Golden State Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson marched in Oakland's unity protest on Wednesday.

George Floyd – an African-American man – died in Minneapolis after a police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck during an arrest last week.

Violent protests have broken out across the United States since Floyd's death, during which he was filmed crying out for help as he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground.

Three-time NBA champions Curry and Thompson were among Warriors players to march in the Walking in Unity protest event, along with team-mates Damion Lee and Kevon Looney.

Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson organised the rally and said: "No matter the colour of your skin, how much money you got, your education, it don't matter, we're all human beings.

"We're all here for the same purpose. Not just for black people. Right now it's about black people, but for humanity. There's people all over the world being oppressed.

"And we're just trying to take a step in the right direction and start something – me and my boys, my brothers. Thank you guys for being here."

On Thompson's Instagram story, the five-time All-Star shared footage of the event and wrote: "@juanonjuan10 natural born leader!"

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale does not understand why he is so heavily criticised for playing golf and insists his love of the sport makes him a better footballer.

Bale has faced scrutiny in Spain for thinking too much about golf and not playing for Madrid, where he has been plagued by numerous injury issues in recent years.

The Wales international has been nicknamed 'the Golfer' by his Madrid team-mates and riled his own fans in November when posing with a flag that read "Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order".

However, Bale has defended his decision to regularly tee it up and pointed to the example set by Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, who also shares a passion for golf and has previously played on the Korn Ferry Tour.

"A lot of people have problems with me playing golf, I don't know what the reason is," he told the Erik Anders Lang Show podcast. "I've spoken to doctors and everybody's fine with it.

"The media have this perception that it's not good for me: 'You should be resting, it can cause problems, injuries.' In America, I know Steph Curry plays maybe on the morning of a game. 

"Here, if I play two days before a game it's like, 'What's he doing?'

"I just like going out to play, thinking I've got 18 holes ahead of me. You can get away from the football, away from anything negative that's going on, and reset your mind.

"The next day you feel a bit more fresh and ready to go and concentrate and feel better about football again."

Bale is back in training with Madrid ahead of LaLiga's planned return on June 11, three months on from the season being brought to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic.

And despite an underwhelming return of two goals and two assists in 14 league appearances in 2019-20, the 30-year-old is content with his performances this term.

"The thing with football now is everything is based around results. That's the problem," he said. 

"You might play amazingly, not score for five games and everyone says, 'He's having a terrible time.'

"People just like goals, assists, 'wow' things. And sometimes that doesn't always happen. I've played terribly, then I've scored two goals, and everyone says, 'Great game.'

"People can have their own opinions, as long as I know I've tried my best and I've played as well as I can then I'm happy with that."

The transformation of Barcelona under Johan Cruyff took an important step forward on May 10, 31 years ago.

The Catalans won their first trophy since the great Cruyff's return to his old club, beating Sampdoria to claim the Cup Winners' Cup.

Liverpool became European champions for the second time on this day in 1978 as they defended the trophy by defeating Club Brugge.

More recently, May 10 has brought about historic achievements from Stephen Curry and Rafael Nadal.

 

1978 - Liverpool defend European Cup

Liverpool became the first English team to retain the European Cup in 1978 – and they did so at the national stadium, too.

A solitary goal from Kenny Dalglish in the second half secured a 1-0 victory over Club Brugge at Wembley in a game that was a far cry from the thrilling 4-3 aggregate win for Liverpool against the same opponents in the UEFA Cup final two years earlier.

The Reds will not have cared too much, though. It was their second European Cup triumph, following on from 1977's 3-1 defeat of Borussia Monchengladbach, and they would go on to lift the trophy twice more in the next six years.

 

1989 - Barcelona win Cup Winners' Cup to kick-start Cruyff legacy

Johan Cruyff was a legend as a Barcelona player, but he returned as coach during a time of real strife at his old club.

Within a year, he had secured his first trophy in charge, as the Catalans claimed a 2-0 victory over Sampdoria to lift the 1988-89 Cup Winners' Cup.

Goals in each half from Julio Salinas and Luis Lopez Rekarte were enough to seal the win and kick-start the sustained success of Cruyff's fabled 'Dream Team'.

By the end of the 1993-94 season, Barca had won four LaLiga titles in a row, a Copa del Rey, three Supercopas de Espana, the UEFA Super Cup of 1992 and the European Cup of the same year, where they beat Sampdoria again.

 

2016 - Curry becomes first unanimous NBA MVP in history

Stephen Curry led the Golden State Warriors to a historic 73-9 in a regular season in which they seemed to break records at will, only to lose the Finals 4-3 to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Still, there was little argument against Curry being named MVP for the second year in a row. In fact, it seems there was no argument at all.

He swept all 131 first-place votes to become the first unanimous winner of the award in history, with Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs a distant second.

2018 - Nadal breaks McEnroe record for consecutive set wins on single surface

Rafael Nadal is quite good at tennis on clay courts, if you were not aware.

Two years ago, he reminded everyone just how imperious he can be on the red dirt (if 12 French Open singles triumphs since 2005 was not proof enough).

By beating Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-4 at the Madrid Open, Nadal broke the record for winning consecutive sets on a single surface. He reached 50 set wins in a row on clay, surpassing the 49 on carpet set by John McEnroe in 1984.

Remarkably, the run ended in rather meek fashion in his next match, as Dominic Thiem won their quarter-final 7-5 6-3.

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!"

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.

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.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry jokingly said he could drop 60 points on "everybody" in the NBA.

During an Instagram Live chat with former team-mate JaVale McGee on Friday, Curry made the prediction.

McGee, now with the Los Angeles Lakers, asked the two-time NBA MVP: "What team or player on that team that you know is guarding you do you look at and be like, 'Oh yeah, I'm getting 60 tonight'?"

Curry took a moment before responding: "Everybody."

It sent McGee running wildly before the center said: "What is going on? Steph Curry just took shots at every player in the NBA."

Curry has never managed a 60-point haul, with his career-high a 54 against the New York Knicks in February 2013.

The current NBA season was suspended last month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is 48 years to the day since the Los Angeles Lakers set a new NBA benchmark with 69 regular-season wins.

Bill Sharman's Lakers routed the Seattle Supersonics to end the year with a 69-13 record and the best win percentage (.841) posted by a team.

The stunning Los Angeles season bettered the Philadelphia 76ers' mark from five years earlier, although the Chicago Bulls and then the Golden State Warriors have since set the standard.

The Warriors' record will stand for at least another year, too, with the 53-12 Milwaukee Bucks faltering following Giannis Antetokounmpo's injury.

With the campaign now paused amid the coronavirus pandemic, we take a look at the teams and seasons that led the way.
 

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: 1966-67 - 68-13 (.840)

Since the Washington Capitols ended the first 60-game NBA season with a 49-11 record in 1946-47, no team had been able to post a regular-season win percentage of .800 or above - until the Sixers.

Philadelphia dominated from start to finish in 1966-67, led by MVP Wilt Chamberlain. The campaign was the first and only to include 81 games, adding another to make the existing 82-game schedule the following year, and the Sixers finished eight games clear of a strong Boston Celtics outfit in the East.

Chamberlain was the only Philly player to make the All-NBA First Team, but the Sixers' depth made them one of the greats, and they ended the year as champions with an NBA Finals success against the San Francisco Warriors.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS: 1971-72 - 69-13 (.841)

With an extra game to play with, it did not take the Lakers too long to edge past the Sixers. And Chamberlain was again the star.

After leaving the Sixers in 1968, Chamberlain was outstanding once again in his penultimate season in the league, while Jerry West - whose silhouette graced a new NBA logo that remains to this day - also impressed.

Chamberlain refused to compare LA to his Philadelphia team after breaking the record, but they ultimately matched the Sixers by claiming the championship, with the veteran the Finals MVP against the New York Knicks.

CHICAGO BULLS: 1995-96 - 72-10 (.878)

It took 24 years and arguably the greatest player in the history of the sport to break the Lakers' record. Michael Jordan lifted the Bulls to the first ever 70-win season in 1995-96.

Playing his first full season back following his initial retirement, there was still no stopping Jordan as he kickstarted the Bulls' second run of three straight championships.

The guard was the MVP, the league's leading scorer and then the Finals MVP, while Chicago finished 12 games clear of the Orlando Magic.

They only lost three more games in the playoffs, too, sweeping the Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals before beating the Seattle Supersonics to take the title.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: 2015-16 - 73-9 (.890)

Only two teams have ever broken the 70-win barrier, but the second, the Warriors, remarkably could not follow up their regular-season success with the title.

Golden State won three championships over a four-year stretch but could not get the job done against LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals in 2016.

The Warriors' stunning regular-season efforts overshadowed an impressive 67-win San Antonio Spurs campaign, with Stephen Curry the MVP and top scorer, but the NBA's outstanding team went down to the Cavs in Game Seven.

Stephen Curry has joined the growing list of prominent sports stars encouraging people to practice social distancing in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The NBA suspended the league on Wednesday as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on the global sporting calendar.

Latest figures show 3,802 confirmed cases in the United States, with 69 having died from the virus.

Golden State Warriors star Curry posted a video message on Twitter imploring everyone to do their bit to avoid mass gatherings where possible.

"What's up everybody? I know this time is pretty hectic and crazy and there's a lot of uncertainty out there," he said. 

"I just wanna take the time to encourage everyone to practice social distancing to the best of their abilities. I know people are in a lot of different situations and there are different demands from person to person. 

"But as best we can [let's] practice social distancing so we can get rid of the spread of this virus as soon as possible, flatten the curve.

"Make sure you stay six feet away from people, wash your hands when you go inside, outside as much as you can with water and soap and we can all come together collectively to stop the spread of this virus. 

"Everybody [can] do their part. I'm doing mine, I'm at home, me and my family are enjoying family time. 

"But as best you can social distance yourself and we can flatten the curve and get rid of this virus as soon as possible."

Stephen Curry is clearly missing playing as the season remains suspended.

The NBA suspended its season on Wednesday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the players are obviously missing being in action if responses to a question from Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie are anything to go by.

Dinwiddie wrote on Twitter: "Any @NBA players going to @YouTube to watch their own highlights due to withdrawals?"

Golden State Warriors star Curry replied: "At least twice a day."

Utah Jazz's Donovan Mitchell, who tested positive for coronavirus, wrote: "From rookie year to this year."

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said on Thursday he expected the NBA hiatus to last at least a month.

Former United States president Barack Obama has paid tribute to a host of NBA stars for their generosity amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The NBA was this week suspended indefinitely amid the spread of COVID-19, with league commissioner Adam Silver saying that will remain the case for at least 30 days.

In response, Kevin Love, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Blake Griffin all donated $100,000 to the arena staff of their respective teams to help those who will be hardest hit by the halting of NBA action.

Zion Williamson vowed to cover the salaries of all staff at the New Orleans Pelicans' Smoothie King Center for the next month.

Steph Curry, meanwhile, was influential in a collaboration involving Golden State Warriors players, coaches and owners pledging $1million to aid Chase Center employees.

Their efforts caught the attention of Obama, who praised them on Twitter.

"A shout out to Kevin, Giannis, Zion, Blake, Steph and all the players, owners and organizations who are setting a good example during a challenging time," wrote Obama.

"A reminder that we’re a community, and that each of us has an obligation to look out for each other."

Relief efforts have also seen Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban initiate a system to financially support the arena workers at his team's American Airlines Center.

Earlier this week, Obama had highlighted the impact cancelling large sporting events and other significant public gatherings can have in the fight against the virus.

He wrote: "If you're wondering whether it's an overreaction to cancel large gatherings and public events (and I love basketball)… these measures can slow the spread of the virus and save lives. We have to look out for each other."

Stephen Curry is due to make his comeback from flu when the Golden State Warriors host the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, coach Steve Kerr has confirmed.

Two-time MVP Curry only returned from a broken hand that had kept him out for four months when he suited up against the Toronto Raptors last week.

However, the Warriors then revealed their star guard was suffering from flu and he has missed back-to-back games against the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers as a result.

The Warriors, who have toiled to an NBA-worst 15-50 record this season, host the Nets at Chase Center on Thursday and Kerr anticipates Curry will be involved.

"We expect him to play Thursday," Kerr said in quotes published on ESPN.

"He wanted to play [against the Clippers] but we wouldn't let him, just given he hadn't done anything the last three days.

"This is a good day for him to get a good workout and get some rest tonight and then work out again tomorrow [Wednesday].

"Hopefully everything goes smoothly and he'll play Thursday night - that's the plan."

Curry's absence is not the only reason for the Warriors' struggles this term.

Five-time All-Star Klay Thompson has missed the entire campaign with a knee injury while Draymond Green, another key member of their three title-winning teams in recent years, sat out a sixth game on Tuesday with a knee injury himself.

"Draymond is doing well," Kerr said.

"Because he missed over a week I think he lost some conditioning and strength in the knee, and so we are taking a cautious approach there too.

"He's doing a lot better and he's gotten in a couple of good workouts the last few days. He's getting closer for sure."

The Warriors fell to a 131-107 loss to the Clippers on Tuesday.

Stephen Curry will miss the Golden State Warriors' clash against the Philadelphia 76ers due to the flu, with the team saying the star was showing no signs of the coronavirus.

Curry made his return from a hand injury on Thursday, but the guard is sidelined again.

The Warriors confirmed on Saturday that the two-time MVP was battling the flu and not showing signs of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 3,500 people worldwide.

"This morning Stephen Curry was diagnosed with influenza A by a positive viral testing," Warriors team physician Dr Robert Nied said in a statement on Saturday.

"We have identified his probable source contact who is not part of basketball operations.

"He has no specific risk for COVID-19. He has the seasonal flu. We have begun treatment for Stephen and instituted our team protocol for influenza exposure."

Stephen Curry's comeback on Thursday night was a welcome sight for LeBron James, who told the Golden State Warriors guard "the game missed you".

Curry had been out since October with a broken hand but he played 27 minutes against the Toronto Raptors at Chase Center, draining three three-pointers in a 23-point display.

The Warriors, whose season has been ruined by the injuries to Curry and Klay Thompson, lost 121-113 but head coach Steve Kerr said his team were "through the woods" now their two-time MVP was fit again.

Golden State's NBA-worst 14-49 record means they are not a factor in the Western Conference, with the Los Angeles Lakers leading the way ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers and the Denver Nuggets.

Yet Lakers star James was still pleased to see Curry back on the hardwood.

"Happy to see @StephenCurry30 back out there again!" James wrote on Twitter.

"Nothing like being in your sanctuary! The game missed you."

Stephen Curry's sparkling return to action has Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr hoping his team's struggles are at an end.

Curry played his first game since October against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday, having been sidelined with a broken left hand.

In his absence, the Warriors have slumped to the league's worst record and are now 14-49 after the Raptors prevailed 121-113 at Chase Center.

However, Curry offered a dazzling reminder of his considerable qualities with 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds during 27 minutes on the court.

"To me, it feels like it's on again," Kerr, whose men will miss out on the playoffs for the first time since 2011-12, told reporters.

"We're now through the woods, as I said before the game. We can start looking ahead and using these games to prepare ourselves for trying to reach a higher level of play."

Kerr understandably decided to proceed cautiously with the amount of minutes granted to Curry but pledged to step up his star point guard's workload over the coming weeks.

"I thought he looked great, moved well," he said. "It was not the ideal set of circumstances for him - we were taking him in and out of the lineup to keep his minutes down and to keep his stints shorter. He's not used to that.

"But he obviously gave us a huge lift, and he changes the whole game when he's out there.

"Our fans could see it, they could feel it. We're a different team, obviously, when he's on the court.

"So, great to have him back, and it'll be fun the next week or so to continue to build up his minutes and get him back into the groove."

The Warriors' problems this season have extended far beyond being without Curry for an extended period, with Klay Thompson missing all of 2019-20 due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Kerr currently has Draymond Green and Kevon Looney nursing respective knee and hip complaints.

Although an MRI scan on Green has come back clear, the Warriors coach conceded Looney's status is a cause of consternation.

"That's a concern and we'll have an update [on Friday]," he added. "He had some momentum and he was playing really well for us.

"So this is a bump in the road, hopefully, but we'll have an update when he has a chance to be evaluated by our doctors."

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