In a recent article, ESPN’s Jemele Hill said that if LeBron James doesn’t love playing basketball anymore, he should give up his spot on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hill’s argument is that with LeBron being so dominant in the NBA and having so much power over decision-making for the team, it would be best for him to step down from his role as a player and focus on other aspects of his life.
The Ryder Cup is less than a week away, and American supporters can’t be too optimistic about their drama-plagued team going into the biannual event. Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, two of the team’s players, can’t tolerate one other, and Koepka made some perplexing remarks this week that may explain why Team USA is 2-7 in the past nine editions of the tournament.
Paul Azinger, a former Ryder Cup captain and veteran golf commentator, was not pleased with Koepka’s harsh comments, so he gave him a severe warning that may put Team USA in even more danger.
By this stage in his career, every golf fan is acquainted with Koepka’s antics. He won’t be completely involved until it’s a big championship week. That’s something he’s acknowledged time and time again.
That attitude seems to be carried over to the Ryder Cup. Koepka was candid about playing for his nation in a recent interview with Golf Digest.
“It’s not the same. It’s frantic. If I’m being honest, it’s a little strange,” Koepka said. “I’m not going to say it’s been a terrible week. We’re all so diverse, and everyone has their own pattern and way of doing things, and suddenly it’s like, ‘OK, we have to meet at this time, or go do this, or go do that.’ It’s the polar opposite of what occurs during a big week.”
He went on to say, “It’s difficult.” “There are moments when I think to myself, ‘I won my match.’ I completed my task. ‘Can you tell me what you want from me?’ I understand how to accept responsibility for the shots I make each week. Now, someone else has hit a poor shot and put me in a bad position, and I know I’m going to lose this hole. That’s something new, and you’ll have to adjust your thinking. One week a year, you go from an individual sport to a team sport. It’s such a departure from my usual routine.
“It’s possible that team sports aren’t in my DNA.”
That’s hardly the kind of team-first mentality you want from one of your best players. Next week, we’ll find out if Koepka’s comments damaged or helped Team USA’s prospects against Team Europe.
Brooks Koepka receives a harsh warning from Paul Azinger.
In 2012, Paul Azinger walks the stage at Medinah Country Club for the 39th Ryder Cup Opening Ceremony | Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Azinger is well-versed in the factors that go to a successful Ryder Cup squad. After all, in 2008, he led the United States to a 16.5-11.5 win against the Europeans at Valhalla. During his captaincy, Azinger emphasized teamwork and unity, and he thinks Koepka’s participation will only harm that element of the competition.
According to ESPN, Azinger remarked this week, “I’m not sure he likes the Ryder Cup that much.” “If he doesn’t like it, he should give up his position and find someone who does. It is not universally embraced. But if you don’t love it and aren’t sold out, I believe Brooks, in particular, should think about whether he truly wants to be there. And then you include in Bryson [DeChambeau], it becomes an even easy choice for him.”
As you can see, Team USA’s preparations for the crossing of the Whistling Straits are proceeding swimmingly.
The United States of America is already coming apart at the seams.
The Americans and Europeans haven’t even teed off for the Ryder Cup in 2023, and one side is already unraveling. Players on Team USA are deliberately beefing up, their most consistent performance, Patrick Reed, is sitting on the bench, and one of their best players, Koepka, has acknowledged he isn’t a big fan of team sports.
And now, a former winning captain in the shape of Azinger is urging Koepka to resign from the team.
How can anybody believe that this year’s American team will end a record of seven defeats in the past nine Ryder Cups?
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