‘I have never tried to intimidate an opponent,’ says Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal says he has ‘never tried to intimidate an opponent’ before a match despite his famously intense demeanour.
The Spaniard is perhaps the greatest competitor sport, not just tennis, has ever known, and he cuts something of a ferocious figure on the court.
That does not extend to the locker room before the match, though, he says, and nor will it ever.
“I’m not shouting in the locker room,” Nadal told Corriere Della Serra. “I take an ice cold shower, listen to the music in my headphones and, yes, I tie the bandana.
“But I have never allowed myself to intimidate an opponent.”
One part of Nadal’s on-court demeanour that attracts criticism is how rarely he is seen to applaud winners from his opponent.
By contrast, it is something that Novak Djokovic is often seen doing, but Nadal has defended his position on it.
“Sometimes I do [applaud opponents],” he said. “It’s rare but it’s normal.
“We are not here to applaud each other. It’s up to the public to decide.”
Raptors sign Alex Len to help fill void created by Ibaka, Gasol departures – CBC.ca
On the heels of losing their two championship centres, the Toronto Raptors shored up their frontcourt by signing Alex Len on Monday — and also some maintained some financial flexibility toward their ambitious 2021 off-season goals.
Len signed a one-year contract, a person with knowledge of the deal said. Financial details weren’t released. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been publicly announced.
The 27-year-old Ukrainian was selected fifth overall by the Phoenix Suns in the 2013 draft. He played five seasons with the Suns then two with Atlanta. He was acquired by the Kings in a trade last February along with Jabari Parker.
The seven-footer averaged 8.0 points and 4.8 rebounds with Atlanta and Sacramento last season, and shot 59.3 per cent from the field in his 15 games with the Kings. He scored a career-high 33 points against the Milwaukee Bucks in 2019 and grabbed 19 rebounds versus Minnesota in 2017.
Len’s signing is more good news for a Raptors team that lost NBA championship centres Marc Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers) and Serge Ibaka (Clippers) over the weekend. Their departures worried Raptors fans. Among the social media jokes: a suggestion that Toronto’s centre this season would be Fred VanVleet standing on Kyle Lowry’s shoulders.
But the Raptors responded by adding Aron Baynes on Sunday night, and then re-signing Montreal centre Chris Boucher to a two-year deal worth US$13.5 million — the richest contract for an undrafted Canadian.
The fact that the second year of Baynes’ two-year deal is a club option, while Len signed for just a season allows the Raptors plenty of wiggle room next off-season.
It’s no secret that Raptors president Masai Ujiri covets Milwaukee’s star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, although he could sign a five-year extension with the Bucks that would pay him a whopping US$228 million. He has until Dec. 21 to do so.
The Raptors newcomers, meanwhile, won’t have long to get adjusted to their new team as training camp opens on Dec. 1. The season tips off Dec. 22.
Kansas City Chiefs at Las Vegas Raiders odds, picks and prediction – USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire
The Kansas City Chiefs (8-1) square off against the Las Vegas Raiders (6-3) on Sunday Night Football in Allegiant Stadium at 8:20 p.m. ET. Below, we preview the Chiefs-Raiders betting odds and lines and make our NFL picks and predictions.
Chiefs at Raiders: Betting odds, spread and lines
Money line: Chiefs -345 (bet $345 to win $100) | Raiders +280 (bet $100 to win $280)
Against the spread/ATS: Chiefs -7 (-115) | Raiders +7 (-106)
Over/Under: 56.5 (O: -115 | U: -106)
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Chiefs at Raiders: Game notes
The Raiders are dealing with adversity as they had eight players activated from the COVID reserve list Saturday and will be without four starters due to COVID-19.
The Chiefs had a bye in Week 10 and head coach Andy Reid’s teams typically perform well with time off. Since Reid took over as Kansas City’s coach in 2013, the Chiefs are 5-2 straight up and 4-3 ATS coming out of a bye week.
Las Vegas had a dominant performance at home vs. the Denver Broncos in Week 10. The Raiders routed the Broncos, 37-12, behind a rushing attack that had 203 rushing yards with four touchdowns and a defense that had five takeaways against Denver.
Kansas City’s offense is playing as advertised: 2nd in total yards per game, points per game, and third-down conversion percentage.
The Raiders gave the Chiefs their only loss this season, 40-32, in Week 5. It was a clean victory for Las Vegas who had 77 more total yards, were better on third down and possessed the ball for 35:18.
Chiefs at Raiders: Key injuries
OT Mike Remmers (ribs) questionable
OT Mitchell Schwartz (back) out
WR Sammy Watkins (hamstring, calf) out
DT Maurice Hurst (ankle) questionable
KR/RB Jalen Richard (chest) questionable
LB Cory Littleton (COVID-19) out
LT Trent Brown (COVID-19) out
DE Clelin Ferrell (COVID-19) out
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Chiefs at Raiders: Odds, betting lines, predictions and picks
Chiefs 29, Raiders 24
Money line (?)
This is a PASS for me mostly because of the insane situational edge for the Chiefs. Week 10 was an easy victory for the Raiders, but it was still a division game, while Reid is coming off a bye with the defending Super Bowl champions looking to avenge their only loss.
I don’t know my buy price for a Raiders upset, but it’s not what BetMGM is offering.
Against the spread (?)
Reid-trends be damned, I am ROLLING WITH THE RAIDERS +7 (+105). I’d recommend waiting closer to kickoff to see if you can get this over a full touchdown especially since people like hammering favorites at the end of football Sundays.
The House is going to NEED the Raiders to come through for them: 86% of the money wagered and 87% of the bets made are on the Chiefs, according to Pregame.com.
Kansas City has a bottom-10 run defense across most categories and Las Vegas gains the seventh-most yards on the ground per game and runs the ball at the fifth-highest rate in the NFL.
Jon Gruden and the Raiders are going to pound the rock and control the tempo of this game. GIMME RAIDERS +7 (-106) for 1.5 units.
I’m not usually a trends bettor but here are a few good ones to explain my lean on UNDER 56.5 (-106):
Kansas City has a 1-5-1 O/U record following a bye week while Reid has been the coach.
The Chiefs are 0-5 O/U in their last five games vs. a team above .500.
The Under is 6-2 in Kansas City’s last eight prime-time games.
I’ll TAKE UNDER 56.5 (-106) for a quarter-unit.
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Pope, for first time, says China's Uighurs are 'persecuted' – Reuters
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – In a new book, Pope Francis for the first time calls China’s Muslim Uighurs a “persecuted” people, something human rights activists have been urging him to do for years.
In the wide-ranging “Let Us Dream: The Path to A Better Future,” Francis also says the COVID-19 pandemic should spur governments to consider permanently establishing a universal basic income.
In the book, a 150-page collaboration with his English-language biographer, Austen Ivereigh, Francis speaks of economic, social and political changes he says are needed to address inequalities after the pandemic ends. It goes on sale on Dec. 1.
He also says people who see wearing masks as an imposition by the state are “victims only in their imagination” and praises those who protested against the death of George Floyd in police custody for rallying around the “healthy indignation” that united them.
“I think often of persecuted peoples: the Rohingya, the poor Uighurs, the Yazidi,” he said in a section where he also talks about persecuted Christians in Islamic countries.
While the pope has spoken out before about the Rohingya who have fled Myanmar, and the killing of Yazidi by Islamic State in Iraq, it was the first time he mentioned the Uighurs.
Faith leaders, activist groups and governments have said crimes against humanity and genocide are taking place against Uighurs in China’s remote Xinjiang region, where more than 1 million people are held in camps.
Last month, during a conference at the Vatican, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted China over its treatment of Uighurs.
Beijing has rejected the allegations as a attempt to discredit China, saying the camps are vocational education and training centres as part of counter-terrorism and deradicalisation measures.
Many commentators have said the Vatican was reluctant to speak out on the Uighurs earlier because it was in the process of renewing a controversial accord with Beijing on the appointment of bishops. The accord, which Pompeo urged the Vatican to abandon, was renewed in September.
Francis also gives his clearest support to date in the book to universal basic income (UBI), a controversial policy espoused by some economists and sociologists in which governments give a fixed amount of money to each citizen with no conditions attached.
UBI was a cornerstone of the campaign of Andrew Yang last year during the Democratic presidential primaries in the United States.
“Recognising the value to society of the work of nonearners
is a vital part of our rethinking in the post-Covid world. That’s why I believe it is time to explore concepts like the universal basic income (UBI) …” he said.
“By providing a universal basic income, we can free and enable people to work for the community in a dignified way,” he said.
Francis again criticised trickle-down economics, the theory favoured by conservatives that tax breaks and other incentives for big business and the wealthy eventually will benefit the rest of society through investment and job creation.
He called it “the false assumption of the infamous trickle-down theory that a growing economy will make us all richer.”
Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing By Tom Brown
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