A handful of interesting sports-related links and other stuff for your Monday morning:
-- It was 34 years ago today when perhaps the most sensational single-season NBA scoring race ever came to an end. David Thompson barely trailed George Gervin going into the final day of the season. With his teammates feeding him the ball constantly, DT scored 73 points in an afternoon game. But Gervin's teammates did the same thing that night, and "Ice" scored 63 -- just enough to retain his lead.
Thompson, the former N.C. State star who now lives in Charlotte, told me once that while his amazing jumping ability was God-given, he also worked on it constantly as a youth.
-- If you haven't seen it yet, The Observer's Ron Green Jr's story on Bubba Watson's win in the Masters Sunday is really worth a read. Ron is one of the best golf writers in America.
-- I wrote a story today about David Hepp, a whitewater canoeist who at age 38 has come out of retirement with the hope of finally making an Olympic team. Four years before, I first met Hepp when I did a first-person story on how it really felt to go down the competition channel at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Hepp, then retired, was my guide. It was a blast, even though we crashed.
-- My second story today was a column about the Bobcats, who are on an 11-game losing streak with 12 games to play in this lost season. A depressing subject, to be sure.
-- The NFL regular-season schedule will be announced soon, and I expect the Panthers to have 1-2 prime-time games given their higher, Cam Newton-enhanced profile. Among the possibilities: The Panthers vs. Washington (which might be starting RGIII by then), the Panthers vs. Denver (Peyton Manning and John Fox come to Charlotte) or either Panther game vs. New Orleans.
-- If you need an NFL draft fix, the excellent Peter King of Sports Illustrated opens his always good "Monday Morning Quarterback" column with a few thousand words on the big event that starts Thursday, April 26th.