A lot of people like to use the phrase “he gets it” when it comes to Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari. Whenever he does something good for the program or community, especially when it’s something many coaches would not have thought of themselves, we say that “he gets it.” Well, today, LaDainian Tomlinson “gets it.” After an 11-year NFL career, Tomlinson officially announced his retirement today. But it’s the way in which Tomlinson went about retiring that makes this story special.
You see, the last jersey LaDainian Tomlinson put on for a game in the NFL was that of the New York Jets. The green and white had been his home for the past two seasons–though only temporarily. Tomlinson never quite fit with the Jets the way he fit with his first, and clearly most meaningful home– with the San Diego Chargers. Tomlinson began his NFL legacy with the Chargers in 2001 when they selected him in the first round. And this afternoon, he ended his career as a San Diego Charger. Just like old times. Tomlinson signed a one-day contract with the Chargers so that he could end his career associated with the place where his fondest football days resided. Although he never won a championship with the Chargers, he still reflects back on his time with only the most positive of thoughts… “Those were championship days, for not only myself and my teammates, but my family as well. So I’m OK with never winning a Super Bowl championship. I know we’ve got many memories that we can call championship days.”
Tomlinson referred to his retirement today as his “graduation.” He also referenced the late Junior Seau, and professed that he is more than okay with stepping away from the game at this time. “I’ve got my life ahead of me, I’m healthy, I’m happy with a great family and I’m excited to now be a fan and watch you guys play.” Dibs on LT to join my fantasy football league. I wonder what clever name he will pick to compete with “Tuck Your World Up,” my team from last year. Oh wait, no one wants to hear about other people’s fantasy football leagues or team names? My bad. Carry on.
- Today was one filled with news of injuries, albeit from everything we can tell, none too severe. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist apparently took a tumble during his workout with the Bobcats, which many have joked may or may not have been a smart move on his part. In all seriousness though, MKG is not the type of guy to pull a move like that and hopefully he will be fit to continue with the rest of his pre-draft workouts. Darius Miller was also hit with the injury bug as he pulled his hamstring in a workout earlier today with the Memphis Grizzlies. While Kidd-Gilchrist’s top 5 status seems as good as solidified, Miller perhaps has more to gain from these pre-draft workouts. Fingers crossed for Miller’s health as he jockeys for his draft position. And in the final piece of injury news, Drew Franklin may have tweaked his liver during his vacation. No word yet on the severity but check Twitter or Instagram later tonight to follow the breaking news.
- Who did you like better when you woke up this morning: Gary Parrish or Jeff Goodman? Trick question. Your answer should be neither. Or Jay Bilas. But after both shed some light on their opinion for who would bring home the title next season, clearly for today at least, Gary Parrish gets the slight edge on Goodman. Parrish picked the Wildcats to repeat as national champions with a simple, yet effective argument: Talent. Parrish sees the stockpile of potential NBA first round draft picks for 2013 on Kentucky’s roster and seems to need no further proof. While it’s hard to know how much stock can be put in the talent that we have yet to see on the court together, the potential is without question here in Lexington for next season. Goodman on the other hand picked the Louisville Cardinals. #L1C400 followers lost on Twitter today, Goodman.
- Coach Cal has been burning up the phone lines this week and we have learned the recipients of a few of his calls. Calipari has been in contact with two of the top 2014 point guards, Tyus Jones and JaQuan Lyle. Jones is the top-ranked PG in the class of 2014, while Lyle is not too far behind as the 15th ranked player in the class. Both Jones and Lyle have been candid about the fact that UK has been making contact. Lyle has made comments about the fact that Texas might be his dream school. Texas? Dream school for basketball? Huh? Someone has been watching a little too much Friday Night Lights on Netflix. And I’m not just talking about me. Lyle did have some encouraging words on two of Kentucky’s coaches though, “Coach Orlando is a good dude. Coach Calipari produces players.”
I would imagine Calipari could probably just send an iPhone group text to Lyle and Jones with the following message:
“I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my track record: Derrick Rose. Tyreke Evans. John Wall. Eric Bledsoe. Brandon Knight. Marquis Teague. Call me maybe?”
- Over the weekend we learned that the football team lost Sam Simpson to early retirement due to a series of injuries. On a brighter note, today we learned that the 2012 Kentucky football team will add safety Dakotah Tyler. Tyler will actually be rejoining the team after sitting out the 2011-2012 school year for personal reasons. Tyler is expected to provide experience in the secondary and special teams. Welcome back, Dakotah Tyler.
- And now a tidbit for the trolls (don’t think I forgot about you guys). Terrence Williams reportedly made a comment while in the Bahamas that his U of L team would have beat the 2011-2012 Louisville team by 40. He retracted that statement today: “I said in the Bahamas that my UL team would’ve beaten them by 40. That wasn’t the truth. They went Final 4, we didn’t.”
- I realized after typing that, none of the Louisville fans would know who I was talking about. Let me try that again.
Terrence Williams T-WILL reportedly made a comment while in the Bahamas that his U of L team would have beat the 2011-2012 Louisville team by 40. He retracted took back that statement today: “I said in the Bahamas that my UL team would’ve beat them by 40. That wasn’t the truth. They went Final 4, we didn’t.”
- Wilder Treadway, a KSR College all-star, wrote a piece tonight giving 3 reasons to be excited for Matthew Mitchell’s UK Hoops team next season. I’m sold.
- Speaking of reasons to be excited… I think we are really, really going to like Alex Poythress and his attitude next season.
- By now you’ve probably heard how John Calipari spent his father’s day evening yesterday. Just in case you didn’t, here’s some footage of Calipari meeting with a group of young children who unfortunately are without fathers.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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