April 5, 2011
Posted: 1829 GMT
When a reporter asked Derrick Rose last September what his personal expectations were for the upcoming season, the young Chicago Bulls point guard posed a couple of questions right back: “Why can’t I be the MVP of the league? Why can’t I be the best player in the league?”
It was an audacious response, no doubt, but Rose was not being cocky. He is known for being one of the most humble stars in the league. It seemed as if the question genuinely got Rose to ask himself – why not me?
February 20, 2011
Posted: 2027 GMT
I've covered FIFA World Cup football finals, UEFA Champions League finals and a fair few other high-profile tournaments in my time, but I was not quite sure what to expect when I was asked to attend my first ever NBA All- Star weekend here in Southern California.
Of course, I had a reasonable idea in one respect given the location of the event - Los Angeles, Hollywood. And we all know that nobody does showbiz or razzamataz quite like the Americans. There was a celeb sighting pretty much every which way you looked and the legions of young fans following Canadian singing sensation Justin Bieber were not disappointed with his appearance on court during the All- Star Celebrity game.
February 4, 2011
Posted: 1204 GMT
The Green Bay Packers will clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in Super Bowl XLV. For those of you not familiar with Roman numerals, it will be the 45th edition of the marquee U.S. sporting event.
The Super Bowl has become so big, that a 30 second commercial spot during the upcoming game will cost $3 million. Just compare that with $40,000 per spot in the inaugural Super Bowl back in 1967.
U.S. interest is also at an all-time high. Last year’s Super Bowl surpassed the final episode of the series M*A*S*H as the most-watched U.S. TV broadcast ever, pulling in an average of 106.5 million viewers. According to futuressport.com, the global television audience for that same Super Bowl was 121 million.
January 18, 2011
Posted: 1250 GMT
LeBron James was crowned “King James” before he ever stepped foot on an NBA court. He then proceeded to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to pastures much greener than any they’d experienced in their 40-year history.
That included two of the franchise’s three division championships and their only NBA Finals appearance. But in seven seasons with the Cavs, “King James” failed to bring home a championship.
What followed has become the biggest soap opera in recent NBA memory. His much publicized divorce from the Cavs last summer changed his image from a do-no-wrong highlight reel to a vilified figure that chose to share the pressure of winning with the Heat’s Dwayne Wade.
December 23, 2010
Posted: 1147 GMT
After being utterly devastated by Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, New Orleans has rallied around its sports teams for inspiration. In fact, the NFL Saints’ Super Bowl triumph earlier this year is used as a symbol of how the city has come back from the disaster stronger than ever.
New Orleans fans have also loyally supported its only other professional sports franchise - the NBA's Hornets. But while the Saints may march on to another Super Bowl run this year, the future of the basketball operation is murky after becoming the first team in history to be owned by the NBA.
Hornets fans face the painful possibility of losing their team to another city – an all-too normal occurrence in U.S. sports. After all, the Hornets themselves moved to New Orleans from Charlotte in 2002. So how did the sale to the NBA come about?
November 29, 2010
Posted: 1814 GMT
When Lebron James takes the court against the Cavaliers this week for his first game in Cleveland since his off-season move to the Miami Heat, he’ll likely face a level of abuse not seen in the NBA for decades.
His abdication as king of the Cavs was nothing short of treason as far as many Cleveland fans were concerned, and his departure, without delivering the championship he’d promised, was viewed as the ultimate act of desertion.
Of course, he’s not the first sportsman who’s become an instant pariah by moving to another club. In 2000, Luis Figo’s transfer to Real Madrid from Barcelona caused so much acrimony that the Portuguese footballer reportedly received death threats and had a severed pigs head thrown at him when he returned with Madrid to the Camp Nou for the "El Clasico" clash between the Spanish rivals.
October 23, 2010
Posted: 1451 GMT
The new NBA season tips off on October 26 with a mouth-watering clash as the new-look Miami Heat visit the Boston Celtics. That game will be a fitting opening to what is arguably the most anticipated basketball season since Michael Jordan retired from the Chicago Bulls back in 1998.
During the off-season, the Heat pulled off perhaps the greatest coup in the history of the league by re-signing Dwyane Wade and acquiring free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh from the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors respectively.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Wade and LeBron are two of the top-three players in basketball alongside the L.A. Lakers’ Kobe Bryant. Add to the duo a top-five big man in Bosh, and the Heat have all the ingredients to not only compete for multiple championships over the next five years, but even challenge the all-time single season wins mark of 72 set by the Bulls in 1996.
October 13, 2010
Posted: 1932 GMT
I've covered World Cup and European Champions League finals and witnessed some of the most niggly and bad-tempered Manchester and Merseyside derbies in the English Premier League, but nothing quite prepared me for my trip to the University of Alamaba where the Crimson Tide faced Florida last weekend.
I was curious as to just what to expect. I know from nearly seven years of living in the States that College Football is a big deal, especially here in the South. But was there really going to be 101,000 fans showing up for what, at the end of the day, was a meeting between a pair of rival universities?
July 9, 2010
Posted: 1103 GMT
The news that Lebron James is to become a Miami Heat player may or may not have caught your attention, depending on your interest or lack thereof in the NBA, but the sheer scale of the hype that surrounded the lead-up to his protracted revelation would surely have turned your head. I know it did mine.
In fact, the “Lebronathon” was even heavier on hype than David Beckham’s “inauguration” as a Los Angeles Galaxy player, and came close to the Obama-mania of the last U.S election back in 2008, boasting a live announcement on national television, billed as “The Decision”, that was sandwiched between a tsunami of pre and post speech analysis from sea to shining sea.
You’d have thought King James was a real king.
Let me say for the record that I acknowledge that Lebron is an extremely gifted basketball player.