Not even his most ardent critics – and there are plenty of them – dispute James Harden’s greatness. His numbers are undeniable, he efficacy is unimpeachable, and his continued evolution, still adding wrinkles to his game at 30, is inspiring. Yet it’s unlikely the Houston Rockets guard will ever be universally adored, at least not to the extent of a LeBron James or even a Stephen Curry. It is a question of style, rather than substance, that prevents so many basketball fans truly taking Harden into their heart. And, in this regard, there are parallels to be drawn between the NBA scoring machine and soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. Of course, Rockets fans worship Harden, just as supporters of Juventus and Real Madrid, Ronaldo’s current and former club respectively, idolize the Portuguese forward. Fans inside the Toyota Center have watched Harden blossom from the perennial sixth man traded from Oklahoma City to escape the shadows of Kevin Durant and Russell … [Read more...] about Is James Harden the NBA’s Cristiano Ronaldo?
U19 youth champions league
We made it. Election day. The party leaders have given their final pitches, rallied their last rallies, and now here we are. We’ve got the news you need to get started today and you can follow live coverage of events from our indefatigable politics team, who will be working all day and well into the wee hours to bring you all the action – and the results. What’s going on? Well, the campaign is finally over. It’s been a whirlwind six weeks in which the leaders have travelled across the country, stolen phones, hidden in fridges, refused to apologise for their party’s handling of antisemitism when repeatedly asked by Andrew Neil, refused to be interviewed by Andrew Neil at all, posed in boxing rings, posed bulldozing a menacing tower of styrofoam blocks, watched as their confident promise of becoming prime minister quickly became a vanishingly small prospect, or as their pledge to help the Tories by pulling out of seats backfired. Both Boris Johnson and … [Read more...] about Thursday briefing: Now for the only poll that counts
Ask anyone in Italy about who might be sitting at the head of government in Palazzo Chigi following national elections on 4 March and the answer is a collective shrug of the shoulder. Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister and master of reinvention, has portrayed the centre-right coalition he leads as a safe pair of hands against the insurgency of the populist Five Star Movement, which has the overwhelming support of young voters but a dismal track record in municipal governments. Whether either side can cobble together a resounding majority on 4 March, or whether Italy will hobble from one election to another – as some predict – seems anyone’s guess. There is only one likelihood that most pundits do agree upon: that the Italian centre-left, led by former prime minister Matteo Renzi, seems poised to be heading for a humiliating defeat, not unlike its ideological counterparts in Germany and Spain. Things should be looking better for Renzi, the former Florence … [Read more...] about Italy elections: as left splinters, Berlusconi waits in wings
Everton fans face the prospect of a Duncan Ferguson-Zlatan Ibrahimovic buddy movie if word reaching the Rumour Mill from Italy is proved correct. Big Zlat is back in Europe having come, seen and conquered MLS by getting knocked out in the play-offs each season and is still desperate for on-field action. Milan, one of his myriad former clubs and another institution seeking a redemptive hero, may though end up being his eventual short-term destination. At 38, daring to Zlatan is only likely to be a quick fix. Even if Zlat does arrive on Merseyside, it won’t be Big Dunc calling the shots as the former “Birdman of Barlinnie” does not want the Everton job full-time. That opens the door for Carlo Ancelotti, whose main memory of Goodison Park until recently was probably being given his cards by Chelsea in the tunnel on the final day of the 2010-11 season. Mikel Arteta remains in the mix but Arsenal is the most likely destination for he of the immovable hair, a position Don … [Read more...] about Football transfer rumours: Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Everton or Milan?
Julian Castro, 44, unloaded on Joe Biden, 76, about his age at the Democratic debate Thursday night, implying the former vice president was having memory problems in a not so subtle shot at concerns about Biden's advancing years. 'Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?,' Castro snapped at him during a fierce back-and-forth on healthcare as the audience gasped at the attack line. 'Are you forgetting already what you just said two minutes ago?,' he repeated as Biden looked shocked at the punches coming his way. The image of one of the youngest candidates on the stage attacking one of the oldest comes as Biden, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, has faced increased questions about his health. Biden was the main target of the night from the start of the debate when he got into a three-way tiff with liberal rivals Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders on healthcare. Julian Castro, 44, attacked Joe Biden, 76, about his age on the Democratic debate … [Read more...] about ‘Have you forgotten what you said two minutes ago?’ Julian Castro, 44, astonishes Democrats by hinting that Joe Biden, 76, is struggling with his memory as they clash on health care