Rajon Rondo’s fallen star


UPDATE: Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee tweets: “Jason Jones ‏@mr_jasonjones
Rajon Rondo’s meeting with the Kings is over. He hasn’t agreed to a deal with the team yet.”

There in Sacramento’s middle ring, under the big top, wait for it, spotlight please, curtains draw, it’s Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins.

A few years back, many teams wanted Rajon Rondo. Now there’s only one. The Kings. Maybe. (The two sides are reportedly meeting Friday.) That’s how far the former Kentucky guard has dropped in the eyes of NBA executives. Yes, Rondo is talented. But he’s also a problem. The Mavericks, who traded with the Celtics for Rondo’s services during last season, found that out.

Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes, “It is believed that Rondo has no serious suitors besides the Kings.”

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BBL: LeBron James wants Tayshaun Prince

Big Blue Links for Friday:

Kash Daniel makes his choice Saturday. The Paintsville linebacker will announce his college choice on July 4. Kentucky and South Carolina are considered to be the leaders.

Commonwealth’s revamp hasn’t boosted ticket sales. The “new” Commonwealth Stadium has not brought about a surge in season ticket sales for Kentucky football. After five straight losing seasons, Kentucky football fans are taking a wait-and-see attitude.

LeBron and Tayhsaun? The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly reached out to former UK forward Tayshaun Prince, who has bounced around the last couple of years in what has been a very productive pro career.

Saturday is UK Day on the SEC Network. The conference’s cable channel is dedicating a day of programming to each of the 14 schools.  Kentucky’s turn just happens to come on July 4.

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LSU basketball assistant backs out of job

LSU coach Johnny Jones appeared to pick up needed X and O help when he hired John Treloar to his staff in April. Not so fast. Treloar reportedly has changed his mind.

Sheldon Mickles of The Advocate reports that Tuesday, the day before Treloar was to begin work in Baton Rouge, the former LSU assistant infored Jones he won’t be returning to the Tigers after all.

Treloar was an LSU assistant under John Brady from 2004 to 2008, including LSU’s 2006 Final Four team. He was to replace Eric Musselman, now the head coach at Nevada.

Currently the Player Personnel Director with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, the 58-year-old Treloar was an assistant at Indiana for seven years, including the 2002 IU team that reached the national title game where it lost to Maryland. Before joining the Suns, Treloar was head coach of the D-League’s Erie Bayhawks.

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Bye-bye Johnny Cueto?

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto throws in the second inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Wednesday, July 1, 2015, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

All good things must come to an end. Johnny Cueto was really good. Really good. And yet Wednesday was the last time the fans at GABP will see the right-handed ace start a game in a Cincinnati Reds uniform.

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Big Blue Links: Summer league, dating site, big contracts

Big Blue Links for Thursday:

Aaron Harrison thinks he can bring shooting to the table in Charlotte. The former Kentucky guard, known for his run of dramatic three-pointers during the Cats’ 2014 NCAA Tournament march, went undrafted but will play with the Hornets’ summer league team.

Scout.com ranks two Kentucky quarterbacks for the Class of 2017. Lafayette’s Walker Wood and Ryle’s Tanner Morgan made the cut.

Joshua Huff of the Kentucky Kernel writes that Calipari would be wise to leave UK. “Calipari is caught in the vice of college recruiting and appeasing the most rabid fans in the country. It’s a surprise that after six years as head coach his hair doesn’t rival that of a two-term president.”

Four Cats were named to the SEC’s first-year academic honor roll.

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Big Blue Links: Kings now interested in Rajon Rondo


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

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John Calipari’s not going anywhere (not yet)


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.

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Big Blue Links for Tuesday


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.

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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.

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


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

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