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LeBron James 'devastated' over Breonna Taylor case decision

By Sports Desk September 24, 2020

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  • Mourinho optimistic over new long-term Son deal Mourinho optimistic over new long-term Son deal

    Jose Mourinho is optimistic in-form Tottenham forward Son Heung-min will sign a new long-term contract in the near future.

    Son has made a magnificent start to the season, scoring nine goals and providing four assists in eight matches for Spurs.

    The South Korea captain, who is the joint-leading goalscorer in the Premier League with Dominic Calvert-Lewin on seven, is contracted to the London club until the end of the 2022-23 season.

    Tottenham boss Mourinho has no concerns over Son's future and expects the 28-year-old's exploits to be rewarded before too long.

    Asked about Son signing a new deal, he replied: "I would love that. Son has three years of contract so it's not like we're in an extreme situation of everybody being worried.

    "It's more that Son loves it here. I believe that he would like to commit his future to the club for a long time. Everybody at the club is totally in love with this player and this boy and is trying also to make him feel part of the furniture.

    "It's normal the club tries to go from three years to four or five or six, I don't know. It's normal."

    Mourinho added: "But it’s a very calm situation because Sonny has three more years of contract.

    "But I wish [that he signs a new deal]. He deserves one. The club knows that and sooner or later, without any pressure, they will arrive into a decision."

    Mourinho says Son is a model professional, who is maximising his potential.

    "He cannot do more than what he does," Mourinho said as Spurs prepare to face Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday. "Season after season after season, Sonny is showing how good he is.

    "Of course, the better the team is, the easier it is for the players to emerge. But Sonny is Sonny and everyone knows what he needs to do now to go to the next step: nothing.

    "Or he starts doing s*** socially and becomes famous and becomes in the big headlines because of some weird, silly or naive social behaviour.

    "Because he's such an incredible kid, also at that level. It's up to you to tell how good he is."

  • Kawhi and George will stay as long as Clippers win – Lue Kawhi and George will stay as long as Clippers win – Lue

    Tyronn Lue believes star duo Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will remain with the Los Angeles Clippers for a "long time" if championships are won as the new head coach embraces pressure of success.

    Lue will lead the Clippers in 2020-21 after replacing Doc Rivers following the team's stunning Western Conference semi-final exit in the NBA playoffs.

    The Clippers were one of the favourites to claim their maiden title following the arrivals of Leonard and George but squandered a 3-1 lead against the Denver Nuggets at Walt Disney World Resort amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    After going all-in to build a super team to outshine LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers – who reigned supreme in the Orlando bubble – pressure will again be on the Clippers to deliver a championship as time runs out.

    "Any time you have a chance to win a championship, it's pressure," Lue told ESPN's 'The Jump' in an interview to be aired Thursday.

    "And, I think Kawhi, PG are here to stay for a long time. We just gotta make it a great environment and we have to win."

    Lue fronted the media for the first time since being appointed, stepping up to fill Rivers' void having served as an assistant for the Clippers in 2019-20.

    The 43-year-old Lue guided the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first championship in 2016 – a team headline by James.

    There were high hopes for the Clippers, boasting two-time champion Leonard, six-time All-Star George, Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams but team chemistry and leadership derailed the Los Angeles franchise last term.

    The 2019-20 campaign was the ninth consecutive season the Clippers finished with a winning record (49-23) but failed to reach the Conference finals – the longest streak of its kind in NBA history, per Stats Perform.

    "I think when you talk about chemistry and continuity, it is not off the court, the guys not liking each other," Lue told reporters on Wednesday.

    "When you talk about chemistry, it is more so [George] came in and he had shoulder surgery, so he was out, he missed the whole training camp and was out the first 11 games of the season. Kawhi came in and couldn't participate in the whole training camp, and then we lost Pat Beverley, in and out of the lin-up a few times."

    One of the Clippers' biggest strengths is their bench, averaging over 50 points per game in each of the past two seasons – the only times any team have done that in the past 35 years.

    But in the playoffs this past season, the Clippers relied much more heavily on their starters as their bench averaged only 36.5 points per game in the postseason.

    With the Clippers built to win now, their ageing roster also presents a problem. They are one of the oldest teams in the league, fourth and only behind the Houston Rockets (30 years, 179 days), Milwaukee Bucks (29 years, 321 days) and Lakers (29 years, 201 days) with an average of 28 years and 153 days.

    "Leadership is different," Lue said. "You can talk about our two players, Kawhi and PG, they lead by example ... And you are not going to have the best players be the natural leaders at all times. It doesn't happen like that. I think a lot of leadership has to come from me, has to come from Kawhi, PG, Lou and Pat Beverley. It's going to be collective.

    "I got to show them different ways of leadership and they got to show me different ways of leadership. I don't know everything. They don't know everything ... The biggest thing about leadership is just communication."

  • Van Gundy agrees deal to coach Zion Williamson & Pelicans Van Gundy agrees deal to coach Zion Williamson & Pelicans

    Stan Van Gundy will get the chance to coach Zion Williamson after agreeing to take charge of the New Orleans Pelicans.

    He will take over from Alvin Gentry, who was fired as head coach after the Pelicans failed to reach the playoffs, finishing a season disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic 30-42 and 13th in the Western Conference.

    Van Gundy's previous coaching stint with the Detroit Pistons came to an end in 2018. He has also had spells with the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, leading the latter to the NBA Finals in 2008-09.

    "I'm excited to join a talented New Orleans Pelicans team," Van Gundy said in a tweet confirming his arrival. 

    "It will be an honour to work with our players and to work for [owner] Mrs. Benson and [executive vice-president of basketball operations] David Griffin, [general manager] Trajan Langdon, their staff and the great people of New Orleans.

    "I can't wait to talk to our players and get the process started."

    Key to that process being successful will be getting the best out of Williamson, the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

    Williamson saw the start of his rookie season delayed by a torn meniscus suffered in preseason, though he was still able to demonstrate his tremendous potential when he did take the court.

    He became the first teenager in NBA history with 10 successive 20-point games, but Williamson's impact after the resumption of the season in the Orlando bubble was limited by a minutes restriction placed on him by Gentry.

    Despite his frustration at that decision, Williamson was still named to the NBA All-Rookie team after averaging 22.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

    If Van Gundy can harness that production over the course of a full season, then a talented Pelicans team that also features Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Jrue Holiday will have a much-improved chance of contending for the postseason.

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