A trip to Orlando, Florida is overwhelmingly a more popular travel destination than Milwaukee, Wisconsin for most American families.

NBA teams share that sentiment.

The NBA has approved its return-to-play plan, which will send 22 teams to the Walt Disney Resort near Orlando. All the games and practices will take place at the Disney complex after the NBA's Board of Governors approved proposals for a restart from the coronavirus-enforced break.

The teams invited to Florida are the 16 that held playoff spots when the season was halted on March 11, plus the six teams within six games of eighth place in both the Eastern and Western Conferences.

While having all the games at one location terminates travel and should cut down on some fatigue, it will provide a new challenge – likely playing games in empty gyms without the noise of the crowd.

A lack of crowd noise may be the biggest obstacle for the players, challenging their mettle. They will have to take part in crucial games and within these games, face critical possessions without getting any adrenaline rush from either the roar of the fans they would experience at their home arena or the chorus of boos from a hostile crowd when they are on the road.

For the teams, they are now pretty much all on equal footing. Those that had been dominating for the right to earn home-court advantage for the playoffs no longer have such an advantage.

When the season went on pause nearly three months ago, the Milwaukee Bucks owned the NBA's best record at 53-12. The Bucks are obviously an excellent team, boasting the league's highest-scoring offense behind reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, but some of their success stems from their ability to easily dispatch of foes when they visited Milwaukee.

The Bucks have only lost two of their 30 games at Fiserv Forum since the calendar flipped to November. And both of those defeats came at the hands of West clubs – the Dallas Mavericks on December 16 and Denver Nuggets on January 31. They have gone 18-1 in Milwaukee against the East this season with the lone blemish coming in overtime to the Miami Heat in their home opener on October 26.

By continuing to defend home court against East teams, the Bucks appeared to have a relatively clear path to reach the NBA Finals, but now their opponents will no longer be making that dreaded trip to Milwaukee. 

Miami, meanwhile, is a hotter destination than Milwaukee – both literally and figuratively – and the Heat climbed to the top of the Southeast Division behind the strength of a 27-5 record in Miami – the third-best home record in the NBA.

The Heat, however, no longer will have the luxury of welcoming visitors to South Beach and its nightlife, instead playing the rest of their games in the more family-friendly environment provided by Mickey Mouse.

Only one team has compiled a better home record than the Bucks and Heat this season, and that has been perhaps one of the most perplexing teams of all time.

The Philadelphia 76ers have gone 29-2 at home, but if the playoffs started today they would not be hosting a first-round series. Thanks to an inability to win on the road where they have gone 10-24, the Sixers are in sixth place in the East. 

Philly has a .935 winning percentage at home and a .294 winning percentage on the road. That decrease of .641 in winning percentage from home to road is the largest difference since the NBA expanded to 14 teams in 1968-69. 

Seeing as there has been no rational explanation as to how a team can play so well at home and so poorly on the road, it is anyone's guess how the Sixers will fare in Orlando.

While teams will be missing out on having games at their own arenas and players will no longer have the creature comforts that come with home games, a handful of teams that are heading to Orlando had slightly better records on the road than at home before the season paused.

Playing these games on neutral courts, likely without fans, in Orlando does not exactly correlate to playing road games in intense visiting arenas in front of raucous playoff crowds, but the Dallas Mavericks (plus-.077 winning percentage from road to home games), Los Angeles Lakers (plus-.071), New Orleans Pelicans (plus-.063), Phoenix Suns (plus-.062) and Oklahoma City Thunder (plus-.039) all have higher winning percentages on the road than at home.

Of those five teams, only the Mavericks, Lakers and Thunder posted winning records both on the road and at home. 

When the season went on pause, the only teams with road winning percentages over .700 were perhaps the three favourites to win the title – the Lakers (.813 road winning percentage), the Bucks (.735) and defending champions the Toronto Raptors (.719). 

No big surprise, but the ability to win on the road and perform under pressure in adverse conditions bodes well for a team's championship aspirations. 

While these will not be road games, they will certainly be adverse conditions. Likely the most obscure these players have ever experienced.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James called out New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for his lack of understanding for the reasons players kneel in front of the flag during the United States national anthem.

Brees said on Wednesday he still does not approve of people kneeling and takes offence to the gesture, which he believes is disrespectful to those in the military.

James was then quick to point out that Colin Kaepernick began kneeling in 2016 to protest against police brutality and racial inequality, and his action had nothing to do with those who fight and serve.

"WOW MAN!!" James tweeted, with a facepalm emoji. "Is it still surprising at this point. Sure isn't! You literally still don't understand why Kap was kneeling on one knee?? Has absolute nothing to do with the disrespect of [the flag] and our soldiers [men and women] who keep our land free.

"My father-in-law was one of those men who fought as well for this country. I asked him question about it and thank him all the time for his commitment. He never found Kap peaceful protest offensive because he and I both know what's right is right and what's wrong is wrong!"

James' tweet came in response to remarks Brees made earlier in the day in an interview with Yahoo Finance.

"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said when asked about players kneeling.

"Let me just tell what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States. 

"I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corp. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that's what I think about."

The 41-year-old does see a connection between the sacrifices made by those in the military and those fighting for civil rights, but still feels the flag should be respected.

"In many cases, that brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed," he said. "Not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the '60s, and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point.

"And is everything right with our country right now? No, it is not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution."

Brees' comments come a day after Blackout Tuesday, a day established to observe, mourn and bring policy change in the wake of the death of George Floyd, the African-American who died on May 25 while in the custody of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  

Since Floyd's death, people have been protesting in several American cities, calling for an end of police brutality against minorities, and the NFL and the league's teams are addressing ways of supporting and fighting for justice.

After four NBA championships, an MVP award, two scoring titles, 15 selections to the All-Star Game and All-NBA First Team honours on eight occasions, Shaquille O'Neal called time on his illustrious career on June 1, 2011.

Nine years on and the Hall of Famer remains one of the most dominant centers the league has ever seen.

After being drafted first overall in 1992 by the Orlando Magic, O'Neal was named Rookie of the Year and went on to provide the focal point of a team that reached the NBA Finals in 1995.

The Magic failed to go one better the following year and lost him to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he teamed up with Kobe Bryant and three-peated under Phil Jackson.

He was traded to the Miami Heat and won one more NBA championship there, before stints at the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and, finally, the Boston Celtics.

O'Neal had his jersey numbers retired by the Heat and the Lakers, while the latter also erected a statue of him outside of Staples Center.

Using Stats Perform data, we look at some of the most notable aspects of O'Neal's career.

 

Controlling the paint

From his first year in the league until 2004-05, O'Neal averaged at least 20 points and 10 rebounds per game in each of those seasons. That is 13 straight and is more than anyone else in NBA history. Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Hakeem Olajuwon each accumulated 12 in succession.

During that run, there were 10 consecutive seasons (from 1993-94 until 2002-03) in which O'Neal averaged at least 25 points and 10 rebounds per game. Abdul Jabbar's run of nine from 1969-70 until 1977-78 is the next best.

He is one of just four players in NBA history to score more than 25,000 points and block over 2,500 shots.

A man for the big occasions

While he shared the spotlight with Bryant at the Lakers, O'Neal showed how important he was to the team when needed.

He was named the NBA Finals MVP in 2000, 2001 and 2002. The only other player to win the award in three straight years is Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan.

O'Neal also holds the record for the most offensive rebounds in postseason history, with his 866 comfortably outstripping second-placed Tim Duncan's 778.

 

Struggles from the stripe

While he may have had the beating of most opponents in the paint, O'Neal found life much harder from the free-throw line.

He was often subjected to intentional fouls, with opposing coaches looking to manage the game clock and limit his team's scoring by sending him to the stripe. The strategy was dubbed the Hack-a-Shaq.

O'Neal missed 5,317 free throws across his entire career, the second-most all time in the NBA; only Chamberlain (5,805) missed more.

Of players to have made at least 1,200 free throws in the NBA, O'Neal has the fourth-worst percentage (52.7). Chamberlain is third with a 51.1 per cent success rate, with DeAndre Jordan (47.4) second only to Andre Drummond (46.1 per cent).

O'Neal also holds the single-game record for the most free-throw attempts without making one, failing to hit any of his 11 against the Seattle SuperSonics in December 2000. He still finished the game with 26 points.

Roger Federer has eclipsed Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to top the annual Forbes list of the highest paid athletes on the planet.

The Swiss maestro jumped four spots to sit top of the pile, earning $106.3million in the past year as he becomes the first tennis player to lead the way.

That eye-watering figure puts the 20-time grand slam winner ahead of football stars Ronaldo ($105m), Messi ($104m) and Neymar ($95.5m).

NBA icon LeBron James rounds out the top five, raking in $88.2m in a period when some sportspeople took wage cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Endorsements account for most of Federer's income, but he also undertook a tour of North and South America late last year to further boost his earnings.

"The coronavirus pandemic triggered salary cuts for soccer stars Messi and Ronaldo, clearing the way for a tennis player to rank as the world's highest-paid athlete for the first time," said Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor at Forbes.

"Roger Federer is the perfect pitchman for companies, resulting in an unparalleled endorsement portfolio of blue-chip brands worth $100million a year for the tennis great."

Federer's rise to the summit comes after fellow tennis player Naomi Osaka was announced as the highest paid female athlete, her $37.4m putting the Japanese 29th overall.

The debate over who is basketball's G.O.A.T has been reignited.

The release of 'The Last Dance' - ESPN's docuseries on the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls - has brought Michael Jordan's exploits back to the forefront of people's minds.

And the suspension of the current NBA season due to the coronavirus pandemic means current superstar LeBron James has, for the time being at least, been unable to respond on the court.

However, this week marks three years since James, then with the Cleveland Cavaliers, sunk a deep three-pointer in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals to pass Jordan and become the NBA's all-time playoff points leader.

Stats Perform has crunched the numbers on the two icons of the game to look at how they compare when the spotlight shines brightest.

 

PILING ON THE POINTS

That record-breaking shot from beyond the arc against the Boston Celtics moved James beyond Jordan's all-time haul of 5,987 points in his 212th game.

However, his boyhood hero's tally came in just 179 games, with Jordan having averaged a staggering 33.4 points per game, compared to James' 28.9.

There are still multiple postseason records Jordan holds too, including most points in a game (63 - which he accrued in the Bulls' incredible double-overtime loss to the Celtics in 1986) and consecutive games with at least 20 points (60).

Despite having seven-time All-Star Scottie Pippen also on the roster, Jordan was clearly the go-to guy for the Bulls on offense and he led them in scoring in 168 of his 179 playoff appearances.

James has led his teams in scoring (including ties) in an NBA-record 189 playoff games - out of 239 appearances - despite calling Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving team-mates at specific points.

 

JAMES: AN ALL-AROUND THREAT

While Jordan comes out on top in points per game, James has the edge in most other categories.

The current Los Angeles Lakers star averages more rebounds (8.9 to 6.4), assists (7.1 to 5.7) and blocks (0.97 to 0.88) per playoff game than Jordan, who does average more steals (2.10 to 1.75) - and it was robbing Karl Malone of the ball that famously helped MJ deliver championship number six 22 years ago.

James is, marginally, a more efficient postseason shooter, scoring from .491 of his attempts compared to Jordan's .487, though the two are neck and neck (.332) from three-pointers.

The all-around threat of James is perhaps best highlighted by the fact he has 23 playoff triple-doubles - second only to Magic Johnson's 30 - while Jordan made just two across his illustrious career.

 

COUNT THE RINGS

Of course, the ultimate goal for any successful team is to end the NBA Finals holding aloft the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, something Jordan has done on six occasions, twice as many as James.

Jordan went 6-0 in Finals - and was named MVP of each series - while James has a 3-6 record - and three Finals MVP awards - across stints with the Cavaliers and Miami Heat.

The Bulls' success in the 1990s - when they twice three-peated - means Jordan won 66.5 per cent of the playoff games he appeared in, a number that James (currently 65.3 per cent) will surely soon eclipse with his Lakers team primed for a deep playoff run when this season resumes.

Would another three rings see James surpass Jordan in the eyes of many? For now, it remains a fascinating debate.

Former NBA star Paul Pierce believes LeBron James is not among the top five players in history.

The Los Angeles Lakers star is widely regarded as one of the best players ever, a debate which has raged again following the airing of 'The Last Dance', a documentary focusing on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

However, Pierce refused to include James – a three-time NBA champion and four-time MVP – in his top five.

"Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar], Magic [Johnson], Jordan, Tim Duncan, Kobe [Bryant], [Larry] Bird, these guys are all top-10 players who have either helped build up their organisation or continued the tradition," the 10-time NBA All-Star told ESPN.

On James, Pierce said: "He went and put together a team in Miami, he came back to Cleveland and put that team together.

"Then he went to the Lakers, where a tradition has already been made, and that's still to be continued."

James' Lakers were 49-14 and top of the Western Conference when this season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Los Angeles Lakers veteran Jared Dudley is "90 per cent confident" the NBA will return amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The NBA was suspended indefinitely in March due to the COVID-19 crisis, which has wreaked havoc across the globe.

It remains to be seen when, and if, the 2019-20 season will resume – the Western Conference-leading Lakers had played 63 of the 82-game regular season when the campaign was halted.

Despite uncertainty, Dudley expressed optimism that the NBA will return after the coronavirus outbreak.

"Right now, 90 per cent confident of returning," the 34-year-old forward said on a conference call on Wednesday.

"The only reason why I wouldn’t say 100 per cent is because you're dealing with the unknown virus that can happen at any moment. They keep talking about the second wave or something unexpected."

NBA practice facilities have started to re-open this month after the league had targeted no earlier than May 8 for teams to return to their complexes.

"I don't think you're going to go from zero to 100," Dudley said. "I think they'll give us seven to 10 days of individual workouts. Then that next seven days practice. And then you'll get your two- to three-week training camp before we head to Orlando and Vegas."

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is reportedly considering the league returning via two locations – Orlando and Las Vegas.

Discussing the possible bubble-like format, Dudley said: "You will be allowed to leave. Now just because you leave, if we're going to give you that leeway, if you come back with corona, you can't play."

Dudley added: "When you're dealing with 300 different players – if you've seen the [Michael] Jordan documentary, every team's got a [Dennis] Rodman. He just doesn't have green and blue hair.

"There's always someone who's outside the box, who does that, takes the risk and says, 'Hey, listen, man, I'm healthy, and I feel good.'"

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James said he is "definitely not giving up on the season" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The NBA was suspended indefinitely in March due to the COVID-19 crisis, which has wreaked havoc across the globe.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is reportedly exploring the possibility of holding the entire postseason in one location – Las Vegas, while there has been talk the competition could head straight into the playoffs.

The Lakers had played 63 of the 82-game regular season when the campaign was halted, Los Angeles boasting a Western Conference-best 49-14 record and James is eager to return.

"Definitely not giving up on the season," James said. "Not only myself and my team-mates, the Lakers organisation, we want to play.

"There's a lot of players that I know personally that want to play. And obviously, we don't ever want to jeopardise the health of any of our players or any of the players' families and so on and so on.

"This is a pandemic that we have no idea [about]. We can't control it."

"I know we all miss it," said the three-time NBA champion. "I'd be sitting here lying if I said we don't."

After a difficult first season in Los Angeles, James had returned to his brilliant best for the Lakers in 2019-20 – the veteran's performances catapulting him into the mix for a fifth MVP award.

At the time of the NBA suspending the league, James had been averaging 25.7 points, 10.6 assists and 7.9 rebounds per game for the Lakers.

Sports are slowly returning following the coronavirus outbreak, with Germany's Bundesliga resuming behind closed doors over the weekend, while UFC 249 took place without fans in Jacksonville, Florida.

"We're seeing a lot of sporting events, UFC, soccer, we're hearing baseball's about to get going in a little bit," James added. "You know, I want to get back to playing. I love to play the game of basketball. I know how inspiring the game of basketball is.

"I know how inspiring sport is, itself. As soon as possible, when we can get back out there, we'd love to bring the game of basketball back to our fans."

James also revealed he started training to be an NFL player during the NBA's lockout in 2011.

"Myself and my trainer, we really started to actually train to be a football player when it came to like October and November," James said. "We started to clock our times with the 40's. We started to add a little bit more in our bench presses and things of that nature."

"The thoughts came into my mind. Never having the ability to finish my high school career playing my senior year I have dreams all the time about playing football."

LeBron James believes his "best assets work perfectly" with Michael Jordan as the Los Angeles Lakers superstar talked about playing alongside the Chicago Bulls great.

Debate in the NBA is often centred on who is the best player of all time – James or Jordan.

Jordan, 57, won six NBA championships, as many Finals MVP's and five Most Valuable Player awards during a remarkable career with the Bulls.

James has three titles to his name – two with the Miami Heat and one with the Cleveland Cavaliers – and three Finals MVP honours, while he is a four-time Most Valuable Player recipient.

Following the conclusion of ESPN's 10-part docuseries – 'The Last Dance' – focused on the Bulls team that won the 1997-98 NBA championship to complete a second three-peat in eight years, James fantasized about being Jordan's team-mate.

"Me personally the way I play the game -- team first -- I feel like my best assets work perfectly with Mike," the 35-year-old said in a video via Uninterrupted's YouTube Channel on Monday.

"Mike is an assassin. When it comes to playing the game of basketball, scoring the way he scored the ball [then] my ability to pass, my ability to read the game plays and plays and plays in advance."

James added: "I saw the things [Scottie Pippen] was able to do with Mike, I just think it would've been a whole 'nother level.

"Pip was one of my favourite players...it would've been a whole 'nother level with me being a point forward with me being that point forward alongside of him during those Chicago runs."

James also remembered taking part in Jordan's annual summer camp at UC-Santa Barbara after being drafted as the number one pick in 2003.

"We used to play around 9 p.m. The camp would end…and we would stay along with the college kids that he would invite," James said. "We would get a good-ass run in for about an hour, an hour-15. I was on the same team with MJ and we didn't lose a game."

The cause of death for all nine victims of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna has been ruled as blunt trauma, a post-mortem has confirmed.

The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-coroner on Friday published the results from examinations of those who lost their lives in the incident in Calabasas, California on January 26.

The crash occurred amid heavy fog but an investigation into the cause is ongoing.

A statement read: "On January 28, the cause of death for all nine decedents was certified as blunt trauma. The manner of death was certified as accident."

Alyssa Altobelli, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan were on board with the Bryants.

A 180-page report also showed that Zobayan tested negative for drugs and alcohol.

Bryant was a five-time NBA champion during a 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He was named the league's MVP in 2008, was selected for the All-Star Game on 18 occasions and received All-NBA First Team honours on 11 occasions.

The two-time Olympic gold medallist's jersey numbers of eight and 24 were retired by the Lakers following his death aged 41.

The NBA is prepared to have its 2019-20 postseason go into October if necessary, according to Jared Dudley.

The 13-year NBA veteran and current Los Angeles Laker responded on Twitter to a comment that ESPN's Ramona Shelburne made on a radio show on Friday, where she said: "I don't think there is a drop dead-date. I think the folks I've talked to have said, 'We can go as long as we need'. I mean, they can be playing until Labor Day."

Dudley, one of the Lakers' players association representatives, responded to the tweet by saying that the NBA commissioner would be fine if the season finished even later. 

"I heard even [October] from Adam Silver today," Dudley tweeted on Saturday. 

The news comes a day after some teams were allowed to open their facilities to players for individual workouts, as long as the team's region had enough testing materials to screen asymptomatic players. 

While there is no definitive plan in place to return to the court just yet, the developments of recent days point to the NBA placing a large emphasis on finishing the 2019-20 season, even if it delays the start of next season until December or even January. 

The league has been under an indefinite hiatus since March 11, when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was the first major American athlete to test positive for COVID-19. 

Dudley's Lakers have the best record in the Western Conference at 49-14. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo said a hacker was behind a string of racist and insulting posts on his Twitter account, leaving him "disappointed and disgusted".

A series of controversial tweets from the NBA MVP's official account targeted the Milwaukee Bucks and his team-mate Khris Middleton, as well as LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

Insensitive comments were also published about Kobe Bryant, who died alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter crash in California in January.

All of the incendiary posts have since been deleted.

In a statement published on Twitter, Antetokounmpo said: "Hey everybody! I'm back and would like to address the social media incident from earlier today! I was hacked and the situation is currently being investigated.

"The tweets and posts were extremely inappropriate and I am so disappointed and disgusted that somebody would say the terrible things that were said!

"I feel terrible that the Bucks, Khris, LeBron and the Curry family were included in the malicious and untrue tweets.

"I feel especially terrible for the Bryant family, during their time of grief they should not be subjected to this type of negativity and foul behaviour.

"Thank you all for always supporting my family and I, and please stay safe!"

A statement from the Bucks read: "Giannis Antetokounmpo's social media accounts were hacked this afternoon and have been taken down. An investigation is underway."

Antetokounmpo's brother Kostas, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, attempted to make followers aware the Bucks star was not behind the comments as they were published.

He later added: "Giannis' twitter, phone, email and bank accounts were hacked!

"He genuinely apologises for everything that was tweeted and he will be back as soon as possible!

"The things that were said by this hacker were extremely inappropriate and disgusting!"

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is in no rush for his team to return to practice, saying games were still "a long way away".

The NBA season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but teams can reportedly begin reopening practice facilities in certain states from Friday.

The Lakers were 49-14 and top of the Western Conference when the season was paused, but Vogel is prepared to take his time with his team's return.

"There's a competitive balance element to this that I personally am not really all that concerned about," Vogel told reporters on Wednesday, via ESPN.

"I think we're still a long way away from returning to play."

Vogel believes most teams will decide against returning on Friday amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen more than 265,000 people die worldwide.

While there have been suggestions the NBA could head straight into its playoffs when it restarts, Vogel said teams needed to play games before the postseason.

"I think we need some games. I don't know if they'd have to be regular-season games, in terms of finishing the season. Maybe they're exhibition games, you know what I mean, that you treat as sort of your dress rehearsal or whatever," he said.

"I think for the health of the league and for the health of everyone involved, the more we can get in for our league and our fans, the better.

"So I think if there's a way to get regular-season games in, that would be great, but safety's going to be the top priority. But the biggest thing for me is that there's got to be at least some exhibition games, which I think there would be."

Roger Bannister produced a feat most thought impossible on May 6 many years ago, while more recently Shaquille O'Neal was rewarded for a memorable debut season in the NBA

Bannister laid to rest the demons of Olympics heartbreak to produce a moment that would stand the test of history in 1954.

Almost 40 years later, NBA legend O'Neal was receiving one of countless prizes he earned during a sensational career.

Here are the best sporting moments from this day down the years…


1954 – Bannister breaks through the barrier

It was described as "sport's greatest goal" and there were warnings from physiologists that running a sub four-minute mile was impossible and dangerous to attempt.

Yet Bannister, a medical student who had suffered disappointment when finishing fourth in the 1500 metres at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, achieved what was deemed unthinkable.

Helped by two pacers, Bannister managed to do a mile in three minutes and 59.4 seconds at Oxford University's Iffley Road track.

The record stood for just 46 days before John Landy of Australia shaved almost a second off that time, but it was Bannister who broke the barrier.


1970 – Feyenoord's Dutch courage downs Celtic

Just three years previously, Celtic's 'Lisbon Lions' had become the first British team to win the European Cup in a famous triumph over Inter.

On this occasion, the Bhoys were favourites at Milan's San Siro stadium for European football's showpiece.

But it was Feyenoord's turn to make history in a 2-1 triumph over Celtic, who had overcome the heavily fancied Leeds United in the semis.

Tommy Gemmell's 30th-minute opener proved a false dawn as Rinus Israel equalised. Swede Ove Kindvall then scored an extra-time winner three minutes from the end as Feyenoord became the first Dutch team to win Europe's top prize.

 

1993 – Shaq's rookie reward

Big things were expected of the gigantic O'Neal when he was selected first in the 1992 draft by the Orlando Magic - and he did not disappoint.

The center averaged 23.4 points (eighth in the NBA), 13.9 rebounds (second) and 3.53 blocks per game (second) as the Magic finished 41-41 to improve by 20 wins, though they still missed out on the playoffs.

O'Neal was named Rookie of the Year and went on to have a Hall-of-Fame career.

He won three NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and another with the Miami Heat, while he was named Finals MVP three years running between 2000 and 2002.

LeBron James does not buy into the rumours that the NBA may be forced to cancel its 2019-20 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.  

The NBA was suspended indefinitely in March and in a post on Twitter on Thursday Los Angeles Lakers superstar James appeared to rebuke a CNBC story.

The report cited concerns from anonymous agents and team executives about the financial viability of a return this season, especially without fans in arenas.  

James posted: "Saw some reports about execs and agents wanting to cancel season??? That's absolutely not true. Nobody I know [is] saying anything like that.

"As soon as it's safe we would like to finish our season. I'm ready and our team is ready. Nobody should be cancelling anything."

Speculation about the possible completion of the NBA season has been inconclusive, even seven weeks after the league went on indefinite hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this week that his team, out of playoff contention, is assuming the regular season is over.  

The league office has yet to make any such declarations, however, and an NBA spokesperson confirmed seeing out the campaign remains on the agenda.

"While our top priority remains everyone's health and well-being, we continue to evaluate all options to finish this season," they said. "At the same time, we are intensely focused on addressing the potential impact of COVID-19 on the 2020-21 season."

James' Lakers had the best record in the Western Conference at 49-14 when the NBA was suspended.

Four-time MVP James, 35, is looking for his fourth championship.  

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