team will open their practice facility on Friday after receiving permission from the NBA.

The league has granted teams in cities that have loosened their social distancing and stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic to open, and any training at those venues would be strictly voluntary. 

"No one is being pressured to do anything," Bickerstaff said on a conference call on Wednesday. "It's not mandatory for [the players] to show up." 

For the players that do report to the complex, they will have several rules set by the NBA to adhere to.

No more than four players will be allowed at the facility at one time, there can be only one player per basket and players and coaches must remain 12 feet apart. Players will not have to wear masks and gloves, but everyone else present must. 

"The league is in information gathering mode right now," Bickerstaff said. "Their goal is to not put themselves in a bind and not start too early." 

When the NBA postponed the season on March 11, Cleveland were in last place in the Eastern Conference at 19-46.

The Cavs, however, were showing signs of turning things around, going 5-6 after Bickerstaff took over following the resignation of John Beilein in mid-February. 

Bickerstaff said the players are eager to get back on the court and return to some sort of normality.

"They're hopeful," he said of the players. "That's what these guys do. When you get used to being part of a pack, that's where you're comfortable and want to be." 

Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff confirmed the team will open their practice facility on Friday after receiving permission from the NBA.

The league has granted teams in cities that have loosened their social distancing and stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic to open, and any training at those venues would be strictly voluntary. 

"No one is being pressured to do anything," Bickerstaff said on a conference call on Wednesday. "It's not mandatory for [the players] to show up." 

For the players that do report to the complex, they will have several rules set by the NBA to adhere to.

No more than four players will be allowed at the facility at one time, there can be only one player per basket and players and coaches must remain 12 feet apart. Players will not have to wear masks and gloves, but everyone else present must. 

"The league is in information gathering mode right now," Bickerstaff said. "Their goal is to not put themselves in a bind and not start too early." 

When the NBA postponed the season on March 11, Cleveland were in last place in the Eastern Conference at 19-46.

The Cavs, however, were showing signs of turning things around, going 5-6 after Bickerstaff took over following the resignation of John Beilein in mid-February. 

Bickerstaff said the players are eager to get back on the court and return to some sort of normality.

"They're hopeful," he said of the players. "That's what these guys do. When you get used to being part of a pack, that's where you're comfortable and want to be." 

Shaquille O'Neal was instantly a dominant force when he entered the NBA in 1992.

After being taken by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the draft, 7ft 1in center O'Neal averaged 23.4 points, 13.9 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game in his first season in the league.

On May 6, 1993, the Magic sensation, who joined a select group of players to be selected for the All-Star Game in their debut campaign, was unsurprisingly named Rookie of the Year.

The NBA is a very different place now, though, with three-point shooting an increasing requirement from every player on the floor. It is the age of the so-called 'unicorn'.

We use Stats Perform data to look at how the role of the big man has changed since O'Neal's incredible rookie season. For the below, a 'tall player' is anyone in the league that is 6ft 10in or above.

 

A rarer sight

To start with, tall players are less common in the NBA.

The percentage of them with at least one appearance in a season was around 30 per cent from 2000-01 until 2004-05 - the high in that period was 32 per cent in 2002-03.

This season the percentage of tall players is just 19.1, which is the first time the number has dropped below 20 since 1979-80 (17.1 per cent)

Lower usage

It is perhaps therefore unsurprising there has been a clear decrease in the percentage of league-wide minutes from tall players.

At the turn of the millennium, they claimed just over a quarter of the minutes (25.8 per cent) across the NBA. Their share over the following five seasons ranged from a high of 27.9 per cent in 2004-05 to 27.2 per cent in 2001-02.

It dipped below 22 per cent in 2017-18 and this season their overall share stands at just 18.8 per cent.

It would be the first campaign in which taller players played less than 20 per cent of the league's minute since 1979-80 (17.1 per cent).

Sharing the boards

Tall players accounted for upwards of 36 per cent of the total rebounds in the league between 2000 and 2010. The peak during that period was 39.6 in 2004-05 and 2005-06.

The ratio has fluctuated since, going down to 33.5 per cent in 2012-13, up to 36.3 per cent in 2014-15, and back to 34.3 in 2018-19.

This season, however, they have claimed just 30.2 per cent of the boards.

Less prolific

There has been a decrease in the percentage of points scored and field goals attempted by tall players.

Between 2000 and 2010 their share of points scored only dropped below a quarter in 2006-07 (24 per cent). It went as low as 22 per cent in 2012-13 and this season stands at 19.8.

It would be the first time since 1980-81 (19.5 per cent) that tall players accounted for less than 20 per cent of the league's points.

From averaging over a quarter of all field-goal attempts between 2001 and 2006, they are now contributing less and less.

This season tall players have attempted just 18.1 per cent of all field goals – a decrease of 3.1 per cent from the previous season and 8.1 since 2004-05.

Finding range

It's not just the number of tall players scoring that has changed, but the way they are doing it too.

Between 1979-80 and 1984-85, three-point attempts accounted for just 0.5 per cent of field-goal attempts by tall players.

That share jumped to 3.5 for the period from 1990-91 until 1994-95 – when O'Neal entered the league – and up again to 6.1 over the next five-season stretch.

We have now reached a point whereby, since 2015-16, big men have attempted 18.3 per cent of their field goals from beyond the arc.

Sticking with the times

That coincides with a league-wide trend of increased success with the three-point shot.

Before 2013-14, no more than four of the 10 players in points per game in a given season averaged at least two three-pointers made from range per game. Since then, at least five of the top 10 have done so in six of the seven seasons, with 2019-20 boasting seven players fitting the criteria.

When expanded to the 25 scorers in a given season, the number for 2019-20 increases to 18. Between 2007-08 and 2014-15 the number of players only went above five once (nine in 2013-14).

Roger Bannister produced a feat most thought impossible on May 6 many years ago, while more recently Shaquille O'Neal was rewarded for a memorable debut season in the NBA

Bannister laid to rest the demons of Olympics heartbreak to produce a moment that would stand the test of history in 1954.

Almost 40 years later, NBA legend O'Neal was receiving one of countless prizes he earned during a sensational career.

Here are the best sporting moments from this day down the years…


1954 – Bannister breaks through the barrier

It was described as "sport's greatest goal" and there were warnings from physiologists that running a sub four-minute mile was impossible and dangerous to attempt.

Yet Bannister, a medical student who had suffered disappointment when finishing fourth in the 1500 metres at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, achieved what was deemed unthinkable.

Helped by two pacers, Bannister managed to do a mile in three minutes and 59.4 seconds at Oxford University's Iffley Road track.

The record stood for just 46 days before John Landy of Australia shaved almost a second off that time, but it was Bannister who broke the barrier.


1970 – Feyenoord's Dutch courage downs Celtic

Just three years previously, Celtic's 'Lisbon Lions' had become the first British team to win the European Cup in a famous triumph over Inter.

On this occasion, the Bhoys were favourites at Milan's San Siro stadium for European football's showpiece.

But it was Feyenoord's turn to make history in a 2-1 triumph over Celtic, who had overcome the heavily fancied Leeds United in the semis.

Tommy Gemmell's 30th-minute opener proved a false dawn as Rinus Israel equalised. Swede Ove Kindvall then scored an extra-time winner three minutes from the end as Feyenoord became the first Dutch team to win Europe's top prize.

 

1993 – Shaq's rookie reward

Big things were expected of the gigantic O'Neal when he was selected first in the 1992 draft by the Orlando Magic - and he did not disappoint.

The center averaged 23.4 points (eighth in the NBA), 13.9 rebounds (second) and 3.53 blocks per game (second) as the Magic finished 41-41 to improve by 20 wins, though they still missed out on the playoffs.

O'Neal was named Rookie of the Year and went on to have a Hall-of-Fame career.

He won three NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and another with the Miami Heat, while he was named Finals MVP three years running between 2000 and 2002.

South Sydney Rabbitohs captain Adam Reynolds fears the NRL could lose Latrell Mitchell as he compared the media spotlight on his star team-mate to that of NBA legend Michael Jordan.

Mitchell has come under fire for flouting social-distancing rules at a controversial camp with Melbourne Storm's Josh Addo-Carr – the pair both fined by the NRL.

South Sydney's Mitchell has faced scrutiny since forcing an early exit from defending champions Sydney Roosters at the end of the 2019 season.

Reynolds launched an impassioned defence of Mitchell, likening the media attention to what Chicago Bulls great and six-time champion Jordan endured in the NBA.

"If anything I think we ought to give it a rest," Reynolds said of the scrutiny on Mitchell on Wednesday as the Rabbitohs returned to training. "The media keep bashing him up and I don't know if you've watched the documentary [The Last Dance] about the Chicago Bulls and what they did to Jordan.

"They almost lost him to the game and I'd hate to see us lose Latrell to all this media pressure. From what I heard there were reporters at his front door the other day.

"Latrell has a newborn baby and he's got a wife with another young child there. He's constantly hounded and he's a human being at the end of the day and I think we need to give him a bit of space if anything. I'm more than excited to get back out there and play footy with Latrell."

Reynolds added: "I'm not worried about him leaving the game, he's got a great family and great support around him, but at the end of the day he's a human being and if you keep knocking him, and keep chasing him everywhere he goes, it can have an effect on anyone.

"It happened to Michael Jordan and he's at the top of the pinnacle of all sports. Latrell is a young kid, yeah he's made some mistakes but he's coming in here all bubbly and he's constantly scrutinised by the media, which I think is unfair."

Meanwhile, Rabbitohs head coach Wayne Bennett insisted he will continue to pick Mitchell at full-back despite questions about his fitness.

Mitchell reportedly appeared off the pace as all NRL teams resumed training midweek, ahead of the planned May 28 restart following the COVID-19 outbreak.

But Bennett told Fox Sports: "Latrell will be playing full-back come round three, I'm confident in him and what he brings to the team.

"I've coached a lot of players over the years and I know this guy's got a lot of talent. He's got enough talent to play any position on the field. The position he'll be playing for South Sydney is full-back.

"It took Darren Lockyer and myself 12 months to get his transition from full-back to five-eighth right and now there's a highway named after him.

"I've been coaching for 40 years so I know what I'm doing. One thing I'm not doing is second guessing myself. Everyone else can have their opinion. Latrell has the ability to turn up wherever he wants. He'll be playing full-back."

A month ago it was reported the relationship between Utah Jazz team-mates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert was "unsalvageable", but the pair are moving on.

Jazz executive vice-president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey said the two All-Stars have since made up and are ready to move forward.

"They're ready to put this behind them, move forward, act professionally," Lindsey said on a conference call on Tuesday.

"Look, the night of March [11] was really unprecedented, it brought a microscope to our team, and we get it. With that said, we're very pleased with the collective makeup of our group – Donovan and Rudy in particular – and we look forward to moving forward.

"They've said their piece to each other. They've both visited at the ownership level, at management level, at the coaches' level, the players' level with each other, they're fully participating in our Zoom workouts."

Gobert became the first NBA player to test positive for coronavirus on March 11, which promptly triggered the league to suspend its season. A day later Mitchell tested positive, and he said Gobert did not take the illness seriously and was careless with the way he conducted himself. The following week on ABC, Mitchell said it "took a while for me to kind of cool off" at Gobert.

Their relationship is no longer shattered, according to Lindsey, and they are ready to work together when the season resumes to help Utah continue their playoff push. When the season went on pause, the Jazz were in fourth place in the Western Conference and 1.5 games behind the first-placed Denver Nuggets in the Northwest Division.

"They're ready to put this behind them, move forward, act professionally," Lindsey said.

"We're very pleased with the collective makeup of our group, Donovan and Rudy in particular. We look forward to moving forward."

"We fully expect the team to come together in a great way and continue to move forward as a group," he added. "And I think at the end of the day, Donovan and Rudy – I don't want to speak for them on every matter, they'll speak to themselves, moving forward – but I think at the most basic level, they know they need each other to accomplish the goals that we want to accomplish of being the last team standing in the NBA."

Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons should be ready to play when the NBA season resumes.

Simmons missed eight games due to a nerve impingement in his lower back before the 2019-20 campaign was paused amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The point guard was at that time set to be re-evaluated in three weeks, putting his availability for a late-season playoff push into question.

Sixers general manager Elton Brand now believes he will be able to suit up. 

"I'm very optimistic he'll be able to play, if and when, we're given that green light to resume," Brand said on a conference call on Tuesday.

The NBA leader in steals with 115, Simmons has been allowed to rehab at the 76ers' practice facility and Brand has been encouraged by his progress.

The next step is for Simmons to move on to three-on-three and five-on-five work, but those scrimmages will not be permitted until social distancing restrictions are lifted. 

"I give Ben and our medical staff a ton of credit for their hard work throughout his recovery," Brand said.

"I give Ben so much credit for him working so hard throughout this unknown time. Fortunately, we've able to arrange for him to continue to get the treatment and rehab he needs during this hiatus. 

''When I FaceTime him during his workouts and his treatments and I see him, I'd be highly encouraged." 

A two-time All-Star, the 23-year-old Simmons was in the midst of another excellent season before being sidelined, averaging 16.7 points, 8.2 assists, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals.

He has been instrumental to Philadelphia's success, as the 76ers are 33-21 when Simmons plays and 6-5 when he does not.

The Sixers were tied with the Indiana Pacers for fifth place in the Eastern Conference when the season was shut down, and Simmons' return would be key to a playoff run. 

''We've taken our time, we've been methodical and thoughtful about his recovery and rehab, just to make sure, because we weren't in a rush,'' Brand said.

''It's hard to speculate. He's been working hard and I know he'd be close or ready.'' 

The NBA is very different place to what it was when Stephen Curry came on the scene.

The Golden State Warriors star has been at the forefront in a dramatic shift to the way the game is played.

Gone are the days when physicality was the predominant attribute required to succeed. Now the three-point shot reigns supreme.

Five years on from Curry claiming the first of his two successive MVP awards, we use Stats Perform data to analyse the increasing importance of success from beyond the arc.

 

Deadly from distance

Curry entered the league as the seventh overall pick in the 2009 draft, with Ray Allen proving the benchmark when it came to three-point shooting.

No one has hit more shots from downtown than the two-time NBA champion and 10-time All-Star's 2,973.

Prior to 2012-13, he also held the record for the most three-pointers made per game in a season when he averaged 3.4 in 2005-06. Curry has beaten that mark six times in his eight campaigns since.

The Warriors guard set a new record of 5.1 three-pointers made per game in 2015-16 and, after dipping to the still-impressive averages of 4.1 and 4.2 in the two subsequent seasons, he matched it in 2018-19.

On course for history

Curry has played 699 games in the NBA and has made 2,495 three-pointers. It is close to 700 more than the next best record for successful three-pointers in a player's first 700 games, which is team-mate Klay Thompson's total of 1,798 in 615 appearances.

The most previously was 1,632 by Allen.

A league-wide trend

It's not just Curry, though.

The average number of three-pointers made per game has been a new league record in each of the past eight seasons.

Furthermore, the rate of 24.3 combined three-pointers made per game in the NBA this season is more than twice that from 2005-06 (11.5).

Consistently accurate

In Allen's 2005-06 season he made a record 269 three-pointers – that is now the 11th best total in the all-time list.

Five of the top-10 tallies belong to Curry, including the top two. He set a new benchmark when he made 402 shots from downtown in his MVP season.

James Harden (378 in 2018-19 and 271 in 2019-20), Paul George (292 in 2018-19), Buddy Hield (278 in 2018-19) and Klay Thompson (276 in 2015-16) are the other top-10 entries.

There have been 38 player seasons in NBA history with at least 600 three-point attempts.

Six of those were by Curry and in those 38 the Warriors star's percentages rank first, second, third, fourth, eighth and 11th.

Often prolific

When Curry entered the league the record for the most games with at least eight three-pointers made was held by Allen, who at that point had nine.

Since then Curry has racked up 48 such games, more than twice as many as Houston Rockets guard Harden, who is second on the all-time list with 21.

Only four players had managed to score 11 three-pointers in a game before Curry's emergence, and each of them had only done it once. In his NBA career he has managed to achieve the feat eight times.

Not just the guards

The big men are also getting involved.

Players who are 6ft 8in or taller are attempting more of their shots from three-point range.

From 1979-80 to 1984-85 just 0.2 per cent of their field-goal attempts were from beyond the arc, and that increased to 3.0 in the seasons from 1995-96 until 1999-2000.

The figure since 2015-16 stands at 8.5 per cent.

A new NBA

The upward trend across the league can also be seen when looking at the top scorers in a season.

Before 2013-14, no more than four of the leading 10 players in points-per-game in a given season had attempted more than two three-pointers per game.

Since then, at least five have done so in six of the seven seasons. As things stand in 2019-20, the number is up to an unprecedented seven.

Indeed, there are 18 players in the top 25 for points-per-game this season who have attempted more than two three-pointers.

'The Last Dance' may have emphasised Dennis Rodman's eccentric ways when it showed him partying with Carmen Electra in Las Vegas, yet one of his Chicago Bulls team-mates insists he was actually "very quiet".

The documentary profiling the Bulls' 1997-98 campaign last week detailed the restless Rodman's mid-season trip to Las Vegas, which was sanctioned by head coach Phil Jackson.

Rodman stayed in Sin City with his model girlfriend Carmen Electra longer than the agreed time and it took a visit to their hotel room from Michael Jordan for the trip to end.

Subsequent recollections indicated that Rodman did not miss a beat when he returned to practice, and Rusty LaRue, a role player on that 1997-98 Bulls team, revealed the power forward was completely different once it came time to work.

"He's probably the exact opposite of his persona in the public," LaRue told Stats Perform.

"He's not a flamboyant guy. He was very quiet, a really hard worker, never took plays off in practice.

"When he was there, he practised his tail off and then would actually stay and lift weights after.

"He really didn't say a whole lot, kept to himself, kind of did his thing but was really a hard worker and had a very high basketball IQ.

"He was certainly an asset to that team in a lot of different ways."

LaRue, who was an NBA rookie on that 'Last Dance' team, was promoted to the roster during the season when fellow point guard Steve Kerr got an injury.

While Rodman, Jordan and Scottie Pippen were seen as the key figures in a team that secured a second three-peat, Kerr's basketball acumen has been evident since he went into coaching.

The Golden State Warriors coach has led Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to three NBA championships in four years recently, which has impressed his old colleague LaRue.

"Steve always was a really cerebral player, obviously, and was a tough competitor," LaRue added.

"You can see how that translates into being a really excellent coach.

"Probably the biggest thing I see on those Warriors teams is he came into a situation where he had a lot of elite players.

"He was able to manage those players and get them to all play together and sacrifice themselves a little bit for the team."

May 4, 2015 was when Stephen Curry's status as a true NBA superstar was confirmed.

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez was already established as a boxing royalty when, exactly four years later, he added another belt to his collection.

Here we take a look at major sporting events that have occurred on May 4 in previous years.

 

2015: Curry wins first MVP award

The Golden State Warriors' decision to hire Steve Kerr as their head coach prior to the 2014-15 season paid dividends as it transformed point guard Curry into one of the NBA's best.

Curry had only been selected for one All-Star Game before his 2014-15 MVP campaign, when he broke his own record for single-season three-pointers by nailing 286 shots from beyond the arc. 

The first of three NBA championships in four years soon followed as Curry spearheaded a new NBA dynasty.

He would win the MVP award again in 2016 - the season when the Warriors did not lift the Larry O'Brien Trophy - and that time he became the first in NBA history to win the unanimous vote.

2016: Fernando own goal sets up all-Madrid final

It was not pretty but on May 4, 2016, 10-time European Cup winners Real Madrid made another final.

Only one goal separated Los Blancos from Manchester City across 180 minutes, and it came via a degree of fortune - Fernando deflecting Gareth Bale's cross into his own net.

That was enough to see them advance to another final against cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid, with Zinedine Zidane's men going on to win their first of three successive finals in the competition via a penalty shoot-out at San Siro.

 

2019: Canelo seals points win over Jacobs

On Cinco de Mayo weekend, Mexican Alvarez out-pointed Daniel Jacobs to add the IBF middleweight belt to his WBC and WBA titles.

All three judges scored the fight in the Alvarez's favour on his return to the 160lb division, the 28-year-old having briefly stepped up to obliterate Rocky Fielding and take the Liverpudlian's WBA super-middleweight belt.

Alvarez moved to light heavyweight six months later, knocking out Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round to become a four-weight world champion.

Things were looking up for the Chicago Bulls when Derrick Rose was named NBA MVP on May 3, 2011.

At 22 years old, Rose became the youngest player – and only the second for the Bulls after Michael Jordan – to win the award.

However, that proved to be the pinnacle of his fledgling career, as a serious knee injury denied him the chance to maximise his incredible potential.

Using data from Stats Perform, we look at five NBA careers that were ruined by injuries.

 

Derrick Rose

After being drafted first overall by the Bulls in 2008, Rose was tipped as a talent capable of leading them to their first NBA championship since the Jordan era.

He was named Rookie of the Year and earned MVP honours in the 2010-11 season after averaging 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game.

Rose led the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat that year, but they were unable to deny LeBron James a first appearance in the NBA Finals and lost in five games.

However, an ACL tear in the first round of the playoffs the following season proved to be the first in a string of knee injuries that derailed what looked set to be a Hall of Fame career.

Rose's production has dropped across the board since that blow against the Philadelphia 76ers, the most notable of which is his points per game dipping from 21 beforehand to 16.8.

He managed 46 double-doubles and 41 30-point games prior to the start of the 2012-13 season, but since then he has managed just 12 and 15 respectively.

 

Penny Hardaway

Shaquille O'Neal encouraged the Orlando Magic to trade 1993 first overall draft pick Chris Webber to the Golden State Warriors for Hardaway and the pair quickly developed a formidable partnership that made the team championship contenders.

The Magic went all the way to the NBA Finals in 1995 but the youthful team were swept by the more experienced Houston Rockets and, after they lost to Jordan's Bulls in the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals, O'Neal left for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Hardaway appeared ready to become the leading man in Orlando but a knee injury sustained in December 1997 forced him to miss much of the remainder of the campaign.

He went from averaging 19.7 points and 6.3 assists per game to just 11.5 and 3.8 respectively.

Over half of the four-time All-Star's 313 games played prior to his injury saw him score 20 points or more. In his 391 appearances afterwards that ratio slipped to just 14.8 per cent.

 

Grant Hill

Two-time NCAA champion Hill entered the NBA surrounded by plenty of hype and he quickly established himself as a force in the league after being taken third overall by the Detroit Pistons in 1994.

He joined a select group of players to make the All-Star Game in their debut season and no one else in the league had as many votes as him – he ended up sharing Rookie of the Year honours with Jason Kidd.

Hill was a five-time All-Star and was the headline name heading into free agency in 2000, but he sustained a broken ankle – which he claims was mismanaged by the Pistons – during a first-round playoff game against the Heat and it altered the trajectory of his career.

The small forward landed with the Magic but was unable to continue delivering at his previous rates – his averages for points per game and assists per game fell from 21.6 and 6.3 to 13.1 and 2.6.

Hill managed just 31 double-doubles in the remaining 591 games of his career – just under a fifth of the amount he had accumulated in his first 435 appearances in the league.

His field-goal percentage may have increased from 47.6 per cent to 49.2 per cent, but just five of the 71 30-point games in his career came after his ankle injury.

 

Brandon Roy

Just one vote stopped Roy being a unanimous decision as Rookie of the Year in 2007, having averaged 16.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game during his first regular season with the Portland Trail Blazers.

He earned a four-year, maximum-salary contract in August 2009 and made his third All-Star appearance that season, but following surgery on a meniscus tear in his right knee – he had also previously had a procedure for a cartilage issue in his left knee – in April 2010 his career went south.

Roy, who had an operation on both knees in January 2011, would only play 52 more games in the NBA, five of which came in a bid to return from retirement with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2012-13 season.

In that period his points, assists and rebounds per game almost halved (points: 20.2 to 11.6, assists: 5.0 to 2.9, rebounds: 4.6 to 2.6).

Roy managed just one more double-double and 10 20-point games, having had 18 and 153 prior to the start of the 2010-11 season.

 

Tracy McGrady

The Rockets could have been championship contenders had McGrady and Yao Ming not both proved so injury-prone during their six years together on the team.

Despite an impressive start to life with the Rockets in 2004-05, back spasms sidelined McGrady for extended spells in the following two seasons.

The seven-time All-Star had painkilling injections to help ease knee and shoulder ailments ahead of the 2007-08 playoffs, but for the second straight season he was unable to guide Houston past the Utah Jazz in the first round.

McGrady's production fell off a cliff from the start of the following campaign. From scoring an impressive 22.4 points per game he slipped to just 8.7 – he only had one more 30-point game in the rest of his career, having had 205 beforehand.

As his career petered out at the New York Knicks, Pistons, Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs – a short stint with the latter coming after a spell in China – McGrady went from a ratio of scoring 20 points every other game to doing so once in every 10 appearances.

However, he still earned a spot in the Hall of Fame.

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