In most sports, competitive parity is viewed as a goal. In the post-Tiger PGA, it's flattened things maybe too much. At age 20, after nearly winning at Augusta National, Jordan Spieth looks just about ready to shake things up.
The world of competitive chess has been noticed most on the periphery of other eras or stories: the Cold War, the rise of the supermachines, the tax evasion fueled anti-Semitism of a former legend. But if Norway's reigning chess prodigy can become a world champion, we may find ourselves living in the age of Magnus Carlsen.
Playing against Ricky Rubio is harrowing and envy-inducing, as this former European pro can attest. But the point guard prodigy is playing against more than just his match-ups, and how he'll fare against that broader opposition is not quite clear yet.
No, Ricky Rubio is not "there" yet. But in his better moments, the Timberwolves rookie has shown a generosity, boldness and joy of performance that makes him able not only to change games, but exalt them.