Ryder Cup 2018: US captain Jim Furyk makes revelation ahead of tournament

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Halep & Djokovic reach quarter-finals – but must play twice in a day

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Bob Elliott’s Baseball: ’92-93 Blue Jays are worth remembering

And a good time was had by all … That was often the last line of a story in the newspaper when I’d read about an event my mother had attended. Maybe it was a church bake sale, a charity bazaar or an afternoon tea.  The Toronto Blue Jays hosted some members of the 1992-93 World Series champions on Saturday at the Rogers Centre. Hall of Famers Robbie Alomar and Dave Winfield were on hand. New Hall of Fame inductee Jack Morris and HOFer Paul Molitor were missing but videos of them were played. Morris was having his No. 47 retired at

Kevin Magnussen has created F1 Class B title battle in his mind

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‘Changes threaten death of Davis Cup’ – past winners Berdych & Hewitt speak out

Controversial proposals for the 118‑year‑old competition have been approved, despite opposition including from the Lawn Tennis Association Controversial plans to end the Davis Cup’s 37-year-old format will signal the death of the competition, says two-time winner Tomas Berdych. The 25-year £2.15bn plan approved at the International Tennis Federation AGM on Thursday would turn the Davis Cup into a season-ending 18-team event. But Czech Berdych, tweeting with the hashtag #ripdaviscup, said the history of the competition “will all be gone”. Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt called the decision a “disgrace”. “I am very proud to be a winner of the

New floor among Renault F1 aerodynamic updates for 2018 Belgian GP

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Robert Kubica driving ‘70% left-handed’ in F1 after rally injury

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Rapid growth hurt Renault Formula 1 team’s ‘bang-for-buck’

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‘Disaster written all over it’: Cash warns of end of Davis Cup

A World Cup-style tennis tournament could spell the end of the Davis Cup and “has disaster written all over it”, Australian Grand Slam and Davis Cup winner Pat Cash tells BBC Radio 4’s Today. Plans for the new tournament were approved by the International Tennis Federation on Thursday. Chief executive David Haggerty said the decision would elevate the Davis Cup “to new standards”. BBC Sport

Jays lose long-delayed game against Royals, split series

Lucas Duda homered, Rosell Herrera had three hits and the Kansas City Royals beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2 after a long rain delay Thursday night to split their four-game series. Royals relievers Brian Flynn, Kevin McCarthy, Brandon Maurer and Wily Peralta shut down the Blue Jays on three hits over the final five innings. Flynn (3-3) picked up the win with a scoreless inning. Kansas City took the lead with a three-run fourth highlighted by Jorge Bonifacio’s RBI triple. Toronto starter Sam Gaviglio (2-6) failed to make it through five innings for the eighth time in his past 13

Lowe: Kevin Durant is the first superstar of his kind

As Kevin Durant and his father, Wayne Pratt, parted Saturday morning in Cleveland after an all-night celebration, Durant drew Pratt close and cited a statistic he had seen pairing Durant and Michael Jordan as two of the only players with four scoring titles and two Finals MVP awards.

“Who would have imagined I’d be in the same sentence as MJ?” Durant asked. Pratt thought of their recruiting visit to the University of North Carolina, when Roy Williams told Durant he was the team’s No. 1 target. Durant was shocked. “Kevin,” Pratt recalls telling his son, “you good.”

But busting into Jordan-level historical debates hasn’t unleashed within Durant any hunger to win them — at least not yet. “He’s not chasing a ghost,” Pratt says. “He’s not trying to be MJ, or pass MJ.” Durant is a cold-blooded hoops killer, but he has never fixated on Jordan’s ring count the way Kobe Bryant and even LeBron James have.

“I mean, I’m crazy about winning, don’t get me wrong,” Durant tells ESPN.com. “I’m just not obsessed with winning championships. It’s not the only reason I play. I play for my individual growth.”

Durant was 19 when the Thunder uprooted from a big city to a small one, and anointed him their Tim Duncan at an age when almost no player could understand what it means to be Tim Duncan. If the shift to Golden State wasn’t all about championships, at least some of it was about a late-20s adult seeking change — an unpredictable offense that would stretch his skills, a roster where he didn’t stand out.

Durant told Steve Nash, a Warriors consultant, as much when he called Nash from the Hamptons while still deciding whether to join Golden State in the summer of 2016. “‘It’s not about championships,'” Nash remembers Durant saying. “‘This is about challenging myself and learning new things.’ That answer, for me, is beyond reproach.”

What makes Durant tick, beyond love of his craft, remains a bit of a mystery even to those who have been around him for years. Pratt says he’s “chasing validation” — not from Twitter critics, but from superstar peers. There is something unknowable about Durant, and perhaps conflicting impulses within him.

In choosing Golden State, Durant (temporarily) forfeited a chance to craft a team in his image. Right now, Durant may be on pace to be the greatest player to never work full-time as the No. 1 option in terms of controlling the ball. (Some Golden State officials and players, including Shaun Livingston, nominated Larry Bird as another tweener forward who fits this description. Others pitched centers — Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon — but even if those guys didn’t dribble much, they were indisputably the fulcrums of almost every possession.)

Durant knew he would generate backlash joining a 73-win team instead of sticking in Oklahoma City, or striking out on his own. “I don’t understand why people refer to this as the easy way,” says Rich Kleiman, Durant’s business partner. “Isn’t being beloved easier? Every story about his business interests, 80 percent of the comments are about him being a snake or a cupcake. How is that easier?”

Fans who think Durant and the Warriors ruined the NBA hope the vitriol ignites an itch to be the undisputed guy. Durant has done it before: the Slim Reaper MVP season of 2013-14, when Russell Westbrook missed 36 games and Durant tallied historic streaks of 30- and 25-point games while running a near-LeBronian volume of pick-and-rolls. He thrived amid a bricky lineup of Reggie Jackson, Thabo Sefolosha, Serge Ibaka, and Kendrick Perkins. He rarely got to play with even an average big man passer.

Durant is more well-rounded today. Imagine what he could do as his version of LeBron in a shooting-infused lineup with one do-it-all star big man?

“Obviously it would be cool to have the ball in my hands the whole game and rack up numbers,” Durant told ESPN.com during the Finals. “I can do that. But for me to utilize the full body of my talents, I can’t do that. I don’t have the energy physically to do that and still defend on the perimeter, block shots, rebound.”

Coaches around the league are a little more optimistic about Durant lifting a lesser team toward title contention, provided the right co-star.

“You could absolutely build that kind of offense around him,” Steve Kerr tells ESPN.com. Ron Adams, a Warriors assistant who also coached Durant in Oklahoma City, thinks Durant could average at least eight assists per game if he wanted.

“He can be that,” says Nash, who works with Durant in the summer and knows him as well as anyone inside the Warriors, “but he’s quite happy not being the alpha dog.”

Critics will frame that as weakness of body and mind. Durant is still skinny, lacking the physicality of LeBron or even James Harden; Thunder coaches doubted he could sustain Slim Reaper workload over a full season. He is a good passer, not a great one.

He still sometimes pings almost self-consciously between scoring and passing extremes, including during his trough in the conference finals against Houston.

“He’s a thoughtful passer,” Adams says. “But he’s expected to score. And that is a tougher balance for players to find than the observer might think.”

Seven-footers rarely have elite handles; could Durant’s high dribble withstand game-long pressure? Giannis Antetokounmpo doesn’t seem concerned with this.

But Antetokounmpo’s team is miles from contention. He needs the ball; finding proper superstar partners for him will be tricky. Durant’s disinterest in dominating the ball — or, rather, his ability to dominate games without dominating the ball — can, and probably should, be framed as a talent: He is the rare top-5 player (aside from point guards) who doesn’t diminish the talent of superstars around him. In Cleveland, alongside LeBron James, Kevin Love is pretty much Ryan Anderson, even with Kyrie Irving gone. Chris Bosh had to reinvent himself in Miami as a spot-up shooter. The Rockets made the Chris Paul-James Harden pairing work by rigidly staggering their minutes, and adopting an anomalous isolation system that allowed both plenty of chances to go one-on-one. And now they ask: Can that work with a third star?

Because he can score efficiently and suddenly from everywhere, out of any action, Durant’s presence does not bring any diminishing returns even if you pile two and three superstars around him. On consecutive possessions, he is Anthony Davis posting up, LeBron running the show, Blake Griffin screening-and-diving, Ray Allen coming off a pindown. He is a completely unprecedented player.

“He is probably the most talented player in the world,” says Bruce Fraser, a Golden State assistant and Durant confidante.

With Durant, Curry can still lead the team (by far) in pick-and-roll usage. Draymond Green can function as point forward. Klay Thompson can be any Klay he wants. “I was always taught that leaders are servers,” Pratt says. “That’s what Kevin is.”

There is nothing historically abnormal about Curry and Durant as a 1-2 punch. They are Shaq-and-Kobe for the 3-point era — co-stars who amplify each other. What really separates the Warriors — what makes them infuriating for some, what the regrettable cap spike enabled — is Green and Thompson serving as any team’s third- and fourth-best players.

Durant can be a team’s best player and, in bald terms, a floating second option — a rare duality. That was the vision toward the end in Oklahoma City. Westbrook spread pick-and-rolls became the engine, with Durant starting more possessions off to the side and taking over during crunch time. In Golden State, he found a more active version of the same role — a way to be a moving decoy on trips he didn’t touch the ball, instead of a stationary one.

Golden State’s system would push him to sharpen the edges of his game — screening, cutting, defense, passing on the move. “I like to inject myself into the game in lots of different ways,” Durant says.

There have been hiccups, as the Houston series laid bare. There will always be tension between Durant’s one-on-one brilliance and Curry’s beautiful game — a tension not spoken or felt so much as it is simply lived. “There is stylistic tension, not personal tension,” Steve Kerr tells ESPN.com.

“Neither one has ever felt, or said, ‘You are taking from me,'” says Bob Myers, Golden State’s general manager.

Curry has never fretted. “We complement each other,” he told ESPN.com after Game 3. “We occupy different spots on the floor. The only thing we’ve had to work on, chemistry-wise, is reading situations — what plays to call, deciding the balance of who gets to initiate the offense.”

They see progress. Curry and the coaches were delighted with this play in crunch time of Game 3:

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