The topic of Justified has been a hot source of arguments around the KSR water cooler. On the one hand, you have Beisner, who seems to hate the show and still watched it so as to have something to complain about on his Tuesday night posts. On the other side you now have me, who after spending a few days watching a marathon of “Justified” episodes, have become a fan. I will freely admit that it doesnt have the depth of a show like “The Wire” or “Mad Men” and there is no doubt that some of the storylines are corny and the stereotypes of Kentucky are occasionally over the top (although not as bad as some seem to make it out to be). But it has Timothy Olyphant, who at this point plays the same “brooding, hardcore badass” in all of his roles (dont forget his stellar work in the “Girl Next Door”), but gets it done in all of them. It is shot well and looks great visually. And it mentions Kentucky and places in Kentucky. It may be silly, but when they say “Harlan” or something has taken place on “Tates Creek Road”, I cant help but like it. It probably will never win an Emmy, but it entertains me for an hour everyday…which is more than I can say for anything involving KET, Dick Gabriel or the Lexington Herald Leader. It thus enters the tv rotation at the KSR Compound.
To the quick hitters from the news world:
— Late tonight, the Chicago Tribune said that its sources contend that no matter what is being said publically, John Calipari has some interest in the Chicago Bulls job and is one of the candidates being considered. In all of Calipari’s comments publically, there has been no unequivocal statement that he isnt interested in the Bulls (or any other) job. Nevertheless, his Lexy comment today that he was happy at Kentucky and is open to restructuring his contract does make it seem that his plans are to stay in Lexington for the near future. After speaking with a couple of sources over the last two days, I do believe that Calipari has theoretical interest in returning to the NBA and that the idea of the Bulls job is something he would consider. However this isnt the year that it would happen and the chances of him heading to Chicago are very low. Still, like in the end days of Rick Pitino’s time in Lexington, I suspect we will hear Calipari to the NBA rumors every offseason. And like with Rick, it wont shock me if he takes one of those jobs at some point (Jim Rome, who is a huge fan of Calipari and knows him well thinks Calipari leaving is inevitable). However this is not that year.
— With Calipari’s statement that he was not renegotiating anything for more money, the question becomes what is it that could be renegotiated? It comes back to what I wrote about a bit last night, which is the source of some of the lack of closeness between Calipari and the UK Athletic Department. My guess is the negotation will allow Calipari to do more entreprenurial things (think Coachcal.com, side media deals, etc) outside of his current UK contract (which is fairly all-encompassing) and give him more freedom from the standard IMG deal that is signed by all UK coaches. In exchange, Mitch might get a bigger buyout for it Calipari were to leave. This issue as to Cal wanting to do projects beyond what his IMG and UK deal allows him is a source of tension…the renegotiation will hopefully alleviate that tension.
— The other news of the day came from Oregon where Terrence Jones told the Oregonian that he is still committed to Washington, but that he wasnt ready to sign anything just yet. This comes on the heels of those around him (his coach and AD) saying he would likely stay with his Washington commitment. Jones’s comment certainly solidifies the view (held consistently by Evan Daniels of Scout.com) that Washington is the leader in Jones’s heart. But it is obviously still the case that he cant close the door and the allure of Calipari and UK still is relevant. He says he wants to decide by the signing deadline of May 19th, but he doesnt have to make the decision by then. As Brandon Knight showed us, you dont have to sign if you dont want to sign. So the Jones saga may never end and he becomes the Jai Lucas of a new era…constantly potentially going to UK, but never actually coming. We shall see.
— The worst news of the day came from Stillwater, where an EPO was issued against Matt Pilgrim after a student accused him of rape. Pilgrim at this point hasnt been charged and no one is commenting on it, but it is obviously a bad situation. We have no way of knowing the facts of this case and it is important not to judge Pilgrim’s guilt or innocence at this stage. But it is worth pointing out that those who trumpeted Pilgrim during his time in Lexington and who then trashed this site (and me personally) when I suggested that off-the-court issues were what led to his departure here, have been silent since this news broke. The issues that led to his Kentucky departure obviously have no bearing on the OSU situation and just because he has been accused, doesnt mean Pilgrim is guilty in this incident. But Pilgrim isnt at Kentucky not because of his talent or the absurd “he was too good to sit here on the bench and needed to go elsewhere to get ready for the NBA” argument. It was because with Pilgrim comes baggage, and I am sure all are glad that the issues in Stillwater are not taking place here.
— Also remember the Barnstorming events over the next two days. The Seniors, Patrick Patterson and Wayne Turner will be in Tell City, Indiana on Thursday night at 7 pm to play against a local team. Then on Friday night, the Seniors, Patrick Patterson and Woo will take the court at 7 pm at Ashland Paul Blazer High School for another round of basketball action. I hope to attend the Ashland event and I expect big crowds at both places.
— Tonight at the Paul Mitchell event, the Seniors and Patterson raised $7500 for Mark Krebs’ mother and her medical bills due to her cancer treatment. Great job by those guys for a great cause.
— Finally, please come out and support the Cardinal Hill folks at the Wheelchair basketball exhibition tonight at 7 pm at Lexington Catholic high school. Kenny Walker, Cameron Mills, Ravi Moss, Bobby Perry, local tv personalities and random goobers like me will be playing against a team that really knows what they are doing. We are coached by Kyle Macy who will hopefully not hold my sweater jokes against him when dishing out playing time. It is for a good cause and should be a good time. Come check it out.
More all day tomorrow as Beisner runs the ship while I go and get my Mediation on…..