After the Herald Leader’s story today on me, I told myself that I would take a break from any criticism of anything Herald related so as to not look to have any bad blood (the article wasn’t all that bad…I expected it to be much more negative honestly). But then I saw that Jerry Tipton posted this story about rumors of Marcus Lee potentially transferring and I had to comment. Tipton began:
Going into the Belmont game Saturday, freshman Marcus Lee had not played in two weeks. He’d played only four minutes this month.
Predictable whispers about disgruntlement and a transfer elsewhere ensued.
Seriously Jerry? Where were these “whispers?” I run a large UK fan website, host a radio show with fan call-ins and spent (way too many) hours on Twitter every day and I literally have not heard one person speak of Lee leaving the team. So what was the basis for these rumors? Or were there even rumors at all? Then Jerry goes further,
Given that kind of wise perspective, what are guys like Marcus and Bryan Lee doing in a place like the Big Blue Nation? Excess and impatience mark UK basketball, which has become synonymous with so-called one-and-done players.
Bryan Lee dismissed the whispers. Gossip, which George Harrison memorably labeled as “the devil’s radio” in a song, serves no useful purpose.
Besides the classic Tipton-esque shot at the UK fans/program (when the Herald Leader’s main basketball writer says that “excess and impatience mark UK basketball”, it isn’t hard to figure out how KSR was able to fill the fan void in Kentucky), and the reference to a George Harrison song (staying very current), one could argue that the “what are guys like Marcus and Bryan Lee doing” is actually commentary disguised as “news.” I honestly have no idea what Tipton is talking about in reference to Lee and if he had spent any time with Marcus before the season (as I am sure he did during preseaosn interviews), he would know that Lee has always planned on being here for longer than a year.
My criticism of Jerry Tipton has softened over the years, thank in part to the fact that his role has changed somewhat. When he was the lone major voice in the media covering UK basketball, I thought his negativity was detrimental to fans and the program. Now, with many reporters and outlets, his negativity strikes me as a poor business decision, but one that allows another point of view in the UK media deluge. However today’s article seems beneath Tipton…referencing transfer rumors that don’t exist (at least that I have heard), while then taking shots at the program and fans that are your customer base. Just a silly decision from my point of view.