Sports stars were coming to terms on Sunday with another day of being sidelined amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Competitions including the Premier League, the NBA and Formula One were off as sport attempts to combat the spread of the virus.

There have been over 160,000 confirmed cases and more than 6,000 deaths worldwide.

Without work to keep them busy, athletes were finding other ways to entertain themselves - and often posting evidence online.

Tyson Fury would not have been in boxing action this weekend, as it is just weeks since his stunning world heavyweight title defeat of Deontay Wilder, but he was still impacted by coronavirus.

The Briton had been set to run the Liverpool Half Marathon but was advised not to, amid the crisis.

That did little to stop Fury, though, who continued with the run at home instead, dressed as Batman with strength and conditioning coach Kristian Blacklock as his sidekick Robin.

In the United States, Giannis Antetokounmpo has been vocal in bemoaning his boredom while the NBA is paused, but the world received evidence of how he has been using his time.

The Greek Freak's girlfriend uploaded a video of the reigning MVP playing Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water on guitar, and the Milwaukee Bucks ace replied: "If anyone wants a guitarist for their group, I'm free. Inbox me for booking."

Elsewhere, Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain stayed active this weekend.

His popstar girlfriend Perrie Edwards - a member of Little Mix - posted a video of the pair dancing at home with the caption: "Precautionary self isolation can be fun!"

Football's most famous popstar WAG had also featured in a social media post on Saturday.

David Beckham had been anticipating Inter Miami's first home match against his former club LA Galaxy before the 2020 MLS season was suspended.

Beckham instead took his family to see his expansion club's stadium, though, and wife Victoria was enjoying herself as the tannoy blasted out Spice Girls songs.

Robert Lewandowski and Gabriel Jesus shared clips of their workouts, but Dries Mertens' was a little different.

The Napoli star was filmed lifting a giant wine bottle in his exercises, posting the video with the caption: "My greatest advice in life, 'A little bit of wine is the solution to a lot of problems'."

And Barcelona B midfielder Riqui Puig joined a campaign to keep people in their homes in Spain, skilfully juggling toilet roll in an apparent reference to the stockpiling prompted by the virus.

The coronavirus pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the sporting calendar on Saturday with more major events and competitions being disrupted.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 rapidly spreading across the globe, it has resulted in the postponement of competitions worldwide as governments attempt to combat the pandemic.

A small number of events still went ahead, but sports stars, teams and indeed supporters were otherwise left to find other means of entertainment.

With the number of confirmed cases worldwide now totalling over 155,000, we round up all the latest news and updates.

 

Germany's prestige friendly with Italy later this month became the latest football fixture to bite the dust, with the majority of upcoming international matches having now been wiped out.

More major organisations have halted all footballing activities until a later date, including Qatar, Morocco and Egypt.

A small number of competitions, most notably the A-League, Russian Premier League and Mexico's Liga MX, did manage to go ahead as planned.

Indeed, NRL games also avoided the cut, as did a handful of Super Rugby matches before an indefinite ban was put in place later in the day.

Another competition to fall was Australia's one-day international series against New Zealand, which was already being played behind closed doors.

With New Zealand's government introducing strict protocols to attempt to slow the spread of the virus, the Black Caps – along with Super Rugby side Highlanders – returned home from Australia and Argentina respectively in order to beat the new restrictions, which will mean any new arrival to the country, even if they are a citizen, has to self-isolate for 14 days.

With the top-four tiers of English football being shelved until at least early April, there was plenty of focus on the National League as six games were given the green light.

There was some controversy in Argentina as River Plate's Copa Superliga clash with Atletico Tucuman was suspended after the home side refused to open their stadium.

Independiente's tie with Velez Sarsfield was played out in full, albeit behind closed doors, with the hosts claiming a 1-0 victory.

In Italy, Napoli urged their supporters to sing from their balconies in unison as Fiorentina's Patrick Cutrone and two more Sampdoria players tested positive for COVID-19.

Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy revealed a negative test result after recently self-isolating, but Carlo Ancelotti and Angelo Ogbonna questioned the Premier League's handling of the outbreak, while Jordan Pickford denied reports he is self-isolating.

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady, meanwhile, claimed the competition should be "void" – a suggestion Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher quickly dismissed.

The lack of football did not stop certain clubs from keeping supporters entertained, though, with LaLiga side Leganes posting live updates of a fictitious match against Real Valladolid, which they won 2-1.

Perhaps inspired by their Spanish counterparts, Southampton got Manchester City involved in an online game of noughts and crosses to help fill the void.

The downtime also gave football stars a chance to recuperate, with Sergio Ramos and Alexis Sanchez among those to post images of their extra-curricular activities.

Others, such as Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and FIFA president Gianni Infantino, opted to use social media to educate their followers on how to properly wash their hands, while Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi used his profile to echo the sentiments of Cristiano Ronaldo in calling for people to follow the guidance of health organisations.

As Ronaldo and Jurgen Klopp were praised by the World Health Organisation for "protecting people from coronavirus", former United States president Barack Obama hailed a host of NBA stars – including Giannis Antetokounmpo and Zion Williamson – for donating large amounts to help support arena staff during the league's hiatus.

UFC superstar Conor McGregor labelled the pandemic "a stupid f****** virus", but later moved to clarify his aunt did not die after contracting the disease after previously suggesting as such.

And in more positive news, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe revealed his country still plan for the 2020 Olympic Games to go ahead in Tokyo, starting in late July.

The International Olympic Committee will have the final say, but ABE is confident the Games will be staged "without problem".

Elite-level sport has been paused across the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic that now has over 150,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

In a bid to contain the spread of the virus, competitions have steadily been halted over recent weeks.

Each of Europe's top five football leagues are off, along with the Champions League, while the NBA came to a sudden stop on Wednesday.

Motorsport was hit as Formula One's Australian Grand Prix was postponed, while cricket, tennis, golf, hockey and, initially to a lesser extent, rugby all also took stock.

In a peculiar period with a vastly reduced sporting schedule, a number of stars were therefore left to make alternative plans.

Reigning NBA MVP and leading 2019-20 candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo did not last long before he commented on the boredom he was enduring in the absence of basketball.

The Greek Freak posted on Twitter late on Friday: "If this is how my life is going to be after basketball, I'm not retiring for a long time. #25yearCareer"

Antetokounmpo tagged his girlfriend Mariah Riddlesprigger, who replied: "You will literally drive me crazy so the longer the better."

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James was revelling in some family time, however, marking Friday 13 by watching a horror movie.

James then filmed his children as they performed a dance for their TikTok accounts, which their famous father promoted on his Instagram story.

F1 champion Lewis Hamilton found a different way to spend his time as the start of the new season was delayed, meanwhile.

"Gutted to not be qualifying today," he wrote on Saturday. "I decided to stick around Melbourne and go indoor rock climbing. It's a great way for me to keep focused."

Hamilton may not have been out on the track, but European Tour golfer Matthias Schwab was – virtually.

The Austrian shared a clip as he multi-tasked, playing a motorsport videogame while keeping fit on his exercise bike.

Elsewhere, Real Madrid had been due to take to the field on Friday before LaLiga went into lockdown, but Sergio Ramos entertained himself and his family.

The Madrid captain uploaded an image to his Instagram story of he and two of his children sporting matching hairstyles.

Ramos added two hashtags, reading, "I stay at home," "We stay at home".

Inter's on-loan Manchester United striker Alexis Sanchez was among the other players left to train at home, and he called his dogs in to help.

The Chile international posted a video, set to Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Want To Have Fun, as he juggled a ball with his dogs in pursuit.

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."

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has matched Kevin Love and donated $100,000 to support the staff at the Fiserv Forum following the suspension of the NBA season.

The NBA was put on hold on Wednesday after Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus ahead of the Utah Jazz's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Gobert's team-mate Donovan Mitchell has since confirmed he has contracted the virus, while the NCAA has cancelled March Madness in response to the pandemic.

On Thursday, Cleveland Cavaliers' Love pledged $100,000 to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse support staff, who would be impacted by the suspension.

 

Antetokounmpo has now followed suit, donating the same amount to staff at the Bucks' Fiserv Forum home.

"It's bigger than basketball! And during this tough time I want to help the people that make my life, my family’s lives and my team-mates' lives easier," Antetokounmpo said in a Twitter post. 

"Me and my family pledge to donate $100,000 to the Fiserv Forum staff. We can get through this together!"

On Friday, president Donald Trump officially declared a national emergency in the United States, where there have been just under 2,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Kyle Korver insisted the Milwaukee Bucks made the right call in resting some of their starters despite slipping to a third successive loss on Monday.

Giannis Antetokounmpo missed the 109-95 defeat to the Denver Nuggets as he is sidelined with a minor knee sprain, his status to be evaluated again ahead of this week's home game with the Boston Celtics.

Eric Bledsoe is also dealing with an injury, but Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer did not play Khris Middleton, Donte DiVincenzo, Marvin Williams or Brook Lopez at all against the Nuggets.

With a playoff spot already secured and a healthy lead over the Toronto Raptors at the top of the Eastern Conference, Korver – who top-scored with 23 points – understood why the decision was made to manage minutes for key players.

"Different guys are banged up," Korver told the media.

"We've got a good home stretch coming up here and we want to get right. Guys have nicks and knacks and you take care of it.

"We've got some important games coming up, so it was definitely the right call."

Budenholzer was pleased with the performance of those who did feature against Denver, revealing he opted to go with the "freshest bodies" at the end of a three-game road trip.

"This was the group that gave us our best chance," he said.

"Every night in the league you need something different. I thought we needed a lot of energy tonight going against a good Denver team.

"We were right there. This group put us right where we wanted to be. We just weren't quite able to get it done.

"At some point, you go with the kind of freshest bodies in certain situations. Those other guys are good, available and I told them to be ready. But we went with the group we did because we thought that was the best thing tonight."

Giannis Antetokounmpo will miss the Milwaukee Bucks' next two games with a minor knee sprain.

The reigning NBA MVP sustained a left leg injury during the Bucks' defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, the team confirmed. 

An MRI revealed a minor joint capsule sprain of the left knee, ruling him out of the Bucks' road games with the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets.

Antetokounmpo's status for Thursday's home game with the Boston Celtics will be updated later in the coming week.

The Greek is again the favourite for the MVP award and is averaging 29.6 points and 13.7 rebounds for the Eastern Conference-leading Bucks.

Milwaukee possess the best record in the NBA at 53-10 and are 8.5 games ahead of the Toronto Raptors in the race for the number one seed in the East.

Giannis Antetokounmpo admitted the Milwaukee Bucks "didn't play smart" against the Los Angeles Lakers - but believes his team will learn lessons from Friday's defeat.

LeBron James scored 37 points, had eight rebounds and provided eight assists as the Lakers won the battle between the top seeds in each conference, prevailing 113-103 at Staples Center.

However, the home team were aided by shooting 38 free-throw attempts in the contest, hitting 31 of them, much to Antetokounmpo's frustration.

"We definitely didn't play smart," Antetokounmpo, who led his team with 32 points in a losing cause, told the media after the game. 

"We obviously tried our best. We fight – we fight in every game. We try to stay in every game that we play.

"But they shot 31 free throws. We put them on the line so easily. You take that away and it's 70-odd points. You give them 12 free throws, 14 free throws, and now you have a ball game.

"We've got to do better, obviously. We will learn a lot from this game, go back and watch the tape and get better. Now we've got to move onto the next one."

As well as a potential NBA Finals preview, the game in Los Angeles pitted two of the leading candidates for this season's MVP award against each other.

The home crowd made clear who they believe should get the individual honour, chanting 'MVP! MVP!' for James after he pulled off a spinning dunk in the closing seconds.

Antetokounmpo, however, remains the overwhelming favourite to be crowned for a second successive season.

"It's always good playing against one of the best players in the league," he said. "When you bring the ball down, whenever you go against him, you can feel greatness.

"I've said in the past, that's where I want to be. As I said, he's one of the best players in the game, really smart. He's going to come at you – you've got to be ready to go, ready to fight against him. He's going to get his shots up, get his team-mates the ball."

Khris Middleton endured a tough outing for Milwaukee, finishing with 12 points on a 5-for-19 shooting night, but was backed by Antetokounmpo to keep on letting it go.

"Khris has got to keep shooting," he said of his team-mate. "It doesn't matter if you're having an off night, you're one of the best players in the team.

"A rough night cannot stop you from being who you are. Even if you go 0 for 20, he has to keep shooting."

LeBron James upstaged Giannis Antetokounmpo as the Los Angeles Lakers secured their playoff berth with victory over the NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks.

James led the Lakers to a 113-103 victory at home to Antetokounmpo and the visiting Bucks in Los Angeles on Friday.

Lakers superstar James won his battle with reigning MVP Antetokounmpo, posting 37 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Western Conference leaders.

Anthony Davis added 30 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who improved to 48-13 following the blockbuster showdown.

Antetokounmpo's 32 points and 11 rebounds were not enough as the high-flying Bucks fell to 53-10 for the season.

 

Baynes makes history

Aron Baynes had a game to remember. The Australian tallied a career-high 37 points, 16 rebounds and made nine three-pointers as the Phoenix Suns defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 127-117. He joined James Harden as the only players in NBA history with 30-plus points, 15-plus rebounds and eight or more three-pointers in a game.

Kristaps Porzingis recorded his fifth straight game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds after putting up 26 and 11 in the Dallas Mavericks' 121-96 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Duncan Robinson made history in the Miami Heat's 110-104 loss away to the New Orleans Pelicans. Robinson finished with 24 points following eight three-pointers. It took Robinson's three-point tally to 233 this season – a single-season record by an undrafted player.

Bradley Beal's 35-point performance extended his streak of 25-plus points to 21 consecutive games. It tied LeBron James for the second-longest run by an Eastern Conference player since the 2000-01 season. The Washington Wizards won 118-112 against the Atlanta Hawks.

 

Bradley struggles

Usually a handy contributor for the Lakers, Avery Bradley failed to make much of an impact despite his team's victory over the Bucks. The point guard played 31 minutes and failed to make any of his shots from the field (0 of five) or three-point range (0 of three). His two points came from the free-throw line.

The Chicago Bulls went down 108-102 to the Indiana Pacers and Lauri Markkanen headlined his team's woes. The 22-year-old had just three points, going one of 10 from the field and missing all five of his shots from beyond the arc.

 

LeBron slams it down!

James was an immovable force for the Lakers against the Bucks, who were unable to prevent this dunk.

 

Friday's results

Washington Wizards 118-112 Atlanta Hawks
Brooklyn Nets 139-120 San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder 126-103 New York Knicks
Utah Jazz 99-94 Boston Celtics
Indiana Pacers 108-102 Chicago Bulls
Orlando Magic 132-118 Minnesota Timberwolves
New Orleans Pelicans 110-104 Miami Heat
Dallas Mavericks 121-96 Memphis Grizzlies
Phoenix Suns 127-117 Portland Trail Blazers
Los Angeles Lakers 113-103 Milwaukee Bucks

 

76ers at Warriors

The Philadelphia 76ers (38-25) will be eyeing back-to-back road wins when they travel to the Golden State Warriors (14-49) on Saturday.

LeBron James' enduring brilliance is a source of inspiration to Giannis Antetokounmpo, who aims to follow in the NBA great's footsteps. 

The pair will face off when Antetokounmpo's Milwaukee Bucks take on James' Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.

At the age of 35, James is still producing the goods, and Antetokounmpo – whose Bucks side beat the Indiana Pacers 119-100 on Wednesday – cannot help but admire him.

"It's amazing. He's 35 and playing at a high level," said the 25-year-old Antetokounmpo, per ESPN.

"A lot of times we think that, 'Okay, we're going to retire at 35,' but seeing a guy at 35 being still a top-three best player in the world, that makes us want to be there.

"It makes me want to be there one day, so I've got to keep taking care of my body, eating the right way, being healthy, and as I said – he paved the way, and hopefully we can just follow."

Looking ahead to the Bucks' match-up with the Lakers ​– the two teams leading their respective conferences – Antetokounmpo cited James and Anthony Davis as key players, while Frank Vogel's men will have revenge on their mind following a 111-104 loss in December.

"The Lakers are going to come and play hard. We know that," he said. "I watched the game [against the New Orleans Pelicans]. They played extremely hard. They played through Anthony Davis, LeBron was facilitating, guys were shooting the ball, they were running to the corner, they were playing good basketball.

"And they lost the first game, so they're going to come out and try to win the second one.

"But at the end of the day, we've got to do what we do, which is defend and run to the corner and run to our spots, move the ball, take the open shot, make the right play, drive the lanes.

"We've done this for two years now – a year and a half, almost two years – and things take care of itself. So as a leader, I've just got to do that, and as a team, we've just got to stay on track."

Giannis Antetokounmpo claimed winning back-to-back NBA MVPs is "not important at all" to him after seeing the Milwaukee Bucks suffer just their ninth loss of the season.

Antetokounmpo was kept in check by the Heat on Monday, scoring a season-low 13 points as center Bam Adebayo frustrated the reigning MVP with a fine defensive performance.

Despite the loss, Milwaukee still lead the Eastern Conference standings with an NBA-best 52-9 record and Antetokounmpo is the frontrunner to be named MVP again.

Yet such accolades were far from his thoughts after a rare loss.

"It's not important at all. I really don't [care]," he told reporters when asked about being named MVP once more.

The Heat improved to 39-22 with the 105-89 victory and may have provided the blueprint for how to stop Antetokounmpo.

It is a game plan they might need to revisit in the playoffs and Antetokounmpo know the Bucks will likely need to find a way to break Miami down if they are to reach the NBA Finals.

"We haven't lost a lot this year," he said.

"Teams are looking at me and obviously I've got to keep my confidence high

"You're gonna win some games, you're gonna lose some games. We're not going to go 82-0.

"Miami's a great team, came out [and] played really, really hard tonight. We're definitely going to play them again at some point and we've just got to play better, play hard.

"They're going to play hard for 48 minutes, it doesn't matter whether they make shots or miss shots.

"They made 17 threes. If we see them in the playoffs, which is a month and a half away, we've got to be ready."

Giannis Antetokounmpo insisted he was not looking for a "back-and-forth" with James Harden but defended his style of play after the Houston Rockets star suggested his power game "takes no skill at all".

The reigning NBA MVP mocked Harden's high usage rate and lax defensive game during the All-Star break, prompting a response this week.

Seemingly referring to Antetokounmpo, Harden told ESPN: "I wish I was seven feet and could just run and dunk. That takes no skill at all."

Antetokounmpo, the clear favourite to be named MVP again, put up 32 points and 13 rebounds as his Milwaukee Bucks improved to 51-8 on Friday with a 133-86 thrashing of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Greek was asked about Harden's comments after the game, but he told ESPN: "There's not a back-and-forth. [I have] never tried to take shots at somebody."

Antetokounmpo was more open in discussing his style in an indirect question following Harden's criticisms, though.

"My game is not just power, for sure," he said. "I came in when I was 18, I was 180 pounds, so to power through big guys was kind of tough.

"But obviously, there are going to be times where you've got to power through guys. Like one of the best players, LeBron, Michael Jordan, Kobe and all those guys, Shaq, all those guys, they were extremely physical with their play.

"They made their presence felt in the paint, but obviously I try to work on my game, mid-range shots, threes, being able to screen and roll faster and make the right pass. It's hard to drive full speed and try to make the right pass to the corner.

"I try to get my passes more accurate and it's a lot of things I'm still adding, and hopefully, when I add all those things in my game, I'm a more complete player and I'm better and can help my team win and the game is easier."

James Harden did not appear to take kindly to light-hearted criticism from Giannis Antetokounmpo during the All-Star break as he suggested the NBA MVP's style of play "takes no skill at all".

Houston Rockets star Harden is renowned for his high usage rate, and All-Star captain Antetokounmpo instead selected Kemba Walker at the recent draft.

The Greek said: "I want somebody that's going to pass the ball."

Then, after the game, which Harden's Team LeBron won, Antetokounmpo claimed Team Giannis had targeted "whoever James Harden was guarding".

Harden was asked about the comments on ESPN's The Jump this week and did not appear amused.

"I average more assists than [Walker], I think," said Harden, who averages 7.3 assists to Walker's 5.0. "I don't see what the joke is.

"But I didn't even see [the comments] - I don't pay attention to stuff like that. I just know they keep mentioning me."

Seemingly referring to Antetokounmpo, he added: "I wish I was seven feet and could just run and dunk. That takes no skill at all.

"I've got to actually learn how to play basketball, how to have skill. I'd take that any day."

Antetokounmpo is the favourite to be named the MVP again, with the Milwaukee Bucks on course to claim the number one seed in the Eastern Conference once more.

However, Harden was not impressed by the 'MVP Ladder' on the league's official website that did not rank him in the top five contenders in mid-February.

"It's crazy. I still lead the league in scoring," he said. "That's something I can't control.

"Around the league, if you named the top five players that are getting double-teamed... Nobody's mentioning that.

"I'm not the type to say it or broadcast it, I'm just going to go out there and try to win games. That's what I've been trying to do."

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