LeBron James arrives in LA with his greatness confirmed. What does he do now?

The spectacle of his late career will be as much about watching the emergence of LeBron the cultural figure as the twilight of LeBron the playerAt the end of each preview for The Shop, LeBron James’s new discussion show on HBO, appears the tagline, “I am more than an athlete.” On a purely factual basis this is difficult to dispute: James, like all of us, contains multitudes. But James is going after more than mere facts. In the same way that Barcelona fancies itself not only a football club but a symbol of Catalonian identity, James wants to stake a claim in the public consciousness on something that goes beyond sport. In his mind, he is més que un atleta. As this generation’s greatest basketballer embarks on what will likely be the final big challenge of his playing career – restoring a faded Lakers franchise to its perch atop the NBA – the question is: how much more? James has shaved on-court expectations, stressing the inexperience of his supporting cast this season. The Lakers have been bad in recent years, though under young coach Luke Walton they’ve at least begun a mild recovery from 2015-16, when they went 17–65 to record their worst season ever. Thanks to favorable draft picks, there’s now plenty of raw talent. Brandon Ingram, who gets about the court with the languid elasticity of a semi-animated linguine, has set himself the goal of being an All-Star this season, which is perhaps unrealistic in the hyper-competitive Western Conference but at least shows ambition. Lonzo Ball, the roster’s other starlet, will help share some of the burden in driving offensive play – a luxury James missed in his draining final season with the Cavs. Continue reading...



The Premier League Show: Five common myths about goalkeeping

Card-carrying members of the Goalkeepers' Union, Lloyd Griffith and David Preece, expose five common misconceptions about the art of goalkeeping for The Premier League Show.



Online aggression skews debate over suspended West Ham youth coach | Jacob Steinberg

Disreputable or an individual’s right? Battle lines on social media have sent the temperature soaring regarding the actions of West Ham’s Mark PhillipsWhen Kick It Out contacted West Ham about the youth coach who went on the Democratic Football Lads Alliance march through central London last Saturday, football’s anti‑discrimination organisation was not trying to stir the pot. Its aim was not to land Mark Phillips in hot water. It had an obligation to act after receiving an anonymous report about Phillips appearing to align himself with an organisation accused of Islamophobia and of having links with far-right groups.Yet the temperature inevitably rose on Twitter as soon as the Guardian broke the story about Phillips on Tuesday morning. For people who see nothing wrong with the Democratic Football Lads Alliance, a group condemned by anti-racist campaigners, it was a case of political correctness gone mad. Because it had acted on an anonymous complaint against the coach of West Ham’s Under-18s, Kick It Out was accused of being snowflakes who wanted to shut down free speech and, even more bizarrely, of being the real fascists. Continue reading...



Wembley decision unrelated to allegations against Fulham, says Shahid Khan

• Craig Kline’s allegations being reviewed by the FA• Former Fulham employee lodges employment tribunal claimThe Fulham and Jacksonville Jaguars owner, Shahid Khan, has said the withdrawal of his £600m offer to buy Wembley stadium had nothing to do with the allegations being made against Fulham by Craig Kline, the club’s former assistant director of football. Kline went public when he left the club last year with allegations, including racism, made in tweets which he deleted, and he timed his renewed intervention this year to coincide with key Football Association votes on whether to sell Wembley to Khan.Kline, a US university friend of Shahid Khan’s son Tony, has now made a series of allegations against Fulham and named individuals at the club in an employment tribunal claim that he lodged on Wednesday. He claims wrongful dismissal in the circumstances of his departure from the club, victimisation and that a financial settlement he agreed with a duty of confidentiality is not enforceable against him. Kline left Fulham after a troubled few years at the club in which he repeatedly found himself in conflict with colleagues, then made a series of complaints internally and was periodically suspended. Continue reading...



FA 'appalled' by rape & death threats to England's Carney

The Football Association urges police to tackle abuse on social media after death threats are made to England's Karen Carney.



Christian Eriksen set to return for Tottenham at West Ham

• Mauricio Pochettino says midfielder will either start or be sub• Manager says he would welcome new signings in JanuaryChristian Eriksen will be available for Tottenham’s visit to West Ham on Saturday, according to Mauricio Pochettino, despite the uncertainty surrounding his abdominal injury.The midfielder has sat out Spurs’ past four matches and there were fears he could face an extended lay-off when the Denmark manager, Åge Hareide, said the problem could become “chronic”. Hareide suggested Denmark’s marquee player had carried the injury for a little while. Continue reading...



Raheem Sterling and England show value of fearlessness in Spain | Eni Aluko

The Manchester City forward looked almost carefree in Spain and Gareth Southgate’s team need to keep this upEngland delivered an impressive display against Spain on Monday and it was kickstarted by a fine opening goal from Raheem Sterling. I was delighted for him. Few, if any, players have had to put up with as much negative energy from the media in recent years as Sterling and this was his way of showing that despite it all he still has what it takes to score goals for England.A huge part of Sterling’s burden in an England shirt has been dealing with all the critics. That is part of being a professional footballer but the scrutiny on Sterling has gone too far. I’d now like to see those who have criticised Sterling about irrelevant things such as his tattoo and his Poundland purchases give him the praise that is due from a purely footballing point of view. Continue reading...



Sport on the BBC: Best of this week's TV & radio coverage

This week's sport on the BBC includes the United States Grand Prix, the NFL International Series and Premier League action, including Chelsea v Man Utd.



Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe gets tattoo for Bradley Lowery

Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe gets a tattoo in memory of his friend Bradley Lowery, the Sunderland fan who died aged six after a long illness.



Black Power salute: 50 years on how much has changed? – video explainer

Fifty years ago, two 200m runners set the Olympics in Mexico City alight by giving Black Power salutes on the podium as they collected their medals. Tommie Smith and John Carlos said their clinched fists showed the solidarity of black America. The pair had no shoes on - to represent those living in poverty - and had human rights logos on their jackets, which Australian silver medalist Peter Norman wore as well. They both say there is still a great deal more to be done to tackle racism. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Smith and Carlos embodied many African Americans' Summer of Love and Reckoning Continue reading...