Soccer coach kicks annoying fan

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Soccer coach kicks annoying fan

From Comcast SportsNet Friday, September 23, 2011
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Diego Maradona and his deft left foot have struck again, and this time the former Argentina great had to apologize for it. Maradona, who now coaches Al Wasl in the United Arab Emirates, kicked a fan's hand after a match because it was intruding on a photo Maradona was trying to take with a banner of support from his grandson. "As a surprise from my daughters in Argentina and Manchester, they put a sign up for me in the ground that read: 'Grandfather, I'm with you. I love you. Benja,'" Maradona said after a 3-0 win over Emirates in the Etisalat Cup on Thursday. "I'd like to apologize to one of the fans. I was trying to unfurl and see the whole banner and, by mistake, I perhaps injured him." The white banner was attached to a fence, with a throng of fans standing behind it. One of them stuck a hand through the a hole in the fence to lift the bottom of the banner, which had the message in both Spanish and Arabic. The 50-year-old Maradona then pulled the banner down, but the same hand raised it again as several fans tried to get a glimpse of the former Argentina captain. The second time, Maradona appeared to be a bit more perturbed, yanking the banner down with force. When the same fan lifted the banner a third time, it was all too much as Maradona landed a hard kick on the offending hand. He then glared into the camera for the picture. Although he may be more famous for scoring with his own hand, the left-footed Maradona was one of the greatest football players in history. His two most famous goals came in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals. First, he punched a ball past England goalkeeper Peter Shilton in what has become known as the "Hand of God" goal. Four minutes later, he weaved past four opponents from halfway to beat Shilton for what FIFA later declared the greatest goal in World Cup history. Argentina went on to win the World Cup that year, but Maradona and his teammates lost in the 1990 final. Maradona retired in 1997, but he battled weight and an admitted cocaine habit even before he left the game. He even once fired an air gun at reporters outside his home and was threatened with jail. Maradona turned to coaching in 2008, taking over at Argentina and leading his country to the World Cup in South Africa. But after barely qualifying from the South American region, Maradona unleashed a string of profanities in yet another scandal. Maradona took over as coach of Al Wasl in May. He arrived in Dubai last month to start his two-year contract. His grandson, Benjamin, is the son of Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and his daughter Giannina.

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks win, Jimmy Butler starts All-Star Game

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks win, Jimmy Butler starts All-Star Game

Here are some of Sunday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Jimmy Butler: 'Hopefully I’m not going to get traded'

Patrick Kane leads Blackhawks to win in Buffalo homecoming

What Joe Maddon wants to see next from Javier Baez

Jose Abreu ready for 2017 after season full of 'different challenges'

Wojnarowski: Bulls-Celtics Jimmy Butler trade talks 'will loom over the entire week'

After surreal offseason, Ben Zobrist comes to Cubs camp in style as World Series MVP

White Sox rookie Charlie Tilson out at least 10 days with foot injury

Fire score five goals for fourth preseason win

Simeon beats rival Morgan Park for city championship

Former Northwestern football player Torri Stuckey now focuses on helping others

Jimmy Butler: 'Hopefully I’m not going to get traded'

Jimmy Butler: 'Hopefully I’m not going to get traded'

NEW ORLEANS — Every All-Star isn’t created equal, even by the slimmest of margins as the best 24 NBA players take their turn on the midseason stage.

So Jimmy Butler being announced among the first five as an All-Star starter had to represent some form of validation, now that he’s not a novice at the whole experience and he’s able to go through the motions of the hectic weekend without breaking much of a sweat.

But despite being a three-time All-Star and routinely mentioned as one of the game’s top 15 players or even top 10, he can’t shake the trade rumors that have seemed to follow him since this time last season.

As he finished up his All-Star experience at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, clarity was nowhere to be found—although heading to some tropical island for a couple days to actually unwind with clear water and warm air seemed to be the best therapy if he’s stressed by the uncertainty of the next few days.

“What’s Thursday? Oh, trade deadline,” Butler said. “I don’t know. I don’t know. Am I anxious? Come on, man. I don’t worry about it. It don’t bother or scare me none.”

“Hopefully I’m not going to get traded but I don’t know. I don’t control that. Control what I can control, like going on vacation.”

Surely it has to be frustrating for a guy who’s elevated his game yet again, averaging 24.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.8 steals for the Bulls in 51 games. But he refuses to let it damper his All-Star spirits, playing with some of the best players in the world and a few guys he calls friends, like DeAndre Jordan and Kevin Durant.

“Not for me,” said Butler of the potential stress. “Not saying I’m untradeable but I don’t think about that. If I’m not in a Bulls uniform, I’ll give you a hug and say goodbye to you.”

Moments after Butler made his statement in the media room, the floodgates opened for the trade market as fellow Olympian DeMarcus Cousins was traded from the Sacramento Kings to the New Orleans Pelicans for what seemed to be mere fodder, pennies on the dollar for the most talented center in the NBA.

[SHOP: Get your Bulls gear right here]

While Cousins is far more of a handful than Butler could be, the trade almost signals a consistent truth that always bears repeating—that short of a select few, anybody can be traded.

Even a franchise altering talent like Cousins, who was traded to the city he was physically in for All-Star weekend, and included in the package of players was a guy who hit him in the groin last week (Buddy Hield), resulting in a Cousins outburst and ejection.

Butler has made his name with the Bulls, although not necessarily on the All-Star stage, a player who values defense and doesn’t have as much flash as some of the game’s shinier players.

With a six-point outing in 20 minutes, Butler was an on-court afterthought despite being a starter for the first time.

“Six? Should’ve gone for eight,” he sarcastically deadpanned.

In a relatively jovial mood through the weekend, Butler joked about the talk surrounding him and tried to brush it off as mere chatter as opposed to the franchise not seeing enough in him to make a firm commitment for the long-term, as the Boston Celtics are always hovering.

League sources expect the Celtics to engage the Bulls in conversations for the next few days, but nobody has a great feel for what either side is truly looking for.

But as Butler insisted, he’s only controlling what he can control, which is making himself a fixture for All-Star games to come as opposed to some of the first-timers who don’t know if they’ll get back here again.

“I think I got two underneath my belt,” Butler said. “I know what they’re feeling the first time, It’s so surreal like maybe I do belong here. That’s how I was thinking. Now it’s how do I get here every year? I think that’s the fun part, that’s the challenge. A lot of those guys have done it 10-plus years, hopefully I’m one.”

The only question seems to be, which uniform will it be in because the crazy season has begun.