Good morning, friends. You’re looking at the new Joe B. Hall mural in Cynthiana, his hometown, the perfect image with which to start our week. The mural is being painted by Sergio Odeith, the Portuguese artist who created “The Walking Dead” mural in Cynthiana last year. I know I’m not alone when I say that so far, it looks amazing. It’s scheduled to be unveiled on Tuesday night.
It’s a new week, so let’s jump right in.
1. Calipari gave us the video of the weekend
How does John Calipari celebrate the end of a busy trip? By getting in on the latest internet meme, of course. After trips to Philadelphia, Washington, Georgia, and Dallas, Cal did the Drive-By Dunk Challenge in Lexington, giving us the viral video of the weekend:
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) July 22, 2017
2. De’Aaron Fox followed suit
I give this challenge one more week before it starts to get annoying. UK NBA players, you’re on the clock.
3. Cal’s office looks nice
While Cal was away this summer, he had his office at the Joe Craft Center redone, and it looks fabulous. I especially like the SLAM cover with the stars of his first Kentucky team behind the desk. (UPDATE: Apparently, Cal’s office was redone last fall, not this summer. Regardless, it’s the first time I’ve seen it in a while and it looks nice.)
Anyways, Cal had the team in his office a few times this weekend, first to talk branding (he is the master) and then to meet with Karl Towns, who was on campus for a basketball camp. Speaking of…
4. Karl Towns reminded us we’re still not over the Wisconsin game
The Wisconsin loss is the Laettner shot for a new generation of Kentucky fans, and even two years later, I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it; it’s nice to know that Karl Towns feels the same. While in town this weekend, Karl talked openly about the 38-1 team’s accomplishments, and how that one loss still stings.
“No one’s ever going to do that again… it’s almost impossible. I talked to Devin Booker awhile ago about it. It’s not going to be done again.”
“It wasn’t just the way that we won, it was how we won. I mean, we’re beating teams by 50. UCLA should’ve just walked off the court against us at one point,” Towns said. “It’s no disrespect to any university, but that year was our year.”
Yes, it was. Damnit.
5. Karl and Julius Randle like Kentucky’s chances vs. an NBA superteam
DeWayne Peevy’s proposal to have an NBA superteam, ala the Warriors or Rockets, face off against an All-UK Team in the Alumni Game has everyone talking, including Towns and Randle. Both said the Cats would win easily.
“Of course,” Karl said. “We’d kill anybody. That’s not a question. I don’t know what Julius [Randle] said yesterday, but I’m not as modest. If we get to pick our coach and we get to pick Cal, it’s over.”
“I definitely think we would win,” Randle said, also in town for a basketball camp. “I don’t think it would really be a challenge.”
Gotta love that confidence. Here’s hoping we get to see this hyped up hypothetical showdown on August 25.
6. How will that Kyrie trade affect NBA Cats?
Friday’s bombshell news that Kyrie Irving has requested a trade has the NBA world talking, and several Cats have been rumored to be part of the deal for the Cavs star. One rumor has De’Aaron Fox as part of a trade for Irving, another MKG, and another Eric Bledsoe. Whatever happens, this will be a huge deal, and should a former Cat be involved, they’ll join an immediate contender in the Cavs. Stay tuned…
7. John Wall is about to get paid
On Friday night, news also dropped that John Wall has agreed to a four-year $170 million contract with the Washington Wizards. That’s a lot of money, so big congrats to the man who helped Calipari turn it around in his first year at Kentucky.
8. Football is just around the corner
The NCAA has eliminated two-a-days in the preseason, so training camp will start a week earlier this year, meaning football really is just around the corner. Camp will begin later this week, with Media Day taking place on Sunday. The annual Women’s Clinic took place on Saturday, and while I wasn’t able to make it up to Lexington for the event, Maggie Davis had a great recap for us. Click here to check it out.
9. I can’t believe I wasted an hour watching “Phelps vs. Shark”
To kick off Shark Week, the Discovery Channel had Michael Phelps race a shark. Kind of. Okay, not really at all. Obviously, it wouldn’t have been very safe (or practical) to put Phelps in the same waters as a shark, so the Discovery Channel crew did a bunch of tests to determine the shark’s top speed and had Phelps try to beat it. He didn’t, and it was just as disappointing as it sounds.
In other, more exciting swimming news, shoutout to Danville native and Centre College grad Kyle Poland, who swam around the island of Manhattan yesterday. It took Poland, who swam the English Channel in 2013, seven hours and sixteen minutes to complete the 28-mile swim. That is way more impressive than a fake race against a shark, if you ask me.
10. Today on KSR: Seth Greenberg
Get ready to talk college basketball as we enter Matt’s final week of vacation.