Rick Pitino is buggin’. Still firmly in the eye of the storm surrounding his sex/extortion scandal (with all sorts of salacious terms like “FBI” and “adultery” and “psychological evaluation” and “blackmail” being thrown around daily), Pitino called a press conference at Louisville yesterday to wag his finger at the media Rafael Palmeiro-style for covering this story. “[What] I don’t understand is why you keep fostering this behavior. On a day where Ted Kennedy died, the news here in Louisville broke in with Karen Syper’s (the woman in question) audio and the tapes and detectives. That’s a pretty sad commentary on us.” After telling society to focus on more important things (“like the economy”), Rick urged UL fans to simply boycott the newspaper and TV news, he came up with this line: “All I did was stand up to a long laundry list of people who passed away today who couldn’t stand up because what was done was wrong.” What? … So Pitino wants people to stop talking about his case, but then he goes and calls a press conference on his own to attract even more coverage, and even worse, he provides replay-able material for “The Soup” (or “Sports Soup” or whichever spin-off applies). Some reactions we’ve heard are that Pitino is talking like a guy who’s about to get fired. What do you think will happen after all this is settled? … Meanwhile, the Ricky Rubio saga is over. For now. Maybe. Rubio reportedly agreed to a six-year deal with Regal Barcelona (Spain), which includes a manageable buyout after the second year (2011). Last we heard, T’wolves GM David Kahn couldn’t be reached for comment; he was in a hotel room carving “KAHN WAS HERE” on a wood banister and wondering why they won’t just send him back to where things make sense … If Kahn is looking for a distraction, maybe he should get involved in the Allen Iverson sweepstakes. Iverson appeared to be a lock for the Bobcats a few days ago, but now the Grizzlies have made an offer. You know how we feel about those who insist A.I. will be a bad influence on Memphis’ (or any team’s) young stars. Iverson knows the rest of his career is on the line here; O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay will only improve thanks to his presence. But can A.I. co-exist with the Grizzlies’ star big man? … We suppose it’s good breaking news that Michael Beasley‘s entry into a rehab center was something planned a long time ago (stemming from the NBA rookie transition program incident with Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur) and not a result of some offseason weed bender like some imagined … And good looking out by D-Wade to publicly support Beasley when everyone was wondering how this situation would impact Wade’s free agent decision: “Everyone say a prayer for our lil brother, but please don’t judge the man,” Wade wrote on Twitter. “We all make mistakes. Beas I’m here if you need anything fam.” … If you missed it yesterday, Dwight Howard spoke to Dime in an exclusive Q&A about his NBA Live 10 cover, his offseason improvements, Orlando’s offseason moves, and the one time he beat Vince Carter in a dunk contest … Dwight was an easy pick as the best center in the game this past season; here are five guys on pace to join him in that discussion next year … Notable stat lines from the FIBA Americas tournament opening day: Leandro Barbosa scored 21 and Anderson Varejao added 10 points and 10 boards to lead Brazil over the Dominican Republic; Francisco Garcia had 17 points, five threes and five blocks for DR, while Charlie Villanueva scored 14 and Al Horford had just five points and seven boards in a foul-plagued 18 minutes; Esteban Batista posted 23 points and 13 boards in Uruguay’s win over the Virgin Islands, who didn’t have Raja Bell in the lineup after all; Venezuela knocked off Argentina despite Luis Scola‘s 25 points, as Oscar Torres led the winners with 22; and host Puerto Rico beat Mexico, getting 16 points and five steals from Larry Ayuso, and 15 points and 11 assists from Carlos Arroyo; Romel Beck scored 26 for Mexico … Meanwhile, in the most obscure FIBA regional tourney, New Zealand beat Australia in the two-team FIBA Oceania Cup. (There are 21 actual nations that could field teams in the Oceania region — Samoa, Fiji, Guam, etc. — but since 1999, it’s been a two-team “tournament”.) Mika Vukona led NZ with 25 and 12 boards, while “The Aussie Shaq“ scored 17 for the losers, who were without Andrew Bogut and Patty Mills … We’re out like Pitino’s calm under pressure …
Smack / Aug 27, 2009 / 7:10 am
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