Shortly before his formal induction into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday night, Keith Bogans recalled, perhaps, the least heroic moment in his Kentucky career. And how Alan Cutler of Lexington television station WLEX called him on it.
"He said I was pouting (because) Tubby wasn't playing me," Bogans said. "He even had a clip of me sitting on the bench pouting."
More than a decade later, Bogans still looks at that clip from time to time.
So, was he pouting because then-UK Coach Tubby Smith took him out of a game?
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"Yes, I was," Bogans said. "If you'd ask me 15 years ago, I would have said (Cutler) was lying. I wasn't pouting and he was picking on me.
"But when I look at that tape today, I was pouting (pause) like a big baby about playing time. About Tubby snatching me out of the game."
Bogans spoke to reporters in a hotel lobby before joining this year's other inductees into UK's Hall. About to begin his 12th NBA season, he's far removed from the self-absorbed young man pouting on the UK bench. At age 34, he's something of a basketball elder statesman.
"I don't know how this came about, but a lot of guys look up to me," he said. "It's easy for me to coach them and grab them by the shoulder and tell them what's going on. ...
"I think they realize I put the work in. I don't short-cut anything. I go to the gym. I work out every day."
Bogans expressed surprise at being a member of the UK Hall.
Indeed, it's easy to forget he ranks fourth on the program's career scoring list. No Kentucky guard has scored more points than Bogans' 1,923.
"I don't really embrace it that much," he said of his gaudy point total. He noted that he played four seasons, while some players further down the list played only three.
Consistent production marked Bogans' career. He is one of only three UK players to average double-digit points in each of four seasons. The others; Rick Robey and Alex Groza.
"I like to be remembered as more the guy I was when I played here ... ," he said. "I had ups. I had downs. I think my four years here helped groom me into the man I am today. I'm able to take things on the chin."
In a gray suit, Bogans looked noticeably thinner and fitter than in his UK playing days (1999-2003). He said he weighed about 25 pounds less than he did as a college player.
"I'm being in shape serious now," he said. "If I'm not in shape, I can't play. I can't chase a 20-year-old guy around."
Only the night before Bogans learned that he had been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, his 10th team in 12 NBA seasons, and maybe his best chance to win a championship that eluded him as a pro and college player.
Bogans sounded intrigued, but wary. "I don't know what's going on ... ," he said before labeling a move from Boston to Cleveland as "another stop on my journey."
By Saturday, the talk was of the Cavs trading Bogans to Philadelphia. A championship, which Bogans called "the ultimate goal," seemed again to remain missing from his basketball résumé.
An ill-timed injury stymied Bogans from his best chance at winning a championship. As a senior, he sprained an ankle in a Sweet 16 game against Wisconsin in 2003. Limping noticeably, he wasn't his usual self in Kentucky's Elite Eight loss to Marquette, the game Dwyane Wade posted a triple-double (29 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists).
"I always say to myself, if I didn't twist my ankle, we probably win a championship," he said. "That's what I always say in my mind."
As a former standout player for Duke, Chris Duhon seemed like a good person to ask what motivated Mike Krzyzewski to coach Team USA in recent Olympic and World Games. That became an issue recently, especially in Kentucky, when it was revealed that John Calipari complained about Krzyzewski gaining a recruiting advantage by associating with NBA players.
This pot-calls-kettle-black revelation followed a column by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports which accused Krzyzewski of blatantly using the Team USA position to enhance Duke's recruiting.
Duhon, who was one of the speakers at last weekend's Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches annual clinic, noted that Krzyzewski considered taking an NBA head coaching job in the past. If memory serves, he was a prime candidate for openings with the league's two most storied franchises, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.
"I think this gives him an opportunity to kind of fulfill that dream in a way, as far as coaching NBA players and how he'd fare," Duhon said of Krzyzewski coaching Team USA's pros. "I think it's more for him personally than it is to try to get an edge."
When asked what it was about coaching NBA players that appealed to Krzyzewski, Duhon said there might be a competitive urge to prove skeptics wrong.
"I'm pretty sure he's had doubters, and he's seen a few college coaches who haven't had success (when they) make that jump," Duhon said. "... This kind of gives him that opportunity to do it, and still do what he really loves the most, which is being at Duke."
Pan Am Coach Cal?
It took a fifth or sixth reading of the syracuse.com story about Jim Boeheim defending Mike Krzyzewski to zero in on this nugget: "Boeheim said (John) Calipari has agreed to coach the United States Pan-American team next year."
Huh? If true, won't Calipari have to be careful to avoid even the appearance of using the Pan Am Games as a recruiting tool for Kentucky?
Craig Miller, the chief media/communications officer for USA Basketball, could not confirm that Calipari — or anyone else — will be the Team USA coach for the next Pan Am Games.
"I've not heard anything and I'm not expecting to make any kind of coaching announcement for the Pan Ams anytime soon," Miller wrote in an email message. "Normally, when we announce the coaches for our teams, we try to announce the assistants and head coach at one time. Plus any selections for our teams need various approvals, and I'm sure we're not close to even beginning that yet."
It's not a certainty that NBA players will make up the Team USA for the 2015 Pan Am Games. In 2011, the U.S. Pan Am team had players and coaches mostly from the NBA's developmental league. But that might not be the case next year.
"In 2007, it was held in July so college players were used," Miller wrote. "With the timing being July for the 2015 Pan Ams, I'd assume it will again be college coaches/players, but that still is to be determined."
Duke or UK
As a highly regarded high school prospect in the late 1990s, Chris Duhon had a final recruiting list of Kentucky, Duke, Texas, Notre Dame and LSU.
"Tubby (Smith) came to my house," he said of UK's coach at the time. "I was in communication with him constantly. It was between Duke and Kentucky."
Duhon intended to delay his college choice until after making all campus visits.
"You know what, it was really close," he said, "and I was going on my official visit to Duke. And, actually, Kentucky was the next week. The goal was not to commit during either visit.
"But when I was there (at Duke), it just felt right."
Duhon committed to Duke on the visit.
Duke answered his questions about the star guard already there, Jason Williams, who arrived the year before. Duhon wondered if he'd have to sit the bench at Duke. Duhon was told he and Williams could play together.
Duke had a recruiting advantage. "Kind of a small college," Duhon said. "I went to a small high school."
Williams and Duhon became 1,000-point scorers for Duke: 2,079 points for Williams; 1,268 for Duhon.
When his NBA career ended, Duhon tried broadcasting before deciding on a coaching career. He is beginning his coaching career this season as an assistant for first-year Marshall coach Dan D'Antoni. He cited Stan Van Gundy (his coach with the Orlando Magic) and D'Antoni (an assistant when he played for the Lakers and Knicks) as influences.
Duhon's immediate objective as a novice coach: work hard, learn, improve.
Jim Griesch, RIP
Jim Griesch, once a colorful member of the Kentucky media corps, died on Sept. 18. He was 71.
Griesch's sportswriting career included stops in Madisonville, London and, perhaps most notably, The Cats' Pause.
With the latter, he made no apologies for his brazen pro-UK views. His full-page columns contained no quotes and conceded no ground to those who did not fall in line under the UK banner. Press row wits referred to these weekly manifestos as the "Griesch-ian formula."
Griesch flashed his own wit when he began referring to Billy Reed, a columnist who dared to question UK, as "Billy Reed-iculous."
I happened to be standing next to Griesch on the Commonwealth Stadium sideline in the final minutes of the 1985 Kentucky-Tennessee football game. With Tennessee finishing up a 42-0 victory. UT fans waved orange and white pom poms in unison as they sang Rocky Top.
"How would they like it if we went to Knoxville and burned down Stokely?" Griesch grumbled. It was a reference to Stokely Athletic Center, where the Vols then played home basketball games.
Once, as we chatted before UK played some now-forgotten opponent in Rupp Arena, Griesch expressed disgust with one of the "zebras" assigned to the game. "Let's go down the shorter list," I suggested. "What referees do you like?" A you-got-me smile crossed his face.
Griesch retired several years ago. Press row hasn't been the same without him.
His obituary, which appeared in The Herald-Leader last Sunday, said that expressions of sympathy may go to Paralyzed Veterans of America, 1030 Goss Ave., Louisville 40217.
Kansas City stars
In urging readers to root for the Royals to make baseball's playoffs for the first time since 1985, syndicated columnist Norman Chad saluted Kansas City.
"Ernest Hemingway, after high school, briefly worked as a cub reporter at the Kansas City Star, and Harry S. Truman, after high school, briefly worked in the mailroom of the Kansas City Star," Chad wrote. "Can any other newspaper claim a Nobel Prize-winning novelist and a two-term U.S. president?"
Then Chad added parenthetically, "Almost as impressively, USA Today once ran a full-color weather map and Larry King's weekly column at the same time."
To Jeff Sheppard. The Most Outstanding Player of the 1998 Final Four turns 40 on Monday. ... To Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. He turned 21 on Friday. ... To Kevin Stallings. The Vanderbilt coach turns 54 on Wednesday. ... To Ronnie Lyons. He turns 62 on Tuesday. ... To Cliff Berger. He turned 68 on Thursday.