1. “It is my turn to be surprised. The interview had been salvaged when James’s team backtracked and agreed that he would answer questions about “The Decision”. Even more strikingly, the people looking after LeBron’s people try their best – and when James finally arrives his entourage of eight disappear behind the divide of our massive suite. King James and I settle down alone on a plush sofa. As a gentle prelude, now that he is a minority shareholder in Liverpool, I ask him about his tweet in October on Twitter. Having visited Anfield, and seeing Liverpool draw 1-1 with Manchester United, he hailed an ‘unbelievable experience’. James smiles and polishes the memory.”
One of the best interviewers around, The Guardian’s Donald McRae, sits down with locked out NBA superstar and Liverpool FC part-owner Lebron James. Good stuff.
2. “The media shape opinions on wide reaching subjects from current affairs to fashion to sport. If the media decided to suggest that a possible switch from Kilkenny to Dublin was an outrage, then that would be the talking point. It seems though that the media have now championed the Cha to Dublin cause and opened the public’s mind to the prospect.”
In the first of what will hopefully be a long series of blog posts, Wexford footballer Aindreas Doyle shares his thoughts on how the media have framed Cha Fitzpatrick’s decision to retire.
3. “More than most modern pros, Terry has escaped the terror of being marginalised or dropped. Power has tended to flow upwards from him to the manager rather than down from the coach to the centre-half and captain. Even in his less convincing phases he has cultivated an aura of unshiftability which Chelsea managers have generally tiptoed around. Those days are sliding into shadow. In successive home Premier League games Terry has appeared indecisive, off the pace and prone to clumsiness.”
The Telegraph’s Paul Hayward takes a look at Chelsea’s current troubles through the lens of one of the club’s biggest names, captain John Terry.
4. “Last week the cricket writer Peter Roebuck died. He is said to have thrown himself out of a hotel window in South Africa. Why Peter Roebuck’s death affects me beyond the passing sadness of a shared humanity – every man’s death diminishes me, etc – why I feel quite so diminished by it when I didn’t know the man personally or go out of my way to read his articles on cricket, mainly published in Australia where he’d chosen to live – I am unable to explain. But I cannot stop thinking about it.”
Howard Jacobson’s column in the Independent on the death of cricket writer Peter Roebuck is a must-read.
5. The Nazis knew the power of football. They encouraged folks to play it and oversaw the proliferation of clubs across the country, all part of their efforts to build a fit, regimented nation. Before it flourished under the Reich, however, football was first broken apart and reorganised, with the worker- and church-run clubs abolished and replaced by outfits run along lines more in keeping with the Nazi movement.
Paul Doyle produces this excellent piece on the football tournament at the 1936 Olympics.
6. The phones started ringing early in Harlem on the morning of September 11, 2011. The calls quickly spread to the rest of the boroughs and followed the same pattern of emotions: shock and disbelief, anger and frustration. ‘One of the parents called me up,’ said Ed Grezinsky, the girls’ basketball coach at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers in New York City. ‘They asked, ‘Is it true?’”
New York is still reeling from the shooting dead of teenager Tayshana Murphy in September. For Grantland, Jonathan Abrams takes a look at the life and death of one of high school basketball’s brightest prospects.