Osaka starts media firm
Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka is launching a new media company in partnership with four-times NBA champion LeBron James aimed at telling stories that cross cultural barriers, the former world No. 1 announced on Tuesday. Hana Kuma, which translates to “flower bear,” is to produce stories that are “culturally specific, but universal to all audiences,” and already has multiple projects lined up, the Hollywood Reporter said. “What excites me is being able to inspire people and tell new stories, particularly ones that I would have wanted to see when I was a kid. I always wanted to kind of see someone like me,” four-times Grand Slam champion Osaka, who has a Haitian father and Japanese mother, told the New York Times.
Lukaku loaned to Inter
Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is to rejoin Inter on a one-year loan deal after a disappointing spell with the English Premier League club, reports on Tuesday said. Inter are reported to have negotiated an 8 million euros (US$8.4 million) loan fee to sign Lukaku, who reportedly agreed to a pay cut to leave Stamford Bridge. The Belgian joined Chelsea in a club-record ￡97.5 million (US$119.2 million) deal before the start of last season, saying the transfer was an emotional return home after he played for the club from 2011 to 2014. However, after scoring four goals in his first four appearances, the 29-year-old’s second stint with Chelsea quickly turned sour. A controversial interview with Italian TV in December last year featured Lukaku saying he was unhappy with the way he was used by Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel and hinting he was already thinking about leaving.
Matthews named MVP
Toronto Maple Leafs ace Auston Matthews was named the NHL’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) on Tuesday, scooping the prestigious Hart Trophy after a prolific goalscoring campaign. Matthews also earned the Ted Lindsay Award as most outstanding player in voting by the NHL Players’ Association earlier on Tuesday. The two awards followed a 60-goal season from Matthews which led the NHL. Matthews has scored at least 34 goals in each of his six seasons in the league, and was the top scorer last year and this year. “I want to thank the Toronto Maple Leafs, top to bottom,” Matthews said after receiving the MVP award. “I want to thank the fans, Leafs Nation, there is nothing like playing in front of you.”
Gronkowski retires again
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski on Tuesday announced his retirement from the NFL for a second time, walking away from a partnership with quarterback icon Tom Brady that included four Super Bowl victories. The 33-year-old, regarded by many as one of the best tight ends in history, initially retired in 2019. After sitting out the 2019-2020 season, Gronkowski came out of retirement and was pivotal in helping Tampa Bay clinch the Super Bowl in the 2020-2021 campaign. However, he said his second retirement is permanent. “I will now be going back into my retirement home, walking away from football again with my head held high, knowing I gave it everything I had, good or bad, every time I stepped out on the field,” Gronkowski said in a statement on Instagram.
Standout Filipino college basketball player Ricci Rivero said he wants to start his professional career by playing in the P.League+ as opposed to other leagues in Asia because of the sizeable Philippine community in Taiwan, his new team the Taoyuan Pilots said on Monday. “There are nearly 150,000 Filipinos living and working in Taiwan, the mere thought of playing in front of them and being the first to represent them in one of Taiwan’s best basketball leagues is already a big motivation for me to choose Taiwan over other Asian basketball leagues,” Rivero said in a Taoyuan Pilots statement. Although
Taipei Municipal Fulin Elementary School’s baseball team yesterday beat South Korea in the regional final to win the right to represent the Asia-Pacific region in this year’s Little League Baseball World Series. The Taiwan team’s 1-0 victory over hosts South Korea was largely down to the excellent performance of starting pitcher Liao Kuan-shu, who pitched six scoreless innings, in which he only gave up two hits at Hwaseong Dream Park in South Korea. After Taiwan earned a single in the bottom of the second inning, Liao in the third hit a two-out double, helping to eke out a 1-0 victory, as they
Taiwanese badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying was knocked out of the Malaysia Open yesterday, losing her women’s singles semi-final against Chen Yufei of China 19-21, 21-13, 21-15. Despite two previous victories for second-seeded Tai against Chen this season — including her win in the final of the Thailand Open — fourth-seeded Chen dispatched the world No. 2 in 1 hour, 8 minutes at Kuala Lumpur’s Axiata Arena, securing a spot in the Super 750 tournament’s final. Tai won the opening game of the last-four matchup, scoring two consecutive points after the score was tied 19-19. However, she had a horrific points drought after the
Brandon Brown wanted a way to change the narrative behind the “Let’s go, Brandon” message after his first career NASCAR victory inadvertently fostered a chant that has been used to insult US President Joe Biden. Brown found that new message thanks to the family of an eight-year-old boy with autism. Brandon Brundidge of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, was on a spring-break trip to Houston in March when he saw signs with the “Let’s go, Brandon” phrase. He believed they were meant to encourage him, and consequently started trying activities he never attempted before, such as learning to swim and removing the training wheels