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As Greasy As The Other Side Of…

March 25, 2010

The other day, I wrote this regarding the sleaziness of John Calipari with respect to the Tigers:

To be clear, I’m not defending Calipari against other accusations.  By all means, call him a sleazeball if you want to.  Mock him for his repeated recruitment of one-and-dones, the way he treats his players, his weird relationship with Worldwide Wes, or just his general greasiness.  But not for this.  If anybody deserves a good ripping on for this situation, it’s the NCAA for allowing a team with an ineligible player to make it to the title game and then breathing the biggest sigh of relief ever when Mario Chalmers makes the luckiest shot of all time to prevent them from winning the whole thing.  I vote we move in that direction.

Let the snideness commence.  I think Joshua Holmes, over at Bumpshack, may have figured out Cal’s secret, via a tweet from Chris Douglas-Roberts (aka CDR aka Buckets aka C-Drive aka The Best Finisher Around the Basket I Have Ever Personally Witnessed aka Probably One of My Top Three Favorite Tigers of All Time).  I would have seen this myself—you’d expect me to follow my favorite player—except that I quit following CDR a long time ago because he drives me literally out of my tree with crap like this.  This particular tweet, however, may vindicate C-Drive’s creation of his otherwise atrocious Twitter account because it might reveal how Cal and Worldwide Wes (WWW) operate.  Buckets tweeted that when he was 17, before he was committed to play college ball anywhere, Lebron James sent a private jet for him to fly to Denver for a Nuggets-Timberwolves playoff game.  Yes, that same Lebron James who happens to be a close compadre of WWW, who happens to be a close pal of… John Calipari (That’s him on the right behind the person I really wish they’d quit showing when they show Kentucky games—I get it, she’s famous and she likes UK.  Can we watch the game please?).   Holmes explains:

Whether it was illegal or not, it’s pretty easy to follow the breadcrumbs here:  Coach Cal was recruiting Chris Douglas-Roberts back in 2004.  How can he impress a highly impressionable 17-year old kid from Detroit?  He can call his good buddy William Wesley who phones into a favor to LeBron, and LeBron has his private jet pick up CDR and fly him to the Minnesota-Denver playoff game.

Of course, we don’t actually know any of this—maybe Lebron just wanted to hang out with a 17-year, not-that-highly-ranked high-schooler who can’t legally drink or get into a club instead of chilling with ‘Melo and the Hot Dog Rollers out on the town.  This is what really made my skin crawl about Cal’s time at Memphis.  The Derrick Rose thing was the NCAA’s fault, but this situation is, in a word, sleazy.  He’s no Nick Nolte from Blue Chips, but after he left Memphis, I found myself increasingly satisfied that this kind of under-the-table slimy stuff was no longer associated with the program.  It’s refreshing to know for certain that it’s not happening anymore.  Hell, the Tigers’ new coach, Josh Pastner, doesn’t even curse or drink caffeine—he said he was going to celebrate the Tigers’ victory over Tulsa a few weeks ago with a glass of lemonade.  And he still has the number one class in the country coming in hot next season.  Kentucky fans will of course refuse to admit that Calipari is a sleazeball, and I’m strangely okay with that.  He’s not going to get caught for any of it—the NCAA will have to catch him doing something he didn’t even do to get him or their program in trouble.  It is interesting to know how he gets it done, though.

Nice work, Wes.

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