Archive for July, 2013


David West's decision to stay in Indiana maintains the Pacers' status as second-best in the East

David West’s decision to stay in Indiana maintains the Pacers’ status as second-best in the East

In Part One of our countdown of the NBA’s top movers this summer, we reviewed the likely impacts of the arrivals of Carl Landry, Jose Calderon, JR Smith and others in their new (or old) destinations.

While each of those players brings an impactful signing to their new club, the men we have left on the list are all potential season-altering deals. Here are the top ten free agents most likely to shape the 2013-14 NBA season…

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Chauncey Billups is one of several players returning to a former home in 2013 free agency (Image | ABC)

Chauncey Billups is one of several players returning to a former home in 2013 free agency (Image | ABC)

Free-agent season is often the most unpredictable month of the NBA calendar. Mixed in with the inevitable re-signings and weeks-long dramas that everyone loses interest in are a clutch of utterly unpredictable stories of new arrivals (and homecomings) that change the landscape of the league.

With that in mind, we’ve picked out the top 20 free agent moves of the summer so far.

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Mid-season syndrome for the Essex Spartans

Currently second from bottom of the second tier of the National league, the Essex Spartans have suffered five losses and only picked up one win so far this season.

WORD | Caption. (Image | Emma Webb)

Struggle | The Essex Spartans have only picked up one win out of six games so far this season. (Image | Emma Webb)

Kicking off back in April with a brand new and enthusiastic committee, a thoroughly rejuvenated youth squad and a roster of 58 senior players, the Spartans took to the field with every confidence that this season belonged to the Black Tide. So where did it all go wrong?

Head coach Marc Saunders said: “The results speak for themselves, but they don’t paint the full picture.

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The British and Irish Lions took to the field in Sydney on Saturday knowing that their place in the rugby history books would be secured if they could beat their Australian hosts.

WORD | Leigh Halfpenny... (Image | talkSPORT)

Game face | Leigh Halfpenny celebrates as the British and Irish Lions wrap up a 2-1 series win in Australia. (Image | talkSPORT)

When they left the field 80 minutes later, the Lions had a 2-1 series win and became the first side since 1997 to achieve success in the Southern Hemisphere.

First test: Lions 23 Australia 21

The first match kicked off the series in a brutal fashion, with Wallabies centre Christian Leali’ifano being stretchered off less than a minute into his international debut.

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The women’s game in tennis can struggle to get any meaningful attention, for a number of reasons connected to, and independent of, the sport itself.

Overshadowed | Women's tennis is often ignored for a number of reasons, but the treatment of Marion Bartoli rightfully caused outrage. (Image | The Guardian)

Overshadowed | Women’s tennis is often ignored for a number of reasons, but the treatment of Marion Bartoli rightfully caused outrage. (Image | The Guardian)

Having to deal with the lack of great rivalries compared to previous years, the incomparable brilliance currently on show in the men’s game, and pervasive sexism that still exists in society, it looked as though the 2013 Wimbledon Championships women’s singles final might end up being an eminently forgettable affair.

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David Moyes, Manchester United's new manager, has been quick to make his mark on the club's coaching infrastructure (Image | Sky)

David Moyes, Manchester United’s new manager, has been quick to make his mark on the club’s coaching infrastructure (Image | Sky)

As a Manchester United supporter, I was entirely pleased (and not surprised) when David Moyes was appointed the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson. What came as more of a surprise, however, was the subsequent overhaul of the Old Trafford coaching staff.

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Andy Murray clung on to beat Fernando Verdasco in the quarter finals - but the Spaniard made him work for it (Image | Reuters)

Andy Murray clung on to beat Fernando Verdasco in the quarter finals – but the Spaniard made him work for it (Image | Reuters)

Having not lost a set in Wimbledon 2013, Andy Murray would have felt confident coming up against a 29-year-old with a far from notable recent record. Fernando Verdasco gave the Scotsman the fright of his life on Centre Court this afternoon, but Murray continues to advance one step at a time towards that inevitable Final against Novak Djokovic.

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