Tom Sorensen

Short takes: On paying commissioners, catching the Saints, and the Hornets’ next act

Can the Carolina Panthers catch the New Orleans Saints and quarterback Drew Brees (9) in the NFC South? What you need to know is below.
Can the Carolina Panthers catch the New Orleans Saints and quarterback Drew Brees (9) in the NFC South? What you need to know is below. AP

If NFL commissioner Roger Goodell really is asking for the riches that are rumored, the NBA should pay its commissioner, Adam Silver, double that. ...

The New Orleans Saints cling to a half-game lead over the Carolina Panthers in the NFC South. The Saints’ remaining schedule: Washington at home, Los Angeles Rams on the road, Panthers at home, Atlanta Falcons on the road, New York Jets at home, Atlanta Falcons at home and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road. The Saints likely will be favored in five of the seven. They could be underdogs at Los Angeles and at Atlanta. …

If you were asked to name the most underrated player on the Panthers' roster, who would it be? I pick defensive end Mario Addison. Although he weighs 260 pounds, he’s built for speed, as quarterbacks will attest. …

The Cleveland Cavaliers came to Spectrum Arena Wednesday to play the Charlotte Hornets. Like Carolina’s victory Monday against Miami, the game was televised nationally. When was the last time two nationally televised games in Charlotte were played two days apart? ...

When Cleveland star LeBron James played for the Miami Heat, I bought a cup of coffee in the lobby of the hotel in which Miami stayed, stood against a wall and watched. No football team can rival the individual star power an NBA team offers. Football doesn’t market stars the way the NBA does. The lobby of the very nice hotel would have been chaotic if not for the heavy presence of security guards. There were almost as many security guards as players. Fans got a close look at the stars they watch on the court and on TV. Players got to walk to the team bus without being accosted by adults (didn’t see many kids) who wanted a picture or autograph. …

Former women’s lightweight champion Christy Martin and Pink Promotions will put on a boxing card Saturday at CenterStage@Noda. Featured will be Zsolt Daranyi Jr., a super lightweight from Hungary who fights out of Toronto. He’s a lean 6-1 and is 13-0, knocking out 12 of his opponents.

Also featured with be N.C. lightweight champion LaVonte Earley, a quick, quick boxer. There’s also a sort of loser leave town bout between Derek H-Bomb Hyatt of Gastonia and Kyle Harrell of Charlotte, who fought to a draw in July. Technically, neither Hyatt nor Harrell has to drive off. But in terms of fighting on another main event in Charlotte, only the winner will get another shot. For more information, call 704-309-1777. ...

The Charlotte Hornets have played entertaining and moderately successful basketball, but their first 12 games felt like a warm-up. I want to see them at full strength with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Nic Batum. Batum, who has been injured, returned Wednesday.

Batum is the great connector. He does not excel at any facet of basketball. Yet there’s not a facet of basketball that he doesn’t do well. ...

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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