The NBA's preseason will start on December 11 ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, the league announced.

There will be a total of 49 games during the preseason, which will conclude on December 19.

Each NBA team will play a minimum of two and a maximum of four games – at least one at home and one away – with the 72-game regular season set to tip off on December 22.

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are eyeing back-to-back titles heading into the new season.

The Lakers ended their 10-year wait for a championship after topping the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals inside the Orlando bubble at Walt Disney World Resort amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Lakers' success tied the longest postseason drought in NBA history that a team ended by winning the title, matching the 1977 Portland Trail Blazers.

James also became the first player in NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL history to win the Finals MVP award for three different teams, having also been crowned Most Valuable Player with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Heat, as he celebrated a fourth championship.

Anthony Davis and James became the first pair of team-mates in NBA history to each have 500-plus points and 200-plus rebounds in the same postseason.

Barcelona have reached an agreement in principle with their players over a wage cut that will save them €122million.

The LaLiga giants were seeking to reduce their wage bill amid financial problems due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Friday, Barcelona confirmed they had reached an agreement in principle with their players.

Along with the €122m in savings, they also said variable payments of about €50m had been deferred over a three-year period.

"The agreement, if it is ratified, will be a milestone of great importance to redirect the current economic situation," the club said.

The agreement is pending ratification in the coming days by the players and coaches affected.

Barca are believed to have one of the highest wage bills in Europe, and the likes of Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal left the club in the close season.

Ronald Koeman's side are struggling in 13th in LaLiga ahead of hosting Osasuna on Sunday.

Red Bull must cope without sporting director Jonathan Wheatley for this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix after he tested positive for COVID-19.

The 53-year-old Briton has not travelled to Bahrain and has begun a 10-day period in isolation.

Red Bull sit second in the constructors' championship this season, with Max Verstappen accounting for 170 of their 240 points and Alexander Albon contributing the rest.

Wheatley joined Red Bull from Renault in 2006 and has been a pivotal figure in the team's rise.

It remains to be seen whether he can return for next week's Ssakhir Grand Prix, which also takes place in Bahrain.

Red Bull said in a statement: "We can confirm that during mandatory pre-race testing in the UK, sporting director Jonathan Wheatley tested positive for COVID-19.

"In accordance with official protocols he will continue to isolate for the 10-day period and not attend the Bahrain GP.

"Jonathan's duties will be shared by a number of team personnel at this weekend's Bahrain GP.

"The positive test has not resulted in any other team members needing to isolate following contact tracing and will not affect the team's trackside operations."

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Reinier has tested positive for coronavirus, the German club have announced.

The 18-year-old, who joined Dortmund on a two-year loan deal from Real Madrid in August, underwent PCR tests for COVID-19 upon his return from international duty with Brazil Under-23s last week.

Reinier was not part of Dortmund's squad for their Bundesliga win over Hertha Berlin at the weekend and no other BVB players have tested positive.

Dortmund confirmed the news on Monday, a day before their Champions League match with Club Brugge, and added that the teenager is asymptomatic and is now self-isolating.

He has been used seven times by Lucien Favre, each of those appearances coming from the bench.

Reinier, who won the Campeonato Brasileiro and Copa Libertadores with Flamengo in 2019, has yet to score, assist or create a chance in his three Bundesliga outings and has managed just one shot.

Tuesday's meeting with Brugge is the first of three home games in a row for Dortmund, with Koln and Lazio to come in the next nine days.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley hopes plans for the "summer of tennis" are finalised soon.

Huge uncertainty continues to surround the expected first grand slam of 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Reports have suggested all lead-up tournaments could be moved to Victoria, while players are apparently being denied entry to Australia until January.

On Saturday, reports said the Australian Open could be moved from its usual January start to either March or April.

In a statement on Sunday, Tiley said works were continuing – but he appeared to suggest plans were for the event to be held in summer, which runs from December through February in Australia.

"Tennis Australia is doing everything we can to finalise the summer of tennis as soon as possible," he said.

"Our intention is to deliver a summer in conditions that allow the players to prepare and perform at their best and the fans to enjoy their efforts – all in an environment that is safe for all concerned.

"We are working closely with the Victorian Government on a plan that takes into account the needs of the players, fans, our partners and staff, and is of major benefit to the Victorian and Australian economy.

"We are continuing our urgent talks with local health authorities regarding quarantining and bio-security requirements and are confident we will have decisions soon.

"Tennis Australia is acutely aware of the need for certainty, but also conscious of reaching a solution with the State Government that ensures the safety of the entire community.

"We look forward to announcing our ticket on-sale date as soon as all arrangements with the relevant authorities are finalising and we have more information on crowd sizes. We anticipate this on-sale date will be within the next two weeks.

"We can't wait for the summer and look forward to bringing you more details as soon as we possibly can."

The Australian Open has started in January in every year since 1987.

The Toronto Raptors will start the 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida after being unable to secure permission to play in Canada. 

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Canadian government requires any "non-essential" travellers to quarantine for two weeks when arriving in the country. 

The Raptors, NBA champions in 2019, will now relocate to Tampa for the start of the new season, which begins on December 22. 

In a statement, Raptors president Masai Ujiri said: "The Raptors worked diligently with public health officials at the local, provincial and federal level to secure a plan that would permit us to play our 2020-21 season on home soil and on our home court at Scotiabank Arena. 

"These conversations were productive and we found strong support for the protocols we put forward.

"Ultimately, the current public health situation facing Canadians, combined with the urgent need to determine where we will play, means that we will begin our 2020-21 season in Tampa, Florida. 

"So, we'll be away from our home and our fans for now. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I'm not sure that's possible for us. We love Toronto and Canada and we know we have the best fans in the NBA."

Real Madrid forward Luka Jovic has tested positive for coronavirus after returning from international duty with Serbia.

The 22-year-old was tested on Friday following his return to Spain after he scored twice in his country's 5-0 Nations League win over Russia on Wednesday. 

Jovic is now set to miss Saturday's visit to Villarreal in LaLiga and Wednesday's Champions League clash with Inter at San Siro. 

The Madrid man featured in all three of Serbia's games during the international break and scored in the Euro 2020 qualifying play-off against Scotland, which his side lost on penalties. 

Jovic's struggles for Madrid have continued at the start of this season, failing to score in five appearances across all competitions. 

In LaLiga, he has mustered just six shots, hitting the target only once as he has passed up two big chances. He has created a mere two opportunities for his team-mates.

Jovic scored twice in his debut league campaign in Spain, having netted 17 for Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga in 2018-19.

Madrid suffered a thumping 4-1 defeat to Valencia before the international break and are fourth in LaLiga, four points behind leaders Real Sociedad, who have played a game more.

Scotland's November 28 match against Fiji has been cancelled, Autumn Nations Cup organisers have confirmed.

Fiji are yet to appear in the new tournament due to a coronavirus outbreak in their camp.

Their opener against France was called off, with Les Bleus handed a 28-0 bonus-point win, before last week's clash with Italy likewise fell by the wayside amid 29 COVID-19 cases.

Tournament organisers have now confirmed more than a week in advance that Scotland will not be able to face Fiji either, describing the decision as "unavoidable".

Fiji will finish bottom of Group B but have one match remaining on December 5 against the fourth-placed team in the other pool.

This will be "subject to checks on fitness levels once the players come out of isolation and following all appropriate protocols", an Autumn Nations Cup statement read.

It added: "The tournament organisers remain in constant contact with the Fijian squad regarding their wellbeing and recovery, which continues to be the number one priority."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claimed Mohamed Salah will have felt "social pressure" to attend his brother's wedding, a decision that sparked controversy after he tested positive for coronavirus.

Salah contracted COVID-19 while away on international duty with Egypt and missed his country's fixtures against Togo.

The 28-year-old was criticised after videos emerged of him dancing in a crowd of people at his brother's wedding a few days before he was due to play for Egypt.

He will miss Liverpool's Premier League clash with leaders Leicester City and his availability for their Champions League meeting with Atalanta on November 28 is also in doubt.

Salah has scored eight goals in eight Premier League appearances for Liverpool this season.

Klopp confirmed he had spoken to Salah about the issue but refused to discuss what internal action Liverpool had taken against the player.

"A brother's wedding is a very special moment," Klopp told a media conference on Friday.

"In other countries, in other situations, there's more social, I'm not sure if it's the word but, pressure, and stuff.

"He's probably back today. We are obviously in close contact with him all the time.

"How it always is in these cases is that when you have a negative test the process really starts. He's in a good place. He feels well. No symptoms.

"There is nothing to say in public about it. I have talked to my players about it. Nothing for the public. We are in the situation we are in.

"The rest is between Mo and me. We did that [talk] already and we are fine.

"What I can say about my players is they are incredibly disciplined. Football players in general are very disciplined."

Salah's absence with the virus added to Liverpool's ever-lengthening list of missing players as Klopp lost more key men to injury during the international break.

The most significant was Joe Gomez, who underwent surgery after he sustained a serious knee injury while on England duty.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, meanwhile, felt "a bit of tightness", according to England coach Gareth Southgate and Klopp said he will not be fit to face the Foxes on Sunday.

Virgil van Dijk is a long-term injury absence with a knee issue, while fellow defender Trent Alexander-Arnold is still nursing a hamstring problem.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still continuing his rehab from a knee injury, but midfielders Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara are edging nearer to a return to fitness.

Klopp added: "They [Thiago and Fabinho] are all closer, but we’ll see if it's close enough for the weekend."

The Reds boss remains hopeful Liverpool's injury problems can help foster a sense of esprit de corps among his players.

He said: "We are a unit. A proper, proper unit. The more problems we have, the closer we stick together. 

"We don't go for excuses, we have the situation we have, we don't like the injuries we have because it is really hard for the boys who have the injuries, but all the rest is working on solutions. That's what we always do.

"We have solutions in our mind. Maybe we think we have the worst situation possible, but the season is long and we have only played eight games, so there will be a lot of problems.

"I have always said, whoever deals best with the problems in front of them has a chance to be really successful. That’s what we try to be."

Diego Godin will miss Cagliari's Serie A clash with Juventus after testing positive for coronavirus.

The 34-year-old defender, who has started five of his side's seven league games this term, underwent PCR tests for COVID-19 upon his return from international duty with Uruguay.

Godin is the latest member of the Uruguay squad to contract the virus, with Luis Suarez and Lucas Torreira also being forced to self-isolate.

Cagliari also revealed Nahitan Nandez has been excluded from the squad as a precautionary measure, despite testing negative, as he has been in close contact with the likes of Godin, Suarez and Torreira.

Speaking at a pre-match news conference ahead of Saturday's trip to champions Juventus, Cagliari boss Eusebio Di Francesco questioned the decision for international games to go ahead this month.

"Preparing for the match without knowing what conditions players will arrive affects everything," he said. "I now think these matches for the national teams cannot go ahead. 

"I think my complaint is shared by many colleagues. But we look to tomorrow with optimism. Whoever plays will have to prove that they are fit."

Cagliari have won three of their last four Serie A matches and are 11th in the table, three points behind fifth-placed opponents Juventus.

Rafael Nadal is relishing his first last-four chance at the ATP Finals since 2015, though his only regret is fans cannot be in attendance at the O2 Arena.

Nadal booked his semi-final spot with a 6-4 4-6 6-2 triumph over defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in London on Thursday.

The 20-time grand slam champion cruised in the first set but allowed world number six Tsitsipas to hit back in the second, though successive breaks at the start of the decider all but settled the contest.

Nadal has never won the ATP Finals, with this the sixth time the Spanish star has made it to the semis in what is the last occasion the season-ending tournament will be played in London before its move to Turin next year.

While delighted to have sealed his last-four place – with a clash against world number one Novak Djokovic potentially next up – Nadal is disappointed he can not share the moment with fans, with crowds at sporting events in the United Kingdom still banned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I think I played quite well, for such a long time. That game, 5-4 in the second set, affected me a little bit," Nadal said in his on-court interview.

"I think I was quite comfortable until that moment, after that everything changed a bit, I started to serve a little bit worse but at the end a very positive match for me and for me to be in the semi-finals is another important thing.

"Last year I was a bit unlucky not to be in the semi-finals, the year before I had to pull out.

"It's always difficult to play here, against the best players in the world every single day, at the end of the season. This year is a little bit different.

"Sad for the situation, normally after this good match the atmosphere would be fantastic as always. It's a different story.

"It's sad to say goodbye to this amazing place, but it's what we are facing around the world so I'm just excited to be in the semi-finals and hope to be ready to try my best."

Nadal – an ATP Finals runner-up in 2010 and 2013 – also conceded that, with England currently in a state of nation-wide lockdown, he has found it harder to fill his time while not on the court.

"We can't complain at all, we are very lucky to be practicing our sport in very difficult conditions so we can't complain," the 34-year-old added.

"At the same time, it's a bit more boring than usual, with no chance to go out for dinner, so days in the middle are a bit longer, but I'm happy to have a good team around me, I'm trying to stay organised, stay impassioned."

Nadal joins US Open champion Dominic Thiem, last year's beaten finalist, in the semi-finals.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews expects the 2021 Australian Open to be held in a "bubble" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

After suggestions lead-up events would be held in Victoria, reports on Tuesday said the Australian government was denying players entry in December.

Andrews reaffirmed his confidence the event at Melbourne Park would go ahead, although it remains uncertain exactly when, and under what conditions.

But he said on Thursday that any plan for the tournament would likely see it held in a bubble, which is what players endured during this year's US Open in New York and is an idea previously discussed by Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley.

"I think a bubble arrangement would be an important feature of any final landing," Andrews told a news conference.

"Again, I'm not someone who runs tennis tournaments but logic tells you not only to protect public health, so keeping participants who've come from the rest of the world, which is on fire at the moment with the numbers we're seeing are just like nothing we've seen before, you've got to keep those people away from the Victorian community for a period of time and you also need to keep them away from each other to protect the integrity of the event.

"In the event that there's a positive case and you've not been bubbling people and having people separated then you might have to isolate half the field, which would of course make running the tournament very difficult so for all those reasons.

"I think that a bubble however constructed will be a feature and not just that, that's the way cricket will operate, that's the way the grand prix will operate some time later and many, many other events."

Victoria on Thursday recorded a 20th consecutive day without a coronavirus case.

There have been more than 1.3 million deaths from COVID-19 worldwide, with 907 in Australia.

Novak Djokovic urged the government to support players heading into the Australian Open, the world number one calling for authorities to sanction lead-up tournaments while quarantining.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews is confident the 2021 Australian Open will go ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic and concerns over international travel.

There have been reports pre-Australian Open events will be held in Victoria, rather than around Australia in cities like Sydney and Brisbane, in order to minimise travel ahead of the year's opening grand slam in Melbourne.

Initial reports suggested players would arrive in Australia in mid-December to undertake mandatory quarantine of two weeks before competing, though the ATP has since pointed to plans for January.

Asked about the looming Australian Open, defending champion and record-setting eight-time winner Djokovic told reporters following his ATP Finals loss to Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday: "There's several options I hear that are on the table and I think Tennis Australia has been very communicative and very open with the process with us players.

"I'm very pleased with the way Craig Tiley and the other staff from Tennis Australia have been trying to fight for us as best conditions as is possible for the players. But it's also not in their hands obviously, the government of Australia decides and Victoria on the conditions and restrictions and so forth.

"As far as I know so far, the Australian Open will happen whether it's in the current week or the week later. If that's what's necessary then yes I would understand the Australian Open being pushed a week later. Even though the tournaments post-Australian Open would get hurt.

"So we have to, as men's and women's tennis and the ATP, WTA, everybody involved, we have to consider what are the ramifications of maybe potentially some decisions that are going to be made in terms of the calendar in Australia and how that's going to affect the Tour after that. I'm planning to play the Australian Open for sure, I would like to go there and I'm ready to quarantine for two weeks and whatever is necessary for me to be able to play.

"I hope that there's going to be support and understanding from the Australian government for the players and for Tennis Australia and they will allow players to compete in the second week of quarantine and hopefully that's going to help immensely with the calendar and everything and you won't be then losing a week, you'll be able to have a tournament or two prior to the Australian Open which for the majority of the players is important obviously for a lot of the players.

"They were done with the season in Paris and then potentially having no tournaments or official matches before the Australian Open, before a grand slam, is a huge thing. Hopefully we'll be able to have at least a tournament before the Australian Open."

Djokovic was easily swept aside by Russian star Medvedev 6-3 6-3 at the O2 Arena in London midweek.

Eyeing a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals trophy, Djokovic uncharacteristically tallied 28 unforced errors as he tasted defeat for just the fourth time this year, compared to 40 wins.

"I was a little bit [feeling unwell]," the 17-time major champion said about his fitness. "Especially towards the end of the first set and beginning of the second. I kind of regrouped and felt better towards the end of the match. But just an unfortunate 15-20 minutes for me that resulted with seven games in a row lost. Against a player like Medvedev then the match is done."

Djokovic – who will next meet Alexander Zverev for a spot in the final four – added: "He was a better player and deserved to win, no doubt about it."

Three members of the South Africa squad are self-isolating after one player tested positive for coronavirus ahead of the Twenty20 International series against England.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Wednesday revealed an unnamed Proteas player returned a positive COVID-19 test prior to entering a bio-secure environment in Cape Town.

He was placed in immediate isolation along with two team-mates, who were considered to have come into close contact with the player based on the risk assessment undertaken by the medical team.

The trio are asymptomatic and will be monitored by CSA's medical team as South Africa prepare for a three-match T20 series, which starts at Newlands on November 27.

A CSA statement said: "Cricket South Africa [CSA] can confirm that approximately 50 COVID-19 PCR tests were performed on players and support staff prior to entering the Bio-Safe Environment in Cape Town for their upcoming limited-overs tour against England. The testing is in line with fulfilling the organisation's obligation and commitment to its duty of care to its team and to the broader public in controlling the spread of the virus. 

"One player has returned a positive test result and two players were considered close contacts based on the risk assessment undertaken by the medical team. All three players have been placed in immediate isolation in Cape Town as part of the COVID-19 protocols. While all players are asymptomatic, CSA's medical team will monitor them to ensure their health and well-being. 

"At this stage, none of these players will be replaced for the tour, but two replacement players will be included into the squad for the purposes of the inter-squad practice matches that will be played on Saturday, 21 November 2020."

The Proteas and England will contest a three-match ODI series after competing in the shortest format.

Atletico Madrid have lost another player ahead of their LaLiga clash with Barcelona after Lucas Torreira tested positive for coronavirus.

Torreira, signed on loan from Arsenal in October, underwent PCR tests for COVID-19 after returning from international duty with Uruguay.

His Uruguay team-mate Luis Suarez is already self-isolating due to contracting the virus, and now it has been confirmed Torreira too has tested positive.

Atleti announced the news on their official website and added that Torreira – who has made seven appearances in all competitions for Diego Simeone's side – is asymptomatic and complying with quarantine protocols.

Torreira started in both of Uruguay's World Cup qualifiers, against Colombia and Brazil, during the international break.

Unbeaten Atleti sit third in LaLiga, five places and six points ahead of Ronald Koeman's Barca side heading into Saturday's meeting.

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