Nolan Smith, In Your Face

I trust I’m not the only one more than a might miffed at the chutzpah of Nolan Smith. And scratching my head.

On, no less,  just about the fourth anniversary of the moment when he flipped U of L the bird, and headed off to fame and, yes, fortune, and a title as a Devil in Blue.

Now, he’s back — somebody please explain to me why? — for an appearance at a faux Cordish sports bar downtown to . . . uh . . . well . . . to tell Louisvillians how much he really loves us and Louisville and the Cardinals. To share that he’s even contemplating wearing his dad’s Cardinal jersey underneath his cap and gown during his graduation from  . . . Duke.

Yo, dude, don’t bother. Your dad, who came to town a country bumpkin with game and all his earthly belongings in a paper bag — literally — left, beloved, a man and national champion. He didn’t give an itshay about Duke, to use the pig Latin he and pal Wiley used to communicate on the court.

And, young Nolan, neither do we.

You could have shown your love and respect for your dad and his legacy by leading his alma mater — also that of your mom and sister — back to hallowed status of national champ. But . . . you didn’t.

And, don’t give me that didn’t want to play in the shadow his dad crap. Didn’t bother Luke Walton. Or that Sullinger lad up at Ohio State. Besides Nolan’s better than his dad.

Of course, the tale of Mr. Smith Goes to Durham is certainly as sordid as we skeptics have come to expect of college hoops recruiting. Calls to local Louisville businessmen, looking for his AAU coach — later his step dad — to “be taken care of.” The Rick, cocky and inept as ever at closing a recruiting deal at Louisville, eschewing the help of the two members of the Card family who could have reeled in the “lock.”

I mean, the kid was what we, back at the frat house, called a legacy.

So, anyway, Nolan, you’re supposed to be making that appearance downtown right about now. Sorry, fella, not going to make it. I’m having a root canal. Yeah, that’s it, that’s the ticket, I’m having a root canal. Carry on without me, wayward son.

Oh yes, Nolan, one more thing, be sure to slam the door behind you when you leave town.

– Seedy K


  1. Tim Schooler
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Many Duke grads/attendees are similarly inclined to be arrogant dirtbags who look with incredulity on those who call them on it.
    Bravo, Seedy K!

  2. flubby
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Implying Nolan Smith lacks love and respect for his father is flat out wrong. Nolan Smith is his own man. I have enough esteem for his father–my all time favorite Cardinal–to respect Nolan’s choice of college. Nolan grew up close to the Duke program because of his family’s relationship with Johnny Dawkins. His decision not to attend Louisville wasn’t motivated out of any ill-will towards us and I won’t insult his father’s memory by speaking ill of his son. It will be easier to hate Duke again now that he’s gone.

  3. Phil
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I agree CD. I read of the ” meet and greet” in the paper and had to scratch my head. Nolan, you seemed like a good kid, but spare us the maudlin crap. You didn’t play high school or college ball here, so I don’t consider you to be associated with either the city or the university any more than I do DeJuan Wagner.
    But CD, maybe you wrote a piece on it and I missed it, but what’s the story on the botched recruiting of Nolan?

  4. Seedy K
    Posted April 22, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    1) I didn’t for a second mean to imply that Nolan lacks love and respect for his father. If I gave that impression, my apologies to any offended.

    2) I have been asked by my editor not to go into detail of the story I heard from someone involved regarding requests made during the recruiting process. Sorry. I know that’s a tease, but it’s all I can say.

    3) I’m sure the allure of playing at Duke enticed both Nolan and his mother. But . . .

    4) . . . I’m advised that Nolan was always intent on coming to Louisville, but that the two connections here that were Louisville’s “Johnny Dawkins”-type parental figures, were pushed aside by Pitino during the recruiting process. At which point, Duke became more of a factor and the eventual beneficiary of Nolan’s services.

  5. Jason Puckett
    Posted April 23, 2011 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    I’ll be honest: I still have a hard time comprehending why some U of L fans take/took it as such an afront and personal insult that Nolan went to Duke.

    Of course it wasn’t hard for Sullinger or Walton, their dads are ALIVE. They didn’t watch their beloved father die in front of them at age 10, and could go to UCLA and The Ohio State and not be reminded of the most painful moment of their life multiple times a day.

    I would have loved to have had him here both because of his name and his game, but do any of us TRULY know where his head and heart were/are regarding his father’s death?

    His father is a legend here, and was grateful for how his experience at U of L affected his life in such a positive way. However, that doesn’t mean his son, being his own person, is beholden to or owes the University of Louisville a darn thing.

    Ultimately, people REALLY need to get over it.

  6. Tim Schooler
    Posted April 23, 2011 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    My point, which is what I believe C.D. was implying, is that by choosing to attend Duke, he cut any ties he had to Louisville and his father’s legacy and therefore why would he come here for a personal appearance? Why should any Card fans show him any love?

  7. Seedy K
    Posted April 23, 2011 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I don’t think he was beholden at all. And your points, Jason, are well taken. Duke is hard to turn down.

    As I understand it, he was ours. Until Pitino blew it. And Duke came up with something to satisfy step dad. That’s what bugs me.

  8. cbcard
    Posted April 23, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Nolan was sitting near me for the first half of the Derby Classic and was extremely gracious in signing autographs and posing for pictures. Of course I suspect he signed them “Benedict Arnold.”

    If he wanted to go to Duke, that was his call. But to come here professing love is rubbing salt in a lot of wounds. Tacky, tacky, tacky.

  9. fred
    Posted April 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Truth be told, I can’t begrudge Nolan Smith for going to Duke. If you look at their program over the past 25 years, if you can separate Duke the school from Duke the Blue Devils, there are significant educational advantages to be found in Durham. All that said, I don’t understand this visit either. Nolan Smith has NO ties to Louisville and I can’t really see where he ever had any.I also don’t understand, unless it’s that Dookie arrogance showing through, why he would think we care. His father was a legend and a fond memory for all Cards fans. He’s not.

  10. David
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Luke Walton went to Arizona. Bill went to UCLA. I fail to see the comparison. Rant FAIL.

  11. Seedy K
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Oops. Good point. My mistake. Bad mistake. 

    It was this crazy weird season that has me off my feed. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    But, I stand by my rant. I don’t wish Nolan Smith ill. I simply don’t understand a personal appearance here with all this I love Louisville crap. It doesn’t sit well with me obviously.

    Thanks for the correction. 

  12. cbcard
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Hey Fred:

    Bettcha Luke didn’t show up in LA to sign autographs and profess his love for the City of Angels.

    That sir is the pisser.

  13. J J
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    ^^^^^^ WHAT HE SAID.^^^^^^

  14. WestPointCard
    Posted April 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I love the Cards, wish Nolan would have played ball for them, but don’t hold any hate for him going to Duke. I hope Nolan does well.

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