Wizards

Father-Son Challenge returns after 3-year break

Father-Son Challenge returns after 3-year break

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) When Larry Nelson won the last Father-Son Challenge with son Drew, the runner-up duo included a high school freshman just beginning to grow into his body and his swing.

Look at Dru Love now.

The son of Davis Love III stands 6-foot-3, a five-time Georgia state champion now trying to crack the lineup of a No. 1 Alabama team that includes a U.S. Amateur semifinalist and two second-team All-Americans.

And if you think he's big, check out Arnold Palmer's partner this week. Grandson Will Wears is a 6-foot-5 high school senior who plays basketball during Pennsylvania's winter season.

``Yeah, it's been a while,'' Nelson said Friday.

After a three-year absence, the scramble event returns this weekend at Grande Lakes Orlando's Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.

``When your son's with you, you'd better be competitive,'' said Jack Nicklaus, joined by son Gary this week. ``And your son had better be competitive. Both of you want to show each other that you can play.''

The event had a 14-year run from 1995-2008 before sponsorship issues dropped it from the schedule. It was such a hit among its Hall of Fame participants, though, that organizers never set the concept aside.

With Palmer's help, the event was revived in March with PNC Bank as sponsor.

``It's exciting to think that they want to play as badly as they do,'' Palmer said when the return was formally announced. ``So they bring their sons, their daughters - whatever it might be - and it's pretty exciting.''

The field features 18 major champions or Players Championship winners, paired with their offspring. In the case of guys like Nicklaus, Nelson and Raymond Floyd, they've had to let two sons alternate years.

``It's fun to come and compete on the big stage - or what feels like a big stage to us,'' said Josh Nelson, who helped Team Nelson to the 2007 title but stepped aside a year later as brother Drew helped bring the family another title. ``We relish it. Every year, we were hoping to hear that they would get a sponsor and we're just really thankful for PNC stepping up.''

Dru Love - formally Davis Love IV but with a nickname shortened from the word ``quadruple'' - was 14 at the last Father-Son. As exciting as it was to challenge the Nelsons down the stretch, the company he was keeping was no less memorable.

``Getting out with your dad and playing a scramble is no big deal,'' he said. ``But when you jump out there with - last (time) we had Shark (Greg Norman) and Vijay (Singh) - that was really cool.''

Lee Trevino and Daniel Trevino also are playing along with Nick Faldo and Matthew Faldo, Hale Irwin and Steve Irwin, Vijay Singh and Qass Singh, Steve Elkington and Sam Elkington, Raymond Floyd and Robert Floyd, Lee Janzen and Connor Janzen, Bernhard Langer and Christina Langer, Sandy Lyle and James Lyle, Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, David Duval and Nick Karavites, Dave Stockton and David Stockton, Lanny Wadkins and Tucker Wadkins, and Fuzzy Zoeller and Gretchen Zoeller.

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Trae Young joins Kobe Bryant in historic feat against Wizards

Trae Young joins Kobe Bryant in historic feat against Wizards

Following the passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant on Sunday, emotions were high. 

Many current and former players paid tribute to Bryant, including Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, who dominated in the Hawks 152-133 win over the Wizards. 

He ended the night with a spectacular performance of 45 points, with 14 assists, making 13-of-24 FGs and 13-of-16 free throws as well as six 3-pointers, six rebounds and one assist. 

Young is the first player to have a 45-point double-double with under 25 field goal attempts against the Washington Wizards, since Kobe Bryant on December 17, 2006.

In honor of his mentor and favorite NBA player, Young wore a No. 8 jersey and took an 8-second-violation after the opening tip. 

He even wore his shoes with a tribute to Bryant as well. 

Young was able to channel his emotions into the game, leaving everything on the floor.

In an emotional night, Young was able to keep himself composed leading the Hawks past the Wizards. 

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Isaiah Thomas: NBA should have canceled games after Kobe Bryant's death

Isaiah Thomas: NBA should have canceled games after Kobe Bryant's death

The news of Kobe Bryant's death shook the sports world to its core, and while there were NBA games scheduled throughout Sunday, some felt the league should have canceled the games in light of the tragic news. 

Isaiah Thomas was one of them. 

"It's hard to even talk about it," Thomas said. "The NBA should have just canceled all the games because that put a dent in everybody's life that he's touched."

Thomas looked up to Bryant, admired him from afar and found his love for the game of basketball because of Bryant's greatness. Spending 20 years as a Laker, Bryant won five championships, an MVP and two Finals MVP awards to go along with 15 All-NBA selections and 18 trips to the All-Star game. 

For Thomas, his relationship with Bryant started to grow when he broke out as an All-Star in Boston. When Thomas suffered the tragic loss of his sister, they grew closer. After his hip injury that cost Thomas over a year of his career, Bryant supported him throughout. 

"I started basketball because of Kobe Bryant," he said. "2017, I lose my sister, 2019 I lose one of my best friends in Nipsey Hussle, and then to lose a mentor of mine, like, that's bigger than basketball, that [expletive] hurts.

"He was one of the people that was there for me and in my corner," he said. "And then I got injured, he was one of those guys that was there for me the whole time, helping me through mentally."

The NBA had a difficult decision to make on whether or not to cancel games since there were two games already in progress.

But before, during and after the game, everyone's thoughts were with Bryant and his family and not on a basketball game. Because as Thomas said, it's bigger than basketball. 

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