Happy Friday, fine KSR readers, and welcome to your News and Views on this beautiful (or rainy) morning. Since yours truly recklessly fell asleep on the couch about two hours ago, we’re going to fly right through this with a couple of short notes, but not before we give a quick Friday morning mention to the return of funny to Saturday Night Live. Over the past few years, I’ve found myself among the group of people/haters who found nearly nothing amusing about the garbage being put out on a weekly basis from Studio 8H, often bragging that I could do better and, sadly, even forcing my lame skit ideas on other people after a few beers. However, as I’ve gotten my old man on and caught up on this season’s episodes during late night baby feedings, I’ve again started finding the funny in SNL, highlighted by an uncontrollable laughter brought on by Father Swim Coach Scoutmaster (or Will Lentz) tonight when watching the episode hosted by Ryan Phillipe. Maybe I’m getting old or not getting more than four hours of sleep a night for the past 18 months is finally catching up to me. Either way, Father Swim Coach Scoutmaster is my homeboy.
Now onto some super quick UK notes…
– As the world continues to try to move away from the Eric Bledsoe transcript story, Thursday brought word that the Birmingham superintendent would meet with the Alabama High School Athletic Association to discuss the situation. In the corporate world, we call this “going through the motions” or “covering your ass”. In the blogging world, we call this “a scandalous thing for Pete Thamel to tweet”. Don’t hold your breath for any breakthroughs.
– On a more professional note, Eric Bledsoe worked out for Indiana Pacers on Thursday, along with Avery Bradley, Jordan Crawford, Sherron Collins, Willie Warren and AJ Slaughter. Bledsoe told reporters that his goal is to be the second point guard picked in the draft (a very attainable goal), but the big news was that there could be a new potential violation coming down the pipe thanks to the workout. According to the picture accompanying this story in the Indianapolis Star Tribune, Eric Bledsoe is apparently having someone else do his workouts for him. If the New York Times can find this story on Google News, it could be another rough Friday Night for John Calipari.
– For sneaker junkies and sports marketing nerds, there was an interesting piece of info breaking late Thursday night. It appears that John Wall will meet with Reebok officials this weekend in Boston to discuss a shoe deal. With Reebok’s biggest name, Allen Iverson (Yao Ming doesn’t count), appearing to be finished, Wall has the opportunity to step in as the star of the Reebok show. It also means you can finally get rid of those Jamal Mashburn FILA’s that you should have replaced in 1994. We can only hope that if Wall signs with Reebok, it opens the possibility of a Brandon Knight – British Knights marriage in 2011.
– In other UK-NBA Draft news, Daniel Orton worked out with the Raptors on Thursday, along with Cole Aldrich, Ekpe Udoh and Larry Sanders. The Raptors have the 13th pick in the draft and, of the group, Orton is probably the most likely to land north of the border at that spot. Sources also tell me that Orton believes that he could continue to work on his degree there, just as he did from California this spring.
– Keeping with the NBA theme, Tuesday could be a big day for a couple of former Cats as Orton and Patrick Patterson will work out for the Sacramento Kings. Patterson has been said to be rising up draft boards and seems the most likely fo the two to be able to sneak into the fifth spot owned by the Kings. However, it would take a wildly impressive workout on Tuesday to get that ball rolling.
– On the football side of things, Steve Jones of TCP reports that UK has offered Tennessee offensive lineman Cody Robinson. Robinson, who measures in at 6’4″, 306 pounds, holds offers from Duke, Memphis, Syracuse, Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky. He is also drawing interest from big boys like Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, Tennessee and even the Filthy Cards.
– Earlier today, Matt posted the date’s of all of Coach Cal’s camps throughout the state, noting that western Kentucky will not get a visit. This geographical bias is apparently the fault of the NCAA, who restricts anything over 100 miles from campus. On that note, a big thumbs up to whoever planned these camps for setting up the one in Williamsburg that is exactly 100 miles from door to door, according to Mapquest. In a related note, that crazy old man you see crossing the state with a yard stick in a note pad is a Hall of Fame journalist and honking at him could be hazardous to his health.
– In an intersting note that could affect the balance of the SEC next year, Mississippi State point guard Dee Bost has re-enrolled in school after remaining in the NBA Draft beyond the May 8 deadline. Mississippi State will now petition the NCAA to let Bost return to the court despite the wording of the rulebook saying not withdrawing in time means you are foregoing your eligibility. Based on past precedence, Mississippi State’s case will be resolved by the NCAA around the time Bost’s children are signing their LOIs.
– I’m not a Lakers fan and I’m not a Celtics fan, but I love the NBA. And, for that reason, I pray that the NBA Finals get much better than what we saw in Game 1. I can’t remember the last time I fell asleep during an important basketball game and, even worse, I’m not the least bit upset.
– Finally, sad news out of Los Angeles as John Wooden is “gravely ill” according to reports. The Wizard of Westwood, besides being the most successful basketball coach in the history of the game, is a wildly fascinating person who, at 99, still has a sharp mind and an understanding of the game that’s nothing short of incredible. Wooden’s passing would be a sad day for basketball.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned throughout the day as we write stuff and try to make it sound important. See you in a few…