Koepka and Schauffele Catch Thomas to Share the Tour Championship Lead

ATLANTA — After Xander Schauffele hit his approach to eight feet on the 18th hole Thursday at the Tour Championship, Matt Kuchar, the other player in his pairing, sidled up and said, “You’re putting for a 59.”

The scoreboard showed Schauffele at 10 under on the par-70 East Lake course. But Kuchar was kidding, and he elicited a chuckle from Schauffele, who had started the tournament at four under as the Tour Championship’s highly anticipated staggered-scoring format made its debut.

Schauffele, 25, missed his birdie attempt. But his bogey-free six-under 64 was the low round of the day, vaulting him into a three-way tie for the lead in the tournament, which is the FedEx Cup playoff finale. Schauffele shared the top spot with the world No. 1, Brooks Koepka (67) and Justin Thomas, who started the day at 10 under and treaded water with a 70.

It seemed fitting that Schauffele, who has broken 70 in eight of his nine career rounds at East Lake, was the one to post the low score of the day, erasing Thomas’s two-stroke lead.

Two years ago, Schauffele and Thomas combined to provide the most compelling argument in favor of the tweaks to the playoff format that were instituted this year.

With a birdie at the last hole, Schauffele, then a rookie, won by a single stroke over Thomas, who had already sealed the FedEx Cup championship with players still on the course on Sunday.

And even though he won the sweepstake, Thomas’s face registered disappointment at missing out on the door prize, which was not a good look for selling the excitement of the FedEx Cup finale.

Did Schauffele appreciate being a thorn in Thomas’s side once more?

“It’s just Thursday,” Schauffele, a two-time winner this season, said. “I’d love to be a thorn in someone’s side on Sunday.”

Rory McIlroy, who started five strokes behind Thomas, voiced his skepticism of the staggered format in a news conference on the eve of the tournament. McIlroy’s worry, he said, was that Thomas would open with a low round and drain all the drama from the tournament.

“You’ve just got to go out there and try to play some good golf and not look around you and not look at what other guys are doing,” McIlroy said Wednesday, “and trust that by the end of the week things will hopefully even out.”

McIlroy, the 2016 FedEx Cup champion, followed his own advice, posting a 66 that left him alone in fourth, one stroke off the pace.

Like McIlroy, who birdied three of the final six holes, Koepka finished strong. He played the final four holes in three under. Koepka wore all black on Thursday, but pictures of him without a wardrobe seemed to be what most people wanted to discuss on Thursday.

Koepka had posed naked for ESPN Magazine’s September Body issue, and some images were made public this week. Some of the shots were taken at Floridian National Golf Club, his coach’s home base, and Koepka said he won’t soon forget dropping his robe to hit from a tee box near where the coach, Claude Harmon III, was conducting a lesson.

“I’m up on the tee box,” Koepka said, “and they had all their camera stuff set up in front of me face-on, but around the corner I see Claude teaching this, maybe 12-year-old kid, and his mom is just over there. I’m like ‘This is awkward,’ and Claude’s peeking around the corner laughing.”

Koepka added, “I’m pretty sure everybody that was at the golf course saw me that day, but whatever.”

Did he feel self-conscious?

“I never really thought about it,” Koepka said, adding: “I enjoyed it. I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.”

Koepka adhered to a strict diet in the weeks leading to the photo shoot and shrank to 187 pounds, whittling 20 pounds from his 6-foot frame. Compared with that, it was easy to shed the three-stroke deficit that he had at the beginning of the day.

“It’s nice to be tied for the lead after the first day,” Koepka, the front-runner for Player of the Year honors, said, adding, “Three more days to grind it out and finish the year strong.”

Karen Crouse is a sports reporter who joined the Times in 2005. She started her newspaper career at the Savannah News-Press as the first woman in the sports department. Her first book, “Norwich,” was published in January, 2018.  @bykaren

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WWE stars Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch are engaged

Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch are now a tag team for life.

Lynch, whose real name is Rebecca Quin, announced the WWE superstars’ engagement on social media Thursday night. The picture she posted was of her standing next to a shirtless Rollins on a rocky beach with her hand on his chest to show off the ring.

“Happiest day of my life. For the rest of my life,” she wrote.

The couple’s relationship was public in April when they attended a concert together. They had a program together on WWE television that culminated in a mixed-tag-team match. They defeated Lacey Evans and Baron Corbin at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view in July to retain their respective titles.

Lynch, the Raw women’s champion, is one of the industry’s hottest characters and Rollins, whose real name is Colby Lopez, is the Universal champion and won the Raw tag team belts with Braun Strowman this Monday on Raw, making him one of WWE’s most prominent stars. Lynch appeared headed for a match at Clash of Champions with a returning Sasha Banks.

WWE sent its congratulations to the couple.

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Deontay Wilder goes for a facial in Bradford before opening a restaurant in Batley – The Sun

DEONTAY WILDER enjoyed some pampering in Bradford before opening a new restaurant in 10 miles away in Batley.

And the heavyweight boxing world champ encouraged his fans to visit Prity salon to request the "Wilder facial".


But the boxer seemed to be confused and thought he was in Manchester – despite that city being in a different county.

Wilder was booked to open Mr T's newest restaurant in the West Yorkshire town of Batley on Thursday night.

And it's a chain well known by other boxers too.

SunSport reported how undefeated ring legend Floyd Mayweather visited their Bradford site in 2017 and was presented with a birthday cake.

And Tyson Fury, Wilder's nemesis, has also dropped in for some grub in the past.

THE WILDER FACIAL

But getting the WBC champ Wilder down could prove to be owner Tauseef Malik's greatest coup yet.

And the boxer was well relaxed before settling down at the Italian eatery.

That's because the 30-year-old enjoyed a good pampering earlier in the day at Prity salon.

A video shows Wilder laid on a bed being tended too, and he then spoke of his delight at getting the treatment.

In a clip shared on the company's Instagram page, he said: "I just got a Wilder facial, it was terrific, you've got to come in and get it.

"If you want your face to feel refreshed, then Prity salon is the place."

FEASTING ON PARMESAN CHICKEN

He then screamed his slogan "BombZquad" that made most in the salon jump.

Some hours later Wilder was settling down for his meal, but not before he made his own signature milkshake.

He then feasted on burgers, pizza and the restaurant's signature dish, parmesan chicken.

Labour leader of Kirklees Council, Shabir Pandoor tweeted out: "He’s a knockout! Great to meet the @WBCBoxing champ of the world, Deontay Wilder @BronzeBomber at the opening of Mr T’s in #Batley.

"DW is a big man with a big heart. His ambition matches that of the owners of yet another new enterprise in my home town."

Boxing fans are now waiting on the announcement of when his eagerly-anticipated rematch against Fury will be.

Before that one, Wilder will have another rematch – against Cuban veteran Luis Ortiz who he knocked out in March 2018.



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Athletics: US sprint star Coleman risks ban over missed drug tests, say reports

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – United States sprint star Christian Coleman could face suspension after failing to make himself available for three drugs tests, multiple reports said on Thursday (Aug 22).

Coleman, 23, the fastest man in the world over 100m this year and the favourite for next month’s World Championships in Qatar, has missed three separate tests in the past 12 months.

Britain’s Daily Mail and The Times newspaper reported that Coleman, a late withdrawal from last Sunday’s Diamond League meeting in Birmingham, is challenging one of the alleged “whereabouts” failures.

Under internationally recognised anti-doping rules, athletes are required to make their exact whereabouts known to drug-testers up to 90 days in advance in order to facilitate out-of-competition testing.

Athletes who fail to make themselves available for three drug tests are treated the same as athletes who fail a drug test and face an automatic suspension.

Any suspension of Coleman would represent another bodyblow against athletics just as the sport attempts to move on from the Russian doping scandal.

Coleman, the world record holder over 60m and world indoor 60m champion, has emerged as the most likely successor to Usain Bolt following the Jamaican sprint king’s retirement in 2017.

Coleman was a silver medallist at the 2017 World Championships in London behind mentor Justin Gatlin, and has a personal best of 9.79sec. He has the quickest 100m time of 2019 with a world leading 9.81sec set in Stanford, California in June.

The circumstances of Coleman’s alleged missed tests were not revealed.

Coleman’s agent, Emanuel Hudson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency, meanwhile, would not confirm a case involving Coleman.

“In general, for any potential violation a full investigation will be conducted and the case must be resolved before information is made public by USADA,” a spokesman told AFP.

OLYMPIC BAN THREAT

Depending on the dates of Coleman’s missed tests, if confirmed, he could miss the world championships and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Other athletes who have been suspended following three missed drugs tests include 2016 Olympics 100m hurdles champion Brianna Rollins-McNeal.

Rollins-McNeal was banned for a year by USADA after missing three tests in 2016 – two of them after she forgot to update her whereabouts details while attending a fete in in her honour held in her hometown and another when travelling to the White House to meet President Barack Obama for a reception.

However some athletes have successfully staved off a possible suspension after three missed tests. In 2016, British cyclist Lizzie Deignan, then Lizzie Armitstead, escaped suspension after taking her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Deignan argued that one of her three missed tests should be declared invalid because a doping control officer had not followed procedures correctly and tried hard enough to locate her.

Coleman’s failure to notify testers of his whereabouts was greeted with scepticism by US distance runner Kara Goucher on Thursday.

“Missing 3 tests in a 12 month period is bad,” Goucher wrote on Twitter.

“You can literally text an update of your location at any time. Will be interesting to see if he is able to dispute one of the missed tests.”

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Paralympian with Winnipeg roots hangs up the sled after stellar Team Canada career

A decorated member of Canada’s national para hockey team is calling it a career after 59 international games and a shelf full of gold and silver hardware.

Bryan Sholomicki, originally from Winnipeg, wrapped up a stellar run on Wednesday, officially announcing his retirement via Hockey Canada.

Sholomicki told 680 CJOB’s Sports Show that hitting the ice and trying sledge hockey a few years after a serious motorcycle accident was a mix of therapy and exercise.

“I loved hockey growing up. I was always playing,” he said.

“It was one of those things that I knew was a great recovery for me after the accident. Once I was able to get back on the ice, I was right in there, and felt right back at home there.”

Sholomicki was a quick study on the sled, and began getting noticed by national scouts soon after he picked up the sport in 2012.

“You get to know people in the neighbourhood you’re playing in, so you have a few national players here and there showing you the ropes,” he said.

“I was very fortunate that I had a couple guys spotting me. I think I made the national development team a year and a half after I first started playing. I had one camp with them, then I went to the tryouts and I was drafted into the national team.”

That was the beginning of an international career that saw Sholomicki collect a gold medal and four silvers in World Championship competition, a bronze at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge, and, most memorably, a silver medal at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

“It’s hard to describe it in words… you’re meeting all types of people from all over the world, and you’re seeing how they train and what they do,” he said.

“You meet a lot of friends, even if they’re rivals on the ice.

“My first game at the Paralympics, I scored a hat trick against Sweden, so that was a nice high for sure.”

Sholomicki said he’s seeing international interest and awareness in the sport growing, and more countries giving financial backing to national para-sports programs.

At this point, though, the 38-year-old is content with watching from the sidelines.

“I’m going to focus on my family and work. I’m a contractor as well, so now I can focus on business, just taking some time to myself, and family,” he said.

“They backed me so much through this experience. To be away 100-plus days of a year, it’s pretty hard on the family. I appreciate them allowing me to live my dream like that.

“Now it’s my turn to give back.”

 

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Liverpool on verge of mega Nike kit deal to eclipse Man Utd’s £75m-a-season record – The Sun

LIVERPOOL are close to signing a new kit sponsorship with Nike which could break Manchester United's £75million-a-season record.

The Reds are into the fifth and final season of their current contract with New Balance.

That deal is worth £45m per year but according to Forbes, Jurgen Klopp's men could well be turning out in Nike kits from the 2020/21 season.

Liverpool's recent successes in Europe, challenging for the Premier League title and their wide, global fan base makes them an exciting proposition for potential suitors.

Liverpool have reportedly also held talks with Puma and Adidas in recent months but Nike are the front-runners to land the Anfield club.

A clause in New Balance's contract means they have the right to match any potential new offer and extend their deal.

But any a new deal is expected to be the most lucrative in Premier League history.

Manchester United's deal with Adidas currently tops the pile, bringing in £75m each year.

Adidas also landed Arsenal for this season, meaning the Gunners earn an additional £60m, the same amount Chelsea get from Nike.

Spurs are also with Nike but get just £30m, far less than their top-six rivals.

Manchester City left Nike this summer to begin a new £65m-a-year deal with Puma.

But United are well behind Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid in terms of the most lucrative current kit deals.

Real Madrid net a tidy £98m from Adidas but Barcelona lead the way with £100m from Nike.

Juventus – £46m with Adidas – and Bayern Munich – £42m with Adidas  – complete the top ten.


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Is Torino vs Wolves on TV? Channel, live stream, team news and kick-off time for Europa League playoff first leg – The Sun

WOLVES are set to face Serie A side Torino in the first leg of their Europa League playoff.

After a relatively safe passage through to this stage, Nuno Santo's men face a tough test against a club who enjoyed their best season in six years last term.

But going into the match they have the advantage of having known for the whole summer that they'd be playing European football, whereas Torino only entered the competition after AC Milan withdrew.

And the Italians have also complained about Uefa opting for Portuguese official Artur Soares Dias, with whom seven Wolves players and boss Nuno will be able to communicate in their own language.

What time does Torino vs Wolves kick off?

What TV channel is Torino vs Wolves on and can I live stream it?

Torino vs Wolves is being broadcast live on Premier 1.

If your on Sky or Virgin TV, you can subscribe for free, whilst those who wish to stream the match should head to the Premier Player.

Wolves TV subscribers can also watch through the on-demand service.

In Italy, the game will be live on Sky Sport.

What is the team news?

Reports from Italy suggest that Torino winger Iago Falque remains injured and is unlikely to be present during the two-legs between Wolves and Torino.

With Nuno debuting four new exciting signings in the second leg of the qualifiers against Pyunik, it is likely these players will make an appearance as he looks to rotate during a busy schedule.

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Four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka shows off buff physique in naked photoshoot and girlfriend Jena Sims loves it – The Sun

BROOKS KOEPKA proudly poses naked for the ESPN Body Issue – and his stunning girlfriend Jena Sims absolutely loves it.

The world's best golfer and four-time Major winner ditched the clubs and all of his clothes for the nude shoot.

September 4th go get a copy of the @ESPN Body Issue! #ESPNBody

A post shared byBrooks Koepka (@bkoepka) on

Koepka, 29, showed off the results of all his hours in the gym with the risque shoot for the US magazine.

And it appears his biggest fan is model girlfriend Sims, who commented next to the photo: "We are getting good at these wardrobe malfunctions."

Sims was poking fun at herself for the daring see-through dress and eye-catching plunging gown she wore to the EPSYS in July.

Not everyone was a fan, though.

Koepka – who can bench 150kg and wanted to be a baseball star when he was growing up – wrote next to his naked pic: "September 4th go get a copy of the @EPSN Body Issue!"

And the American's rival Justin Thomas replied: "Nah man… I'm good."

Koepka is known for arguably being the most muscular golfer on tour.

But his beach body look came at a cost after he lost almost two stone in five months purely to look good naked.

Koepka, who has won two US Opens and two PGA Championships, admitted the drastic cut left him "out of sorts".

He dropped to 13.5st and lost ten yards in distance off the tee as results suffered.

Respected American pundit and former top star Brandel Chamblee slammed him for his decision.

Chamblee said: "For him to change his body, and his body chemistry, for vanity reasons, for a vanity shoot, is the most reckless self-sabotage that I have ever seen of any athlete in his prime."

But Koepka had the last laugh.

He successfully defended his PGA Championship in May and finished second in the US Open and in a tie for fourth at the Open.

Koepka, who is said to be worth around £14.4m, could pocket £12.3m if he wins this week's Tour Championship in America.




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James Harden blames media for MVP loss to Giannis Antetokounmpo

You’ll be shocked to hear this, but a member of the Houston Rockets organization thinks people don’t properly appreciate James Harden.

In the past, there was the Rockets’ official Twitter pulling a Kanye West and whipping out stats after Harden lost last season’s MVP award to Giannis Antetokounmpo. Then there was Rockets general manager Daryl Morey casually saying Harden is a better scorer than Michael Jordan.

Now, we’ve got the man himself quibbling with his MVP loss.

James Harden has a theory about why he lost MVP

During an interview on Houston-area radio station 97.9 The Box, the topic of Harden’s historic season last year came up. After some prodding from the host, Harden began discussing the MVP race and his public perception.

Harden’s biggest point of grief: a media narrative that formed around him.

The discussion begins around the 6:08 mark in the video below.

The full transcript of the exchange:

Host: I know you won’t say it, but I’m going to say it. I was pissed off when the MVP went down. I swear to god, I turned my TV off and I said ‘It’s politics, man.’ I know you probably don’t get involved, man I was hot.

Harden: Nah, but I think the same way you think.

Host: This man just had a historic year.

Harden: One for the books. Even when I’m gone, they’re going to talk about it.

Host: Did you get hot? Were you mad?

Harden: It’s out of my control. I think once the media, they create a narrative about somebody from the beginning of the year. I think they just take the narrative and run with it the entire year. I don’t want to get into any details, but all I can do is control what I can do. I went out there and did what I was supposed to do at a high level, you know what I’m saying? A few seasons where anybody’s ever done that before.

Harden doesn’t specify what exact narrative cost him the MVP, but the Rockets superstar isn’t lacking for possibilities. They could include criticisms of Harden as a ref-dependent volume scorer, Harden being considered the NBA equivalent of a system quarterback and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks quickly establishing themselves as the East’s biggest upstart.

22 PHOTOSJames Harden through his careerSee GalleryJames Harden through his careerApr 2, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) goes to the basket and scores against Toronto Raptors forward Patrick Patterson (54) and center Jonas Valanciunas (17) at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY SportsNEW YORK – JUNE 25: James Harden poses for a portrait prior to the 2009 NBA Draft on June 25, 2009 at the WaMu Theatre in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden reacts after committing a foul against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game 3 of their NBA Western Conference playoff series in Oklahoma City, April 22, 2010. REUTERS/Bill Waugh (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook (L) and James Harden watch the action against the Dallas Mavericks during Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference Final basketball playoffs in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, May 21, 2011. REUTERS/Bill Waugh (UNITED STATES- Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant (L) and James Harden celebrate against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Final basketball playoff in Dallas, Texas May 19, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)Oklahoma City Thunder’s James Harden (13) dunks the ball guarded by Los Angeles Lakers’ Jordan Hill (27) as the Oklahoma City Thunder play the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference semi-final playoffs series in Oklahoma City, May 14, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Smith/Pool (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (R), guard James Harden and injured player Eric Maynor (L) celebrate after their team defeated the San Antonio Spurs in Game 6 of the NBA Western Conference basketball finals in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, June 6, 2012.REUTERS/Steve Sisney (UNITED STATES- Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson tries to block a shot by Houston Rockets guard James Harden (L) during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Toronto December 16, 2012.REUTERS/Mike Cassese(CANADA – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)Houston Rockets James Harden (L) drives to the basket past Los Angeles Lakers Darius Morris during their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles April 17, 2013.REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)Houston Rockets guard James Harden takes a defensive position against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second half of their Game 2 NBA Playoffs basketball game in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Bill Waugh (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)Feb 14, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Western Conference guard James Harden during the 2014 NBA All Star game Player Press Conferences at New Orleans Hyatt. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsJames Harden of the U.S. goes for a basket over Serbia’s Nemanja Bjelica during their Basketball World Cup final game in Madrid September 14, 2014.REUTERS/Sergio Perez (SPAIN – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)Nov 2, 2015; Houston, TX, USA;Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) celebrates against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the third quarter at Toyota Center. Rocket won 110 to 105. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY SportsNov 7, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball as Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) defends in the first quarter at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY SportsJan 10, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) is embraced from behind by Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley (2) following Houston’s 121-114 victory against the Charlotte Hornets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY SportsJan 17, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) reacts during the second half against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 109-103. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY SportsJan 20, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) controls the ball during the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY SportsFeb 18, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) and Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) reacts in the three-point contest during NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY SportsFeb 18, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Western Conference guard James Harden of the Houston Rockets (13) laughs with Western Conference guard Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors (30) during the NBA All-Star Practice at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY SportsMar 20, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles against the Denver Nuggets in the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY SportsHOUSTON, TX – MAY 11: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets brings the ball up court during the game against the San Antonio Spurs during Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)HOUSTON, TX – MAY 11: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets talks with the press after the game against the San Antonio Spurs during Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 11, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)Up Next

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Of course, this argument would hold a lot more water had Harden not just won MVP the previous year. Not to mention that he received endless coverage during the season for his absurd 30-point streak. This might be crazy to hear for some members of the Rockets organization, but maybe, just maybe, Antetokounmpo — the hyper-efficient, paint-dominating Defensive Player of the Year finalist — was just really good?

After complaining about the media narrative undermining him, Harden and the host then discussed … how much the media covered his historic scoring streak.

Host: Every night on ESPN, we’re saying he just did this record, he did this record, 30 in a row …

Harden: People were tuned into how many points that I was going to score in the next game. It was a theme. I can’t control that, the only thing I can control is coming back next year, be better than I was, winning the ‘ship.

There’s no doubting Harden’s place in history as a great scorer. His 36.1 points per game last year was the highest total of any player in NBA history not named Michael Jordan or Wilt Chamberlain. He, alongside Stephen Curry, has helped shape the modern game into what it is today.

However, that reputation, or any other narrative, didn’t unfairly give the MVP to Antetokounmpo, which is what anyone insinuates when doubting last year’s awards race.

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England vs Australia 3rd Ashes Test: TV channel, live stream, start time, team news from Headingley – The Sun

ONE fearsome spell of fast bowling from Jofra Archer has set this Ashes series alive.

The England pacer tore into the Aussie batsman at Lord's on debut, unveiling a fragility to the short ball and with it potentially robbing the tourists of their talisman Steve Smith for this game.

Australia lead 1-0 heading into the Third Test at Headingley, where Joe Root's men will look to continue the momentum they built up at the Home of Cricket.

When is the third Ashes Test?

AFTER two hard-fought encounters, the series moves north to Leeds.

The third Test will be held at Yorkshire CCC's home Headlingley.

Day One will be on Thursday, August 22 and the Test is scheduled to run for five days until Monday, August 26.

The all-important toss is at 10.30am – weather dependent, of course.

Play will then start at 11am with 90 overs scheduled to be bowled over three sessions.

Which TV channel and live stream can I watch it on?

YOU can catch every delivery live and exclusive on Sky Sports Cricket.

For the duration of the series the channel has been renamed Sky Sports Ashes.

Coverage will begin daily at 10am.

During various parts of the Test, coverage will also be available on Sky Sports Main Event.

If you're not a Sky customer, you can still stream all the action on your mobile, tablet or PC by grabbing a NOW TV pass from just £8.99.

What is the team news?

STEVE SMITH is out of the match after suffering a delayed concussion during the Second Test.

A fearsome bouncer from Jofra Archer crashed into the Aussie's neck and he was ruled out of day five at Lord's.

Marnus Labuschagne is expected  to fill his shoes at No4 with the Australians leading 1-0 in the series.

England have already named an unchanged starting XI, meaning Jason Roy has a chance to turn around his poor form with the bat and announce his arrival in Test cricket.

England team

Joe Root (capt), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.

Australia team (to be confirmed)

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