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John Calipari calls into Mike Francesa’s radio show to defend coaching ability 08.22.14 at 11:56 am ET
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One appearance on Mike Francesa‘s radio show wasn’t enough for John Calipari on Wednesday.

After making an appearance on the show, the Kentucky basketball coach called in later on as “John from Kentucky” to defend himself after the host questioned his X’s and O’s ability.

“That’s basically saying I can’t coach,” Calipari said. “You know what they call me, the magician. Cal the magician.”

Francesa and Calipari continued their exchange briefly before Francesa hung up on him.

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Cavaliers reportedly offered Kentucky’s John Calipari 10-year deal 06.10.14 at 11:14 am ET
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The Cavaliers apparently really wanted Kentucky’s John Calipari to be their next coach. So much so that they were willing offer him nearly $80 million over 10 years to be their coach and team president, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.

Calipari, of course, has no intentions of leaving Kentucky after the university announced on Thursday that the coach signed a new seven-year, $52.5 million deal.

Stein said Cleveland pursued Calipari in hopes of increasing its chances of luring LeBron James back in free agency this summer.

Calipari left the University of Massachusetts to coach the Nets from 1996-99. He led New Jersey to the playoffs once in that span before returning to the college ranks.

UConn’s Kevin Ollie also turned down interest from the Cavs this offseason. Cleveland reportedly is interviewing Hornets assistant (and former Cavs standout) Mark Price on Tuesday and plans to host Clippers assistant coach Alvin Gentry for a second interview.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: LeBron James, Heat wilt in Game 1 after AC breaks in San Antonio 06.06.14 at 7:51 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Tigers, 7:08 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Athletics at Orioles, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
College baseball: NCAA tournament, Stanford at Vanderbilt, 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
College baseball: NCAA tournament, Charleston at Texas Tech, 1 p.m. (ESPNU)
College baseball: NCAA tournament, Houston at Texas, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
College baseball: NCAA tournament, Pepperdine at TCU, 4 p.m. (ESPNU)
College baseball: NCAA tournament, Kennesaw State at Louisville, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College baseball: NCAA tournament, UC Irvine at Oklahoma State, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
WNBA: Minnesota Lynx at Seattle Storm, 10 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: Exhibition, Mexico vs. Portugal, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLL: Boston Cannons at Ohio Machine, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
Tennis: French Open, 7 a.m. (Tennis Channel), 11 a.m. (NBC)


LeBron James haters are out in force after the Heat star wilted in the San Antonio heat Thursday night and his team faded in the fourth quarter of a 110-95 loss to the Spurs in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

After the air conditioning inside San Antonio’s AT&T Center broke, temperatures soared into the low 90s, making it reminiscent of 1980s finals games at the old Boston Garden. James repeatedly asked out of the game in the closing minutes due to cramping, and the Spurs took advantage, ending the game on a 16-3 run.

“After I came out of the game, they kind of took off,” said James, who finished with 25 points in 33 minutes. “And it was frustrating sitting out and not be able to help our team.”

Added James: “It sucks not being out there for your team, especially at this point in the season.”

Said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: “I think it felt like a punch in the gut when you see your leader limping like that back to the bench.”

Spurs guard Danny Green scored 11 of his 13 points in the final period, including a 3-pointer to spark the game-ending run, but he expressed empathy for James.

“You could see the heat was getting to a lot of guys,” Green said. “If I played as many minutes as he did, I’d probably be cramping up, too.”

NBA president Rod Thorn understood Miami’s frustration but insisted there were no safety issues that would give the league a reason to step in.

“LeBron had to leave the game in the fourth quarter with the game still in the balance,” Thorn told ESPN. “He’s such a great player that obviously when a player of that ilk leaves the game, it certainly affects the game.

“But again, both teams were playing under the same conditions. There was nothing wrong with the floor. We’ve played in these conditions before.”

— University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari was rewarded for making three Final Four appearances in the last five years when he received a seven-year, $52.5 million contract, the school announced Thursday.

Calipari’s base salary is $400,000 per year through the 2020-21 season, but he makes millions more in endorsements and retention bonuses.

Calipari, 152-37 in his five years at Kentucky, was rumored to be a target of the Lakers, but since the NBA job opened up he has denied any interest. Meanwhile, he’s again assembled one of the top recruiting classes in the nation.

“With the continued support from our administration and the greatest, craziest fans in college basketball, we have accomplished a lot in our five quick years, but we still have lofty goals for the future,” Calipari said in a statement Thursday night. “We want to continue to help young people and their families reach their dreams, while at the same time maintaining our success on the basketball court, in the classroom and in the community.”

— Colts owner Jim Irsay has his license suspended one year by a court due to his arrest in March for driving while intoxicated, according to court documents (via The Indianapolis Star).

Irsay refused a blood test after he was detained March 16 in the Indianapolis suburb of Carmel, which automatically triggers the one-year suspension based on Indiana law. The suspension went into effect May 27.

Irsay is due back in court June 19 for an initial hearing on two misdemeanor counts of impaired driving. He has yet to be punished by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On June 6, 1977, which pitcher won his 100th game with the Red Sox?

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Read More: Jim Irsay, John Calipari, LeBron James,
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Kentucky coach John Calipari goes off on team after upset loss in NIT 03.20.13 at 7:57 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Celtics at Hornets, 8 p.m. (CSNNE; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Nets at Mavericks, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, LIU Brooklyn vs. James Madison, 6:40 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NCAA tournament, La Salle vs. Boise State, 9:10 p.m. (truTV)
College basketball: NIT, Indiana State at Iowa, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, Mercer at Tennessee, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: NIT, Long Beach State at Baylor, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: NIT, Detroit at Arizona State, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Wild at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB preseason: Red Sox at Yankees, 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB preseason: Indians at Angels, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)


‘™¦ For Kentucky coach John Calipari, Tuesday night’s first-round NIT loss to Robert Morris was a fitting end to a miserable season. And he was not shy about admitting it.

“This is a shot in the arm for [Robert Morris] and they deserve to win the game,” Calipari said after his top-seeded Wildcats missed a 3-pointer with one second left and dropped a 59-57 decision to the eighth-seeded Colonials. “If we’d have won at the buzzer, it would have been a shame.”

Kentucky rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to force a tie, but Mike McFadden hit two free throws with 8.7 seconds remaining to oust the defending national champions, whose season was plagued by injuries and inconsistency.

“This is humbling,” Calipari said. “They think we’re supposed to win 30 a year, 35 a year, go to the Final Four, win a national title.”

Calipari was blunt about the problems his team had this season.

“They haven’t had any discipline all year,” he said. “We ended on a note we’ve been talking about [all year]. We can’t really play [disciplined].”

Added Calipari: “The stuff I had to withstand this year … the program almost got hijacked. Never in my career have I surrendered in any way to any team and I did at times this year, to try to save guys, to try to help guys, and it never works.”

The game was played at Robert Morris, minutes from Calipari’s boyhood home in Western Pennsylvania, as Kentucky’s arena was being prepared to host NCAA tournament games. The arena was jammed with 3,500 boisterous fans who stormed the court after the win. It helped ease the pain of Robert Morris missing the NCAAs after winning the Northeast Conference regular-season title but losing in the conference tournament.

“It’s probably the greatest consolation prize you can possibly have,” Robert Morris coach Andy Toole said.

‘™¦ Jim Brown, arguably the greatest running back of all time, weighed in on the proposed rule to penalize ball-carriers who lower their head and initiate contact with a defender. Brown, speaking from the league meetings in Phoenix, said he has no problem with the suggested rule.

“I didn’t use my head,” Brown said, via Newsday. “I used my forearm. The palm of my hand. And my shoulder. And my shoulder pads. I wasn’t putting my head into too much of anything. I don’t think that’s a good idea. At least it doesn’t sound like a good idea to me if I’m not guaranteed that my head is going to be strong enough to hurt somebody else and not hurt myself.”

Added Brown: “Nobody I ever broke bread with, and I see players all the time, talked about using their head running the football. I’ve seen Barry Sanders and Eric Dickerson and Marcus Allen and Franco Harris and we’ve all been together — we were all together at the Super Bowl — and no one talked about using their head.”

‘™¦ With the NCAA tournament upon us, Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 March Madness shockers.

No. 1 is George Mason’s run to the Final Four in 2006, including an overtime victory over top-seeded UConn in the regional final. No. 2 is VCU’s victory over top-seeded Kansas in the regional final in 2011. No. 3 is Villanova over Georgetown in the 1985 championship game. No. 6 is Cleveland State — coached by Boston native Kevin Mackey — over Indiana in 1986.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On March 20, 1957, the movie “Fear Strikes Out” made its premiere. Which Red Sox player was profiled in the film?

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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees’ Mark Teixeira injury more serious than initially thought 03.18.13 at 7:53 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Heat at Celtics, 8 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Knicks at Jazz, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Flyers at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
World Baseball Classic: Netherlands vs. Dominican Republic, 9 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB preseason: Phillies at Braves, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB preseason: Brewers at Indians, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)


‘™¦ Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira‘s wrist injury is worse than originally thought. Teixeira on Sunday revealed that instead of just a strained tendon, he has a partially torn tendon sheath (which covers the tendon and keeps it in place).

General manager Brian Cashman said Teixeira still is not slated for surgery, which would be “the worst-case scenario.” He put the chances at 30 percent that Teixeira would need a season-ending procedure, noting that the tendon is stable rather than dislocated. That gives the player hope that it will heal on its own in a couple of months.

“This is one of those things I can’€™t come back too early,” Teixeira said. “We saw when I tried to play too early last year what happened. I don’€™t know if it’€™s going to be middle of May, beginning of May, beginning of June. I don’t know when it is, but I know there’s a whole bunch of season left, and the time that really matters is the playoffs.”

Teixeira suffered the injury while hitting off a tee during a practice with the U.S. team in the World Baseball Classic.

‘™¦ Mavericks owner Mark Cuban still is upset that Derek Fisher signed with the Thunder last month, two months after the veteran guard received his release from the Mavs because he said he missed his family. Before the Thunder visited Dallas for a Sunday game, Cuban told The Dallas Morning News: “I’ll make a point not to see him. I’ll just boo him hopefully like everybody else.”

Cuban said he offered Fisher advice when he was out of the league, eventually adding him to the Mavs roster, and Fisher betrayed him in return.

“I really tried to help him out,” Cuban said. “And then to have him pull this stuff. ‘€¦ But it wasn’t his first time. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, you know, I’m an idiot.”

Added Cuban: “It’€™s not that he used me. Look, my personality is to try to help somebody, particularly somebody that I thought one thing about. It didn’€™t turn out to be that way. I was just trying to be nice and help. Usually, when you help somebody, you expect some semblance of loyalty back. So when you don’€™t get it, it’€™s more disappointing.

“His history, I shouldn’€™t have been surprised what happened. I thought I offered him some positive encouragement and advice. And then we signed him. I expected a little different turnout than what happened. That’€™s just how it goes. I have my big-boy pants on.”

Responded Fisher: “I love Mark and I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he’€™s done and does in terms of this team. ‘€¦ I don’t have any issues with Mark, and hopefully one day we’€™ll be able to get past this and have much more things to enjoy and laugh about than the short few weeks here.”

‘™¦ With the NCAA tournament set to begin this week, Forbes magazine takes a look at the absurdly high salaries being paid to coaches and has a list of the most overpaid.

Missouri coach Frank Haith is No. 1, followed by Kentucky’s John Calipari. Other notables names include Michigan’s John Beilein (4), Louisville’s Rick Pitino (5) and Indiana’s Tom Crean (9).

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 18, 1953, the National League owners approved the move of the Braves from Boston to Milwaukee. Who was the Braves owner?

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Read More: Derek Fisher, John Calipari, Mark Cuban, Mark Teixeira
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Ravens’ Bernard Pollard OK with bounties, upset with Roger Goodell 04.05.12 at 7:57 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Tigers, 1 p.m. (NESN, ESPN2; WEEI)
MLB: Marlins at Reds, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLB: Dodgers at Padres, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Celtic at Bulls, 9:30 p.m. (TNT; WEEI)
NBA: Knicks at Magic, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: Bruins at Senators, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Rangers at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College hockey: Frozen Four, Boston College vs. Minnesota, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
College hockey: Frozen Four, Ferris State vs. Union, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
MLS: Revolution at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m. (CSNNE)


‘™¦ Ravens safety Bernard Pollard, known to Patriots fans as the player who caused major injuries to Tom Brady, Wes Welker and, this past season, Rob Gronkowski, is not happy with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell‘s attempts to make the sport less dangerous.

“It’€™s getting out of hand,” Pollard told Houston radio station KILT. “This is not powderpuff football, this is not flag football. This is a violent sport. And it’€™s a fun sport — we all love playing this game. And we’€™re blessed by God to even go out there and display our talent to the world, but at the same time you can’€™t sit there and say, ‘€˜We want guts, we want glory, we want heart.’€™ You can’€™t give a player heart but at the end of the day you tell him, ‘€œWell, hold on, but be careful when you go to make that hit.’€™ We wear helmets and shoulder pads. That means you’€™re supposed to go knock somebody around. We ain’€™t wearing flags.’€

Regarding the Saints’ bounty situation, Pollard said he doesn’t care if a team has bounties and called the one-year suspension of Saints coach Sean Payton “outrageous.”

‘€œThis is a game, this is a violent game. You can’€™t take this away,” Pollard said. “You suspend a man for a whole year? You suspend a man for a whole year and now you’€™re looking for players to suspend? This is outrageous. You’€™ve got to be kidding me.’€

‘™¦ After coaching Kentucky to the national championship Monday, John Calipari insists he has no desire to leave for the NBA, even though the Knicks reportedly have interest.

“Kentucky is the best job in basketball coaching,” Calipari said. “Why would I leave? We just won the national title. We’re chasing UCLA.”

Meanwhile, a player being recruited by Kentucky, Everett’s Nerlens Noel, raised some eyebrows when he recounted a story of walking through Bourbon Street in New Orleans on Final Four weekend and being graciously received by Wildcats fans.

“I’€™m always just shocked at how dedicated Kentucky fans are,” Noel wrote in a diary for ESPN. “One man asked me if I wanted to take his wife home with me, ha ha. I couldn’€™t believe it. I was like ‘Nah, I’€™m good,’ but that’€™s just how insane the fans were down there.”

‘™¦ At Wednesday’s annual press conference prior to the start of The Masters, August National Chairman Billy Payne refused to answer questions about if and when a woman would be admitted as a member of the club. The topic became relevant again because IBM has a new CEO, Virginia Rometty, and the last four IBM CEOs have been invited to be club members.

“As has been the case whenever that question is asked, all issues of membership have been and are subject to private deliberations of the members,” Payne said. “That statement remains accurate and that remains my statement.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 5, 1971, the Cardinals returned to the Red Sox which Rule 5 draft pick who would go on to a stellar major league career (most of it outside Boston)?

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Read More: Bernard Pollard, Billy Payne, John Calipari, Nerlens Noel
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Rick Pitino fires back at John Calipari 10.07.11 at 7:35 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

No games scheduled

NHL: Lightning at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
MLS: Earthquakes at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

NFL: Jets at Patriots, 4:15 p.m. (CBS)


‘™¦ Following comments from University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari that were dismissive of Rick Pitino‘s Louisville program, Pitino responded in an interview with CBS SportsJeff Goodman. “Four things I’ve learned in my 59 years about people,” Pitino said. “I ignore the jealous, I ignore the malicious, I ignore the ignorant and I ignore the paranoid.”

Added Pitino: “If the shoe fits anyone, wear it.”

‘™¦ Eagles defensive end Jason Babin was fined $15,000 for a hit on 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, and he isn’t happy about it. Tweeted Babin: Attn:Guy at the NFL that decides on who and how much players get fined Stop being a puppet, if you want to protect QB’s, get better linemen. Asked about the tweet, Babin said: “That was just meant to be sarcastic. But my main point was the person that decides the fines — I’m assuming they’re supposed to be unbiased and make decisions for themselves according to the rules and regulations — not let outside influences affect their decision-making. You know what they say, ‘One man with courage is a majority.’ ”

Meanwhile, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was fined $7,500 for an unnecessary roughness penalty, but he insists his offending hit came before the whistle. Stated Pouncey: “I’m not changing how I play.”

‘™¦ The University of Alabama fan who is accused of poisoning trees at Auburn might once again be looking for a new attorney. Harvey Updyke Jr. went against his counsel’s advice and recently called in to a radio show to apologize “for all the damage I have done,” leading to attorney Glennon Threatt asking the court for permission to be the fourth lawyer to withdraw from the case. Said Threatt: “He needs somebody he will trust, and he needs somebody he will listen to.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: The seventh of October has not been a successful day for the Red Sox throughout the years. On this date, they lost World Series games in 1946 and 1967, and playoff games in 1986, 1990, 1999 and 2005. They did have one big victory on Oct. 7, when in 1975 they beat the A’s, 5-3, to sweep the three-game ALCS. Who was Boston’s winning pitcher?

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Read More: Harvey Updyke Jr., Jason Babin, John Calipari, Maurkice Pouncey
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Rodney Harrison rips Brett Favre for being ‘classless’ 10.06.11 at 7:55 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Flyers at Bruins, 7 p.m. (Versus)


‘™¦ On Tuesday, Brett Favre did a radio interview in Atlanta and said he was surprised that it took his replacement in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers, three years to win a Super Bowl title considering how talented the Packers have been since Favre’s departure. NBC football analyst Rodney Harrison responded by calling Favre “classless” and “immature.” Added Harrison of Favre: “Everything he’s accomplished in his career is now diminished. ‘€¦ He’s about himself. He’s about nothing else but himself.”

‘™¦ John Calipari and Rick Pitino are coaching neighbors in Kentucky, but Calipari is doing his best to pretend that his old friend doesn’t exist. Among the recent slights is a comment Calipari made this week about how other states have multiple programs that split loyalties, but Kentucky rules the Bluegrass State. Said Calipari: “There’s no other state — none — as connected to their basketball program as this one. Because those other states have other programs. Michigan has Michigan State. California, UCLA has all those. North Carolina has Duke. It’s Kentucky, throughout this whole state, and that’s what makes this unique.”

‘™¦ The case of Leo Nunez, the Marlins closer who was pitching under an assumed name, might just be the first of many. According a sports activist in the Dominican Republic, as many as 30 other Dominican natives now playing in the majors and minors are using assumed names to conceal their true ages, and there are more impostors from Venezuela, Panama and Nicaragua.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Oct. 6, 1906, which Red Sox player homered in his final at-bat, as he committed suicide before the following season, shortly after he was named manager?

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Read More: aaron rodgers, brett favre, John Calipari, Leo Nunez
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Woman sues Yankees over design of logo 04.20.11 at 8:01 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at A’s, 10:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)


‘™¦ A 63-year-old woman from Yonkers, N.Y., sued the Yankees, claiming her late uncle designed the team’s top-hat logo in 1936. Tanit Buday claims then-Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert asked Kenneth Timur to make the design, long credited to sports artist Henry Alonzo “Lon” Keller. Yankees spokeswoman Alice McGillion said there’s no proof of Buday’s claim. “This is a wonderful country, where anybody can sue for anything, even when the allegations are over 70 years old,” McGillion said.

‘™¦ The NBA admitted that a key Thunder basket in Game 1 vs. the Nuggets should not have counted because of goaltending by Kendrick Perkins. In the Denver Post, Mark Kiszla writes that the league must avoid the appearance of showing favoritism toward its stars.

‘™¦ ESPN analyst Bobby Knight apologized to the University of Kentucky and coach John Calipari after implying that some Wildcats players who bolted for the NBA after one college season last year did not attend classes in the second semester. “My overall point is that ‘one-and-dones’ are not healthy for college basketball,” Knight said in an ESPN statement. “I should not have made it personal to Kentucky and its players and I apologize.” In the Louisville Courier-Journal, Eric Crawford complains that Knight has yet to admit his facts were wrong.

‘™¦ The New York Times pays tribute to marathon legend Grete Waitz, who died of cancer Tuesday at the age of 57.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 20, 1986, the Celtics beat the Bulls in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series, 135-131, in double overtime. in the game, Bulls guard Michael Jordan set an NBA playoff record by scoring how many points?

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Read More: bobby knight, Grete Waitz, John Calipari, kendrick perkins
Rumor: Knicks may have interest in John Calipari 04.08.11 at 11:51 am ET
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According to the New York Post, the Knicks may have interest in pursuing University of Kentucky coach John Calipari to run the front office and coach the team.

The $5 million option for current Knicks president Donnie Walsh has yet to be picked up by owner James Dolan, fueling speculation that a move will be made this offseason.

Calipari had a previous stint in the NBA, coaching the Nets from 1996-99 after leading UMass to the 1996 Final Four (since vacated by the NCAA). He was fired by the Nets 20 games into the lockout-delayed 1998-99 season with the team struggling to a 3-17 start.

Read More: John Calipari, Rumor Mill,