There’s an old Kentucky saying that goes, “I’d rather re-enact the pig scene from Deliverance than cheer for a basketball team in the state of North Carolina.” And thanks to yet another failure by the Charlotte Bobcats, Kentucky fans won’t have to channel their inner Ned Beatty. Michael Jordan’s impulse franchise purchase had the best odds in the draft lottery to win the No. 1 pick, but the team that lost 89-percent of its games during the 2012 season couldn’t break the habit of losing, even off the court with the chips stacked in its favor. It’s just another disappointment for Bobcats fans, assuming the endangered ‘Bobcat fan’ species is still somewhere out there in the basketball wild.
But instead of poking fun at the few loyal, mindless people who spent the 2012 NBA season wearing Bismack Biyombo and Jamario Moon jerseys, we’ll pay tribute to the city of Charlotte and all its magnificence. For instance, did you know there are over 300 International Organizations currently active in the Charlotte region, hosting over 90 International Festivals annually??? J’aime des promenades en bateau nus!!! And if chorizo sandwiches from street vendors and Guatemalan tap-dancers aren’t your thing, Charlotte is home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame!!! Vroom! Vroom!
Tucked away in the gorgeous countryside that is Mecklenburg County, Charlotte is the second largest banking center in the United States, and the city’s airport offers 700 daily flights with nonstop service to 150 destinations, 31 of which are international. Combine those two statistics and you assume everyone in Charlotte is saving up their money to get the hell out. But that’s not true!!! Charlotteans love their city, its humid subtropical climate, the sweet smell of fresh tobacco in the mornings, K-Ci & JoJo, and that big disco wheel statue downtown.
You see, the original “Queen City” isn’t as bad as its professional basketball team makes it out to be. It’s not even as bad as its professional football team makes it out to be. Charlotte is just a misunderstood, 297.7 square-mile paradise, tucked away in the state that was first in flight, invented miniature golf and tasted the first Krispy Kreme donut.
And I’m so relieved Anthony Davis isn’t going there.
Thanks to the Bobcats’ lottery incompetence, the New Orleans Hornets are the winners of the Anthony Davis Sweepstakes. Nawlins went into Wednesday night’s draft lottery with only the fourth-best odds to win at 14.8%, but they swooped in and stole the future of Charlotte professional basketball, just as they did back in 2002 when the franchise packed up and moved to Louisiana. Now, Anthony Davis is returning to the city where he won Kentucky its eighth National Championship, the same city that featured a billboard of Davis downtown during the SEC Tournament. Life comes full circle sometimes, and in Anthony Davis’ case, that circle has a lot of saxophones and drunk people. They’re going to love him.
If anyone should be excited about Anthony Davis playing for New Orleans, it is his mother, Eranier. I’m sure she never thought she’d get to wear her unibrow masquerade mask again:
If someone were smart and had the finances to do it, putting these masks in New Orleans shops would be a great idea. Go become a millionaire. I only ask for 10%.
It’s very easy to get caught up in the Anthony Davis/Hornets excitement, but let’s not forget what it means for the one we love most, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. MKG is projected to go 2nd overall in the NBA Draft by many services, which would put him with Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Bobcats. Our only hope is that Charlotte takes Bradley Beal or Thomas Robinson with the second pick, leaving Washington to take Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at No. 3. It’s selfish of me, but I’d like to see him drop all the way to fifth to the Kings so he can play with DeMarcus and Chuck. Washington will be just dandy, though.
I won’t dwell on the draft tonight because we have plenty of time to discuss it between now and June 28. Let’s move on to a more pressing issue: that ex-girlfriend out on our lawn, Indiana. According to a letter obtained on Wednesday afternoon by the AP, Hoosier athletic director Fred Glass reached out to Mitch Barnhart to save the UK-IU series, one week after Glass announced publicly that it had officially ended. Two weeks later, the letter said, Barnhart and Kentucky rejected Indiana’s offer to play at a neutral site in 2012 and 2013, so long as the series would return to campus for 2014 and 2015. Glass made himself out to be the good guy who was trying to save the rivalry, while Kentucky was being stubborn and refusing to continue the series. That is Indiana’s side of the story.
Not long after Glass’ letter went public, Mitch Barnhart responded with Kentucky’s side of the story. According to Barnhart, Kentucky moved on immediately after Glass announced the end of the series on May 3. The Cats scheduled the two games with Baylor, renewed the home-home series with North Carolina, and reached out to Duke about creating an annual “event” that will be the highlight of college basketball’s non-conference schedule. That doesn’t leave room for Indiana, which explains why Kentucky wasn’t interested in listening to the Hoosiers’ “compromise” on May 10. But despite having the Indiana series in the rearview, Mitch and UK still offered to play the Hoosiers at a neutral site this coming season on one of the two open Saturday dates in December.
That says, “You’re the one who wants to play us. We don’t need you. You play when and where we tell you, or we play someone else.”
It’s that simple.
I wonder what Tom Crean thinks about all this?
I love listening to Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Doris Burke. Awesome team. I wish Jeff would right a book.
— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) May 31, 2012
Oh, OK. I don’t know what is worse, “right” a book or actually wanting Jeff Van Gundy to write a book.
Speaking of dying rivalries, should we worry about the future of the Governor’s Cup? At the SEC meetings in Florida, Joker Phillips said the Louisville series is “something we’d really have to think about” if the SEC goes to a nine-game conference schedule. UK would have to consider protecting itself if an extra SEC game is added, meaning Louisville would likely get the boot for a non-BCS team. Losing the game with Louisville would be a tragedy for the fans of both programs, but when you’re Kentucky, you can’t afford to play 10 quality opponents every season and expect to post solid records.
Before you’re quick to jump on the Cats for the thought of dumping Louisville from the schedule, I would expect to see many other big time college football rivalries come to an end for the same reason. Florida/Florida State, South Carolina/Clemson, and Georgia/Georgia Tech come to mind.
Hey, ESPN. That’s not John Jenkins.
Jenkins’ postseason trophy is much smaller than the one Doron Lamb has. And Doron is better at basketball. The mixup is inexcusable.
In Tony Trocha news, there is no Tony Trocha news. We’re still waiting on the mysterious big man to return from Colombia.
That’ll do it for now. I’ll leave you with the greatest photo ever taken…
No one does Memorial Day like Doug Harrellson. Yes, that’s an ‘American Summer’ t-shirt.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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