What Paul says in the interview will probably create more of a buzz than his ensemble.

Paul was traded from the New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Lakers in December of 2011, but NBA commissioner David Stern — who also had controlling interest in the Hornets at the time — shot the deal down.

He ended up with Los Angeles Clippers, and while many saw that as a consolation prize, Paul says he landed right where he wanted.

“They (the Clippers) had the better pieces,” Paul told GQ writer Steve Marsh. “And winning with the Clippers would be legendary.”

Paul immediately turned the Clippers into a winner. They were 40-26 last season — one game behind the Pacific Division-champion Lakers (41-25) — after going 32-50 the season before he arrived.

The Lakers loaded up by adding Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison this offseason. But the Clippers have added firepower as well, including Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill and most recently Matt Barnes.

It wasn’t much of a rivalry before, but times have changed in L.A.

Training camp starts Oct. 1, and the first Lakers-Clippers game is Nov. 2.
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Sky Sports sources understand Roma general manager Franco Baldini is being targeted for a possible role at Tottenham Hotspur.

The White Hart Lane outfit are considering bringing in an experienced figure to work under new manager Andre Villas-Boas in a role similar to that which was held by former director of football Damien Comolli.

Spurs are believed to be keen to restructure their scouting and player recruitment under Villas-Boas, with the new man expected to work alongside the manager and chairman Daniel Levy.

Baldini worked as No.2 to former England manager Fabio Capello before leaving his post to join the Serie A club in October 2011.

Levy is looking to bring back a more continental style hierarchy at White Hart Lane, with Comolli not being replaced in the wake of his departure in October 2008.
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Andy Wilkinson will serve a three-match ban after Stoke City decided to accept his Football Association charge of violent conduct.

Wilkinson caught Mario Balotelli in the face with his elbow during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City at the Britannia Stadium.

The incident was missed by referee Mark Clattenburg, but an FA disciplinary panel decided the 28-year-old had a case to answer.

After reviewing the video evidence, Potters boss Tony Pulis has decided not to appeal and Wilkinson will now sit out the club’s next three games.

Stoke travel to Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday before entertaining Swansea City at the end of the month and then starting October with a trip to Liverpool.
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Michael Carrick wants the focus to be on football when Manchester United travel to Anfield to tackle Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.

It is the Merseyside giants’ first home game since the recent report into the Hillsborough tragedy in which 96 supporters lost their lives, and the Reds are intending to mark the occasion in an appropriate manner.

Sir Alex Ferguson has already confirmed United will offer any assistance possible in ensuring the day passes off smoothly.

That is thought to include the Red Devils boss laying a wreath prior to kick-off, whilst it is expected that, despite last season’s racism storm, Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez will shake hands.

However, as Ferguson pointed out on Tuesday, there are always some people “wanting to be heard”, but, thankfully, there was no repeat of the anti-Liverpool songs at Old Trafford on Wednesday night during the Champions League victory over Galatasaray.

Everyone is aware that, in a rivalry as intense as the one that exists between England’s two most successful sides, it will not take much for it to spill over as has occurred far too many times in the past.

“After what has gone on there is added responsibility on the players for everything to go smoothly,” said Carrick.

“We will be doing our utmost to make sure that is the case.

“It is a heated game because it is a great football match. That is what should be celebrated really.

“It is a rivalry of two great clubs with great histories and traditions. It is what makes the game so special, a classic game worldwide.

“Hopefully it will be a cracking game of football because it is vital that after Sunday, everyone is talking about the football.”
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Spence’s father Noel and brother Graham also died in the accident in Co Down.

“I knew Nevin and have been around him a lot – [it's hard] to think that we are not going to see him again or see him on the rugby pitch,” said McIlroy.

He added: “You know he had such a bright future as well.”

McIlroy learned of the tragedy last Saturday while in the United States preparing for the lucrative Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Spence played 42 games for Ulster’s first team and was tipped as a future Ireland international.

McIlroy has regularly attended matches at Ravenhill and is friends with several of the Ulster side.

“It’s something that’s actually quite close to you. It’s been the first time really for me to have someone my age pass away and it’s tough,” McIlroy said.

“I’ve spoken to a few of the guys back home and I think its hit the rugby world quite hard and it’s hit Ulster as a province very, very hard.

“He will always be remembered. He was a great rugby player and I think everyone will agree he was an even better person and he will definitely be long in the memory of a lot of people.”
flowers




The Scottish Open will return to Castle Stuart for a third year before moving to Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in 2014.

The event moved from Loch Lomond to the links course near Inverness to offer better preparation for The Open.

Its first staging in the Highlands was affected by rain but proved popular with both players and golf fans.

The European Tour and title sponsors have also increased the prize fund by 20% to £3m, with the champion receiving £500,000.

George O’Grady, chief executive of The European Tour, said of Castle Stuart: “The venue has been popular and we are pleased to return there in July before moving to Royal Aberdeen.

“I had the privilege of watching the 2005 Senior Open and the Walker Cup in 2011 at Royal Aberdeen, a classic and challenging links course, which will continue in the tradition of great Scottish Open venues.”


World number one Rory McIlroy has dismissed claims that he “intimidates” 14-time major winner Tiger Woods.

McIlroy was responding to comments from Australian Greg Norman on the eve of the PGA Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Norman, who won two Opens, had claimed: “Tiger’s really intimidated by Rory. I think he knows his time is up.”

But McIlroy said: “Tiger’s the biggest thing ever in our sport. How could a 23-year-old from Northern Ireland with a few wins intimidate him?”

McIlroy, himself a two-time major winner, and world number two Woods are first and second respectively in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup play-offs, with both knowing that victory this weekend will give the winner the $10m (£7m) bonus on offer.
In a separate interview with BBC Sport, McIlroy said: “I don’t see how any of the guys on tour could be intimidated by me.

“Maybe if it was matchplay and you were beating someone head-to-head every week, but that’s not the way it is.”

American Woods, 36, also rejected Norman’s claims, saying: “It’s not like somebody is going to take your block off. This is a different kind of sport – we play our own game and see where it falls at the end of the day.

“In tennis you can do that [intimidate] because you are playing against somebody. Here nobody is affecting your shots.”

The three other players occupying the top five places in the FedEx Cup standings, Nick Watney, Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker, also control their own destiny.

But any of the 30-strong field, which includes Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia, can win the FedEx Cup if the results of other players go their way.

“We play for a lot of money, for which we are very fortunate,” said McIlroy, who has won three of his last four tournaments, including the US PGA in August.

“I would be disappointed to have played so well in the play-offs to then not finish it off. The money’s nice, but I’m going to make plenty of money in my career so it doesn’t really matter.”

Woods ended his two-and-a-half-year wait for a PGA Tour title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in April and followed that up with two more victories.

And, as McIlroy strengthened his grip at the top of the play-off standings with success at the last two events, Woods took third at the Duetsche Bank Championship and then tied for fourth at the BMW Championship.

“This has been a really good season,” said Woods. “I’m now one of the better drivers – that’s exciting for me – and my short game is starting to come around too, which is nice.”



Laura Robson reached her second WTA singles semi-final with victory over Peng Shuai at China’s Guangzhou Open.

After more than three hours, 74th-ranked Robson overcame China’s world number 47 Peng to win 7-5 5-7 6-2.
Robson, 18, will play Romania’s Sorana Cirstea, ranked 30th, in the last four after she saw off Alize Cornet 6-4 6-3.

The Londoner is aiming to become the first British woman to contest a main tour singles final since Jo Durie in 1990 in Newport, USA.

The last British woman to win a WTA singles title was Sara Gomer in July 1988 in Aptos, California.

Having won a silver medal in the Olympic mixed doubles and reached the US Open last 16, Robson’s superb season continues.

She beat Zheng Jie to make the last eight and having battled past Peng in hot conditions, she will play Cirstea for the first time.

Robson broke the Peng serve three times, and decisively in game 12, to secure a tight opening set.

It was roles reversed in an equally combative second, but Robson composed herself to dominate the decider.
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Britain will host top seeds Russia next April in the second round of the Davis Cup Europe/Africa Zone Group One.

Leon Smith’s side were the only one of seven unseeded nations to receive a first-round bye and will begin their 2013 campaign on 5-7 April.

A victory over Russia would see Britain play for a place in the elite World Group in September.

The only previous meeting between the two nations was in 1963 when Britain beat the USSR 4-1 in Eastbourne.
Britain have avoided the Europe/Africa Zone first-round matches on 1-3 February and were given a seventh consecutive home tie.

“Wow, another home tie! Russia at home in April,” said GB doubles player Colin Fleming on Twitter. “A tough tie but an exciting one!”

Russia won the Davis Cup in 2002 and 2006 but have since lost Marat Safin to retirement, while Nikolay Davydenko has slipped down the rankings.

They were relegated from the World Group this year with a 3-2 defeat by Austria and a 5-0 loss to Brazil.

In the draw for the 2013 World Group, defending champions and this year’s finalists Spain will travel to Canada, while Spain’s November opponents – Czech Republic – are away to unseeded Switzerland.

Thirteen-time winners United States play Brazil at home, third seeds Argentina host Germany, unseeded Italy were drawn against seventh seeds Croatia, Belgium take on Serbia, eighth seeds Kazakhstan will play Austria and France host Israel.

The World Group quarter-finals will be played on 5-7 April, with the semi-finals and play-offs on 13-15 September. The World Group final is scheduled for 15-17 November 2013.

World Group first-round draw: Canada v Spain; Italy v Croatia; Belgium v Serbia; USA v Brazil; France v Israel; Argentina v Germany; Kazakhstan v Austria; Switzerland v Czech Republic.



Andy Murray has said the support he received following his Wimbledon final defeat this summer has inspired him to push for the world number one spot.

Speaking at a special homecoming event in Dunblane, Murray revealed it had made him want to start training hard again soon after the loss.

The world No 3 added that now was a good time for him “to try and push on”.

The tennis star described the backing he got after the “tough” Wimbledon loss to Roger Federer as “amazing”.
He told BBC Scotland: “I know that the support I got after I lost at Wimbledon was something that I hadn’t really experienced before.

“It made me want to get back in the gym and start training hard again.

“When I had lost in big finals before, I hadn’t wanted to get back in the gym – I struggled with motivation for a while afterwards.”

The US Open champion and Olympic gold medallist said he had not set a timescale to try to reach the World No 1 spot.

“Every player that is near the top of any sport would want to be number one in the world,” he said.

“I know how hard it is going to be to get there. I can’t have tournaments where I am losing in the first round or being inconsistent for three or four months at a time.
“I am going to have to play consistently well for the whole year – but with the way Wimbledon, the Olympics and now the US Open went, this is a good time for me to try and push on.

“If I can have a good finish to the year, I’ll set myself up for a shot at that early in next year.”

Murray was speaking as thousands of fans turned out on the streets of his hometown of Dunblane to celebrate his summer of success.

Earlier he had arrived on an open-top bus before taking part in a walkabout to sign autographs.

Praising those who turned up, he added: “I had no idea what to expect when I woke up this morning – you just never know because I have never done anything like that before.

“It was fairly overwhelming. I couldn’t believe how many people were there. They stayed for four or five hours almost, and it was raining pretty hard at times as well.”