15 Star Athletes With Much To Prove in 2014

 

 

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15 Star Athletes With Much to Prove in 2014

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

With 2013 now in the rearview mirror, it's time to start looking ahead to the sports action in 2014. You can make a case that 2013 was one of the greatest sports years of all time. There was tons of great action for fans of all sports and lots of heart-stopping moments for everyone involved.

The 'sports experience' has really evolved at this point. Because of social media, smart phones and the plugged-in culture that we live in, fans can literally following along with their favorite teams and players up to the second. Instant updates and constant notifications arein. The days of reading big news in tomorrow morning's paper are long gone. We live in an age where all the sports info in the world is available at our fingertips.

As with all technological advancements, there are good and bad things things that happen along with the changes. The good comes in the form of the instant information. The bad comes in the form of fans being able to tweet terrible things to their 'favorite' players. Fantasy owners who belittle players over injuries is a prime example of the very bad in modern sports. But for the most part, fans have to love all the cool things at their disposal.

So with the new year, will come new expectations for the many star players in America. In this slideshow we'll take a look at 15 star athletes with much to prove in 2014. Some are just breaking into pro sports, others have been around for awhile and haven't quite gotten where they need to be yet. But all of these gentlemen have something to prove, on some level:

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Johnny Manziel

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Manziel is projected as a top 10 pick in the 2014. However, there are some that think he'll be an epic failure on Sundays. Is he the product of a college system? Is he just a popular athlete? There's no doubt that he has much to prove at the next level.

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Jadeveon Clowney

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Let's face it, Clowney packed it in this past season. He wasn't even close to the player he was in 2012. Can he turn it back on in the pros? Or is he content with one big payday?

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Lebron James

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

James has a much higher standard than nearly any other athlete. For JBL, it's a matter of becoming the G.O.A.T. That's how high the bar is set. He can get a step closer to MJ in 2014 by winning his third straight NBA championship.

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Tony Romo

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Romo has already earned the moniker of 'choke artist' and now he has to overcome a bad back in 2014. Will he be the same QB following surgery?

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Mark Sanchez

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Sanchez's career is nearly in the toilet. However, he's likely going to get a clean slate with a new team in 2014. Can he rebound to become a respectable NFL QB?

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Kevin Durant

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USA Today Sports

Durant says he's tired of being number two. Well, it's time that he steps up and makes sure he's no longer the first loser.

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Peyton Manning

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Just like James, Manning's standards are on a completely different level. He's also on a quest to be the G.O.A.T. Can he win his second Super Bowl and in the process become the first player to ever lead two different teams to championships?

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Robert Griffin III

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

2013 was a terrible year for RG3 and Redskins. Can he take the next step as an NFL QB in 2014 under new head coach Jay Gruden? We'll all have to tune in and find out.

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Starlin Castro

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Castro was one of MLB's brightest young stars in 2011 and 2012. But in 2013, not so much. Castro hit a measly .245 with only 44 RBI. If he doesn't turn things around, neither will the Cubs.

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Dwayne Bowe

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USA Today Sports

After signing a new $56 million contract prior to the start of 2013, Bowe greatly under-performed for the Chiefs this past season. Statistically, he had his worst season ever (44.9 receiving yards per game) and he got arrested. No one in KC needs a bounce back year in 2014 like Bowe does.

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Arian Foster

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Just like Romo, Foster will be returning from back surgery in 2014. Let's be honest, there are no guarantees when you're talking about athletes returning from back surgery. Will Foster ever be the same? It's a fair question.

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Kobe Bryant

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

The general consensus seems to be that Kobe will never be the same. People say he's too old and now too injured to ever regain his prior form. The Black Mamba would like nothing more than to prove his doubters very wrong.

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Jacoby Ellsbury

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USA Today Sports

The Yankees opened up their infamous check book for Ellsbury in 2013. Will he earn his pinstripes in 2014? Or more importantly, will he earn his ridiculous $21 million/year salary?

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Carmelo Anthony

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USA Today Sports

Anthony's reputation is just flat out bad at this point. He's been called a 'team cancer' among other terrible things. Is he more than just a scorer? It's starting to look like the answer is a big time no.

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Derrick Rose

USA Today Sportsq
USA Today Sports

Rose is now known as a guy who can't stay healthy and as a guy that can't play through pain. By the time the new season rolls around in the fall of 2014, he'll basically have been out of basketball for two years. The odds of him ever returning to elite status have taken a serious hit.


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