It sometimes feel as if every Kentucky player is declaring for the NBA draft.
That will literally be true this year.
Kentucky coach John Calipari:
Calipari is taking advantage of a new rule that allows players who declare for the draft to maintain their college eligibility as long as they withdraw from the draft within 10 days after the combine and don’t hire an agent.
Is Calipari going a little far and grandstanding here? You bet. But it’s also a shrewd move for multiple reasons:
1. It brings attention to Calipari and Kentucky, which should help with recruiting.
2. Kentucky players, even if they return to school, gain valuable experience and information.
3. Kentucky players who were planning to return to school at least get an opportunity to impress NBA executives who are willing to pay more than the cartel rate colleges offer athletes.
Determining whether to turn pro can be a tough decision. The NCAA – under the guise of amateurism that funnels money to administrators and coaches – bans its players from having agents. Because who would want to allow teenagers to received advisement from an experienced professional in this situation?
If I were a college player who couldn’t hire an agent, I’d want Calipari guiding me through this process.
Is LeBron James leaving the Cleveland because he unfollowed the Cavaliers on Twitter? Does LeBron plan to bolt to play with Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul? Why are LeBron’s associates insisting he won’t necessarily finish his career with the Cavs?
In a video posted by teammate Richard Jefferson on Snapchat (hat tip: reddit user Yaqzn), LeBron addresses the speculation in a mocking tone. I don’t understand everything happening in the video (which includes some NSFW language), but this is LeBron’s most noteworthy line:
Why are you eating a banana, LeBron? Does that mean you’re going to slip on a banana peel out of Cleveland?
Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
Yes, the conjecture around LeBron sometimes reaches ridiculous levels. But he could quiet the noise if he wanted.
He could answer a simple question about why he unfollowed the Cavs on Twitter and frame it as harmless. He could put the super team plans in context as more fantasy than something he’s spending significant time thinking about during a season he’s chasing a championship with other teammates. He could stop posting cryptic tweets that, by now, he knows many interpret as directed at his teammates.
Again and again, LeBron chooses the opposite path.
He seems to enjoy the attention and drama that follows. Maybe this is his way of putting the attention on himself and easing the burden on his teammates. A less forgiving interpretation says he’s just that vain.
Either way, he shouldn’t be surprised when he invites controversy and then it shows up.
What’s standing between D'Angelo Russell and a Larry Nance Jr. layup? Five Suns defenders?
Andrew Wiggins didn’t dunk on Willie Cauley-Stein.
The Timberwolves wing didn’t take enough contact to say that.
Wiggins straight leaped over the Kings’ defensive ace.
Boban Marjanovic — the Spurs’ intriguing rookie — scored 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting in 14 minutes against the Heat last night. Better than Marjanovic’s performance: Gregg Popovich’s after the game.
Popovich on Marjanovic:
He’s one of the most selfish players I’ve ever been around. He shot it every time he touched it. It’s incredible. I think he should apologize to his teammates for being so greedy. He just wanted to get his name in the paper.
A reporter suggests Marjanovic also wanted to hear his name on the radio.
He listens to a lot of people on the radio. But not you.
I listen to you all the time, though.
The reporter thanks Popovich.
via Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News