Press Association He continued: “I don’t pick tournaments to score, or rivals or other teams to score against. “I’m a striker, every game I play I want to score. If it hasn’t happened in the cup, I’m hoping to God it happens on Sunday.” Costa will be making his first appearance at Wembley but Jose Mourinho may also turn to Didier Drogba, who has scored eight goals in eight games at the national stadium. The Ivorian has only lost one Wembley final in his career – a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham in the 2008 League Cup final – and insists he is as hungry as ever. “It was a difficult one to take (in 2008) because I had only just returned from the African Nations Cup and it was only my second game back for Chelsea,” Drogba said. “We started well (Drogba scored Chelsea’s goal) but we lost to the better team, it was as simple as that. “Most of the time, when you win a cup final, it is because you are the better team on the day, and this time it was Tottenham’s day.” Drogba added: “Put me there on the pitch and you will see what it means to me. “Even if you do not start the game, or you have to come off the bench, it is hard to lose a final because you are still part of the team. “It can happen but I’ll try to avoid it and if I can make a difference, even if I am only on the pitch for two minutes, I will try to do it.” Chelsea striker Diego Costa believes he is already a victim of his own reputation in England but insists he will never change his aggressive style. Costa returned to domestic action against Burnley last weekend after serving a three-match ban for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can. The combative forward maintains the altercation with Can was an innocent mistake but his first season at Stamford Bridge, which has included an impressive 18 goals, has been blighted by controversy. Costa, who is likely to start against Tottenham in Sunday’s Capital One Cup final, admits he is a marked man now in this country but says he will be not holding back at Wembley. “I’m not going to change my way of playing,” Costa said. “I do know now that I have to be a little bit more careful because it’s not the same when I do something or when someone else does it. “Something I do, it’s talked about much more than another player. “I have to be extra careful but I’m never going to change the way I play. That’s what got me here, that’s the way I play.” Costa scored in Chelsea’s 5-3 defeat to Tottenham in January but the 26-year-old has not found the net in his last four matches and is yet to notch in any cup competition this season. “When I was at my best, I had that suspension [after Liverpool] that I still don’t even know why it happened,” he continued. “Now, I’m running a little bit behind, trying to do my best, working hard and hopefully I’ll be 100 per cent.”
A USC player is under investigation by the Washington State University Police Department after video captured footage of him knocking over a Cougars fan after the Trojans’ loss in Pullman on Friday.The video shows No. 93 — who is listed as redshirt freshman defensive lineman Liam Jimmons — pushing a fan to the ground with both arms. At least two angles of the incident have been posted online on social media.“We’ve reached out to see if the athlete wants to talk to us,” said Steve Hansen, the police department’s assistant chief to the Los Angeles Times.The investigation comes after Washington State received $25,000 worth of fines for fans rushing the field after the upset victory. USC players had to weave through frantic fans on their way to the locker room.“It was an electric game and a very exciting atmosphere, and the safety of both fans and players always needs to be taken into account,” USC head coach Clay Helton said. “It’s hard. When you have that many fans that excited, they found their way down on the field and makes for a chaotic scene.”
VIDEO: LeBron James and Doc Rivers respond to Donald Trump calling NBA kneeling protests “disgraceful” Morning Wrap: Full coverage from Lakers-Clippers thriller; Angels, Dodgers going in different directions; Whicker pays tribute to legendary Mike Gillespie AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe Lakers’ last NBA championship was in 2010 and brought them within one of the Boston Celtics’ league-high total of 17. The Lakers have won 11 championships while based in Los Angeles since 1960-61, adding to the five they won when they called Minneapolis home.“This is a historic moment for the Lakers and we could not feel more grateful and honored,” Pelinka said. “When LeBron James – a perennial NBA MVP and champion who is playing at the most astonishing levels of his career – chooses to join the Lakers, it serves as the ultimate validation for what we are building here. However, we all know that the work is not yet done. We will continue forward to achieve our shared obsession of bringing banner No. 17 to the world’s best fans – Lakers Nation.”In addition to James, the Lakers’ management team of Johnson and Pelinka have added guards Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson and center JaVale McGee to the roster during a hyperactive free-agency period that begin with the start of the negotiating period at 9:01 p.m., June 30.Free agents could begin signing their new contracts this past Friday.The Lakers did not wish to speak publicly about their deal with James until Monday, however. Jubilation, anguish as race for NBA’s Western 8th seed gets as close as ever Related Articles VIDEO: Watch Kyle Kuzma’s game winner and what he said about it Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error A news conference with Pelinka has been scheduled for Wednesday in El Segundo.James is not expected to attend, however, and is not expected to speak publicly about his decision until a charity event in Ohio later this month.Lakers coach Luke Walton reportedly was scheduled to meet Monday with James’ former coach, Tyronn Lue, at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas to learn more about coaching the future Hall of Famer. Walton also was said to have spoken by phone with another of James’ past coaches, Miami’s Erik Spoelstra.James played in all 82 games last season, tallying a team-high 27.5 points (third in the NBA), acareer-high-tying 8.6 rebounds and a career-high 9.1 assists (second in the NBA) while shooting54.2 percent from the field. He became the first player in NBA history to accumulate at least 30,000 career points, 8,000 rebounds and 8,000 assists. In addition, the 15-year NBA veteran currently holds the longest-ever double-digit scoring streak at 873 games.James, who won league MVP awards in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013, has played in 1,143 career regular-season games (1,142 starts) for Cleveland and Miami, averaging 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He currently ranks seventh in NBA history in points scored (31,038), 11th in all-time assists (8,208) and 16th in career steals (1,865). Lakers on verge of sealing home court advantage, what does it mean in the NBA bubble? LeBron James officially became a Laker on Monday afternoon, signing the four-season, $153.3-million contract he agreed to on July 1 and then posing for a photo with General Manager Rob Pelinka that was posted on the Twitter account of Klutch Sports.“Today is a great day for the Lakers organization and Lakers fans all over the world to welcome LeBron James, a three-time NBA champion and a four-time NBA MVP,” Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson said in a statement. “LeBron is special. He is the best player in the world. He loves to compete and is an awesome leader who is about winning and making sure that his teammates are successful. The Lakers players are excited to have a teammate who has been to nine NBA Finals. It’s a huge step closer to the playoffs and to the NBA Finals.”The Lakers targeted James from the outset of their rebuilding efforts, after Johnson and Pelinka were hired in March 2017 to restore the franchise to its elite status in the NBA. The Lakers have won 16 league championships, but haven’t made the playoffs since 2013.James’ teams have advanced to the NBA Finals in eight consecutive seasons, including last month when he and the Cleveland Cavaliers were defeated by the Golden State Warriors for the third time in four seasons. James won two titles with the Miami Heat and one with the Cavaliers.