first_imgNowitzki has already said he is considering a 21st season. Barring a dramatic improvement through a trade, the draft or free agency, that likely means another year of helping turn Smith into a point guard that can guide a champion the way Nowitzki credits Jason Kidd for doing in Dallas.Assuming the Mavericks stay near the bottom of the West standings, they’ll have another high draft pick after getting Smith at No. 9. That will be another young player who sees the work Nowitzki does away from the court to stay in shape, and a 13-time All-Star who is frequently the last player to quit shooting after practice.J.J. Barea spent his first five seasons with the Mavericks and was still a relatively young guard at 26 when the Mavericks won the title.“I used him a lot,” said Barea, who returned to Dallas three years ago. “If I work half of what he does, I’m going to be all right. These guys, they really didn’t get him at his best like I got him. But they still see how hard you’ve got to work to be able to play out there with us.”Nowitzki doesn’t mind admitting that practice isn’t quite as fun as it used to be.“But once the ball goes up, it’s still great,” said the 2007 MVP, who has career averages of 21.4 points and 7.7 rebounds. “I still love to compete. I still love to be out there for the guys and trying to help them with my experience and spread the floor for them and maybe getting some timely scoring here and there.”Always big on self-deprecation, Nowitzki quips that he can’t help the younger players by showing them any moves. He doesn’t have to be joking to acknowledge that his patented one-legged fadeaway jumper isn’t nearly as dangerous as it was when he was Finals MVP.What Nowitzki can offer is work ethic and experience, not to mention longevity. He became the sixth NBA player to reach 50,000 minutes Tuesday night at the Los Angeles Clippers.“It’s been two decades of fun and competing,” Nowitzki said. “Getting to 20 years is special. There’s not a lot of guys that have done it. Not a lot of guys have done it with one franchise. I’m proud of that, but want to finish the season strong.”Nowitzki always finds a way to steer the conversation back to the present — and future. Now in his 20th season, Nowitzki is comfortable with the idea that he led the Mavericks to their first title and can try to help a younger core build toward making Dallas a title contender again.“I just think I pride myself with this city, with this organization, whatever this city or this franchise goes through, I want to push it through,” Nowitzki said. “I want to be there for it. If it’s rebuilding, I want to push it through and help as much as I can. If we’re playing for a championship, then I’ll do that.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Mavericks haven’t won a playoff series since beating Miami in the Finals in 2011, LeBron James’ first season with the Heat. They had a woeful start for the second straight year, all but assuring that they will miss the playoffs with consecutive losing seasons for the first time since Nowitzki’s first two.The slide out of contention means little to the context of Nowitzki’s career: a 7-footer who changed the game with his 3-point shooting, the first foreign-born player to reach 30,000 points and the distinction with Kobe Bryant (Lakers) as the only players to spend 20 seasons with the same franchise. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH MOST READ LATEST STORIES Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises FILE – In this May 25, 2011, file photo, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41), of Germany, holds up his arms as fans cheer during the final seconds of Game 5 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Dallas. Now in his 20th season, Nowitzki is comfortable with the idea that he led the Mavericks to their first championship and can try to help a younger core build toward making Dallas a title contender again. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki made peace years ago with the reality that spending his entire career with the Dallas Mavericks would likely mean little or no chance to win a second championship.The most accomplished European player in NBA history never seriously considered leaving the franchise that courted him as a teenager in Germany and drafted him five days after his 20th birthday in 1998.ADVERTISEMENT AFP official booed out of forum Wizards beat Pacers to win 5th straight without Wall NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers View comments Read Next John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games03:06‘Pamana’: Mausoleum caretaker cherishes humble work for family01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City “I think the reality is that when you see this kind of consistency of greatness, there’s a tendency to take it for granted,” said Rick Carlisle, in his 10th season as Nowitzki’s coach. “And we must be careful about taking this for granted. We’re seeing a generational player that’s changed the game.”Nowitzki still starts — Carlisle pretty much declared earlier this season that he will start as long as he’s playing — but often sits at the end of close games. He’s probably the fourth scoring option, behind Harrison Barnes, Wesley Matthews and even rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr.But the 39-year-old played the first 54 games, an important measure for him to feel he’s contributing. Nowitzki, the only 7-footer to win the 3-point contest that’s part of All-Star weekend, is in position for the best shooting percentage of his career from beyond the arc. The number of attempts isn’t far off from his prime either.“I wish he can play forever,” said Washington coach Scott Brooks, who was at Oklahoma City when the Thunder lost to the Mavericks in the 2011 Western Conference finals and beat them in the first round the next year.“You know the time is winding down, you don’t know how many more years he has. He probably has maybe six or seven more left in him,” Brooks said, trying to keep a straight face.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

first_imgJaipur Pink Panthers and U Mumba players in action during the final of the Pro Kabaddi league in Mumbai.As Jaipur Pink Panthers’ captain Niketan Gautam stepped into the ballroom of the after-party hosted by promoter Anand Mahindra in honour of the Pro Kabaddi League winners (PKL) at the Four Seasons’,Jaipur Pink Panthers and U Mumba players in action during the final of the Pro Kabaddi league in Mumbai.As Jaipur Pink Panthers’ captain Niketan Gautam stepped into the ballroom of the after-party hosted by promoter Anand Mahindra in honour of the Pro Kabaddi League winners (PKL) at the Four Seasons’ Hotel, Mumbai, he could not help but break into a dance with his trophy. He hugged people with it, grabbed hors d’oeuvres with it, shook hands of corporate honchos, air-kissed socialites with it, and headed to the dance floor with it.His teammates, stylishly attired in pink and blue and gathered around star player Mani, aka Maninder Singh, followed suit, awkwardly spreading out in a space they were clearly not used to. Jasvir Singh, sledger par excellence on field, grinned nervously. As the runners-up, U Mumba, shyly filed in, ushers pushed them out away from entering via the dining area and through the main hall, where they downed their drinks too quickly, and stuck to the sides of the halls. Rajesh Narwal, 24, the raider from Ridhana in Haryana, bent to touch the feet of team owner Ronnie Screwvala and his wife Zarine Mehta as they entered. By 1 a.m., a busload of Puneri Paltans joined in, and by 3 a.m., the Patna Pirates were tearing each others’ shirts off. At the first afterparty of the first PKL season, coveted by corporate well-heeled, the boys from baulk lines, its stars, were finally cool.And it’s taking some getting used to. Rahul Choudhari, star raider for the Telugu Titans, and one of the most stylish players in the league, has been overwhelmed. “I am not able to sit, in a bus, on a flight, without people coming up to me,” he says. At 26, he is watching his mother being inundated with marriage proposals. But more than anything else, where some 70 clubs played kabaddi in his hometown of Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh, he says, over 250 have mushroomed. The story repeats, from Patna Pirates captain Rakesh Kumar, who is from Nizampur in Delhi, to Anup Kumar, who is from Palra in Haryana and leads U Mumba. Where the IPL had 453 million viewers in the first 15 days, and the FIFA World Cup attracted 129 million viewers, Star Sports says the PKL hit 288 million viewers.advertisementIt’s what founder PKL promoters and brothers-in-law Charu Sharma and Mahindra call “bringing kabaddi out of the shadows and into the sunlight”. Sharma, leaning excitedly into every stand in the finals, accedes his sun is now shining brightly indeed. They’ve just announced a women’s league and a World Cup. He says as a franchise they kept expenses low and generated revenues reasonable enough to allow them to dream of breaking even. At the start of the season, Sharma kept telling team owners not to sell to people who would make them wait two days in their offices. Today, he says, they are welcomed, but no one is selling. There is faith that profitability will come.The myth that kabaddi is a rural sport is broken. The 415 professional kabaddi clubs in Greater Mumbai, the highest of any city in India, are increasingly relevant, catapulted from being leisure clubs to prime-time TRP base and potential consumer base to sell merchandise. Mahindra’s association with the sport has been to use his visibility and those of team owners such as Jaipur Pink Panthers’ Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to grab the eyeballs.Non-Bollywood team owners such as Rajesh Shah of Mukund Steel, who owns Patna Pirates, have gone the whole hog. Shah has enlisted the presence of friend Vivek Oberoi, and created a theme song ‘Dhool Chata De’ written by Prasoon Joshi, composed by Aadesh Srivastava and sung by Kailash Kher to make the bang bigger. Kabaddi is a sport that has spanned urban, suburban and rural categories across income groups because it needs no equipment more than a 13x 10 sq m piece of land. In schools and towns across India, it is played on mud, derivative of the akhadas, often barefoot, and is one of the few sports that is played equally by both genders.In commercialising and hyping the sport, Sharma admits the promoters have merely tapped into an “underground” movement that has always existed. Collaterally, they have triggered a trickle-down effect that is making kabaddi popular in the gullies. Communication on the field is physical, it is in the tease of a gait, in the aggression of the slap of a thigh. This allows a vocal Indian, unhandicapped by status, dialect or gender, to win. The single largest reason for its connect is this Indianness, this negotiated tradition, says Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani. Over the past few years, top players across sports have emerged from Tier-II and Tier-III towns, and an India that once thought that to be western was cool is increasingly comfortable with the idea of being Indian. “Where we were taken by surprise is with the connect with the younger generation. We simply didn’t expect it,” says Biyani. More than just popular, the players admit, kabaddi has made being Indian, being superstitious, histrionic, emotional, physical and aggressive, incredibly cool.advertisementAlso uniting the players is the newfound pride in the humbleness of background. The burly captain of Puneri Paltans, Wazir Sing, 27, is from a farming family in Ponkheri Kheri in Haryana, works as a policeman and plays for India. He wears his antecedents of struggle and humble origins like a defining badge. All players, in fact, have government jobs. Navneet Gautam has worked with BSNL and ONGC, while Anup Kumar has worked with the CRPF, Air India and is now with Haryana Police. For many families, says Ajay Thakur, the lure of kabaddi was initially in that it was a chance to get a secure government job and pay cheque. These are not players who have had the luxury of endorsement deals. That there is now money in it, a simpler number of lakhs of rupees as opposed to an IPL player’s crores, which they receive as fee for the tournament as per the auction, is a bonus that they never saw coming. Kabaddi, the game of the soil, is making unexpected heroes of the sons of soils.Mitti ki Kasam, or the vow of the earth, is a ritual all kabaddi players follow, as they touch the earth before they enter the pitch and hold it to their eyes and heart in worship. “To us the mitti, the motherland, is everything” says Rakesh Kumar, a railway chief ticket inspector. Despite the shift from earth to synthetic rubber mats, used internationally and introduced in PKL to stylise the game, Kumar doesn’t believe players will ever lose the touch of the soil. “The mats here may be synthetic but back home, we play on mud, so we would never lose that contact. It is what gives us strength,” he says. His teammate, Tae Deok Eom, a star defender from Korea, who speaks little English and has spent his evenings after matches writing every move his rival players make, also touches the earth before entry now, though it is not a practice in Korea.Butter roti, butter naan, tandoori chicken and maa ki dal, he rattles off his newfound favourites. At first his teammates helped him avoid spice, but now he eats what they do. “Why just Mitti ki Kasam, he also shouts ‘Jai Bajrang Bali’,” his teammates tease him. In time spent training in Gujarat, Eom has acquired an Indianness about him, seemingly essential to blend in with the team. For players such as Eom, Waseem Sajjad of Pakistan and Dovlet Bashimov of Turkmenistan, kabaddi has been an introduction to all things quirkily Indian.advertisementThere is a sense of comfort among the players about being able to carry small-town India worldwide. This confidence stems from India topping the kabaddi worldwide rankings. Anup Kumar, captain of U Mumba, admits the changes-30-second raids, players wearing shoes, mats-have been difficult to adapt to. “But you know that if a change is introduced in India, it will soon be introduced worldwide. So you want to be at the forefront of change” he says in Hindi.Kumar, as also several other players, is also comfortable requesting his interviewers to speak in Hindi. The comfort of owning a game invented in India, unlike the adaptation required of those who tour with emerging football or cricketing teams, is intense. It allows Kumar to choose not to struggle with unfamiliar English. They can use a translator, he says. Foreigners on the teams also adapt, picking up Hindi. Kumar is also known for always wearing sunglasses, even off field and at night. He decides his own cool; trend-makers can take it or leave it.U Mumba team owner Screwvala warns against assuming too soon that India has become a leader in kabaddi by being the first to popularise it. “Let’s also remember that there are very few players worldwide. It isn’t great to be on top of those rankings yet. Having said that, more people play kabaddi today than they do even cricket, and cricket itself is on the wane worldwide. I would focus on the fact that we are popularising it within India, rather than internationally, and see where we can take it here,” he says.But India’s influences, as small as they may be, are unmistakably real. David Tsai, a 26-year-old raider from Taiwan, is the first ever professional Kabaddi player from his country, and is studying towards a PhD in kabaddi at the National Taiwan University. He started out by learning kabaddi from YouTube videos of Indian players at the Asian Games matches. “My aim here is to not just play, but to learn new things from India and take them back for my team at home and teach them.” On his return, he will buy regulation game shoes, and pass on techniques that he’s learnt in training.India sets the standards for what gets carried back, he says. There’s greater emphasis on muscle building and weight training in the Southeast Asian countries, he says, but it is every kabaddi player’s dream to come to India and train in technique. “Back home, they call this the Indian NBA” he says. To read more, get your copy of India Today here.last_img read more

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Rockets set NBA record with 27 3s, rout Suns PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss “Let me just say that for 47 years, Warriors fans have stuck with us through thick and thin,” Kerr told the crowd moments after the final buzzer, also thanking arena staff. “Let’s be honest, most of those years have been a little thin.”Landry Shamet scored 17 points with five 3-pointers for a Clippers team still missing Patrick Beverley because of a right hip pointer. Los Angeles dropped into a seventh-place tie with San Antonio in the West by losing its third straight. Now, the Clippers play the Jazz in the regular-season finale Wednesday and with various scenarios very well could be returning to Oracle next weekend for Game 1 in the first round of the playoffs.Green just missed a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in Golden State’s seventh win over the last eight games and fifth in a row at home. DeMarcus Cousins contributed 12 points, nine boards and four assists playing with foul trouble.Even with the playoffs around the corner, this was a night of celebrating the end of a nearly five-decade run in the arena.“Are they not going to make the playoffs?” Clippers coach Doc Rivers quipped. “I hope they don’t make it. That would be phenomenal. I’m just saying, it would be.”ADVERTISEMENT Clippers: Rivers would like to play the Warriors in the playoffs, just not in the first round. “If you want to win, you’ve got to play somebody at some point. We’re not dodging,” Rivers said. “I just want to be healthy and playing great in the playoffs. Do we want to play the Warriors in the playoffs? Yes. Do we want to do it in the first round? Probably not, but you’ve got to take it when you get it.” … Los Angeles is 0-4 without Beverley, who missed his third straight game. … The Clippers were outscored 42-18 in the third. … All five starters reached double figures.Warriors: A tribute to Al Attles was shown on the big screen during a first-quarter timeout for his selection into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Attles, a former player, coach, general manager with the Warriors and current ambassador, hasn’t been well enough to attend games this season but received an ovation. … Cousins received his third foul 6:49 before halftime on a debatable charge. … Shaun Livingston, who had been questionable with a bruised left knee, made all four of his shots in 13 minutes. … Every Warriors player scored. … Andre Iguodala sat out with a sore left toe. … Golden State finished 30-11 at home and 19-7 against the Western Conference.UP NEXTClippers: Host Utah on Wednesday.Warriors: At New Orleans on Tuesday to start a back-to-back to conclude the season at Memphis on Wednesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry greets fans as he takes the court for warm up shots prior to an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)OAKLAND, Calif. — Steve Kerr sure would like to properly thank the loyal fans at Oracle Arena one more time. In June. With another championship in hand.“Hopefully we’ll have another send-off in a grander manner,” Kerr said.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte LATEST STORIES Soaking in the franchise’s nostalgia of yesteryear, Stephen Curry scored 27 points and helped the Golden State Warriors clinch the Western Conference’s top seed with a win in their final regular-season game at Oracle Arena, beating the Los Angeles Clippers 131-104 on Sunday night for a fifth straight victory.Kevin Durant added 16 points and seven assists, making six of seven field goals, as the Warriors players opted to honor the past by sporting throwback white “We Believe” jerseys worn during the 2007 playoff run that snapped a 12-year postseason drought.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“These jerseys hold a special place in Warriors’ fans hearts and this organization and the history of this organization,” Draymond Green said.A banner commemorating 47 years at Oracle was unveiled afterward and it will move across the bay to hang inside new Chase Center in San Francisco where the Warriors will play next season. Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess The Warriors beat the Clippers for the 16th time in the last 18 matchups and 15th in 17 at home.Golden State made 10 of its first 13 shots — Durant hitting his initial four and Curry starting 3 for 3. Curry wound up just 3 for 10 from deep.“We just got frustrated with not making shots and against them you have to make shots,” Rivers said.HONORING ORACLEThe Warriors played their 1,936th regular-season game at Oracle, where the first game was held on Oct. 24, 1967, against Cincinnati. Golden State’s overall record in the venue: 1,166-770.“Since it’s not really the last game here, I know it’s a ceremonial final game, I didn’t get too sentimental or emotional or anything because hopefully we will be coming back here and playing a lot more games in the next couple months,” Kerr said. “I’ll probably hold off onto the emotion until it actually happens.”Kerr narrated an appreciation video to fans and the arena on a night old favorites such as Sleepy Floyd, Rick Barry, Adonal Foyle and Marreese Speights were on hand for the festivities.The Oakland Symphony performed at halftime as more highlights played.“I think sports history is going to remember those teams that played here,” Shamet said.TIP-INS View commentslast_img read more

first_imgHALIFAX – Christopher Garnier told a police interrogator he heard Catherine Campbell’s final breaths, and he was haunted by “seeing her, hearing her” gasp for air as he struggled to remember details of the night she died.“I could hear her take her last breaths,” Garnier told RCMP Cpl. Jody Allison on Sept. 16, 2015, hours after the police officer’s body was found face down in thick brush near Halifax’s Macdonald Bridge.“I don’t know how this happened… I’ve been trying to remember what happened.”The jury continued to watch the 9.5-hour-long taped interview Wednesday at Garnier’s murder trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. There’s still about an hour and 15 minutes left to watch, and the trial continues Thursday.Garnier allegedly killed the off-duty Truro, N.S., officer in a McCully Street apartment in the early hours of Sept. 11, 2015, and used a wheeled compost bin to dispose of her body.For the first roughly five and a half hours of the interrogation, Garnier sat in a grey-clad room sobbing in a computer chair amidst photos of Campbell spread out on a table, telling Allison he wasn’t “supposed to say anything.”At one point, Det. Const. Michelle Dooks-Fahie enters the room and takes over the interview, speaking to Garnier in a soft voice.He repeatedly tells her “I can’t” when she asks him to tell her about what happened inside the apartment and “take responsibility.”“This is your time to show it was a mistake, that it happened so fast,” said Dooks-Fahie, sitting close to Garnier in a chair, sometimes placing her hand on his shoulder.Allison re-enters the room.He tells Garnier he was speaking with investigators and knows what Garnier had in the car when he was arrested.The jury has heard a tarp, work gloves and rope were among the items found in the car, which was spotted driving by the area where Campbell’s body was discovered in the early hours of Sept. 16, 2015. Garnier was arrested minutes later.Allison says: “Don’t tell me she was still alive when you put her in the compost bin.”“No,” Garnier replies.He breaks down and sobs into his hands as he tells the two investigators, “I’m trying to remember.”“She wasn’t moving,” Garnier said when asked by Allison how he knew Campbell was dead when she was put into the bin. “She wasn’t breathing.”Garnier said he remembered being with her in the Halifax Alehouse, where the two had met, but didn’t remember who approached who, or going back with her to the McCully apartment.He told Allison he remembers seeing Campbell bleeding from the nose.“It’s all I can think about. It’s why I haven’t got any sleep,” said Garnier, wearing a T-shirt and pants and sitting with his hands clasped together, the two officers sitting in front of him.“I remember watching it on the news … I was trying to figure out why the (expletive) I would do something like that. I would never do something like that.”Garnier repeatedly told Allison that he could not remember how Campbell’s face became bloody, but eventually said he may have hit her.“I feel like at this point I’m telling you what you want to hear,” said Garnier. “If I knew, I’d tell you. I have no reason to hold anything else back at this point.”He recalled being in the yard of the McCully Street apartment after she stopped breathing, but didn’t remember putting her body in the green bin, or walking with it through the city’s north end towards the Macdonald Bridge.But Garnier said he remembered roughly where the body was left.“When I drove back down there I didn’t know exactly where she was,” he said, referring to the night of his arrest.He also said he didn’t recall what he did with the mattress.Garnier earlier told investigators the mattress was stained with blood. Allison drew on the back of a photo, depicting a rectangle representing the bed and a stick figure representing Campbell, her head at the foot of the bed. Garnier drew a circle to indicate where the blood was.The jury has heard that the mattress has never been recovered.Dooks-Fahie asked what was upsetting him most.“Seeing her, hearing her,” said Garnier, describing two gasps Campbell made just before she stopped breathing.Earlier in the interview, a sobbing Garnier told Allison “I’m sorry for what happened” and “I’m not a monster.”When asked what he would say to the Campbell family, Garnier replied: “I’m sorry for what happened.”He also told Allison through tears, “I never wanted anyone to die.”The 30-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body.Evidence presented at the trial has indicated Campbell was seen kissing and dancing with Garnier at the bar before leaving with him in the early hours of Sept. 11, 2015.Last week, the defence put forth a hypothetical scenario suggesting Campbell died during a consensual sexual encounter after encouraging Garnier to choke her.Follow (at)AlyThomson on Twitter.last_img read more