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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

Basketball: Lakers sack coach Harris

DENNIS RODMAN'S signing for the Los Angeles Lakers came too late to save their coach, Del Harris, from being sacked on Wednesday, said the club's president, Jerry West. Harris will be replaced by one of his assistants, either Larry Drew or Kurt Rambis. "We have confidence that one of those two people would do a good job for us based on their time around the office," West said.

Football: United primed to sell their heritage

Chief executive Edwards is set to make a killing in sale of the century - but at what cost to the game?

Basketball: Rich entertainers' cheapest show in town

Gerard Wright visits the Los Angeles gym where the NBA `strikers' work out

Basketball: Burks saved for Leopards' finale

GREATER London Leopards' guard Eric Burks misses tomorrow's Dairylea Dunkers North v South All-Star game at Sheffield Arena as his coach, Billy Mims, protects one of his greatest assets for the final two weeks of the Budweiser League season.

A game gone to blazers and Pot Noodles

SO you think rugby union is in a mess. If the blazers from the Rugby Football Union and the assorted millionaire owners of the leading clubs have found themselves in a bit of pickle over - pardon the mixed culinary metaphor - that old chestnut of club v country, they should shoot a glance at a sport brought to the verge of international anarchy by a menu of Pot Noodles and Penguin bars.

Football: No more jokes if United move to Wembley

FAN'S EYE VIEW NO 241

Basketball: Bears' make or break

Worthing Bears, the Budweiser League side, have made a final appeal to the local borough council to help save them from folding.

US falls for Rodman the rude

America's newest basketball hero delights in controversy, causing offence - and cross-dressing, writes David Usborne

Basketball: Hawks hunt down Jordan

Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls experienced a new sensation on Thursday - defeat on their home turf in a National Association play-off for the first time since 1995.

Obituary: Jack Kent Cooke

In a place of politicians, lawyers and bureaucrats mostly painted varying shades of grey, Jack Kent Cooke stood out like the Washington monument in a dime store. One reason was his ownership of the Washington Redskins football team, the one successful and universally loved institution in a city riven by failure and racial segregation. More important, though, he brought unpredictability, flamboyance and excitement wherever he went.

JACK AND THE WOMEN

Jack Nicholson, Hollywood's joker in the pack, is 60 next month. In this exclusive interview, he talks frankly about his extraordinary upbringing, his long career and - oh dear - his views on the sex war

Basketball: The heir Jordan

Ian Whittell in Cleveland meets two players forever linked to a legend

O'Neal enlivens the Lakers: Basketball

Shaquille O'Neal is delivering the goods for the Los Angeles Lakers. As to whether the $121m (pounds 75m) the Lakers invested in him will prove to be a success will take another six months to answer at NBA play-off time.

MY DINNER WITH OJ

Some of the most intimate details of his life are known to millions; in other respects, the world's most infamous star remains an enigma.

Los Angeles rout Suns

Basketball
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Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
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Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
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newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
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Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
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L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
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Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
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musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
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Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
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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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015