But, hey, they’re nothing like the recent nightmares of UK AD Mitch Barnhart. Who, I must suppose, is waking up periodically in a cold sweat.
Dreading this scenario:
John Calipari is in his office, pen in hand, getting ready to sign that new contract for $8 mill/ season until death do us part, plus membership at Valhalla, Augusta National and Tiger’s new course in Dubai, a Rolls, a Bentley, Donald Trump’s slightly used private jet and mineral rights in his choice of 20 of Kentucky’s 120 counties.
Cal’s smiling. Mitch’s smiling.
Then, before ink hits paper, Cal’s phone rings.
Mitch hears this: “John, Tom Benson here. You know, we just fired Monty Williams. I was talking with Anthony — he’s our future — and he sure would love for you to come down to New Orleans and coach the Pelicans. I’m ready to make a deal you can’t refuse.”
Which nightmare is only slightly different from the one Barnhart had the other night.
In that one, all is the same except the phone conversation, which sounded like this: “John, Dan Gilbert here. I guess you saw our game tonight. David Blatt tried to call a timeout he didn’t have. Then drew up a play that LeBron didn’t like. I’ve got to keep LeBron happy. I want to keep LeBron happy. Our fans want LeBron happy. And he wants you on the bench here in Cleveland. I’m ready to make a deal you can’t refuse.”
Barnhart’s been spotted, walking in circles around the track at UK, mumbling to himself in jabberwock, carrying a box of Prilosec OTC.
* * * * *
Speaking of King James. Yo, LeBron, I gotta ask.
What’s with the swish on that last second winner to knot your series with Chitown at 2 apiece?
Didn’t you get the memo? Until you broke the spell, this was the bank shot playoffs.
Expect a fine, son.
You can have your Pretty Boyd Floyd, John Dillinger, Butch Cassidy, Bonnie, Clyde and every nefarious character ever played by James Cagney, and you can’t match the bank robberies of this year’s NBA playoffs.
Chris Paul cashed in one of his bro’s insurance policies, and sent the Spurs packing in the first round, with a driving, off one foot, fall away bank shot. Bad hammy and all. Over the outstretched reach of security man, Tim Duncan.
Which was the capper of that incredible, back and forth, tit for tat, haymaker for haymaker, game Derby night.
Then you got Derrick Rose’s drifting sidewise, off the glass winnah to give the Bulls a momentary, now vanquished, series advantage against the LeBrons.
You think I’m lyin’ about this? Well, here’s The Truth.
Paul Pierce. Bank shot. “I called GAME!”1
Wiz fostered hope, stole another one from the Hawks, after spending most of that fourth quarter trying to give it back.
So, yeah, King Bronny, follow the script, would ya.
The Clippers haven’t needed any chicanery to best the Rockets.
Tuesday night’s W was but a furtive stay of execution. Houston’s toast, yesterday’s spam.
All of which is to say, ye college hoops fans, and that includes just about every one of you reading this, you’re missing out, if you haven’t been feeding your inner hoopaholic during the NBA playoffs. All four semi-final series are going at least six.
The Cavs and the Hawks are going to meet for the East title. It won’t be pretty, but it will be exciting.
In the West, the Clippers and Warriors are destined for a Loser Leaves Town Texas Chainsaw Death Match. These two left coast teams Do. Not. Like. Each. Other.
Fireworks shall ensue.
* * * * *
You ever heard of Johnny Hill?
Didn’t think so. Unless you have been following the fortunes of UT Arlington out of the Sun Belt. Hill was the Mavericks’ PG last season. Coach Scott Cross was looking forward to Hill providing experienced leadership next season.
But Hill, a graduate now, has decided, like oh so very very very many of his brethren, to take his talents elsewhere for his last year of eligibility. So that he can, you know, pursue a graduate degree in Somehin’ They Don’t Teach in Texas.
Looks like engineering is in Hill’s future. So, he’ll be lacin’ ’em up in Lafayette as a Purdue Boilermaker next season.
Hill’s just the latest in what has become an epidemic.
There were over 700 transfers last season, in all classes, not just graduated seniors seeking that PhD in Molecular Neurophysics.
This year, the number shall surely jump to four figures.
It doesn’t surprise me that the Anton Gills and Shaqquan Aarons of the hoops universe want to play, which means movin’ on. Transfers make sense.2
I must admit I’m somewhat disturbed by the rule which allows graduated seniors to move on, under the guise of continuing their post-grad education.
The Louisville Cardinals will benefit — or Rick Pitino believes his team will benefit — from the addition of former Drexel Dragon Damion Lee and former Cleveland State Viking Trey Lewis.
I assume Messrs. Lee and Lewis shall be challenged in the Speed School by courses in Advanced Computer Algorhymics, studies which were unavailable at their former schools.
Drexel coach Bruiser Flint isn’t happy, expressing his dismay at Lee’s abdication.
I don’t blame him.
I believe students should be able to matriculate and play for any school they choose, without restriction. But there is something about the cherry picking nature of this senior transfer rule that doesn’t sit right with me, its origin in academics notwithstanding.
But it does seem to be the trend.
And I’m oh so sure I’ll be cheering Lee and Lewis on, when they’re draining treys for my Louisville Cardinals next season.
I just may feel the need to shower after the game. While they’re off to meet with their thesis adviser.
— Seedy K