I have to admit that I really don’t pay attention to the John Calipari hating columnists anymore. I read very few national writers because I like to get my information without snark and normally stray away from the normal horde of John Calipari haters. This morning when I was up bright and early to compose the early morning headlines, I headed over to the ESPN page to see if there was anything noteworthy. On the front page of the NCAA Tournament page, there was the headline “Time to familiarize yourself with what to expect” from each team and I instinctively clicked on the link about Kentucky. Instead of getting what to expect from Kentucky in the Final Four, I get one of the most biased. hateful, and anti-Calipari pieces I have ever read. And it was featured on the ESPN front page while the other three teams in the Final Four had real, informative pieces.
I normally don’t link such things, but the piece is no longer featured on ESPN as far as I can tell. When you clicked the Kentucky piece, it linked back to a piece by Grantland writer Charles P Pierce called “Forever Young”. I don’t know why it was featured on ESPN and why it was included in the “what to expect” section, but ESPN’s anti Kentucky agenda was on full display with the featuring of this piece. And I get it. ESPN has it’s favorites, but if you are going to bash Kentucky, let a columnist do it. Don’t include it front page under your “what to expect ” section when it is nothing but hate and biased opinions.
Thing I am just looking through blue colored glasses? The hate starts early:
In other words, it’s healthy now to just throw back your head and laugh at the way Kentucky does business, because the pure, obvious absurdity of it is a perfect window through which to observe the pure, obvious absurdity of college basketball. And at this point, after inveighing against the whole thing two years ago, when Wildcats coach John Calipari’s last great rent-don’t-own roster won the national championship, there is nothing to do anymore except laugh.
The article brings up Marcus Lee. On any other team in the country, the story of a seldom used freshman stepping into the big stage to cover for an injured team-mate would bring tons of Disney like stories about Lee. It’s a great freaking story, regardless of what team you root for. Remember the NCAA championship game when Spike Albrecht scored 17 unlikely first half points for Michigan in the first half? He was trending on twitter and a national hero. Marcus Lee came off the bench and scored 10 key points to bring Kentucky back from a 10 point deficit and gets this treatment from Pierce.
Going into Sunday’s Elite Eight matchup against the Michigan Wolverines, Marcus Lee played 126 minutes. There were brooms in Rupp Arena that had seen more floor time than he did. Lee had taken two shots in Kentucky’s previous five games, and he’d missed both of them. And, Sunday night, before a hysterical final six minutes that led to Aaron Harrison’s game-winning 3-point shot and a 75-72 Kentucky victory over Michigan, it was Marcus Lee who came off the bench and kept his team close in the first half. What made this remarkable is that it was not considered remarkable at all, for what college basketball team doesn’t have a 6-foot-9 McDonald’s All American stashed away at the end of the bench, probably behind the Gatorade bucket, just for such an occasion?
And it get worse.