NBA chiefs usher in new seeding rule
LOS ANGELES • National Basketball Association (NBA) divisional champions will no longer be guaranteed home-court advantage in their opening round of the post-season after a seeding shake-up announced by league chiefs on Tuesday.
Under a new system to be launched this season, teams in the play-offs will be seeded according to their regular season record.
Previously, the three division winners in each conference, along with the non-division winner that boasted the best record, were installed as the top four seeds in the first round of the play-offs.
No Liverpool return for Gerrard, says MLS
LONDON • Steven Gerrard will not return to Liverpool on loan, Major League Soccer's boss said yesterday.
The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder has been linked with a return to Anfield in January, during the MLS off-season, but Don Garber, the league's commissioner, does not expect a repeat of their experience with David Beckham when he twice went on loan to AC Milan.
THE TIMES, LONDON
FA's Carneiro reaction attracts legal rebuke
LONDON • A leading medical Queen's Counsel has criticised the Football Association for remaining silent on Chelsea's treatment of Eva Carneiro before a Fifa committee is expected to reiterate its support for the team doctor tomorrow.
Manager Jose Mourinho had accused Carneiro and Jon Fern, the club's physiotherapist, of failing to understand the game. Both had rushed on to the pitch to treat Eden Hazard during Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Swansea City on the opening day of the season.
"It is disappointing the FA has said nothing," said Mary O'Rourke, one of Britain's pre-eminent medical barristers.
THE TIMES, LONDON
Kyrgios dropped for Davis Cup semi-final
LONDON • Tennis "bad boy" Nick Kyrgios has been left out of Australia's Davis Cup semi-final against Britain in Glasgow next week to focus on his "personal and professional" development, captain Wally Masur said.
The 20-year-old, accused of not trying during a match at Wimbledon this year and handed a 28-day suspended ban by the Association of Tennis Professionals after making lewd suggestions about the girlfriend of opponent Stanislas Wawrinka during a match in Montreal last month, is his country's second-ranked player at No. 37 in the world.
Gambling the main pitfall for footballers
LONDON • Gambling has overtaken alcohol as the main risk for cash-rich footballers, according to former England captain Tony Adams, who battled alcoholism before becoming an anti-addiction role model.
The Arsenal legend, who founded the Sporting Chance clinic, said that more than 70 per cent of footballers, rugby players and stars from other sports who go through the clinic are gambling addicts.