Get Used To Spieth
April 16, 2015
A new era for the sport of golf has arrived. Thanks to a 21 year old named Jordan Spieth.
Not since Tiger Woods seized control of Augusta National at that age in 1997 has golf had a burst of youthful excitement like the one 21-year-old Jordan Spieth provided Sunday.
Spieth became the second-youngest Masters winner and only the fifth wire-to-wire winner. He also tied for the lowest four-round score in the tournament’s 79-year history.
What Spieth did at the Masters was launch golf into a new age, one that’s likely to see him and golf’s other notoriously gifted youngster, Rory McIlroy, create a rich rivalry.
It has been a while since the game has had a rivalry.
The one downside to Woods’ dominance has been that he’s never truly had a rival, a near-equal who could threaten his monopoly on the majors. Phil Mickelson made a game run at standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tiger, but with five majors to Tiger’s 14, it never truly evolved.
Spieth went eye-to-eye with McIlroy last week and emerged on top. McIlroy is a little more than four years older than Spieth, so their best days figure to meet often in a sport where an athlete’s prime can last two decades.
McIlroy earned his reputation as the world’s greatest young golfer by winning a major on his 10th attempt. Spieth needed only eight, and he got there a year sooner.
Both had to blow a major before they could win one. But when Spieth bobbled away the 2014 Masters to Bubba Watson, he still finished tied for second. McIlroy’s famous fourth round collapse at the 2011 Masters dropped him all the way to 15th.
Both have a personality that seems to draw followers.
And with McIlroy and Spieth due to go 1-2 respectively in the next world rankings, the battle is officially on.
New Name, Same Story
It was supposed to be different this year for Charlotte in the NBA. The franchise got its old name, Hornets, back. Getting the popular name back was the highlight of the season as it turns out.
A season that started with such grand expectations ended in extreme disappointment for owner Michael Jordan’s team. The same team that went on a spirited second-half run last year to make the postseason did the exact opposite this time around.
Following the rebrand, the buzz was supposed to be back in North Carolina, but team never did shake that Bobcat mediocrity.
Charlotte was 28-33 on March 8, and it has lost 15 of 20 since to fall to 11th place in the Eastern Conference. All hopes of making a deep playoff run were mostly dashed in November following a 10-game losing skid.
The Hornets never made it back to .500 since being 1-0.
The franchise will now enter another offseason with a host of questions about its future. Sound familiar, does it not?
About the only player who took a step forward this year was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. He, along with point guard Kemba Walker and center Al Jefferson are really the team’s only assets.
Fans must have little confidence in Jordan and company to use the offseason effectively. Years of questionable draft picks, confusing management decisions and unsuccessful free-agent pickups have the franchise where it is today.
I looked back at some examples of shaky draft picks. And this from a team that always ends up with a lottery or top-ten first round pick.
It seemed to start back in 2006. Remember Adam Morrison? Charlotte could have gotten Rajon Rondo. How about Brandon Wright in 2007? Could have gotten Joakim Noah. Ended up with D.J. Augustin in 2008. Could have gotten Brook Lopez, a center who averages 15 points and 10 boards a game. Got Gerald Henderson in 2009. Could have gotten Ty Lawson, one of the top point guards in the game. Somehow the team did not have a pick in 2010. I will plug in the 10th pick in the draft here since the Hornets always pick near the top of the draft. The tenth pick that year was Paul George, one of the top players in the game. Kemba Walker came to the team in 2011. Not bad, but Klay Thompson is better. I also like Kidd-Gilchrist, the 2012 choice. But Damian Lilliard is an all-star. Cody Zeller joined the Hornets in 2013. But Michael Carter-Williams is much better.
I would love a roster with just half of the guys the Hornets have missed out on since 2006. There are plenty of all-stars noted above that could have been in a Charlotte uniform. The franchise needs a star and it needs one fast.
By the way, I just heard that Justise Winslow of Duke is coming out early for the NBA draft. Am thinking that he is just what the Hornets need.