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Memphis Depay.
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Memphis Depay, the most famous Kia in NBA history, and the rest of the week's best sportswriting
Sit back and enjoy some of our favourite reads from the last seven days.

1. Historically, any rule changes in hurling are met with resistance, from the players and the public. But over the past 10 or 15 years, the game has changed fundamentally without the intervention of rule changes and without a broad consensus about which direction the game should take. A small band of innovative coaches started to see the game differently, and their influence was more powerful than any Croke Park committee or rules review body. And far more powerful than public opinion.

In light of the ongoing debate about hurling as a spectacle, Denis Walsh takes a look at how the game has changed over the years, for The Times.

2. In hospital, after his heart rate stabilised, Kearney suffered short-term memory loss. He might, technically, have been dead, but there were no bright lights. No pearly gates. No St Peter.

Or if there was, he can’t remember. His last registered memory was being shown around Lough Rynn Castle in Leitrim with Mary, his fiancée, the day before, as a potential wedding venue. With no oxygen for approximately five minutes, doctors worried about brain damage. Kearney collapsed on a Monday. By Thursday, he began to talk some sense.

In the Irish Independent, Conor McKeon talks to Seaghan Kearney, who in 2010, collapsed while playing five-a-side and was clinically dead for five minutes. (€)

3. Depay wanted to be understood but was reluctant to give anything away. He was encouraged to open up to a psychologist about his anger but he refused help. Football became his respite. The kids on the street in Moordrecht called him “Kluivert” because of his talent. Upon joining Sparta Rotterdam, Cora would receive calls from club officials at least once a fortnight because of behavioural problems.

The coaches saw him as committed and creative on the pitch but stubborn and uncommunicative off it. If they ever asked him what the problem was, he’d respond flatly: “I’m angry”. Cora believed his faith in humanity had taken a beating. The coaches would ask his mum how to get through to him and she advised them not to shout at him, but to talk in an honest and direct way. It did not help his sense of place that one of the coaches he trusted most died in a car crash when he was only 11.

The Athletic’s Simon Hughes takes a look at Memphis Depay’s difficult upbringing, and why it didn’t work out for the Dutch star at Manchester United. (€)

nba-charlotte-hornets-at-brooklyn-nets SIPA USA / PA Images Blake Griffin helped turn a regular Kia into a valuable piece of NBA memorabilia. SIPA USA / PA Images / PA Images

4. These days, Longa is comfortable in the car. He still finds joy in getting the Optima detailed or getting an oil change and having the attendants ask if that’s the Blake Griffin car. Seeing the looks on their faces when he responds “Yes” hasn’t gotten old yet.

The Optima comes up in conversation any time the family watches the dunk contest, and it’s become such a valuable piece of memorabilia that Longa’s grandmother checks in with him periodically to make sure he’s taking good care of the vehicle.

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The Ringer’s Paolo Uggetti tracks down the most famous Kia in NBA history.

5. Over the past couple of years, successive nationalist governments in England and Scotland have engaged in a sort of gruesome, mutually antagonistic pact, fully aware that each perfectly serves the other’s purposes. For the SNP, resistance to “Tory Westminster rule” remains the defining note of their offering. The Conservatives, for their part, have been perfectly content to weaponise anti-Scottish sentiment in England for electoral gain, most notably in the 2015 general election. More animus and more grandstanding inevitably lie further down the line. A second referendum, a constitutional crisis, secession: who really knows? But set against all this, perhaps you begin to appreciate how the midfield battle between Kalvin Phillips and John McGinn might begin to pale a little in comparison.

The Guardian’s Jonathan Liew on why England versus Scotland is no longer the rivalry it once was.

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