The Answer is retiring from basketball. Say it ain’t so, Ivo.
After a three year hiatus from the NBA and no hope for a return in sight, Allen Iverson is set to officially retire from the game, finally. The 6-foot-0 point guard that captivated us all with his crossover and undersized, tatted-up frame is releasing the desperate grip he’s held on the league since February 2010, when we last saw him in an NBA game. According to SLAM Magazine, he’s finally come to terms with the fact it is over.
One of the best scorers in league history, Iverson averaged 26.7 points and 6.2 assists over his 14-year career with the Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, and a brief stint with Memphis, good enough for sixth all-time in career scoring average. He won the scoring title during the 1998—99, 2000—01, 2001—02 and 2004—05 seasons in Philly, and was named 2001 NBA Most Valuable Player after leading the Sixers to the NBA Finals that year. His NBA resume also includes several other prestigious accolades, including 1997 Rookie of the Year, 11 All-Star Game appearances, two All-Star Game MVP awards, and three First Team All-NBA honors. Iverson’s playoff career scoring average of 29.7 points per game is second only to Michael Jordan. This Michael Jordan:
Gimme those ankles.
We have a lot to talk about, some of it practice — practice? we talm-bout practice? — so let’s get to it…
When you woke up Wednesday morning, I bet you didn’t expect your Thanksgiving holidays to soon change forever, but turkey days will never be the same after this year. What was once a holiday reserved for feasting and pretending to enjoy family will become the weekend of Kentucky versus Louisville on the gridiron, beginning in 2014.
The entire 2014 UK football schedule was released on Wednesday and it contained a couple surprises, mainly the move of the Governor’s Cup from early in the fall to the final game of the season. Though some are upset with the unexpected change, most members of Big Blue Nation seem to be in favor of a late November whoopin’ of the Cards.
After practice Wednesday, Mark Stoops said, “I just left a pretty good rivalry at the end of the year. Florida-Florida State is pretty big — a pretty good deal at the end of the year. From my understanding, that was what was best for both conferences. So that will be great. That will be a lot of fun.”
Neal Brown added, “I think (the rivalry) gets lost in the shuffle a little bit. Some people may disagree with that. But later in the year, playing on that rivalry weekend, I think it will be good for us. It doesn’t matter anyway; we’re going to play it at the end.”
Can you imagine those two teams going into the November 29, 2014 meeting with five wins apiece? Playing for a bowl and to send the rival team home? Even if bowl eligibility isn’t on the line, the chance to end the regular season with a win over Louisville will do wonders for momentum heading into the offseason. Personally I’m all for the rivalry moving to Thanksgiving and I’m looking forward to celebrating Louisville Hate Day around the dinner table with the ones I love.
Here’s a look at the entire schedule:
Aug. 30: UT Martin
Sept. 6: Ohio University
Sept. 13: at Florida
Sept. 20: Open
Sept. 27: Vanderbilt
Oct. 4: South Carolina
Oct. 11: ULM
Oct. 18: at LSU
Oct. 25: Mississippi State
Nov. 1: at Missouri
Nov. 8: Georgia
Nov. 15: at Tennessee
Nov. 22: Open
Nov. 29: at Louisville
We’re going to Baton Rouge!!!
Wednesday marked the end of fall camp for the football team as they move on to WKU game prep on Thursday. Stoops called it a good day of practice but had very little newsworthy things to say. “We just kind of cleaned up some things from camp and went a little lighter than usual today and really just wrapped up some corrections from the scrimmage yesterday,” he said of practice. “Overall, pretty mellow day. Wasn’t a whole lot, much to talk about as far as anything major happening out there today. Just some basic clean-up work.”
You’re not helping my job here, Coach.
Offensive coordinator Neal Brown was a little more candid when discussing the afternoon. He spoke very highly of Ryan Timmons and confirmed Timmons is in a heated position battle with Daryl Collins at one of the H position. He said Collins has really stepped up and met the challenges from the younger guy coming in and trying to take his job. “But Ryan can run,” he said. “Ryan’s familiar with this offense, so the learning curve wasn’t as steep as it was for some of those other freshmen. And he’s really good with the ball in his hand. He’s fast and he can make people miss.”
Brown also had good things to say about Bud Dupree and how he has helped the offensive line step its game up by playing so well. Brown called Dupree a “quick twitch guy” and said his initial burst on the end is as good as anybody they’ll see all season, with the exception of Jadeveon Clowney and maybe a couple more. Stoops called Dupree the most active guy they have up front. Za’Darius is still injured.
If you’re free tomorrow night, be sure to check out “UK Football 2013: Attack Every Day”, an hour-long UK football preseason TV show. It will debut Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports South and will air again Friday afternoon and then three times next week. Produced by the UK/IMG Sports Network, the show will be hosted by Jeff Piecoro, Dusty Bonner and Rob Bromley, and will feature exclusive content including a one-on-one interview with Mark Stoops, a drawing board session with Neal Brown, insight from former and current players on the 2013 season, and much, much more.
So how ’bout that four-star center tweeting about Kentucky? That’s huge, right? Luke Hiers, the No. 1 center in ESPN Recruiting’s 2015 football class, tweeted: “Thinking #Kentucky is the right place for me, got to go see the school. Then will probably make a decision #bbn #stoopstroops”. Heiers even has the UK logo as his Twitter profile‘s header photo. Is it too early for a Yahtzee???
Speaking of highly-ranked centers, Scout.com updated its 2014 basketball rankings and two centers are at the top of the list. Jahlil Okafor is still sitting comfortable at No. 1, but Myles Turner — the same Myles Turner who was unranked at the beginning of the year — finds himself all the way up to No. 2. His recruitment won’t be as quick as his rise up the rankings, though; he plans to take his time thinking over his eight remaining schools and will decide in the spring.
Also important to note, Emmanuel Mudiay jumped ahead of Tyus Jones as the top-ranked point guard and Kelly Oubre climbed 18 spots to No. 11. Karl Towns is still No. 10 overall.
John Calipari, Josh Perkins will no longer sit around and wait for you to offer him a scholarship. The Huntington Prep guard is washing his hands clean of Kentucky and moving on with the process, which he plans to end this weekend. Perkins announced that he’s down to Minnesota, UCLA and Gonzaga and one of those three will receive his verbal commitment on Saturday. No, Kentucky. He’s not waiting around for you.
If you believe everything Oscar Combs says, and you should, the Harrison twins are expected to be on campus by Monday morning at the very latest. Oscar’s sources wouldn’t lie to him and he wouldn’t lie to us. So if Andrew and Aaron are not in Lexington by then, it may be time to panic. School starts Wednesday, I believe.
I made the mistake of mentioning this on Twitter and got bombarded by irrational and illiterate Louisville fans, but it’s worth mentioning on here, too. Louisville’s 2013-14 basketball schedule is a joke. I know they’re caught in an awkward year between conferences, but that’s the best they could draw up?
Have fun with that, season ticket holders. And good luck with the RPI.
Thursday’s edition of Kentucky Sports Radio radio will be coming to you live from SUBWAY on 412 S. Hancock Street in Louisville, right next to the UofL hospital on campus. It’ll be an interesting scene, so be sure to stop by in Kentucky blue if you can.
That’ll do it for now. Have a good’n and Go Cats.