Clearly that is not Aaron Sorkin. But it’s Natalie Portman’s birthday too, and she takes a prettier picture.
So apparently I screwed up last night with the news and views. No, it wasn’t when I incorrectly said Alex Meyer was drafted in the second round of the MLB draft instead of the first (though I did do that, too,) it was when I couldn’t find anyone that had a birthday I wanted to dedicate the post to. Not only did I miss John Conner – pretty much the only NY Jet I like – but I missed one of my favorite musical artists Kanye West’s birthday, too. So today I looked a little bit harder (and better and faster and stronger) and found there are a plethora of interesting people that share June 9th as a birthday. You have the above pictured Natalie Portman who is smart, gorgeous, incredibly wealthy, and counting down the days until she can run away from her life to join me on the blog. Then there is Johnny Depp, who made being weird – but more importantly being a pirate – cool. Want NBA finals players? Both Peja Stojakovic and Udonis Haslem celebrate their birthday’s on June 9th – which means one of them will have an extra reason to celebrate tomorrow night. Prefer your basketball players with a little less success? Sebastian Telfair, the guy that helped push Rajon Rondo to Kentucky, also celebrates his birthday on the 9th. But I’m dedicating the post to Aaron Sorkin the American screenwriter, producer and playwright. Sorkin wrote the original play version of A Few Good Men, the films Charlie Wilsons War and The Social Network, as well as one of my all time favorite television series The West Wing. His list of credits goes on, but seeing as how I spent the majority of this dedication telling you who I wasn’t dedicating it to, I’m going to cut it a little short.
Now pretend we’re walking down a corridor while we go over Thursdays news and views:
— One day closer to the draft and one more day without drama. Chad Ford released his version 4.0 mock draft which saw both Knight and Kanter stay in their respective positions at 3 to the Jazz and 4 to the Cavs. Despite the mystery surrounding Kanter and the lack of Knight working out against Kemba Walker, don’t expect these spots to change. It doesn’t mean that they will necessarily get drafted by those teams, but that’s where the conventional wisdom (something not always shared by NBA GM’s) has them. Maybe they go there, maybe they don’t, but don’t expect them to drop more than a couple spots if at all.
— Meanwhile there are some that think Josh Harrelson may work his way into the first round. Not too many, but some. Josh was featured as a ‘potential first rounder’ as he heads to work out with Sacramento today. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that would be amazing for him, but I’m hoping at the least that he gets drafted in the second round. Josh has the ability and work ethic that if he can find a team to give him a shot, he can prove his worth in the NBA. Even if it’s just a Brian Scalabrine type player. Good luck tomorrow Jorts, and tell Boogie we said hi.
— Tuesday it was the freshmen class arriving to campus, yesterday it looked like the returning players were making their way home. The majority of the team arrived or was on their way to campus yesterday, which means we can start hearing tale of amazing pick up games played between the new comers and the returnees. That and hearing about all the McDonalds they eat through their Twitter accounts.
— One player who may be away from campus sooner rather than later, though is Darius Miller. Miller received an invitation to attend the 2011 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team training camp. This would be Miller’s second year on the team and give him a chance to get another gold medal with the program. Miller would be coached by Matt Painter of Purdue, and his assistants Brad Stevens of Butler and the new Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin. He will be joined at the camp by fellow SEC players John Jenkin, JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell, as well as final four opponent Alex Oriakhi from Connecticut. It’s a great opportunity for Darius to get compete with some of the best in the nation before he comes back to lead the best in the nation in his senior year.
— In football news, Joker has kept the love train rolling. He picked up yet another football commitment for the 2012 class yesterday in Jonathan Reed, a cornerback from Pike High School in Indianapolis. Reed echoed what many of the other commits said, claiming that the coaching staff just felt like a family. When Joker took over the reins at Kentucky, we knew he was generally a success at getting the players he wanted to come to Kentucky, and it looks like he is doing it again.
— One last Kentucky bat cat was drafted yesterday, as junior catcher Michael Williams was picked in the 37th round by the San Francisco Giants. Williams had become one of the better hitting catchers in the SEC, with 11 doubles, seven home runs and 23 RBI’s in 2011. Williams joins 5 other bat cats selected this year, as well as 7 Kentucky signees who will now decide between coming to Lexington or going on to play for the minor league teams of those that picked them.
— In kind of awesome news, Coach Calipari and WKYT were nominated for a regional Emmy thanks to the work he did during the Hoops for Haiti telethon. We have always felt as thought Calipari doesn’t get enough credit for the charitable deeds he does, but with this and the positive press he got a week or so ago (that famously silenced ‘the triumvirate,’) it has been a pleasant surprise of a summer so far. Congratulations to Calipari and WKYT – now let’s see if we can’t get our podcast with Andy Katz to get nominated for a regional Emmy and we’ll be in business.
— In mainly bizarre news, Phil Fulmer has told ESPN that he would be “open to discussing” the vacant AD job at Tennessee. I kid you not. I know there is a big fan desire to go back to the glory days of Tennessee football, but hiring Phil Fulmer to do a job he’s not equipped to do is not the way to do it. And honestly, Fulmer coming out and saying that really puts the administration in a bind. Now they have to give him an interview or else upset the fans – kind of like if Billy Donovan had come out during the post Tubby or post Gillispie days and said he would be “open to talks with Kentucky – but realistically you can’t expect them to hire him… can you?
— Finally, if you haven’t heard that the Bill Simmons lovechild Grantland launched yesterday, you either don’t have twitter or never go to ESPN. Which, in the grand scheme of things might be a good number of you. So Grantland launched yesterday, did you hear about that? Simmons new website looks to focus on what Simmons always focuses on, which is about half sports and half random pop culture. They have stockpiled a number of good writers, have a simplistic and easy to read website, but for some reason I get the feeling I will ‘mean to read’ a lot more of their pieces than I actually will. No matter, it’s something to keep an eye on. Plus the fishy timing of Matt Jones leaving CBS and Grantland launching on the same day has to mean something, right?
Stick around the rest of the day as we explore the finer points of BTI’s game of HORSE against a future Louisville women’s basketball star, plus all the honey biscuits you can shake eagle at.
I’m Will Lentz alongside the KSR Crew. These stories and more, all day long.