- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Calipari not going to ‘dignify’ Lakers rumors

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Kentucky coach John Calipari refused to “dignify that stuff” when he was asked after Monday night’s championship game about his rumored interest in coaching the Los Angeles Lakers.

The rumors were floated by former Kentucky star Rex Chapman on Twitter shortly before the Wildcat’s 60-54 loss to Connecticut at AT&T; Stadium. He called Calipari’s departure a “done deal.”

“The Lakers have a basketball coach,” Calipari said, referring to coach Mike D’Antoni, whose team is fighting to stay out of last place in the Western Conference.

“Kentucky has a basketball coach,” Calipari added. “I have the best job in the country.”

The Lakers have also denied having any conversations with Calipari, who spent two forgettable years coaching the New Jersey Nets before he was fired 20 games into his third season.

He also served as an assistant under Larry Brown with the Philadelphia 76ers.

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NCAA finalists illustrate many ways to make a run

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Kentucky reached the brink of an NCAA title with five freshman starters, including the cool right hand of Aaron Harrison and his decisive 3-pointers in three straight games.

Connecticut got to Monday night’s championship game behind a pair of starters with Final Four experience, and a strong dose of defense.

Wisconsin and Florida rode rosters heavy on upperclassmen to the final weekend, and the Badgers were in position to beat the young Wildcats thanks to their 3-point shooting after 7-foot stalwart Frank Kaminsky was shut down.

Bottom line: There are plenty of ways to make a run in the NCAA tournament. And there will be another batch of potential “one and dones” in the nation’s elite programs no matter how many in the current crop jump to the NBA.

“There’s a lot of different ways to play this game and there’s a lot of different ways to teach it and coach it and play it,” said Kentucky’s John Calipari, the one-and-done king who says the term is too negative and redubbed it “succeed and proceed” during Final Four weekend. “My whole thing is I’m coaching the hand that’s dealt.”

Calipari’s hand has a lot of aces, and he’s facing the annual question of how many will still be there after the NBA draft. Julius Randle, playing for the title in the Dallas area he calls home, seems the most likely to make the jump.

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Beshear says Kentucky deserves Rupp Arena money

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - If Kentucky taxpayers paid $75 million for the University of Louisville’s basketball arena, they should do the same for the University of Kentucky, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said Monday before boarding a plane to watch Kentucky play for the NCAA championship in Dallas.

“Lexington and the Wildcats deserve no less than Louisville and the Cardinals,” Beshear said.

The KFC Yum! Center, home to the University of Louisville’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, opened in 2010 with the help of $75 million in state-backed bonds. But this year, state lawmakers declined to give the city of Lexington $65 million in state-backed bonds to renovate Rupp Arena, where the Kentucky men’s basketball team plays its regular season home games.

Beshear said he is pushing legislators to include the money before it adjourns for the year on April 15. But it appears the Republican-controlled state Senate does not agree.

Lexington owns Lexington Center, which includes Rupp Arena and a convention center. The city has not released detailed financing plans for the renovation, which would include building a new convention center and updating Rupp Arena’s amenities without increasing the seating capacity.

Susan Straub, spokeswoman for Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, said the city has not released the project’s financing plan because University of Kentucky officials have asked them not to. She said the Senate leadership has seen the information.

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UAW to hold strike vote in Bowling Green

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) - An auto workers union has scheduled a vote over whether to authorize a strike at the Bowling Green General Motors Assembly Plant.

United Auto Workers 2164 will hold the ballot Tuesday. Union President Eldon Renaud told The Daily News (http://bit.ly/1jVWO2Ahttp://bit.ly/1jVWO2A ) that the issues involved deal with safety and the elimination of certain quality control positions, which the union thinks affects the integrity of the plant’s quality procedures. Renaud would not provide further details.

“In this day and age, that is what unions have,” Renaud said. “Improving production and quality. That is what we bank on.”

Renaud said the 800 or so union workers have from noon until 6:30 p.m. to cast their ballots.

The vote comes just weeks after the retirement of plant manager Dave Tatman on March 1. His replacement was named before most employees knew Tatman was leaving. Jeff Lamarche was named to the post in mid-February, with his official start date at Tatman’s departure.

The plant was closed for more than a year, gearing up and retooling for production of the Stingray that has been on showroom floors since last fall.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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