Big Blue Links: Kings now interested in Rajon Rondo

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Big Blue Links for Wednesday:

John Calipari is not going anywhere — not yet.

Calipari says I WILL BE AT KENTUCKY.

Kings owner says report of interest in Calipari “categorically untrue.”

Kings would like a sit-down with Rajon Rondo.

Anthony Davis agrees to five-year, $145 million deal with New Orleans.

LSU’s Ben Simmons shows he can guard Davis, James Harden at camp.

Trevor Gott says his success so far has much to do with trusting his stuff.

Calipari may not be looking, but he’s still listening.

Kentucky still in the mix for Greek 7-footer.

Auburn and Oregon will kick off 2019 football season.

Bill Self impresses South Korean students with his jumper.

Pitino says re-tooled Louisville is bonding well.

Photo of Rajon Rondo with Mavericks by AP

Posted in NBA, SEC, U of L basketball, UK basketball | Comments

John Calipari’s not going anywhere (not yet)

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Here’s my take to this report that John Calipari might leave Kentucky to run the show in Sacramento. It’s not going to happen. Not this time.

In fact, I’d totally dismiss Adrian Wojnarowski’s report for Yahoo Sports that the Kings are trying to gauge Calipari’s interest in being GM and coach of the Kings if it were not for the fact it was a Wojnarowski report. No one is more plugged into the NBA than Adrian. No one is more plugged into the agents as Adrian. Few are fearless as Adrian.

Have read (on Twitter) and heard (Cowherd) some say that the Kings offered Calipari the job(s). That’s not what Wojarnowski’s said. His report makes it clear that Sacramento was trying to determine whether to make Calipari an offer. That’s where it stands. And according to Calipari, who quickly released a statement addressing the report, he has no interest.

“For the 100th time, I have the best basketball coaching position in the world. I am not looking for any other coaching position,” said the coach through a media release. “Since he bought the team, Vivek Ranadive and I have talked on and off about DeMarcus Cousins. Vivek has asked me what I thought about DeMarcus and I told him he would be an all-star, and I was right. In the last two weeks, we’ve also talked a bunch about the draft and on draft day, obviously because of Willie Cauley-Stein. At no time has Vivek offered me a job. I will be at Kentucky.”

But it’s going to happen. At some point, Cal is going to leave. He’s not coaching here forever. He can’t. When he first arrived, in small interviews with separate local media outlets, Cal said he would not coach as long as people thought he would. Rick Pitino stayed eight years in this job. Tubby Smith stayed 10. Calipari is going into his seventh year. Kentucky is a great job but it’s also a tough job. (Check out the comments on Cal’s Facebook page Monday.)

Plus, I still believe there is a part of Calipari that wants to prove that he can win in the NBA. He got fired at New Jersey after less than three years. He’s mentioned that a couple of times before. He’s won a college title. He has taken Kentucky to four Final Fours in the past five years. He’s the best recruiter in the game. He’s (deservedly) in the Hall of Fame. The only thing he hasn’t done is win in the pros.

It has to be the right fit, however, and there’s too much wrong in Sacramento. Yes, the Kings have DeMarcus Cousins and they now have Willie Cauley-Stein and some other pieces and Calipari would have control, but there would be a lot to overcome. It’s a dysfunctional organization. Cal could turn it around, or the mountain might be too big to climb. The risk is too great.

So, rest easy, Cal’s not going anywhere. Not yet.

Posted in NBA, UK basketball | Tagged , , | Comments

Big Blue Links for Tuesday

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Big Blue Links for Tuesday:

Will Patrick Towles do for UK in 2015 when Andre Woodson did in 2006?

John Calipari says next season could get crazy again.

Calipari supports removal of the Confederate flag.

Tyler Ulis throws it down.

Andrew Harrison just wants to work hard and make the Memphis roster.

Montrezl Harrell believes he is blessed to fall to the Rockets.

Amid DeMarcus Cousins speculation, George Karl eager to get back in the gym.

Wisconsin should heed Bo Ryan’s advice about a replacement when he retires.

Despite his firing at Tennessee, Donnie Tyndall isn’t giving up on a dream.

Adrian Wojnarowski isn’t interested in playing along with ESPN’s draft show.

Continue reading

Posted in NBA, SEC, TV/radio, UK basketball, UK football | Comments

Evening links: Kings may want another ex-Cat

Five evening news links:

Kings interested in bringing Eric Bledsoe to the Sacramento circus.

American Pharoah went back to work at Santa Anita this morning.

Keeneland is expanding its fall race schedule with seven additional stakes.

Chuck Culpepper talks to Vin Scully about his 66th season doing Dodgers games.

Pilots of Argentina airline are fired after letting Playboy Playmate fly plane.

Posted in Baseball, Horse racing, NBA, TV/radio | Comments

Old-school Bo Ryan will complain (and win) one more year

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Bo Ryan announced Monday that he would coach one more season at Wisconsin before retiring. A surprise to the rest of the country, it apparently was not a bombshell in Madison, where rumors had swirled since April that the program’s most successful basketball coach might be hanging up his whistle.

The 67-year-old Ryan is 357-125 in his 14 seasons at Wisconsin. He’s won four Big Ten regular season titles and never finished worse than tied for fourth in the conference. He’s also coming off his two most successful seasons, reaching back-to-back Finals. The Badgers lost to UK in the 2014 Final Four, of course, then avenged that loss with a win over the previously undefeated Cats in 2015 before losing to Duke in the national title game.

Truth be told, Ryan has always been an old-school coach with a cantankerous streak. He doesn’t mind complaining, especially when it comes to officiating, as he proved at the 2015 Final Four. After the 68-63 loss to Duke, Ryan made a comment about how “we don’t do rent-a-player” when the Devils had just won with three one-and-dones (Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones and Justise Winslow) while also griping that the title game had “more body contact than any game we played all year.”

Back in 2012, Ryan won few friends with his hard-line stance in the much-publicized transfer of Jarrod Uthoff, who left Madison after being redshirted as a freshman. Originally, Ryan banned Uthoff from transferring to any school in the Big 10, the ACC, Florida, Marquette and Iowa State. Uthoff ended up going to Iowa, where he was forced to pay his own way for one year thanks to Ryan’s refusal to back down.

On the floor, Ryan proved he could coach. He won four national Division III titles at Plattesville before going to UW-Milwaukee for two seasons and then on to Wisconsin. His Badger teams played disciplined, fundamental, consistent basketball. He developed his talent. In last Thursday’s NBA Draft, Frank Kaminsky was taken by Charlotte with the No. 9 overall pick while Houston grabbed Sam Dekker with the 18th pick.

With Ryan losing five of his top seven players from last year, there was speculation the coach might hang it up. He put his house in Madison for sale. He said it was to downsize. He admitted Monday he considered retiring after the Final Four, but Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez insisted he take time to think it over. Having done that, Ryan decided on one more year.

After that, Ryan said he hopes Alvarez will promote assistant Greg Gard, who has been with Ryan since 1993, all the way back to the Platteville days. Gard was promoted to Associate Head Coach in 2008. Ryan says Gard has one of the best minds in college basketball. If he gets the job, Gard will be stepping into some pretty big shoes.

Photo of Bo Ryan and John Calipari at this year’s Final Four by AP

Posted in College basketball | Tagged | Comments

Current NBA contracts of John Calipari’s first-round picks

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Phoenix is reportedly offering former UK guard Brandon Knight a lucrative deal to sign with the Suns after being acquired from the Bucks last season. So thought it might be a good time to check out the current status of Kentucky’s 15 first-round draft picks (now 19 after last Thursday’s draft) under John Calipari.

Anthony Davis: The No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft signed a four-year rookie deal worth $23,198,010 with the New Orleans Pelicans. Now he has a decision to make. When free agency starts Wednesday, Davis reportedly will get a maximum offer from New Orleans of five years worth nearly $145 million. According to The Advocate, Davis will be the 16th player over the past decade to receive a max offer a year before his rookie contract expires. The question is will Davis accept the offer?

John Wall: Take No. 1 by the Washington Wizards in 2010, Wall signed a five-year extension worth $84,789,500 million in August of 2013. Wall will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: Taken No. 2 in 2012, Kidd-Gilchrist signed a rookie contract with the Charlotte Bobcats (now Hornets) for four years worth $20,760,923. He can become a restricted free agent after the 2015-16 season.

Enes Kanter: Taken No. 3 by the Utah Jazz in 2011, Kanter signed a four-year deal worth $18,652,514. He was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder during this past season and is a restricted free agent.

DeMarcus Cousins: The No. 5 overall pick in the 2010 draft, Cousins signed a four-year deal worth $65,619,700 in 2014. He can become an unrestricted free agent in 2018. Meanwhile, there is reportedly a battle between head coach George Karl and Kings’ management about whether to deal the temperamental star.

Nerlens Noel: The No. 6 overall pick in the 2013 draft, Noel signed a three-year deal worth $9,945,240. He did not play in 2013-14 because of injury, but played in 75 games this past year. He is scheduled to be a restrict free agent after the 2016-17 season.

Julius Randle: As the No. 7 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Randle signed a two-year deal with the Lakers for $6,129, 600. Randle fractured his leg in the first game of the regular season in 2014-15. He will not become a restricted free agent until 2018.

Brandon Knight: Detroit took Knight with the No. 8 pick in the 2011 draft and the point guard signed a four-year deal worth $11,589,837. He was traded to Milwaukee then to Phoenix. Reportedly the Suns have offered Knight a five-year deal worth close to $70 million.

Patrick Patterson: The No. 14 overall pick by Houston in the 2010 draft, Patterson was traded to Sacramento and then on to Toronto in December of 2013. In 2014, the Raptors signed Patterson to a three-year deal worth $18,150,001. He can become an unrestricted free agent in 2017.

James Young: Taken No. 17 in the 2014 draft, Young signed a two-year rookie contract with $3,424,320 before the 2014-15 season. Young played in just 31 games last season. He will be an restricted free agent in 2018.

Eric Bledsoe: After starting out with the Los Angeles Clippers, the No. 18 pick in the 2010 draft signed a five-year deal with the Phoenix Suns last season for $70 million. He is currently the center of much trade speculation.

Terrence Jones: Taken No. 18 overall in 2012, signed a four-year deal worth $7,145,049 with the Houston Rockets. He can become a restricted free agent after the 2015-16 season.

Archie Goodwin: Taken by Phoenix with the No. 29 overall pick in 2013, Goodwin signed a three-year deal worth $3,336,840. He will become a restricted free agent after the 2016-17 season.

Daniel Orton: The 29th pick in the 2010 draft, Orton signed a two-year rookie contract with Orlando that guaranteed him $2 million. He has been in and out of the league since. He played for the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League and for a team in the Philippines last season.

Marquis Teague: The 29th overall pick by Chicago in the 2012 draft, Teague played 67 games over two season with Chicago and 21 games with Brooklyn in 2013-14. He signed a rookie deal with the Bulls for $857,000. By rookie scale, he should have been guaranteed $2 million over his first two years. Teague was traded by the Nets to the 76ers, who waived him last October. He is currently on Oklahoma City’s NBA Summer League roster.

Photo of Anthony Davis vs. Enes Kanter by AP

Posted in NBA, UK basketball | Comments

John Calipari’s Facebook page is debating Confederate flag

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There is quite the discussion taking place on John Calipari’s Facebook page.

You may have heard that on the SEC summer basketball teleconference Monday morning, the Kentucky basketball coach was asked about the controversy over the Confederate flag. Caught off guard, Calipari took to Twitter and Facebook afterward to make his stance clear — “I don’t think there’s any question it should be taken down, but again, I’m not running for office.”

Over 1,000 people have “liked” Cal’s post on Facebook, which at 12:45 had produced nearly 350 comments (and growing). While some supported the coach, a good number took issue with his stand. Here are three unedited samples:

– Johnda Wilburn Griffith: “Well this is 1 thing you are definately wrong about. Stick to picking the best players.”

– John Strode: “Just keep distancing yourself from the fan base by answering questions you really should pass on, just because you’re in the public eye doesn’t mean you have to answer every question you’re asked and it’s sometimes better to keep you’re opinion to yourself especially when it has to do with things close to the heart of the people whose basketball program you run and it’s not a good idea to alienate yourself from the fan base!”

– Bucky Bryant: “Coach Cal? Your in Kentucky! Heritage NOT Hate! Maybe a tour of Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, and other Civil War Battlefields, needs to be on your agenda, this summer! Then you’ll understand the pride, that many Kentuckians share with this flag and our Confederate heritage! Thank you!”

Cal is not without his supporters in the comments section. Some are saying he is entitled to his opinion, even if they might disagree. Others are thankful for Calipari’s comments.

– Matt Braunwart: “Just think. Whether people want to admit it or not, by condoning the Confederate flag you are racist by association and inherently anti patriotic. Deal with it. I appreciate Cal’s stance and see it is aligned with the rest of rational humanity.”

H/T @awireman

Posted in UK basketball | Tagged | Comments

Five lunch links: Searching for Bob Knight’s chair

Here are five links for your Monday lunch:

UK football recruit Tobias Gilliam is receiving offers from Big 10 schools.

Phoenix might be about to make Brandon Knight a wealthy man.

SEC sports information directors pick Georgia vs. Auburn in the football championship game.

Gregg Doyel went looking for the chair that Bobby Knight famously threw.

John Calipari talks about a possible three-guard lineup.

Posted in NBA, SEC, UK basketball, UK football | Comments

Just when things were looking up, Reds take another fall

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Baseball’s 162-game season can play tricks on the mind. The Cincinnati Reds in 2015 are a prime example. From June 16 through June 25, Bryan Price’s club appeared to have finally put it all together. It won six of eight games. Then, just as quickly, it all fell apart.

Last weekend’s trip to New York brought a three-game sweep by the Mets. Including the 13-inning completion of a suspended game from Friday night, the Reds scored all of four runs in 31 total innings. That, by the way, is the same number of runs Mets’ rookie starter Steven Matz drove in during his Major League debut in New York’s 7-2 win on Sunday.

The Reds apparently have something about Major League debuts. Back on June 20, Miami starter Justin Nicolino made his first career start and shut out the Reds on four hits over seven innings at Great American Ball Park. Sunday, it was Matz’s turn. On the mound, he allowed two runs and five hits over 7.2 innings. At the plate, he was three-for-three.

Meanwhile, more trouble mounts in Redsland. Brandon Phillips left Sunday’s game with injuries to both hands. His left wrist has hampered his swing. Then he jammed his right hand while making a tag. At shortstop, Eugenio Suarez has now committed six errors, including at least one error in each of the Reds’ last four games. Consider that shortstop Zack Cozart, out for the year with torn knee ligaments, committed three errors in 52 games.

Minnesota comes to GABP on Monday night. The Twins have lost five of their last eight. But then before the weekend, the Mets had lost seven of their last nine. Mike Leake pitches for the Reds. In his last two starts, Leake has allowed just two earned runs over 14 innings.

Photo of Mets’ Steven Matz by Seth Wenig/AP

Cincinnati Reds game-by-game results, starting pitchers, homers in spreadsheet

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Big Blue Links for Monday

Big Blue Links for Monday:

Trevor Gott picks up his first Major League victory.

Mark Pocaro provides spreadsheet of NBA Summer League rosters.

Ashland’s Quinton Baker, son of Al, commits to Marshall.

Kings and Pelicans setting up an exhibition game at Rupp Arena.

Vanderbilt plans to build a $12 million baseball facility.

It’s about time for the mother of all rematches in SEC championship game.

Lady Vols deserve their own identity.

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze praises lineman for protecting his family.

The best and worst scenarios for the South Carolina football season.

Texas A&M sophomore wins hurdles at USATF Championships.

Posted in NBA, SEC, UK basketball, UK football | Comments