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BBL: Calipari’s presence in Cleveland stokes the fires

Kentucky
Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

(AP photo)

(AP photo)

Big Blue Links for Wednesday:

John Calipari was courtside in Cleveland last night, watching his man LeBron melt down in Cavs’ crushing 120-88 loss to Boston.

If this is the way James is going to play with Cal in the building, no NBA team will want him as coach.

But apparently some teams do.

This tweet from ESPN’s Ric Bucher:

@RicBucher: Two NBA teams fighting over Calipari. This belongs in SI’s “Sign of the Apocalypse” section. When did he become more than a great recruiter?

And this tweet from Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

@WojYahooNBA: John Calipari sitting near Cavs bench with agent, Leon Rose, who he shares with LeBron. I’m sure Mike Brown is thrilled to see Cal hover.

Cal’s own tweet:

@UKCoachCalipari: At the CLE playoff game with Tommy Mills and family. He won the bid on this package for Haiti telethon. Great guy with a great family.

Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports writes that Cal’s presence in Cleveland only adds fuel to the fire.

Marc Stein of espn.com on Calipari and Cleveland and Chicago and who knows who else:

But that exec makes a worthy point, given the stories in circulation this week about John Calipari’s desire to not only return to the NBA someday but also to coach LeBron James someday … and Cleveland’s unexpected struggles in its second-round series with Boston.

The exec asked: “What if Cleveland doesn’t win this series? If LeBron is a Calipari fan, why wouldn’t Cleveland go after him?”

A Sea of Blue is trying to figure out exactly what “I have no interest in leaving,” really means.

Meanwhile, Adam Miller of the Daily Collegian thinks Calipari is the best coach to utilize Derrick Rose with the Bulls.

Inner Circle has some fact/fiction about Calipari in the Cleveland crowd, witnessing his friend LeBron’s meltdown.

Recruiting is always the rage: Indianapolis Star’s Kyle Neddenriep reports that Kentucky is one of six schools vying for 6-10 Michael Chandler, who de-committed from Louisville.

Kentucky’s John Calipari, Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl, Indiana’s Tom Crean and Butler’s Brad Stevens were among the coaches to visit Lawrence North during workouts and open gyms during the evaluation period last month. Chandler said he’s looking at Connecticut, Georgetown, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio State and Purdue, but added that he’s early in the process and that it’s subject to change.

Rivals’ guru Jerry Meyer opens up his mailbag and finds a couple of Kentucky questions. One asks him to compare Marquis Teague with John Wall. Writes Meyer:

The primary difference between the two is that Wall is longer. His length makes him a more dangerous defender and rebounder. On the other hand, Teague is a better outside shooter than Wall. I do expect, however, Wall to dramatically improve as an outside shooter. I think Wall’s outside shot will get better, just as Derrick Rose improved his perimeter shooting.

Speaking of Meyer, he’s hearing whispers that Eloy Vargas could end up back in the SEC. (subscription) Now there is some talk about Vargas showing some interest in Kentucky after his recruitment has stalled at Arizona. The Tucson Citizen has the details on the latter.

Straitpinkie has some theories about Terrence Jones, now that the Oregon big man doesn’t have to sign by May 19.

There’s been a Rajon Rondo-fest since the ex-Cat’s triple-double on Sunday. And last night Rondo and Company crushed Cleveland 120-88 at the Q, which may now stand for quizzical, concerning LeBron James’ mysteriously bad performance.

The legend that is Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe writes that the Celtics were on fire from the start.

Ryan’s lead, “I believe you call it P-R-O-F-E-S-S-I-O-N-A-L-I-S-M. The Celtics might as well have shown up for this game carrying violin cases.”

Gary Washburn of the Globe writes that Cleveland is at a complete loss after falling behind 3-2 in the series.

Backing up a day, here’s Rick Bozich’s column in the Courier-Journal on Rondo’s Sunday special.

But one guy who’s not buying the Rondo hype (surprise) is Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports.

NBA/Kentucky stuff: Patrick Hayes of the Flint Journal takes up for DeMarcus Cousins, who’s maturity level is being questioned by some pro scouts. Writes Hayes, “DeMarcus Cousins became my favorite college basketball player this season for the way he gracefully and hilariously handled a bunch of Mississippi State students blowing up his cell phone with all kinds of taunts last season after it was leaked online.”

Baseball news: Indiana’s late rally does in UK baseball 18-17 in Bloomington.

Cat Scratches is working hard to find some positives in this UK baseball season.

Basketball news: Kelly Wells, coach at Pikeville, confirmed to WKYT that his Bears will play UK in an exhibition game next season.

Kentucky Sports Radio is hearing that UK will play Notre Dame in basketball in Louisville next season.

Football news: Aaron’s UK Football Blog talked to prospect Kody Woods.

Wildcat Blue Blog says football never gets any respect.

UK has put out this video with Mitch Barnhart:

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