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With the clock ticking under a minute before halftime in the Los Angeles Lakers‘ first scrimmage in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday, LeBron James zoomed past two defenders near midcourt to throw down a hammer dunk in transition.

As James split Jerry West’s waistline while speeding through the massive NBA logo at the tipoff circle, TV viewers could see three words in block letters printed on the court on the top of their screens above him: “BLACK LIVES MATTER.”

The phrase, which entered the public lexicon after George Zimmerman was acquitted for the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2013 and became the title of the social action that has been omnipresent in recent months following the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans, is something that James says should be considered permanent, not passing.

“A lot of people kind of use this analogy, talking about Black Lives Matter as a movement. It’s not a movement,” James said after scoring 12 points in 15 minutes in the Lakers’ 108-104 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. “When you’re Black, it’s not a movement. It’s a lifestyle. We sit here and say it’s a movement, and, OK, how long is this movement going to last? ‘Don’t stop the movement.’ No, this is a walk of life. When you wake up and you’re Black, that is what it is. It shouldn’t be a movement. It should be a lifestyle. This is who we are. …

“I don’t like the word ‘movement’ because, unfortunately, in America and in society, there ain’t been no damn movement for us. There ain’t been no movement.”

In this moment, James, 35, finds himself to be more than just a basketball player trying to push through aging legs and a global pandemic to stack another title on his Hall of Fame résumé.

He is a success story from humble beginnings, keenly aware of the pitfalls he sidestepped to get to where he is today. He is not only arguably the league’s best player — the Milwaukee BucksGiannis Antetokounmpo would like a word — but without a doubt its most impactful voice.

“When he speaks, a lot of people listen,” teammate Anthony Davis said.

So after James played in his first game in an NBA uniform in more than four months, his postgame comments were focused on larger issues than how the Lakers’ defense handled Luka Doncic or what first impression JR Smith made.

“First of all, I want to continue to shed light on justice for Breonna Taylor and to her family and everything that’s going on with that situation,” James said as an opening statement.

He wrote “#Justice4BreonnaT” in marker on his sneakers for the game and was asked what steps he wanted to see to deliver that justice. Taylor, a Black emergency medical technician, was killed in Louisville, Kentucky, in March after plainclothes officers executed a “no-knock” warrant related to a narcotics investigation and shot the 26-year-old at least eight times, per reports. No drugs were found.

“We want the cops arrested who committed that crime,” James said of the three Louisville police officers involved.

Detective Brett Hankison was fired. Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, the other officers serving the warrant, were put on administrative reassignment.

“Us as the NBA, and us as the players, and me as one of the leaders of this league, I want her family to know and I want the state of Kentucky to know that we feel for it and we want justice,” James said. “That’s what it’s all about. What’s right is right, and what’s wrong is wrong. And this is a wrong situation that’s going on in my eyes and in a lot of other eyes, not only here in America but I bet in the world as well.”

He pointed out the irony of how “fortunate” it was that Floyd’s death — caused by a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck — was captured on video, because the tragedy was undeniable.

“I mean, is that what we need to see, a video of Breonna being killed to realize how bad the situation is?” James questioned.

His comments added to the din of players drawing attention to Taylor’s case since the NBA invited 22 teams to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to restart the season following a lengthy hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.

James said he hoped other players — individuals who might normally feel “scared” of potential fallout — would feel empowered to continue to speak up while in Orlando.

“Because it’s a time where we are being heard,” he said. “Either if you really care or not, we’re being heard. But that’s what’s most important.”

Beyond his thoughts on Taylor, James spoke with a wider scope when addressing reporters for nearly 15 minutes — about twice as long as his normal postgame session — describing the systematic challenges that he sees Black people facing in this country.

“We know that for one step that someone else might have to take, or for one yard someone else may have to take, we know we got to take five more steps,” James said. “We know we got to take 10 more yards to get to the end zone. I mean, we understand that. We know that. But it’s also what makes us as strong, it makes us as powerful, it makes us so unique and unified is that we done had so much hardships in our life.

“It’s just heartbreaking, man. You guys don’t understand. Unless you’re a person of color, you guys don’t understand. I understand that you might feel for it, but you could never truly understand what it is to be Black in America.”

James was asked whether he sensed any progress since July 2016, when he, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul opened up the ESPYS by calling for social change.

“I mean, 2016, Barack [Obama] was our president,” James said. “We know what’s going on now. So is that progress? I don’t think, I think we all can see and say that’s not progress.”

Progress, in James’ estimation, will start with communication and a willingness and urgency to understand one another.

“If you could just sit there and talk to someone, look at someone eye-to-eye and say how you feel, no matter if they like it or not, you can respect them,” he said. “Somebody might not agree. … But if I can look you dead in your eye and you can you can look back at me and say, ‘Listen, to each his own, I don’t agree with that,’ then I can respect you out of that. A lot of people cannot even have that conversation.”

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Sri Lanka v Bangladesh 2020-21

Mahmudullah and Rubel Hossain have been included in the 29-member preliminary squad for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka. Both were dropped from the squad that was picked for the one-off Test against Zimbabwe in February, which was Bangladesh’s last Test before the Covid-19 pandemic brought the sport to a halt.

Opener Saif Hassan, who tested positive for Covid-19 twice in the last two weeks, has been kept in the squad with another test pending later this week. All the selected players will be subjected to several Covid-19 tests during the coming week while residing at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in central Dhaka, from where they will commute daily to the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium for training. This comprises the BCB’s biosecure bubble.

Mahmudullah hasn’t made a fifty in his last four Tests, while Hossain was picked for the Rawalpindi Test against Pakistan earlier this year – his first Test in one-and-a-half years – before being dropped for the next Test at home. Hossain has the worst bowling average among those who have bowled at least 4000 deliveries in Test cricket. Al-Amin Hossain and Soumya Sarkar have also been brought back. They were also dropped for the one-off Test against Zimbabwe.

Nine more players have been called up from outside the last squad. Among the first-time picks in a preliminary squad for the Test side are allrounders Mohammad Saifuddin and Mahedi Hasan. Saifuddin has been impressive in ODIs and T20Is in the last couple of years but the jury is still out on Hasan at the highest level, despite his superb numbers in domestic first-class competitions.

The selectors have also called up middle-order batsman Mosaddek Hossain, openers Imrul Kayes and Shadman Islam, left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam, pacer Shafiul Islam and wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan.

Bangladesh’s preliminary squad: Mominul Haque, Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Saifuddin, Abu Jayed, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Islam, Imrul Kayes, Taijul Islam, Ebadat Hossain, Shadman Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Sunzamul Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Hasan Mahmud, Mahedi Hasan, Shafiul Islam, Yasir Ali, Taskin Ahmed, Nurul Hasan, Khaled Ahmed, Saif Hassan.

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Rangers Rally Falls Short in 6-2 loss to LA Angels

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Albert Pujols needed nearly five weeks to tie Willie Mays for fifth place on the career home run list. It took only five days for the Los Angeles Angels slugger to pass him.

Pujols hit No. 661 in the fifth inning on Friday night against the Texas Rangers to break the tie with Mays, then connected again in his next at-bat in the 6-2 victory.

“I knew that whenever it happens, whether it was going to be this year or next year, it was going to happen,” he said. “I definitely wasn’t thinking about trying to hit one out. It happened tonight and look how perfect it worked out. I not only got one, but two on the night.”

The 40-year-old Pujols now trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696).

Pujols said that he received a text and email from Mays after he tied the Hall of Famer on Sunday in Colorado. Pujols added that he had not checked his phone after Friday’s game to see how many congratulatory messages he had received.

“It is pretty special when you are talking about Willie Mays. What he did on the field is amazing,” Pujols said. “He’s a legend, pretty smart and he knows how to give good advice.”

Pujols had hit just four home runs this season before posting the 60th multi-HR game of his career and first since May 11 last year at Baltimore. He finished with three hits on the night.

Pujols passed Mays with a solo drive to left. Pujols sent a 1-2 fastball from Wes Benjamin into the Rangers’ bullpen. Pujols pointed to the dugout and did a fist pump as he approached third base.

After the Rangers rallied to get within 3-2, Pujols led off the seventh with No. 662 off Demarcus Evans into the Angels’ bullpen to extend the lead.

“I mean, I know he’s not really a home run hitter,” Benjamin said before laughing. “I threw the one pitch I didn’t want to throw. I wanted a fastball up there. It just kind of yanked into the zone just enough and he was prepared for it.”

Pujols has gone deep to left 330 times in his career and 362 have come with the bases empty. He said he is likely to keep the bat he used to pass Mays and that the ball had been retrieved.

Pujols, who has one more season left on his contract with the Angels after this year, has 108 HRs at Angel Stadium, which is only three behind the 111 he hit at new Busch Stadium, which opened in 2006.

Manager Joe Maddon said the only thing missing was having fans in the stands to salute Pujols for reaching the milestone. There was more noise than usual at the ballpark Friday night, along with some cheering, but was because a drive-in concert was taking place in an adjacent parking lot.

“Obviously there’s a high level of satisfaction, but he missed out on the opportunity to have the adulation that people just screaming from the from the rafters,” Maddon said. “It’s too bad. That’s another part of all this. That makes things different but the guys reacted well, Albert typically handled it extremely well.”

The three-time MVP and 10-time All-Star did most of his long-ball damage during his 11 seasons in St. Louis, where he hit 445 before signing with the Angels after the 2011 season.

He had six 40 or more HR seasons with the Cardinals, with his best year being 2006 when he hit 49 homers and drove in a career-high 137 runs.

“He is such a good baseball player,” Maddon said. “So yeah, he hits home runs. We’re not seeing it during his youthful days, but this guy has played this game as well as anybody has.”

Taylor Ward added two hits and an RBI while Anthony Rendon had a two-run double in the eighth for the Angels, who beat the Rangers for only the second time in seven meetings this season. Jaime Barria (1-0) tied a career high in strikeouts with eight and allowed two runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Willie Calhoun drove in both runs for the Rangers, who have dropped three of their last four.

Benjamin (1-1) came on in the second after Jimmy Herget was used as an opener for the first time in his career. Benjamin gave up two runs on six hits in four innings with four strikeouts.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: OF Shin-Soo Choo (sprained right wrist) is unlikely to come off the injured list by the end of the season. Manager Chris Woodward said Choo is still having a hard time picking up a bat.

Angels: Upton was hit in the helmet by Evans in the seventh inning and did not return. … Shohei Ohtani could begin a throwing program before the season concludes. The right-hander made only two starts before being shut down due to a forearm strain. He is hopeful of returning to his pitcher-designated hitter role next season after mainly being a DH again this season.

TRADE COMPLETED

The Rangers announced that they have acquired OF Marcus Smith and IF Dustin Harris as the two players to be named in the Aug. 31 trade to Oakland involving LHP Mike Minor.

UP NEXT

Rangers: RHP Lance Lynn (6-2) is third in the AL with a 2.40 ERA. He has four straight wins over the Angels, including two this season.

Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (4-3, 4.02 ERA) has won three of his last four starts, but is 2-5 for his career against Texas.



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Mike Tyson nearly knocks out trainer while preparing for exhibition fight against Roy Jones Jr.

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Mike Tyson is set to return to the ring on Nov. 28 when he takes on Roy Jones Jr. in an eight-round exhibition fight. Iron Mike has been aggressively training for the fight and it looks like he’s in the best shape of his life. Just ask his trainer.

Tyson has been posting videos showcasing his training in the lead-up to the fight. On Wednesday, a clip showed Tyson sparring with trainer Rafael Cordeiro and, unfortunately for Cordeiro, Tyson accidentally caught him with a hook:

As you can see, Cordeiro stumbles back after Tyson connects on the huge right hand. Tyson, 54, certainly still appears to have the speed and power that made him one of the most dangerous boxers in the sport’s history.

While the upcoming bout against Jones Jr. is an exhibition fight, Tyson appears to be taking it very seriously and the boxing world is taking notice.

WBO junior lightweight champion Jamel Herring commented on the video, writing “Somebody send Mike a reminder that this is an exhibition.” In addition, Danny Williams, who knocked out Tyson prior to his retirement in 2005, believes that Tyson could “seriously hurt” Jones Jr. when the two face off in the ring in November.

Jones Jr. even recently admitted that he may have “made a mistake” by accepting the fight with Tyson.

“He’s still Mike Tyson, he’s still one of the strongest, most explosive people who ever touched a boxing ring,” Jones Jr. old Sky Sports. “If anything, I made a mistake going in with him. He’s the bigger guy, he’s the explosive guy.”



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