Tag:University of Kentucky
Posted on: August 17, 2011 1:30 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 2:33 pm
 

Did LeBron James 'curse' the University of Miami?

By Matt Moore

Back in July, LeBron James' Nike brand announced a pretty sweet deal. He'd be expanding on his relationship with Ohio State to include Kentucky and Miami. That's a pretty great deal for James' brand to be sponsoring the official gear for three major universities, right? I mean what could possibly go wro...

Oh.

James has been sponsoring the Buckeyes since 2007. He makes "The Decision," and in the following year the program goes through its worst NCAA violations scandal and their legendary head coach resigns.  

Well that's not so bad, and it's not like the other two universities have gone through any... oh.

James moves to the Heat and the following year the University of Miami suffers arguably the worst reveal of recruiting violations in the history of college sports. Yachts, strippers, prostitutes, it's all there. That's two down.

Kentucky, unbelievably, is the clean one here. Whether it's fair or not, if you'd put odds out two years ago on which of those three schools an average person would bet would have recruiting violations, Kentucky would probably have been the best bet. 

So what can we take from James having sponsored two out of three programs with recruiting violations and massive scandals on their hands? The clear answer is that James is cursed. 

Yes, there's really no way around it. Clearly "The Decision" has cursed LeBron James. After all, his team only made it to the Finals, and lost, and he was a big part of it by "shrinking" from the moment. He's reviled as one of the least popular athletes in the world, and everything he does is broken down and mocked. On top of it, James' curse seems to extend to those he has business deals with. Ohio State, University of Miami, they may just be the tip of the iceberg. What if it was James' affiliation with his endorsement deals that impacted the companies he's in business with, and that caused the stock market fall? What if LeBron James is destroying the very fabric of the universe? We have to save ourselves!

So has LeBron James cursed the U and The Ohio State University?

No. Come on. Don't be stupid. 

In reality, those programs made sense for James from an economic and brand perspective. He has ties to Kentucky through Calipari and William Wesley. He's from Ohio, even if Cleveland is of course not a fan. And he lives in Miami. It's just a coincidence that this happened and has no connection to the sponsorship deal. 

We think. 

Dunh-dunh-dunh!
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