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It’s showtime again in LA as the world’s highest-priced sports team are closing in on their first appearance in the World Series for 25 years

Scott Brooks: The former Knicks player has been coach of Oklahoma for five years

Basketball: Five starters keep Brooks on his toes at Thunder

Coach Brooks is talking gobbledegook. The microphones and the cameras are pressed against his face and you are reminded that in NBA basketball the questions tend to be technical, specific and to uneducated, English ears, baffling. There is very little talk of “giving it 100 per cent”.

Anschutz to hold on to empire

The US billionaire Phil Anschutz has decided to hold on to Anschutz Entertainment Group after bids for the sports and entertainment empire failed to reach the hoped-for $8bn (£5bn) target price.

Basketball: NBA comes to Manchester

American pro basketball will be stage in Manchester for the first time as the Philidelphia 76ers play Oklahoma Thunder in a global eight-team NBA pre-season tour.

Kim Jong-un is honoured to meet Dennis Rodman

The Last Word: Just a slam-dunk away from the goal of World Peace as Kim Jong-un becomes friends with Dennis Rodman

Some day we’ll see Terry at the Home Office, Beckham in the Elysée Palace

Times are tough at the LA Lakers for Kobe Bryant

Basketball: Showtime or bust for the leaky LA Lakers

Struggling to make the playoffs and not even the best team in Los Angeles. What, asks Rupert Cornwell, has gone wrong for Nicholson and Co’s favourite team?

Morrissey will stage a vegetarian gig in LA

Morrissey turns LA venue veggie

Next month, for one night only, vendors at the 20,000-capacity Staples Centre in LA will serve exclusively vegetarian fare.

Oracle's Ellison eyes swoop for 02 arena owner AEG

US billionaire is targeting £6bn deal in company which has the former Dome

USA 'Dream Team' spotted on the Tube as giants lower themselves to commuting with the rest of us

If MTV's Cribs is to be believed all top flight American sports stars are chauffeured around in Limousines or at least cruise the streets in their customised top-spec Hummers. During the 2012 Games though, it seems Team USA's basketball squad are living by the old adage of 'when in Rome...' and are slumming it with the best of us on London's public transport system.

Maria Sharapova who went to Nick Bollettieri's academy when she was nine

Opening ceremony: Flag-bearers - who to see from other nations

Tonight's spectacular opening ceremony of the London Olympics will be performed in front of a full house in the Olympic Stadium. Here is our guide to the flag-bearers.

Manchester United world's most valuable team, according to Forbes

Manchester United are the most valuable team in sports at $2.23 billion (£1.43 billion), according to Forbes magazine's annual survey.

WINNER: Barcelona
Another Champions League title, the La Liga title, the Club World Cup, Lionel Messi voted the Fifa Player of the Year - Barcelona were the greatest team of 2011. Perhaps the greatest of all time...

Barcelona launch new Facebook application

Barcelona launched a new Facebook application today designed to help the Spanish, European and world champions engage more effectively with their 28 million global fans on the social networking site.

Jeremy Lin scored 136 points in his first five career starts, an NBA record

Basketball: The incredible story of Jeremy Lin, the new superstar of the NBA

The NBA has gone Lin-sane.

Jump to the top: Jeremy Lin scores against Toronto. The game capped an unbelievable five-game streak for the rookie

Basketball: Linsanity! Unfancied Harvard graduate is talk of NBA

Will Dean witnesses the birth of a star

Luol Deng pictured in action for the Bulls

NBA: Luol Deng becomes first Briton to be selected for All-Star Game

Luol Deng has become the first British player to be selected for the NBA All-Star Game.

Outside Edge: Liar, liar, pants on fire in the snow

Uh-oh. If it's about underwear, David Beckham must be involved.

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas