By Jahmal Corner(REUTERS) – With his decision to join the Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant ended an era in Golden State while advancing a trend of the NBA’s elite players forging their own paths with new teams.Durant will now team up with fellow All Star Kyrie Irving, who will depart Boston after just two seasons, leaving behind a Warriors franchise he helped lead to three consecutive NBA Finals.Durant, 30, is expected to miss most if not all of next season while recuperating from a ruptured Achilles suffered during this month’s NBA Finals defeat by Toronto. On paper, Golden State had more to offer Durant than any other team. The Warriors could have rewarded Durant with a five-year, $221 million super max contract – far more than the $164 million he will receive from the Nets.They also provided the stability of a championship pedigree as Durant rehabs his injury. Golden State have played in the last five Finals and the presence of Stephen Curry and exceptional coaching and ownership offers promise of a competitive future. None of those factors were apparently more valuable than Durant’s freedom to choose his own path.And in that regard he is following something of a trend. LeBron James helped pioneer the way by leaving Cleveland to form a super team with Miami, returning to the Cavaliers following a four-year run with the Heat, before settling with the Los Angeles Lakers this past year.James’ new running mate, Anthony Davis, forced his way from the New Orleans Pelicans in order to join the Lakers. Even reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard could soon be choosing a fresh destination over Toronto. Durant previously made a splash in free agency by moving from Oklahoma City to the Warriors three years ago. The decision will perhaps leave the Warriors with a question mark hanging over them as they enter the 2019-20 season.In response to Durant’s move, the team on Sunday acquired All Star guard D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade deal with the Nets that will send championship stalwart Andre Iguodala packing. With shooting guard Klay Thompson also missing considerable time with a knee injury, for the first time in a long time the Warriors may not be calling the shots in the new season.
An undefeated record in Big Ten volleyball is a tall task. There are currently six Big Ten teams in the AVCA Coaches’ Poll and four of them, including the University of Wisconsin women’s volleyball team, are in the top-10. However, Big Ten powerhouses like No. 5 Minnesota or No. 6 Nebraska didn’t end the Badgers’ perfect conference record. It was the young The Ohio State University Buckeyes, who had zero wins against ranked opponents this season. A day after their loss to OSU, the No. 7 Wisconsin volleyball team (17-5, 13-1 Big Ten) rebounded with an emphatic sweep of the Maryland Terrapins. The trouble for the Badgers began in the first set. UW held late leads 21–17 and 24–21, but the Buckeyes responded with runs both times to take the set 27–25. That sparked OSU offensively as they hit .344 in the second set and won 25–20. Wisconsin rebounded to win the third set but fell in four with a Molly Haggerty hitting error eliciting a 25–23 loss in the fourth set. The Buckeyes (13-13, 6-8) dominated the service line — a usual strong suit for Wisconsin. OSU rattled off 10 service aces. The Badgers had not allowed more than five in their first 12 games in Big Ten play. Volleyball: Badgers look to extend historic Big Ten runThe No. 4 Wisconsin volleyball team (16-4, 12-0 Big Ten) remains on the road to face The Ohio State University Read…Senior middle blocker Elle Sandbothe, a transfer from Kansas State, finished with 12 kills at a .409 hitting percentage.OSU also held the Badgers to their lowest hitting percentage all season at .202. The loss ended the Badgers’ 12-game winning streak, but UW quickly re-entered the win column against Maryland (12-14, 4-10) with a 25–18, 25–13, 25–13 sweep. The Badgers dominated all three facets of the game. UW hit a blazing .406, held the Terps to .045 and won the serving battle with six aces to Maryland’s one. Setter Sydney Hilley had her entire arsenal of hitters going as she totaled 43 assists. Their .406 hitting percentage was the Badgers’ highest mark of conference play thus far. Middle blocker Danielle Hart posted a .778 hitting percentage with seven kills on just nine swings. Volleyball: Badgers record team’s best start ever in Big Ten playThe Wisconsin volleyball team (16-4, 12-0 Big Ten) has started 12-0 in conference play for the first time in Badger Read…The Terrapins’ Rebecca Rath was the only attacker with a hitting percentage above .067 and First-Team All-Big Ten outside hitter Erika Pritchard registered a .000 hitting percentage. Wisconsin forced Maryland into season-lows in hitting percentage, kills, points and assists. The Badgers once again won the battle of service aces as they have in 12 of the 14 Big Ten matches they have played thus far. Molly Haggerty and Lauren Barnes each recorded two aces against Maryland.