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In the NBA, it always comes back to Michael Jordan. When LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami four years ago, people could not help but invoke Jordan. When Chicago stumbled against the Pistons year after year, Jordan did not bolt for a better situation. He did not bail when things got difficult.Of course, it was a silly, lazy way to look at things. It ignored all sorts of different contextual information — particularly the style of roster building that had gained popularity in the league, the constrictions of the NBA’s salary cap and luxury tax and the complete failure of Cleveland management to put him in a position to succeed.However, in one way, James has always been like Mike: He seemed determined to write his own story. Jordan won three championships, and then walked away from basketball to try his hand at baseball. After nearly two years in the Chicago White Sox minor-league system, he came back to the Bulls, and won three more titles. (Let’s not discuss his sojourn in Washington.) It was a unique path, befitting a player whose talents and will transcended what we had seen before.Now, James has done the same. (Photo: Mark Duncan/The Associated Press)

In the NBA, it always comes back to Michael Jordan. When LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami four years ago, people could not help but invoke Jordan. When Chicago stumbled against the Pistons year after year, Jordan did not bolt for a better situation. He did not bail when things got difficult.

Of course, it was a silly, lazy way to look at things. It ignored all sorts of different contextual information — particularly the style of roster building that had gained popularity in the league, the constrictions of the NBA’s salary cap and luxury tax and the complete failure of Cleveland management to put him in a position to succeed.

However, in one way, James has always been like Mike: He seemed determined to write his own story. Jordan won three championships, and then walked away from basketball to try his hand at baseball. After nearly two years in the Chicago White Sox minor-league system, he came back to the Bulls, and won three more titles. (Let’s not discuss his sojourn in Washington.) It was a unique path, befitting a player whose talents and will transcended what we had seen before.

Now, James has done the same. (Photo: Mark Duncan/The Associated Press)

The golden gates of football’s Olympus may yet swing open Sunday to admit Lionel Messi.

On a cool, wet, night long on discipline and distressingly short on artistry — an anti-Messi evening if there ever was one — the planet’s greatest player reached his first World Cup final, and Argentina’s first in 24 long years, 4-2 on penalties following a dire, defensive 0-0 draw through 120 bob-and-weave minutes against the Netherlands.

While this could still wind up being Messi’s tournament (although it’s doubtful German boss Joachim Low lost any sleep watching the dire goings-on at Arena Sao Paulo) Wednesday night belonged to others, to mere mortals. (Photos: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images; Victor R. Caivano/The Associated Press)

Brazilian newspapers highlight the defeat of Brazil to Germany by 7-1 in their semi-final match of the FIFA World Cup, in Brasilia on July 9, 2014.  Devastating World Cup loss penetrates the soul of Brazil (Photo: Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images)

Brazilian newspapers highlight the defeat of Brazil to Germany by 7-1 in their semi-final match of the FIFA World Cup, in Brasilia on July 9, 2014.  

Devastating World Cup loss penetrates the soul of Brazil (Photo: Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images)

A Brazilian fan holds a mask depicting Brazil’s Neymar before the semi-final football match between Brazil and Germany at The Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 8, 2014. Neymar masks were featured on the front pages of at least two Brazilian newspapers on Tuesday. (Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

A Brazilian fan holds a mask depicting Brazil’s Neymar before the semi-final football match between Brazil and Germany at The Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 8, 2014. Neymar masks were featured on the front pages of at least two Brazilian newspapers on Tuesday. (Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

Lightning strikes in the background during the seventh inning of a baseball game between the Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres on Monday, July 7, 2014, in Denver. (Photo: Jack Dempsey/The Associated Press)

Lightning strikes in the background during the seventh inning of a baseball game between the Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres on Monday, July 7, 2014, in Denver. (Photo: Jack Dempsey/The Associated Press)

Mark Casse finally has his first Queen’s Plate victory.

Filly Lexie Lou captured the $1-million race Sunday at Woodbine Racetrack, giving the six-time Sovereign Award winner as Canada’s top trainer his first Plate win. The 53-year-old American came close in 2011, finishing second to Inglorious with Hippolytus, but admitted becoming emotional after Lexie Lou crossed the finish line 1 1/2-lengths ahead of runner-up Ami’s Holiday, a 9-1 longshot.

“My son, Colby, just started crying afterwards and to see it mean that much to him got me crying,” said Casse, a 34-year racing veteran. “There was a lot of crying … I think I would’ve been OK had Colby not started crying.

“When all you’ve done your entire life is been around race horses … I really don’t know anything else. I’ve been following the Queen’s Plate since I was a little boy and so to finally win it, I just pinch myself. I thought we’d win it sooner or later. I knew I wasn’t going to give up.” (Photos: Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press, Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Brazil fans were decked out in their finest World Cup attire for Friday’s quarter-final against Colombia. Find updates, photos and analysis in Postmedia’s live blog. (Photos: Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty Images, Hassan Ammar/The Associated Press, Natacha Pisarenko/The Associated Press)

'My job is not done': Eugenie Bouchard makes Canadian tennis history, reaches Wimbledon finalNear the end of an interview that went to air shortly before the second women’s semi-final match began at Wimbledon, after talking about her sense of history, and of the moment at hand, Eugenie Bouchard was asked about her career goals: “My ultimate goal is to win a grand slam.”The 20-year-old from Montreal will take her first shot this weekend, beating Romanian Simona Halep in straight sets, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 on Thursday to become the first Canadian singles player to advance to the final at one of the sport’s four major tournaments. She will face Petra Kvitova, who won the earlier semi-final.“It’s always exciting and special when I can make history,” she said. “My job is not done. I want to go another step further.”Bouchard won on a warm afternoon in London, against a higher seed battling through an injury. (Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)

'My job is not done': Eugenie Bouchard makes Canadian tennis history, reaches Wimbledon final
Near the end of an interview that went to air shortly before the second women’s semi-final match began at Wimbledon, after talking about her sense of history, and of the moment at hand, Eugenie Bouchard was asked about her career goals: “My ultimate goal is to win a grand slam.”

The 20-year-old from Montreal will take her first shot this weekend, beating Romanian Simona Halep in straight sets, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 on Thursday to become the first Canadian singles player to advance to the final at one of the sport’s four major tournaments. She will face Petra Kvitova, who won the earlier semi-final.

“It’s always exciting and special when I can make history,” she said. “My job is not done. I want to go another step further.”

Bouchard won on a warm afternoon in London, against a higher seed battling through an injury. (Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)

Remember that miserable Canadian winter we all suffered through, not so long ago? When watching the Winter Olympics was just about the only way to stay warm or, rather, feel warm and fuzzy about something, specifically — our athletes — and their medal haul, on the slopes, around the speed skating oval and in the hockey arena in Sochi?

Canada did what Canada does in winter sports, elbowing its way to the podium, waving the maple leaf with glee and giving us Hosers at home some new national heroes to celebrate. First among them, arguably, was Marie-Philip Poulin, a shy, polite, perfectly friendly French-Canadian, when not dressed in her hockey gear. On the ice Poulin was Clutch. She is an American Killer, and a scorer of two gold-medal sealing goals in Sochi — this after she scored the winning goal to beat the States in Vancouver four years before.

“Sidney Crosby is the best player in the world, in my opinion,” Louise Warren, Poulin’s college roommate at Boston University said after watching her pal dispatch of the U.S. “But I 100 per cent believe that [Poulin] is the best women’s hockey player in the world.”

A Canadian woman, and she is the best in the world. Poulin’s success in February stirred the patriotic spirit. But there are other rustlings out there. Canadian women are on the move. It is their time and, in England, at Wimbledon, it is Eugenie Bouchard’s time. (Photos: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images, Clive Brunskill/Getty Images, Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Wimbledon’s grass the fastest, French Open clay made of pulverized bricks: Everything you need to know about Grand Slam court surfacesThe differences have narrowed over the years, but the Grand Slam court surfaces still offer a study in contrasts

Wimbledon’s grass the fastest, French Open clay made of pulverized bricks: Everything you need to know about Grand Slam court surfaces
The differences have narrowed over the years, but the Grand Slam court surfaces still offer a study in contrasts