NCAA Men's Final Four - Kentucky v UConn

Calipari to have his Dominican team play his Kentucky guys

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In case you missed it Kentucky coach John Calipari is the coach of the Dominican Republic’s national basketball team this summer as it tries to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.

They’re a long shot (despite having NBA players Francisco Garcia, Al Horford and Charlie Villanueva), but Calipari wants to help out of the goodness of his heart. Don’t think it’s for future recruiting inroads, nope, not about that at all. Calipari is just very altruistic.

The Dominicans need some tune-up games for the Americas Tournament that starts at the end of August, and Calipari has come up with one, reports Hoopsworld.

On August 15, Calipari’s two teams will collide at Rupp Arena, according to tweets from the head coach. Team Dominican Republic will face Team Kentucky, which will be made up of eight of the program’s former stars. Calipari will coach the national team while Sam Bowie and Joe B. Hall will lead the Kentucky alum….

Team Kentucky will include John Wall, Rajon Rondo, Tayshaun Prince, DeMarcus Cousins, Jodie Meeks, Nazr Mohammed, Eric Bledsoe and Keith Bogans.

What are the odds Cousins gets in foul trouble and has to sit most of the exhibition game? I’d say 50-50.

Tickets go on sale Friday and there is talk of a television broadcast, but details have yet to emerge.

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.