The season’s over. To stay apprised and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton. Here’s the weekly notebook:
*Funky Boss: A few weeks ago Kentucky’s players and coaches visited the White House. This move surely antagonized most of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, which is historically a conservative state. John Calipari has previously endorsed Democratic political candidates, and while it was hoped by many UK fans that he would put the political pom poms down, this apparently is not the case. The decision to visit the office of the man who has been called the “most liberal president in U.S. history” angered many members of Big Blue Nation, as evidenced by the fact that only a few dozen Kentucky fans bothered to turn out for the ceremony at the White House. To be fair to Calipari, however, he isn’t the first UK coach to seek favor with the Democratic party. Former UK head coaches Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith also called on a Democratic president, even though a Republican president was in office for some of Pitino’s tenure and the vast majority of Smith’s. Going forward, we’ll see if Calipari learned his lesson, or if he decides to spit in the face of most of Big Blue Nation again by paying another visit to Obama in the next 4 years assuming he’s reelected.
*Stand Together: Speaking of controversy, Anthony Davis is a candidate to be a member of the 2012 US Olympic basketball team. This will no doubt infuriate many foreigners with connections to the UK program, such as Enes Kanter, Eloy Vargas, Sheray Thomas, Gunther Benke, etc. And it’s not only previous UK players who will take issue with Davis’s brazen display of jingoism. Andrew Wiggins, a UK target and the #1 player in the class of 2014, is from Canada. How will it make him feel to turn on the TV this summer and see Davis aggressively waving a red, white and blue flag in his face? Pretty bad, probably. And in addition to players, several coaches will no doubt take issue with this outdated form of patriotism. John Calipari is coaching the Dominican National team, and will likely be very disappointed in his former player if he is denied a gold medal by the ex-Wildcat. In the future, here’s hoping UK players will be a little more sensitive to the feelings of others when they decide to represent their country.
*Pass The Mic: Immediately after Kentucky won the national championship in April, John Calipari was everywhere. Mike and Mike in the Morning, The Dan Patrick Show, The Jim Rome Show, etc. However, over the last few weeks, he has seemingly disappeared. For example, after making one visit to the White House, he has not been back since. Why is that? And after appearing on the Jimmy Kimmel show in April, Anthony Davis has yet to make another appearance on a late night talk show. Is this a case of burnout? Did the invitations stop coming? Did Calipari make somebody mad? Are people sick of the Wildcats? Whatever the case may be, it is beyond dispute that the interest level in Kentucky basketball in general is not quite what it was on, say, April 3. It’s almost as if Calipari has stopped promoting the program. And even though one of the program’s many slogans is “Kentucky Basketball: Where The Season Never Ends,” it appears at the moment that the season has, in fact, ended. It will be interesting to see whether Calipari can renew interest in the program over the summer months, because right now, it seems like he has worn out his welcome.
* On this date: On this date in 1834, Kentucky didn’t even have a basketball team. LOL.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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