Tag:John Calipari
Posted on: October 7, 2011 2:43 pm
 

Rose settled suit from Memphis boosters

By Matt Moore

So much for school pride. 

Two boosters threatened to sue John Calpari, Derrick Rose, and Memphis athletic directer R.C. Johnson on behalf of ticket owners. Rose and Calipari both agreed to settle the case out of court before the suit was filed.

From Gary Parrish at CBSSport.com, discussing reports from the Commercial Appealin Memphis:  
Nevermind that, according to university counsel Sheri Lipman, the complaint “had all sorts of holes in it." And nevermind that, according to common sense, any lawsuit would've almost certainly been dismissed. Calipari, Rose and Johnson still each opted to settle out of court. Calipari and Rose agreed to pay the attorneys a total of $100,000, and Calipari also agreed to donate the bonus he received for taking Memphis to the title game of the 2008 NCAA Tournament back to the school's Tiger Scholarship Fund. Johnson agreed to return the bonus he received that year, too.
via Memphians targeting D-Rose is dumb, shortsighted - CBSSports.com.

Rose continues to be a lightning rod for the discussion of student athletes, college amateurism, John Calipari's reputation, and oh, yes, the SAT's. It's just regrettable that a few bitter fans decided to punish Rose. He didn't make the system, neither did John Calipari. If we care that much, we should change it. But we don't care that much. We just care when it hurts us, like when Calipari jumps ship and doesn't wind up with the repercussions of his motives that Memphis fans were fine with provided he didn't get caught. 

Why would you want to alienate Derrick Rose? He can have the same effect that John Wall will have for Kentucky, that Jared Sullinger will have for Ohio State. It's an opportunity to help recruiting. The kids that might wind up going to Memphis won't remember that the wins were yanked. They'll remember him playing for Memphis before he was an MVP. It's petty, and self-harmful. Pretty impressive to be both.
Posted on: September 5, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2011 10:55 pm
 

NBA hopeful Edgar Sosa breaks leg at FIBA tourney

Posted by Ben Golliveredgar-sosa

With the NBA engaged in a lockout, all basketball eyes have been turned to the EuroBasket and FIBA Americas tournaments. But this is something you might not want to watch.

During a Monday FIBA Americas game against Panama, Edgar Sosa, a guard for the Dominican Republic and former star for the University of Louisville, broke his leg. FIBA.com reports that Sosa was immediately transported to the hospital and that his injury, currently being referred to as a fractured tibia, will require surgery. Sosa broke his leg while driving to the basket during the closing seconds of a 92-68 Dominican Republic win in at the tournament, being held in Argentina. He immediately collapsed in pain on the baseline and was attended to by medical staff.

NBA.com reports that the aftermath was, as you might expect, quite somber.
Edgar Sosa suffered a career-altering injury in the final minute of the game. On a drive to the basket, Sosa took some contact and fell hard to the floor. And when he looked at his right leg, he saw that it was bent in the middle of his shin.

It was an awful sight for anyone watching and the players on both teams were visibly shaken. After Sosa was taken off the floor in a stretcher, Panama respectfully dribbled out the clock and both teams gathered at center court in prayer.

University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari also leads the Dominican Republic national team, and he posted thoughts of support for Sosa almost immediately after the game.

"Please pray for Edgar Sosa," Calipari tweeted. "He suffered a leg injury at the end of our game today. It’s one of the most devastating things I’ve been through. My hope was Edgar would have NBA opportunities from this [tournament]. It was just a freak thing with 35 seconds to go. He’s a wonderful young man and player."

Sosa went undrafted in 2010 but played Summer League ball for the Detroit Pistons. He played professionally in Italy last season.

Sosa's teammate, Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva, also expressed his thoughts on Twitter.

"A wounded solider, my prayers are with Edgar Sosa, hoping for a speedy recovery," Villanueva wrote. "God please heal over him."

Sosa finished with 13 points and 8 assists in 25 minutes against Panama. 

Here's video of Edgar Sosa of the Dominican Republic brekaing his leg at the FIBA Americas tournament courtesy of YouTube user santicontraras.

Warning: This video is very graphic.



Top image via KentuckySportsRadio.com
Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:11 pm
 

Calipari and the new NBA nexus



By Matt Moore


Let's get right to the point. In the list of people who influence the NBA, John Calipari isn't at the top. But the empire he's built and transferred to Kentucky to expand may be the center of the NBA universe outside of New York and Miami. And if you want proof, you only need to look at what's going on in Lexington this summer.

We start with the expected, another stellar team from Calipari. But this one, it's a little bit more than even the normal outstanding classes of prospects Calipari produces each year. In addition to Terrence Jones, who would have been a first-rounder this year had he elected to jump, the 2011-2012 Kentucky Wildcats feature three players CBSSports.com placed in the top ten of a 2012 mock draft, and four in the first round. Anthony Davis is considered by many to be the number one overall pick next year, Michael Gilchrist is talked about as being potentially just as good. Marquis Teague is plotted as a mid-first rounder (which means he could very easily wind up in the lottery). Only Doron Lamb, who Calipari has called the best player on this year's Kentucky team, isn't expected to go in the first round.

It won't happen, but we should note that it's possible that the entire starting five of UK this fall could go in the first round, and that four of the five could go in the lottery. That's absurd. For a coach known to pull in talent, the addition of Jones for his sophomore year has made this year's squad of prospects out of this world. Essentially, every Kentucky game needs to be a must-watch for NBA draftniks.

But that's not all. As the lockout drags on, some familiar faces are showing up in and around Lexington. Calipari offered early on to let locked out former members of the Wildcats use the facilities. In addition, several former Wildcats have decided to finish their degrees at UK should the lockout cost the whole year. Now, no one thinks this is about the family approach or goodwill and interest in supporting former members that Cal and the Blue Nation would say it is. And that's right in line with Calipari's approach. He's brazenly manipulative of NBA ties while all the while putting the most friendly of faces forward. It's made him the scourge of many college basketball pundits, while NBA guys? We tend to nod appreciatively. Calipari filters good talent into national television appearances, raises their draft profile, and then sends them on their merry way to where they belong: the NBA, making money to play the game they're at the elite level of already. The transparent slime may put some off, but the fact remains: Calipari has become a first-round gold mine.

Tyreke Evans, ROY. John Wall would have been ROY if Blake Griffin hadn't entered the fray as an actual sophomore. DeMarcus Cousins could have been a candidate if he'd kept his head on his shoulders. And all of that is before you factor the MVP Derrick Rose and his time with Calipari in Memphis. And with all those players hanging around campus, word will continue to get around to future prospects. It's not just cool to go to Kentucky. It's part of the NBA factory.

LeBron James is a "close personal friend" of Calipari. And while the rest of the universe may hate James, kids are still flocking to him as an idol, evidenced by both Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson's realtionship with him. Jay-Z? Visiting the locker room. The link here in all of this is, of course, Worldwide Wes, William Wesley, who is also, surprise! Calipari's agent representative with CAA. It's a whole little machine that makes collegiate moralists squirm, even as Calipari has done more to produce revenue for young players than any coach in the country. If it's all about him, so what? The effect is the same.

UCLA hosts the most famous and well known private pickup games. But with Cousins, Bledsoe, and Wall on campus along with Rondo and whoever else conceivably shows up, Lexington is going to be a virtual nexus of NBA workouts. It'll make the machine stronger, even as a class that some consider to have a higher total ranking than the Fab Five makes its way to play in the SEC.

Calipari is coaching the Dominican national team against a collection of former Wildcats. Cal has used every edge in keeping the factory rolling. William Wesley's close associate, LeBron James, and his brand will be sponsoring gear for UK this year. All-Stars are hanging out on campus and could be hired as special assistant coaches.

The reality is that with New York a tar pit where both the players and owners are stuck drowning in their own stubbornness, and Miami evacuated as the Triad go about their globe trotting ways, there's a new center of the NBA universe. Maybe Calipari isn't emperor of this kingdom, and he's just the friendly father figure he makes himself out to be. It doesn't change the fact that the future of the NBA flows through Lexington, and it's Calipari tending the waters.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 9:08 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 9:21 pm
 

Calipari: 3 NBA players to take classes at UK

Posted by Ben Golliverjohn-calipari

The University of Kentucky's basketball program is practically a professional program already, spitting out lottery picks in large quantities year after year.

But some of those lottery picks are coming back home and their presence could take the school's basketball program up another notch.

Kentucky coach John Calipari tweeted on Thursday night that three NBA point guards who played for Kentucky will head back to Lexington if the lockout continues. "John Wall, Rajon Rondo & Eric Bledsoe all plan to enroll in the fall if the lockout continues," Calipari tweeted. "Kaboom!"

Kaboom, indeed.

KentuckySportsRadio.com reported that the move could allow the trio -- point guards for the Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers, respectively -- to get some court time in with the current Wildcats. "Calipari announces that John Wall, Eric Bledsoe and Rajon Rondo will all enroll at UK in the fall if lockout proceeds," the site reported. "What does that mean? Well, Wall, Bledsoe and Rondo are all eligible to be "Student Assistant coaches", which means practice with the team... Wall, Rondo and Bledsoe would have to be full-time students to be Student Assistants, but rumor is that is the plan."

A Lex18.com report quotes free agent forward Tayshaun Prince saying other NBA players could be following suit.
"Whether it's mid to late August or early September, I think some guys will start to roll in," he said.

Prince said he plans to spend more time in Lexington later in the summer and in to the fall and winter, if the NBA remains locked out. Brandon Knight - Prince's teammate in Detroit who was at the camp Thursday - said he plans to return to Lexington in late August or September. The two don't figure to be the only pros around campus.

"I think you're going to see over the next few months here that guys are going to start rolling in, doing workouts and things like that just because the relationship [Calipari's] putting out there with guys that he didn't coach but at the same time is building relationships," Prince said.
There are a lot of winners in this unique situation.

First, any NBA player who goes back to complete work on his degree is automatically a winner. Kudos to Wall, Rondo and Bledsoe for considering that step even after each has banked millions of dollars. That these three have chosen to do that while finding a home to work on their game and stay fit is a no-brainer, win-win.

Calipari, of course, is a winner, as the presence of an All-Star point guard, a Rookie of the Year candidate and a promising future starter on campus and in the gym only raises his already insanely-high profile as a mover and shaker in the basketball world and provides his current roster, which sports four potential first round picks in the 2012 NBA draft, with elite leadership and competition. Kentucky freshman point guard Marquis Teague, in particular, wins here too with three new mentors. Who better to answer his freshman questions than Wall, Rondo and Bledsoe?

The losers here are anyone that still believes in the purity of amateurism as well as any coaches that have to compete with Calipari for NBA-ready recruits. His factory just gets more and more refined by the season. Love him or hate him, his innovations and ability to find a competitive advantage are remarkable.
Posted on: April 8, 2011 3:16 pm
 

Knicks interested in UK coach John Calipari?

Are the New York Knicks interested in University of Kentucky coach John Calipari? Posted by Ben Golliver. john-calipari

Another day, another rumor surrounding the New York Knicks front office. All the hot air stems from the fact that Knicks owner James Dolan, to this point, has not picked up the contract option for team president Donnie Walsh, leading to speculation that this will be Walsh's final season in the big apple.

Friday's rumor, courtesy of the New York Post, has Dolan considering college basketball's top recruiter and former New Jersey Nets coach John Calipari.
According to a team executive, who knows a thing or two about a thing or two regarding goings-on behind the screens, believes Dolan may have eyes for John Calipari….to run the front office and coach. Do I have confirmation on this? No. I unsuccessfully reached out to Calipari and left a message why I was calling. Does it make sense? Yes, especially in view of Dolan’s disinclination to do right by Walsh.
We’re talking about a marquee (there’s that word again) college coach fresh from another Final Four, who owns pro experience (some of it good with the Nets), is an outstanding recruiter (though NBA’s salary cap may limit impact) and relates remarkably well with young black players.
Shortly after that rumor hit, SI.com acknowledged that it was a possibility but also raised some questions. 
There are also reasons to question whether the Knicks would consummate the relationship. Calipari's credentials as a bench coach will be questioned: Even though he has experience as a head coach for the Nets, he has failed to win an NCAA championship with Memphis or Kentucky. Coaching in the NBA is far more difficult than in college, and anyone who wants to shoot down the speculation can make the case that Calipari would represent a bench downgrade from Mike D'Antoni.
Will the next collective bargaining agreement maintain free-agency in its current form? How important will recruiting be in future? This story is going to generate a lot of discussion, but it's hard to imagine the Knicks taking such a risk unless they're absolutely convinced Calipari's presence will deliver a third star to New York.
Dolan is way out there as an NBA owner, but this is too much for him. If you're going to hire a big name recruiter, why bother saddling him with coaching responsibilties? If you already have a relatively proven coach in D'Antoni, why replace him for someone that bombed out of the NBA and has proven to be much more effective in college? 

It's clear Calipari wields significant influence in basketball circles. His former players -- even guys like Blazers center Marcus Camby who played for him ages ago -- always sing his praises. But he loves the limelight and he's got all the limelight he can handle in Kentucky, where he's revered as a local idol and just made this year's Final Four. 

Prying him away could eventually happen but not when he's at the top of his game.
Posted on: March 30, 2011 5:54 pm
 

NBA will investigate Jay-Z's Kentucky appearance

NBA will investigate Jay-Z making an appearance in University of Kentucky locker room after team clinches Final Four appearance. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Jay-Z is a popular guy, I'm sure you've figured out. Being arguably the biggest rap star alive will do that for you. But he's also very popular in the basketball community. He's a close, personal friend of LeBron James.  And it would seem he's in with James' friend John Calipari as well, as he visited the Kentucky Wildcats locker room last weekend. Which, naturally, is not so much in the realm of being okay with league rules concerning interactions with NCAA players. From CBSSports.com's Ken Berger: 

The NBA plans to investigate contact between Nets part-owner Jay-Z and members of the Kentucky basketball team after the Wildcats beat North Carolina Sunday to advance to the Final Four, a person with knowledge of the situation told CBSSports.com. The hip-hop mogul's visit was documented in photos and video showing him congratulating players in the Kentucky locker room, which happened to have been occupied by two potential lottery picks -- Brandon Knight and Terrance Jones. As noted here, this offense would seem to be comparable to Celtics GM Danny Ainge sitting with Kevin Durant's mother during the 2007 Big 12 tournament. Ainge was fined $30,000, a slap on the wrist in exchange for the opportunity to schmooze a top prospect's mom. But given that standard, Jay-Z should be docked $30K for each college player who was in the locker room.
via Post-Ups: NBPA looks to learn from NFLPA's decertification tactics - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.

The assumption by many is that the link between Jay-Z and the Wildcats is Jay-Z's friend William Wesley, who has his hands in just about everything NBA, and actually represents Calipari for CAA.  That's a pretty obvious link. 

The question has to be if that's how Jay-Z was granted access, if Calipari was the reason and Wesley the facilitator, what the NBA will do about it. The answer? Nothing. It's easy to look at this as a harmless incident, and for the most part it is, which is why the Nets minority owner will receive a minor fine and things will go on. But it's part of a continuing pattern where elements are being moved in conjunction with one another as part of the same base. It also reinforces how bizarre it was that LeBron James elected to head to Miami instead of New Jersey. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com