Texas Tech football players are familiar with Floyd Mayweather's body of work. Coach Kliff Kingsbury is a fan of the boxer and says he uses tape of Mayweather to serve as an example of the type of work ethic his players should be putting into their respective games. Kingsbury was on-site at Mayweather's training session along with several other notable figures, and he took time to speculate where Mayweather is best-suited to thrive on the football field.

Go to Wimbledon, and the crowd follows a very strict decorum: Quiet during service, gentle clapping after a point is scored.

Go watch tennis in the Big 12 Conference, and you can forget about all that decorum. The Big 12 wants its tennis fans to be loud, boisterous -- even downright heckling the players.

The louder, the better. According to a feature in The Wall Street Journal, it's all a part of the Big 12's push to keep tennis relevant among students and fans.

Surprising as it might seem, the changes in rules do have some appeal to certain fans. One student interviewed by the WSJ said that the difference between heckling at a tennis match vs. a football game is that at tennis matches, he feels he has a bigger role.

"It's better than football because they can actually hear me when I talk to them," Burchfield told the WSJ.

More than 600 tennis programs across the country have been dropped over the past 40 years, and many colleges are getting more aggressive about how they try to appeal to students. Free food, giveaways and even changing the game's rules to shorten matches have all made a noticeable difference.

But the freedom to heckle seems to be making a big splash.

It's also enabled tennis teams to draw a more consistent following, even to the point that they've organized cheering sections. While the NCAA as a whole hasn't dispensed of the traditional rules, Big 12 tennis is seeing enough success that it may spur on greater changes soon.

Either way, it's clear that the rule changes are making the sport more accessible -- and popular. Said one student: "Honestly, we wouldn't be here otherwise."

Sure, you know the iconic shots: Jordan holding his hand in the air as the ball drops through the hoop for his sixth championship ring. Kobe leaning back and fading as he unleashes jumpers that defy physics. The end result is beautiful, but in many cases it's smart footwork that sets up those amazing shots.

A new video compiles memorable shots from Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Hakeem Olajuwon and others over the years, with an emphasis on innovative and downright mind-boggling footwork.

With the NBA playoffs set to commence over the weekend, now is as good a time as any to sharpen your eye on the finer points of basketball.

Clutch shooting may decide games, but keep an eye on how LeBron James, Steph Curry and other stars use subtle, complex footwork to create windows of opportunity.

The world is a really different place when viewed from Nick Young's perspective. For example, you might be tempted to assume that the Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard's poor shooting season -- he's averaging just 13.4 points and shooting a career-low 36 percent from the field -- could be the product of playing on a bad team, drawing tougher matchups, and struggling without the help of good teammates.

A tempting theory, yes. But dead wrong. Nick Young knows what's up.




Young's season was cut short earlier this spring when a small fracture was discovered in his left knee. The injury was slow to heal, and two weeks ago the organization decided to shut him down for the year and give him time to recuperate. The Lakers' record is currently in the bottom five of the league, and winning games at this point only jeopardizes their shot at a better draft pick.

Take it from the man who nicknamed himself Swaggy P. The man who, according to his own eyewitness account, was nearly killed by a murderous dolphin while on vacation with girlfriend Iggy Azalea. The man who, just four months ago, predicted that he would score 46,000 career points, obliterating the current career NBA scoring record by almost 8,000.

It's definitely the rim's fault.

As if the rest of the world hadn't already played the word association game in their head, Jordan Spieth confirmed what some already would have guessed: His parents named him after Michael Jordan.

It's easy to hear the name "Jordan" and immediately recall the greatest basketball player in history, and it's almost as easy to project an air of greatness onto a stud athlete that shares the name. After all, the guy was going to get MJ references no matter if he was named after an almond or a country in the Middle East.


But Spieth, in the wake of his win at The Masters, is drawing comparisons with sports greats from past generations. Given that, it's all too perfect that he has a fun connection to one of them.


Maybe if he were a few years older, his parents would have named him Tiger.

Spieth revealed the story behind his name while on CBS This Morning. He talks about his first name at the 4:55 mark, but the full interview is available here:

By leading The Masters from start to finish -- and putting himself on record-setting pace before the weekend -- Jordan Spieth did more than run away with his first win at Augusta. He flooded television broadcasts with the logo of his main sponsor, Under Armour.

That maximized exposure represents millions of dollars in value for both Spieth and Under Armour.

According to Adam Grossman, founder and president of the sports media firm Block Six Analytics, Under Armour -- which is working to push its golf brand into the competitive space currently dominated by Nike -- received roughly $6.2 million in value based on Spieth's visibility during the tournament.

"Overall media impressions were the key to the bump," Grossman tells ThePostGame. "Essentially, the leaders of golf tournaments get a significant amount of the television and media coverage. If you compare Spieth's time on the screen during the daily coverage versus a 30-second commercial, then the value is significant."

In that sense, Spieth's gains in value were much greater than if he'd won The Masters with a quick comeback in the last round. Spieth was the tournament's major storyline throughout the event, so much that it drowned out others that had been played up entering the weekend -- such as Tiger Woods' quietly solid return to competitive play.

Although the figure hasn't been made public, Grossman estimates that Under Armour pays Spieth $3.6 million to $4 million annually. That means Under Armour is already ahead for the year on its investment in Spieth, based on one spectacular weekend at the Masters.

According to Adam Peake, Under Armour's EVP of Marketing, Spieth's performance transcended the attention he has drawn to its golf line.

"We look at it even broader," Peake says. "It's the impact that [his victory] has on our brand overall."

Spieth's coming-out party at The Masters -- at 21 years old, he's drawing no shortage of comparisons to Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy -- is yet another success story Under Armour can add to its collection in 2015. From Tom Brady's strong performance in Super Bowl XLIX to Stephen Curry's hard push for the NBA MVP award to a deal with Muhammad Ali, Under Armour has hit a hot streak with its endorsements that is paying dividends the company never could have predicted.

Peake says that those individual accomplishments are an important component of building sport-specific brand, golf or otherwise.

"I think it's critical to have those big names to build the authenticity of the brand," Peake says. "But instead of having those names, I think the key word is having the right names. The attitude [Spieth] brings, the personality, the humility -- that's what makes a difference."

Qualities such as those outlined by Peake are part of the reason Under Armour ripped up its original sponsorship contract (signed in 2013) with Spieth in January, rewarding him with a new, 10-year deal. Given the way he has exploded this year, the investment couldn't look any better.

Meanwhile, Under Armour is working at a frenzied pace to seize the moment -- "We don’t sit around and revel in the wins," Peake says -- and continue to build off Speith's success.

The end of The Masters is far from the end of Spieth's dividends. He'll be a popular interview all week, with a date to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman on Monday night. In future TV coverage of this season's golf tournaments, Spieth is sure to attract more attention as a golfer who is always a threat when in play.

"This organic exposure in terms of highlight packages, feature stories and digital/social media exposure will continue beyond The Masters as well given the historic nature of his performance," says Grossman, who is also author of The Sports Strategist. "In terms of quality of impressions, Jordan Spieth significantly enhanced Under Armour's brand awareness and brand perception."

Peake shrugs off the numbers -- the millions of dollars in value gained, the extra Under Armour product sales and the potential to push these numbers even higher through 2015. Whether wanting to push a different narrative or simply finding those projections too restrictive, the executive believes that Spieth's landmark achievement is the impetus for long-term growth.

"You know, when I think of the impact of what has happened, the emotional passion and intensity, quite frankly I think it is very hard to put a value on that," Peake says. "It's about that word 'momentum.' Momentum creates itself, and it becomes contagious at some level. That’s clearly how we feel right now."

Two references give Azusa Pacific running back Terrell Watson's dream of making it from a Division II school to the NFL an extra boost of credibility. One: Azusa Pacific's offensive line coach Jackie Slater, a Hall of Famer who blocked for Walter Payton in college and Eric Dickerson in the NFL, says he will be shocked if Watson fails to make an NFL roster this season. Two: Watson has broken just about every significant rushing record at Azusa Pacific, which means something because the previous holder for most of them was Christian Okoye, whose six NFL seasons include a rushing title.

Learn more about Watson, who is listed as 6-2 and 240 pounds, and how he overcame a learning disability to become a player -- and here's a third reference -- that former NFL coach Mike Martz says, "belongs in the NFL."

Watson was not invited to the NFL combine in Indianapolis, but he gave a strong performance in a pro day at his school. His time of 4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash would have tied him for fourth among running backs at the combine, and it ranks ahead of noted backs Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin (4.52) and Cameron Artis-Payne of Auburn (4.53).

In a scouting report of Watson, R.C. Fischer wrote: "In a sea of RB prospects who are talented and weigh between 200-220 pounds, Watson presents a unique, more attractive option to NFL teams at nearly 240-pounds with the speed-agility similar to the RBs who are 20-40 pounds smaller than him."

Wonder what the secret to Adrian Gonzalez's record-setting power surge might be? After Gonzalez became the first player in MLB history to hit five home runs in his team’s first three games, there are plenty of theories. But not many of them involve his bat. Well, we spent a day with Trinity Bat Company in Fullerton, California, just before the start of the regular season and watched them make a new batch of ash bats for Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman. As the company explains, Gonzalez helps choose the features of his bat, and then a team sets to work building an MLB-caliber work of art. Check out the unique handcrafted process:

Jason Day has covered up the holes remaining from last season. The Aussie started 2014 with three top tens in his first four events before thumb and back injuries sidelined him for two separate extended periods. In 2015, Day is swinging at full force. The 27-year-old has four top tens in seven events, including a third career PGA Tour win at the Farmers Insurance Open in February. This week, Day returns to The Masters, where he finished tied for second in 2011 and third in 2013. After all, Augusta is his favorite American venue.

ThePostGame: Coming out of the 2014 season, what were the high points? What were the low points?
JASON DAY: The high points were when I was on the golf course, I played pretty good. The low points were the injuries obviously. That's something that I'm trying to take care of.

TPG: Is the recovery from the back injury a more physical recovery or is the emotional recovery of taking a full swing the greater challenge?
DAY: It's not so much the emotional recovery as physical. It really hurt. That even goes into the thumb, as well. You can't pick up a golf club if your thumb hurts. Every time I put pressure on my thumb, it absolutely killed it. To get over that finally was a breath of fresh air. To really understand that that minor change in the grip weakened it up really helped a lot and eased the pain away.

TPG: What influence has Tiger Woods had on your career as a golfer and on a personal relationship?
DAY: It's kind of strange. I've idolized the guy ever since I was a kid. He changed my life for the better. I read a book about him and that made me wake up at 5 o'clock every morning. Now, I get to play against him competitively, which is kind of neat. Many people have an idol, but they don't get to play against him. I get to play against him. It's great to be able to sit there and talk to him and pick his brain. At the end of the day, whether you think Jack is better or Tiger is better, he's one of the best of all time. To be able to sit there and pick his brain for a while, it feels like it's almost better than going to practice.

TPG: You've been on the cusp of major championships …
DAY: I'd like to change that.

ThePostGame: What do you need to do to change that and win?
DAY: I think just being comfortable with the fact it's OK to win. I want to win so bad, but I think I've had to much of that lore for attraction that you'll do anything possible to get it. Sometimes people are there at a good time and kind of stumble upon it. Right time, right place type thing. I just want to keep working toward it with my mind and my body.

TPG: You're now 27 years old, but you're considered almost a veteran …
DAY: Back in the day, early 30s was young. Now, since all these young guys are coming, early 20s is considered young.

TPG: Looking back on the seven years, what would you say is the strongest part of your game?
DAY: I think the want to get better. Yeah, I have tools in the bag. I hit the ball long. My short game is solid. I putt good. The one thing I'd love to improve is just my irons. Overall, I feel like I play the game pretty well. The want to improve myself and win tournaments and see how far I go is crucial. At the end of my career, am I going to say I did well, but I didn't give it my all? I'd be very, very angry with myself if I didn't give 100 percent. If I gave my all and I got to whatever point in the world, I could look back and at least I say I did the best I could.

TPG: When you're on the course and you have fans cheering for you, whether in a major or not, how do you train for that part of the game where you have to have your emotions in check?
DAY: My mom always said be humble. Be humble, be humble, be humble. Growing up as a kid, when I won tournaments, I never rubbed it in any kids faces. I always think about my mother saying be humble. The majority of that comes back to my team. Golf is an individual sport, but I have a team behind me that supports me. My golf coach, who is also my caddy, [Colin Swatton,] does so much work behind my scenes. He does all my stats. He knows to the point what will win the tournament. It's insane. He says you need to have 18 birdies, one eagle and seven bogeys to win the golf tournament this week. This is your previous history here. These are the holes you've played bad. This is why and this is how we'll change our game.

TPG: Do you have any superstitions you apply on the course?
DAY: No. The only superstition I have is I'll never touch a trophy unless I earned it.

TPG: When you look at the young guys coming up, do you point one out who is going to be the next big thing?
DAY: I'm the old one of that group. Obviously Rory [McIlroy] is going to be there for a long time. As long as he stays healthy, the guy goes at it so fast as well. It's not the want and the will for him. It's about staying healthy for those guys. Rickie Fowler's going to be there. He's just in a confident run right now. Then you've got your Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama who have a lot of talent. Then you've got these young kids like Tony Finau (Jabari Parker's cousin) who's ripping it right now. He played on the Web.com Tour last year. I'll get to a tournament and be like who are these people? There are fresh faces every year. It's like when you're in high school and the new kids come in.

TPG: How do you think golf will innovate in the near future?
DAY: There's always going to be innovation through TaylorMade and clubs because they're the leading innovators in the golfing industry. I really don't know … the stats thing that I said, that's kind of the way people are going right now. Billy Horschel has a guy that really helped him along the way to win the FedEx Cup. Tiger's been doing it for a long time. The real innovation is staying one step ahead of the next guy. Doing whatever you can–that's legal–to stay ahead of the game.

TPG: What's your favorite tournament in the states?
DAY: Oh, Augusta.

The relationship between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James has been a work-in-progress all season, but both sides say they've found a way to co-exist -- even flourish together.

Part of that progress, though, has meant figuring out how to share criticism and feedback with one another. According to Irving, he has had to endure lectures from his more seasoned teammate regarding his on-court performance.

One such talk came early in the season, after the Cavs lost to the Utah Jazz. In that game, Irving went for 34 points. But James took issue with his point guard tallying zero assists in the game.

"[LeBron] came up to me and was like, 'One, you can never have another game with no assists,'" Irving told Cleveland.com. "'You can damn near have just one, two, three, but you can't have zero.' And I was like, 'All right, cool, it won't happen again.' And it hasn't happened since that game."

Still, Irving is candid in discussing the tension that does exist between the two players, even as they develop an on-court chemistry. The age difference -- Irving is 23, while James is 30 -- has been a challenge, and James has routinely battled with the younger mindsets and relative inexperience of many of his teammates.

James, in fact, even referred to the Cavs roster as his "kids" earlier in the season.

But those problems have more or less fallen to the wayside now, at least the conflict between Irving and James. Both players have found a way to thrive alongside one another.

Kevin Love is a different story entirely. But the most important relationship, in terms of Cleveland's long-term success, if the LeBron-Kyrie dynamic. Tensions may exist, but they don't seem to be infiltrating the basketball court.

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