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Report: John Calipari was ‘deep in discussions’ with Cavs before Kentucky extension

John CalipariJohn Calipari already tried coaching in the NBA once, and it didn’t go well. After winning the Naismith College Coach of the Year Award in 1996, Calipari went on to compile a record of 72-112 in less than three seasons with the New Jersey Nets. According to one report, he was fairly close to giving the NBA another shot last week.

Adrian Wojnarowski and Brett Dawson of Yahoo Sports claim Calipari was “deep in discussions” with the Cleveland Cavaliers before he finalized a contract extension with Kentucky last week. He had even reportedly outlined the terms of a potential agreement with the Cavs that would be worth $60 million-plus over seven years and make him president of basketball operations as well as head coach.

Calipari, who signed a seven-year, $52 million extension with the Wildcats, was offered more than $8 million per season from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert. That would have placed him among the highest-paid coaches in the league. Calipari was said to be “intrigued” by the offer, but there is some speculation that he may have been concerned over how he would mesh with a hands-on owner like Gilbert.

Had Kentucky defeated UConn and won a national championship in April, it probably would have been easier to lure Calipari away. Now that the Harrison twins are returning to Lexington for their sophomore seasons and the Wildcats are easily the No. 1 team in the country heading into next season, Calipari probably wants to stick around. It’s a shame he’ll have to settle for only $7 million-plus per season.

Marshall Henderson: I’d strap on a bomb vest and go play in Afghanistan

Marshall HendersonMarshall Henderson has the rare ability to say something offensive almost every time he opens his mouth. The last time we heard from the former Ole Miss star, he sent some moronic tweets about Michael Sam and then tried to play it off as a psychology experiment. On Saturday morning, Henderson made some insensitive comments about the Middle East.

Speaking about his future, Henderson told Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn that he recently informed his agent he would “strap on a bomb” if need be to continue his basketball career overseas. He later clarified, but it didn’t really help.

Any team that takes a chance on Henderson — whether its in Europe or at a local YMCA — would know exactly what it was getting itself into. He never shuts his mouth and has been in trouble with the law plenty of times. I’d never even give it a thought.

H/T College Spun

Rashad McCants: I made Dean’s List at UNC without going to class

Rashad-McCants-UNCFormer North Carolina basketball star Rashad McCants helped the Tar Heels win a national championship in 2005. Had he actually been required to go to class and not been allowed to take bogus courses, he may not have even been academically eligible that year.

McCants, who has been playing in the NBA D-League since 2009, gave ESPN’s Outside the Lines a deeper look into the UNC athletics academic scandal this week when he revealed that he took the infamous “paper classes” that were designed to keep athletes eligible. He also said he made the Dean’s List in 2005 without ever attending class.

“I thought it was a part of the college experience, just like watching it on a movie from ‘He Got Game’ or ‘Blue Chips,’” McCants explained. “… when you get to college, you don’t go to class, you don’t do nothing, you just show up and play. That’s exactly how it was, you know, and I think that was the tradition of college basketball, or college, period, any sport. You’re not there to get an education, though they tell you that.

“You’re there to make revenue for the college. You’re there to put fans in the seats. You’re there to bring prestige to the university by winning games.”

McCants said it was common for athletes to take African-American studies courses, much like the one we showed you earlier this year where a student athlete wrote a 150-word term paper and allegedly received an A-. McCants also said that UNC coach Roy Williams is “100 percent” aware of the paper class system.

During the championship season in 2004-2005, McCants said he thought he might be kicked off the team after failing algebra and psychology. He said Williams instructed him to “buckle down” but assured him it would be taken care of. McCants later made the Dean’s List.

“There was a slight panic on my part … [Williams] said, you know, we’re going to be able to figure out how to make it happen, but you need to buckle down on your academics. [He said] we’re going to be able to change a class from, you know, your summer session class and swap it out with the class that you failed, just so the GPA could reflect that you are in good standing.”

In a statement to Outside the Lines, UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said a former federal prosecutor is currently investigating the alleged academic misconduct and that McCants and any other former or current athletes are encouraged to speak to him. UNC whistleblower Mary Willingham also confirmed that what McCants is alleging “absolutely lines up” with her findings.

You would have to be incredibly naive to think that this stuff is only going on at North Carolina.

John Calipari’s daughter Erin got engaged

Erin-Calipari-Cody-Siciliano

John Calipari picked up a new recruit this week, but this time he didn’t land another basketball player. Calipari will soon have a son-in-law, as his daughter Erin got engaged on Wednesday.

As many of you know, Calipari’s daughters are very supportive of him and seem to have a close relationship with their dad. Erin and Megan defended Coach Cal after Kentucky’s loss to UConn last month with a series of heartwarming tweets. They also fully buy into the Wildcats’ rivalries by despising teams like Louisville.

This Cody Siciliano cat is one lucky dude. He’s marrying into a power family.

Photo: Twitter/Erin Calipari

Marshall Henderson says Michael Sam tweet was a psychology experiment for his friend

Marshall HendersonHahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Wait…wait…hahahahahahahahahaha. Marshall Henderson has officially come up with the most hilarious excuse we have ever heard for an idiotic tweet. On Monday morning, Henderson tweeted that he is boycotting SportsCenter because of ESPN’s “nasty ass” coverage of Michael Sam. Henderson called it “sickening” that his two younger brothers had to see Sam and his boyfriend kiss.

Less than an hour later, Henderson explained that the tweet was simply part of a psychology experiment he was helping his gay friend with. You can’t make this stuff up.

For further context, here are two more tweets that Henderson sent after his first comment about Sam:

The fact that he expects us to believe any of this is amazing. We love to criticize athletes for tweeting dumb stuff and claiming they were hacked, but that probably would have been a better approach for Henderson here. I literally can’t stop laughing.

Marshall Henderson boycotting ESPN because of ‘nasty ass’ Michael Sam coverage

Michael Sam kiss boyfriend

As you have likely heard and/or seen by now, ESPN showed former Missouri linebacker Michael Sam giving his boyfriend a kiss after he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday. We knew the decision to air the embrace would offend some, and we shouldn’t be surprised that former Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson falls under that umbrella.

On Monday morning, Henderson ripped ESPN for showing Sam kissing his boyfriend and expressed concern that his younger brothers had to see it. He called the coverage “sickening.”

Henderson has never been shy about expressing himself on Twitter, so no one should be surprised. Still, his comment is pretty pathetic. You don’t see any outrage when a player is shown kissing his girlfriend or wife after being drafted, so people need to get over it. It’s 2014.

Related: Dolphins DB tweets ‘omg’ and ‘horrible’ after Michael Sam pick

UPDATE: Marshall Henderson defends himself, says it was an experiment

Aaron and Andrew Harrison returning to Kentucky

Harrison-Twins-Kentucky

Kentucky fans are still trying to get over a tough loss to UConn in the national championship game earlier this month, and they received some great news on Friday that should execrate the healing process. The Wildcats’ twin guards, Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison, have decided to return to Kentucky for their sophomore seasons.

Both Aaron and Andrew announced the decision on their respective Twitter accounts.

As usual, John Calipari is expected to bring in one of the top recruiting classes next season. The return of the Harrison twins will give the Wildcats something they have been lacking in recent years come tournament time — experience.

“They wanted to stay in school,” the twins’ father Aaron told ESPN on Friday. “They wanted to explore their options and see what’s out there. They probably made up their minds last week. All the information they got from the draft was that they were middle to late first round. They had to weigh going back to school and improving and maturing. All the things added up to that.”

Julius Randle and James Young, Kentucky’s top two scorers, have already declared for the draft. However, the Harrisons will join Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley-Stein, Marcus Lee and Dakari Johnson as freshman who have decided to stick around for another year.

“I’m coming back for a second season in large part because last year’s title run was special, but we still have unfinished business,” Aaron said.

Aaron knocked down not one but two game-winning 3-pointers in the NCAA Tournament to spark Kentucky’s improbable run to the Final Four. The Wildcats should be the No. 1 team in the preseason rankings later this year for a second straight year.