Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday 05/28 A.M. Quickie:
Kobe, Calipari, Cavs, Barca, Bee, More

I led today's SN column with Kobe's transformation into...Chauncey Billups and how that correlates to the Lakers playing much much better. Considering my allergy to John Calipari, perhaps I should have led with this scandal brewing at Memphis that Cal left behind:

This is why college basketball is, at its essence, a cesspool:

John Calipari allegedly uses fraudulent SAT scores to land the most valuable player in college basketball for the 2007-2008 season. They go to the national-title game.

Said player -- and that the alleged scandal involves this player is only an educated guess at this point -- goes very very very high in the subsequent NBA draft.

Coach leverages the Final Four run into a brand spanking new gig at the most historically prestigious program in the country, in turn generating a recruiting class that is so good that his new team is immediately installed as the team to beat next season.

Meanwhile, his OLD school is about to get destroyed by the NCAA.

But John Calipari? Will get off scot-free, along with his new program.

In an ideal world, if Calipari indeed was involved in this eligibility fraud, the punishment would follow him to Kentucky -- Cal punished individually, UK punished for hiring him.

And wouldn't that be something, if his brand-new team -- with basically a one-and-done shot at a national title -- was ineligible for the postseason next season?

But that's not going to happen, and that's why college basketball is so effed up.

"Kobe doin' work" was not getting it done for the Lakers. So instead, they went with "Kobe doin' his best Chauncey Billups impression." And because of that, the Lakers finally looked like the better team, at least for one quarter -- the 4th, the one that mattered last night.

Vote For Manny deserves to be THE sensation of baseball for the next month, and all pranksters out there -- Howard Stern, TJ Simers, Tony Kornheiser -- who enjoy, say, "Vote for the Worst" on Idol should be pushing fans to vote Manny into the starting lineup of the NL All-Star team.

Barca wins! How did you ever doubt them?

Bee finals tonight! One of the great sporting spectacles of the year.

Complete SN column here. More later.

-- D.S.

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