Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Calipari Conflagration Edition

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

News and commentary from around the Big Blue Internet. Calipari's comments to the Cleveland Plain Dealer cause wild press reaction. SEC Track and Field championships start today in Lexington. More.

All the rage today is Calipari's comments in the Cleveland Plain Dealer telling the author he'd love to coach LeBron James if he had the chance. The Twitter and sportswriter reaction has been hilarious.

Tweet of the Morning

Ouch.  Talking about Steve Kerr choosing Golden State over the Knicks.  Hey, Steve's an Arizona guy, and the weather is much better in Oakland.

Your Quickies:

Kentucky football
Kentucky basketball
  • So did Calipari say he'd leave Kentucky to coach LeBron James or not? I don't think so, but apparently, some people do.

  • Yes, but Calipari isn't interested in them. See also Will's commentary here.

  • Mike DeCourcy: Kentucky's academic performance puts lie to criticism. Indeed. Consider:

    There are some lies in sports that are kept rather busy, but the one that seems to hang around college basketball most persistently is this: that Kentucky is employing a band of athletes who only need to pass a few fall credits and then don’t even have to go to class in the spring.

    False.

    It’s been false since John Calipari’s first season on the job in 2009-10, and it’s remained false every year since. How do we know? UK basketball’s score under the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate measurement is a perfect 1,000 for the 2012-13 academic year and 989 on a multiyear basis.

    Bob Knight, your office on line 1.

  • Apropos to the Calipari to the NBA discussion, Gary Parrish says his comments were "out of character" regarding LeBron James:

    For more years than I can remember, Calipari has almost always addressed speculation concerning his future with an approach either exactly like, or similarly to, the approach described above. He's a master with words, the best at delivering sentences that sound good but mean nothing, and the most obvious example is when he was asked about the opening at Kentucky two days after coaching what ended up being his final game at Memphis.

    "I wanna be here," Calipari told some Memphis reporters. "This is where I want to coach."

    Four days later he was the coach at Kentucky.

    In other words, Calipari has a history of being less-than-honest when it comes to this stuff, which is why his quotes Wednesday to The Plain Dealer were both surprising and interesting. Asked about the possibility of coaching LeBron James someday, Calipari said this ...

    "If I had a chance to, I would absolutely.''

    Wow, right?

    Wow, wrong Gary. That comment, quoted in isolation, omits so much context. Sure, he'd love to coach LeBron. No, he won't leave Kentucky to do it. Now, I'm not saying he won't leave ever, I'm just pointing out that opportunity is contingent upon a number of things, including current circumstances. Consider the whole context:

    "Are you kidding me?'' the University of Kentucky coach said in a telephone interview on Wednesday morning. "Have a chance to coach the best player in the world? Yes, I would love to coach him. But what's happened is our careers are criss-crossing without crossing.

    "I'm not in a position where I would leave Kentucky right now. I'm not sure whether this is his last contract, or his next-to-last contract. But I would tell you if I had a chance to, I would absolutely.''

    So, reading the whole thing in context, is there any "wow" there? Jeebus, Gary, is this all you have to do these days?

Other Kentucky sports
  • Bat Cats Micheal Thomas and Matt Reida on Senior Day:

  • Christian Stokes and Kelsey Nunley talk about the upcoming NCAA Regional in Lexington:

  • Nikki Sagermann may equal or break the UK softball home run record this weekend.

College football
  • College football APRs. Kentucky is down a bit.

  • Conferences are already jockeying for position in the new College Football Playoff. Some are arguing nine conference games trumps eight, but it doesn't look like that's going to fly. Good. Stupid argument. It depends upon who you play in the non-conference.

  • Interesting article about A.J. McCarron, who was nearly killed. This is a horrific story that makes me want to avoid JetSkis at all costs. Consider:

    Not long after the ambulance got 5-year-old AJ McCarron to the hospital, someone had given his mother a business card, for a grief counselor. She'd decided AJ would be buried in his baseball uniform.

    I read this with my mouth agape.

College basketball
Other sports news
Other news
  • Lawyer demonstrates that novel defensive tactics are novel for a reason.

  • For those of you who dare to remember the 1980's, this was first video ever to broadcast on MTV on August 1st, 1981. At the time, I was in Electronics Technician "A" school at Great Lakes Naval Base. I had a TV but no cable, and didn't see my first music video until two years later in Newport News, Virginia. Ironically, I was with my wife to be at the time in a mall and this video happened to be on.

    I recall not thinking much of MTV at the time, concluding it was probably a short-lived fad. Less than six months later, we'd spend over half our TV viewing time watching it.

  • Billy Gomila at And The Valley Shook reviews Elijah Craig Small Batch bourbon. I like it okay.

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