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2014 NBA playoffs: Yes, the Miami Heat is outstanding. But Wednesday was a night not to worry about what could happen. It was a night to celebrate what the Charlotte Bobcats did.

This was less a competition than a coronation.

Jordan Spieth is 20. He’s too young to buy alcohol. He’s too young even to rent a car.

Golfer Kevin Stadler has the look – and the attention – of the fans.

Derek Ernst, 23, steps to the tee to hit the first Masters’ shot of his life, collects courteous applause and knocks the ball into straw on the left side of the fairway. He hits his second shot into the tree branches and the ball lands closer to the eighth fairway than the first.

Rory McIlroy played a practice round with Matthew Fitzpatrick on Tuesday and as they walked the fairway the difference in age was startling.

AUGUSTA, Ga. It’s stupid to throw a party and worry about the guest that doesn’t show. With so many good golfers playing at Augusta National Golf Club this week, why write about the golfer that is not? Because the golfer is Tiger Woods, and even though he might no longer be the best player in the world, he still is the most important. You know how you’re aware when some people enter a room? You’re aware when Tiger fails to.

At least 10 times a promoter from Atlanta, New York or another slick city has told me he would bring boxing to Charlotte. As he filled the air with pretty words I’d envision thousands of fight fans beneath ballroom chandeliers, well-dressed bartenders slinging drinks and local boxers finally getting a chance to make some cash.

Kenny Smith, an NBA studio analyst for the TNT Network, played for North Carolina and for 10 seasons in the NBA. He was in Charlotte Wednesday to present a $25,000 check to the Urban League Young Professionals of the Central Carolinas.

Charlotte Knights open practice at new ballpark as uptown skyline looms above the outfield fence

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Tom Sorensen
Tom Sorensen has been a columnist at The Observer for 20 years and has been at the paper for 25, writing about nearly every sport in the Carolinas.