Beyond the Box Scores

When a Hometown Hero Leaves

By: Derek Forrest
By: Derek Forrest

Its been a while since Kentucky basketball has been on the proverbial national title map, so is it ok to lose a little bit of the Kentucky tradition in order to win?

The inevitable may be just around the corner. Former Paintsville Tiger and current Kentucky guard Landon Slone may be out at the University of Kentucky.

With the hiring of John Calipari from Memphis, Kentucky has completed a massive overhaul of talent and now look like they are ready for a run at the national title.

But at what expense?

Calipari has always been a coach that could go out and get "the best of the best." He did it at UMass, did it at Memphis and once again, did it at UK.

Several months back, when the announcement was made that Coach Cal was the new head man, I mentioned to Jeff and Brian in the sports office one day, that I wondered how Kentucky fans would react if Calipari won a national title without anyone from Kentucky on the roster. (And yes I know Darius Miller is on the team.)

The one thing that I have realized from my time in the bluegrass is that true Kentucky fans love to see their own in Kentucky blue, especially if that young man hails from the mountains. Well, Landon Slone come from one of the more prominent high school basketball programs in the mountains, in Paintsville.

Slone made the team this past year as a walk on, and every time he walked onto the court received a huge and overwhelming response from the crowd.

For most observers they felt that Slone was just one of them living out a childhood dream, and he gave younger ball players the hope that they could one day wear the Kentucky blue.

Once Calipari was named the head coach, most college basketball people new that most of the guys on the roster had spent their final games on the Kentucky floor during the 2008-09 season.

The one thing I have wondered since Calipari's news conference is; Are Kentucky fans willing to sacrifice not having a local talent on the team like Landon Slone in order to win a national title?

Yes, in sports the ultimate goal is to win, but is it ok to win if there is no hometown hero to relate it to.

Its been a while since Kentucky basketball has been on the proverbial national title map, so is it ok to lose a little bit of the Kentucky tradition in order to win?

I would love to hear all of your thoughts.

- Rock

Read More Blogs
Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus

WKYT

2851 Winchester Rd. Lexington, Ky 40509 859-299-0411 - switchboard 859-299-2727 - newsroom
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability
Gray Television, Inc.