Thursday, October 1, 2009

Giddens reacts to fight


— News of last week’s disputes between football players and basketball players at Kansas University struck a chord with second-year Boston Celtics guard J.R. Giddens, who was stabbed in the calf after getting mixed up in an early-morning fight outside a Lawrence bar his sophomore year at KU.

“When you’re at a university and you’re a young kid, obviously you’re going to make some mistakes,’’ Giddens told the Boston Globe. “And I’m a person that’s made my own mistakes. So hopefully they learn from that and they make better decisions next time.”

Giddens was on crutches for weeks, and eventually he came to an agreement with coach Bill Self to transfer to New Mexico.

“I learned there’s a way that you should and shouldn’t act,” Giddens said. “That could have been the end of my career. So it kind of made me want to be wise about the decisions I made.”


b_asinbeer 10 years, 4 months ago

Are you kidding me? I know it's a story pulled from another paper, but drop it already!

Billy Derringer 10 years, 4 months ago

JR was recruited by roy yes--and i give him props for turning his game and life around

Jeff Schartz 10 years, 4 months ago

I second the motion! Drop it! The university is trying to move on from an event that we all agree is embarrassing, and LJW perpetuates the grief! MOVE ON!

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 4 months ago

I don't think that Giddens' agreement with Coach Self was that Giddens' would play for New Mexico. I got the feeling that it was more of an agreement that Giddens' would not play for Kansas anymore.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 4 months ago

I love this website as a chance for a transplanted Jayhawks to keep up with second home. But I agree...clicking on the URL for this story was 2 seconds of my life I'll never have back.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 4 months ago


Luke Axtell couldn't care less what happened between players. Nor could Alex Galindo Chris Padgett Micah Downs Nor could...........

Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 4 months ago

and JR's stabbed leg came at the hands of a guy at a bar....not a football player. and that incident had nothing to do with a feud, or dispute with any member of another sports team.

I's apples and oranges...time to just shut up about it, LJW.

KUFan90 10 years, 4 months ago

I think Gale Sayers got a speeding ticket when he played for KU. I'll be he's sorry and glad he turned his life around...and hopes these young kids that were involved in this incident have learned a similar valuable lesson.

Who else can we interview about this...

wtarush 10 years, 4 months ago

Continuing to comment (as I am at this very moment in hopes to encourage others not to) on this event is only prompting more stories about a dead topic. It was a fight... over a girl... Must be the first time in the history of the world, right? Wrong, if it hasn't happened to the male poster on here its because you haven't known a girl worth fighting for. Its OVER and all involved are still good kids and still Jayhawks!

Ted Hume 10 years, 4 months ago

JR was an ok kid (no pun intended), and the sad truth that many of you probably remember is that his "decision" to transfer was really based on Rush suddenly becoming available, and BS realized it was an opportunity to upgrade his wing, based on JR's limited role (practically only back-door oops and threes). Rush was the reason he was asked to transfer. The fight was just an excuse.

OCJHAWK 10 years, 4 months ago

The reason for this story is you have 12 comments on it versus zero for the rest of todays stories so far. I bet most that read this story haven't even opened up the others yet.

Joel Hood 10 years, 4 months ago

Who's Chris Padgett? I believe you meant David Padgett... ;-)

Seriously, JR Giddens??????? C'mon LJW... Now you are shamelessly trying to sensationalize this story. Whoever the cub reporter is that wrote this should have been reprimanded for the idea by one of the senior editors.

Oh wait , I see. Gary Bedore must have had the night off and Keegan must still be pissed about being slammed by so many posters last week when he tried to gin up a story about black kids using the N-word.

TrueBlue92 10 years, 4 months ago

Maybe next they could interview a Wrestler or a Mixed Martial Arts pro to get "the other side of the story for journalistic balance"?

Chris Shaw 10 years, 4 months ago

Jeez! You guys are ruthless on here. Cut Giddens some slack. Like he said, "He made some mistakes" and he has admitted those mistakes. Apparently, he did get his act together, but let's not let this day be "Trash Gidden" day just because you want to. Cut the guy a little slack. I would hate to see the comments if he had taken a different prospective.

rawkhawk 10 years, 4 months ago

I am glad that JR had a turn-around. I know he made a lot of folks in New Mexico proud.

Is it Late Night yet?

KUbsee69 10 years, 4 months ago

memhawk ... why is Luke Axtell on your list? Does not seem to fit with the rest.

RockChalkGuy 10 years, 4 months ago

kushaw: you may want to re-read the posts. Most of them are addressing the senseless drubbing that this non-story is getting at the hands of; it really doesn't have much to do with Giddens. I like the guy, wish him well, and am glad that he's seen the err of his ways.

100 10 years, 4 months ago

John Calipari Twitter Page (Oct 1,2009):

I've always enjoyed watching JR Giddens play. Luckily for me, he didn't sign with me at Memphis & decided to go play for Roy Williams. There are bars down there in Memphis where much worse could have happened. As for our current Kentucky Tiger workouts at the local bar we got caught here in Lexington, he would be an absolute dream -- no one stabs anybody, its all about giving things to my student athletes!

Go big Turquoise you Insane Kitty-Tigers! (please, if you are an NBA owner, get me out of this town as soon as possible, I've put in my time already -- it is like being a rat in a prison cell made of drunk one toothed humans)

Coach each job like it will be your next!


Coach Cal

NOTE: Above might be true, it might not

Phoggin_Loud 10 years, 4 months ago

Let's turn the page, guys. Surely there is something better to write about. This one has run it's cycle. No more fight articles, PLEASE!!!!

amw8716 10 years, 4 months ago

Funny story. Found out Gidden's cousin was cutting me hair down in Oklahoma. She called him Justin, haha. Said he is stubborn as hell and the fight was over a girl. Ultimately, the transfer to New Mexico was good for him.

Lance Hobson 10 years, 4 months ago

These events are hardly related. Giddens got mixed up at a bar with a guy who should have been in jail, and probably will be for most of his miserable little life. I still can't belive he got picked in the first round.

Blake Post 10 years, 4 months ago

How about Nebraska's Lawrence Phillips doing 10 years?
as always, nebraska just die

vmwskywalk 10 years, 4 months ago

Got picked in the first round over Chalmers.

okiedave 10 years, 4 months ago

When you have a bye week during football season and basketball season has not started, you sometimes get articles like this published in the LJW. Sad but true. It's called lazy journalism. Lots of things happening in the Big XII down here in Oklahoma that will have an impact on the Jayhawks schedule, but I guess you folks in Lawrence will not get know about them. Good move to not identify the author, its getting a little embarrassing.

100 10 years, 4 months ago

Let's review here shall we?

  1. we've had two public fights in the last 5 years, one with Roy's recruit.

  2. The first one was stupid (Giddens challenging a 5'6" Missouri Tiger at a bar who happened to have a knife).

  3. The second fight was equally selfish, involving one fist, one punch & many spectators who should've been eating dinner. The next day there was some yelling, however unfortunately for Tiger & UK fans had zero punches thrown, although they do have a supposed "push" down a couple steps to get excited about, although unfortunately for UK & MU fans, no one was hurt & no one can verify that this actually happened.

So what we have here are two stories spread 5 years apart about Tyshawn Taylor & JR Giddens, both claiming to have made the biggest mistakes of their lives, both probable 1st round picks.

Now let's look at a few recent KU ballers who didn't fight:

  1. Brandon Rush (1st round pick, one national championship ring)
  2. Darrel Arthur (1st round pick, one national championship ring)
  3. Mario Chalmers (2nd round pick, one national championship ring, starts NBA)
  4. Darnell Jackson (2nd round pick, one national championship ring, plays on Lebron's team)
  5. Sasha Kaun (2nd round pick, one national championship ring, will play with Lebron's team next year)
  6. Russel Robinson (one national championship ring, played with Lebron's team this summer, could sign and stay on as a Cav in the next week).
  7. Wayne Simien (1st round pick, 2 final fours, one championship game, one NBA championship ring, a man Naismith would be very proud of, "the heart of humanity" before all else")
  8. Paul Pierce (1st round pick, one NBA championship ring, one NBA Finals MVP award)
  9. Scot Pollard (1st round pick, one NBA championship ring)
  10. Jacque Vaughn (1st round pick, 2 NBA championship rings)

There are plenty more examples in recent times (Raef for example) or even in the past (Jo Jo, Wilt etc), but ten should be enough for our purposes.

The point here is clear & simple: live, work & play the Naismith way & you will be rewarded. Tyshawn & JR made big mistakes -- true character is tested when the sail breaks at sea & you don't have any rope.

The bigger point is obvious: fighting is as selfish as it gets -- it's like reverting back to preschool & fighting over a stack of building blocks.

Live strong, stay sharp & be a man -- you will be rewarded -- just ask two time NBA Finals MVP Jo Jo White, or ten time NBA player of the year Wilt Chamberlain -- character counts & in fact, in the end it's all we're left with.

Fans: now is a good time to have a sense of humor about all of this: when your coworkers are teasing you at the water cooler, just say, "Well we have always been the fighting Jayhawks" (of course a WW1 reference but they don't have to know this)

kugrad93 10 years, 4 months ago

100, calling Pierce, Pollard, LaFrentz and Vaughn "recent" Jayhawks is a stretch. They've all been gone at least 10 years.

waywardJay 10 years, 4 months ago

they were also NBA draft picks.... and 3 of the 4 have a ring.... and 3 of them were NBA players who had no drama in their NBA careers.... Had Paul Pierce not gotten Stabbed that woulda been 4 for 4.

waywardJay 10 years, 4 months ago

No Wait.... I remember some drama back in Paul's 3rd ish year.... NO wait that was Antoine Walker's fault.... Kentucky players always ruin it for Jayhawks :)

labbadabba 10 years, 4 months ago

memhawk - Luke Axtell transferred TO Kansas not away..

Hills_KU2007 10 years, 4 months ago

Giddens ego was his problem. Fans booed him on the court in Allen Fieldhouse and that does not happen. Although I hope he does well in the NBA and hope his ego problems are behind him, Giddens deserved everything he received while he was here, including getting his rear end kicked. Mistakes do happen but at some point you have to figure out how to learn from them. FTR…Giddens got beat up by some football team members while he was here because of his ego…let this be a lesson well learned Mr. Tyshawn Taylor.

Joel Hood 10 years, 4 months ago


What??? When was Giddens booed at AFH? I have a pretty good memory for stuff like that & I am drawing a complete blank. I can't remember any KU player getting booed at AFH. When did JR get beat up by a KU football player? Again, I can't remember any of that and this would only have been about 4 to 5 years ago.

Anyone else recall what he is talking about?

100 10 years, 4 months ago


You make a good point but keep in mind 10 years is the blink of an eye.

To me Clyde Lovellette was recent, Paul Endacott was "a few years back" & Paul Pierce is still walking off the court with a bunch of 18 year old Arizona Wildcats hugging each other like Joe DiMaggio just hit it over the wall to mercifully end the baseball season.

I suggest to you, during upsetting times like this, where a KU player has singlehandedly embarrassed our program with the help of a prematurely released story by ESPN, that now, more than ever is the time to read up on the history of what KU & it's basketball palace really is -- because we are proud that Tyshawn chose to come here -- but what he did goes directly against any sort of civility, grace, form or function that any typical Jayhawk over the years has displayed.

Has he learned? I think so -- I just wish he had made this once in a lifetime mistake in preschool or Jr. high like most of us do.

Rock Chalk, KUgrad93

Hills_KU2007 10 years, 4 months ago


JR was booed his last season here at KU. I can't remember who KU played, but it was before the stabbing incident. I was sitting in the student section and JR was 0-12 from the field and just kept shooting 3s and the fieldhouse just started booing him. Some fans were trying to get other fans to stop and it was just a huge mess. As for JR getting beat up by the football team, there wasn't as much attention as the Taylor incident (since the taylor incident happened right in front of Budig and the cops were not involved), but it happened at the jayhawk towers and Giddens got into an argument with some of the football players and they beat him up.

jcsmith 10 years, 4 months ago

Hey, LJW, Heres an idea.

How about we interview every former KU Athlete on their thoughts of the recent events.

YEA! Thats a great idea! YEA! That will take up some bandwidth on our server. YEA! Give the readers something to read. YEA! Give us columnists justification for being here.




Joel Hood 10 years, 4 months ago

Thanks Hills, I remember JR really slumping his Soph year, or at least being one dimensional and then having some really bad games. The only KU player I can recall who was publicly under fire was Chenowith. There was some controversy about all the criticism he got in the UDK Free For All.

Helen Gross 10 years, 4 months ago

Sorry, I know this is not about the stabbing, fb bb fight or an injured thumb, but what time do i need to line up for late night?

100 10 years, 4 months ago

What's amazing about JR is that as a freshman in a stagnant offense (as expected during Coaching transition year) he got us to OT in the 2004 great eight with a long bomb to tie it up against Georgia Tech, one point away from getting us to the Final Four for the 3rd year in a row.

What's missed here is how good of a player he really was as a freshman -- he was lights out with his long range shot & an incredible athlete (albeit more passive than we were used to seeing in previous teams). Keep in mind the 2004/2005 season we were preseason #1 -- He had a slight injury & his sophmore season should have worked on other aspects of his game & instead took the wrong attitude & it showed -- that's why he got booed the day he went 0-12 & that's the same selfish attitude that got his calf stabbed.

It's a team game & luckilly JR worked on his shot at New Mexico, learned how to stay out of trouble & got drafted by the Celtics to be an apprentice under one of the greatest shooters to ever play the game, Paul Pierce.

Jhawk0 10 years, 4 months ago

The game that Giddens was booed at was the loss against Curtis Stinson and Iowa State in 2005. JR went 1 for 11 behind the arc that game. What got him booed was in OT he was still jacking up 3's while our All-American Simien wasn't touching the ball.

Paul Mitten 10 years, 4 months ago

Giddens as a freshman was just as promising as Brandon Rush as a freshman.

Sigh. I guess it just wasn't supposed to happen.

wolfblanket 10 years, 4 months ago

I for one am glad that the LJWorld reminds us of this. That is how you learn lessons. And I am more appreciative of learning lessons after my recent bout with phlebitis. Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. "Beware the young doctor and the old barber." -Ben Franklin RIP This is about more than sports. The chancellor should step in and save the university's respect. We wouldn't let Fred Phelps go this far.

Bruce Brock 10 years, 4 months ago

To rockchalk1990, westtexjahawk, njjayhawk and others who consider this story a waste: Just what exactly is being wasted? Limited newpaper space? Precious ink? Rockchalk1990, as a normal human being, I'm willing to bet that, like me, you've spent a lot of more useless 2-second increments of your life. If not, maybe you're up for sainthood, or on the cusp of being the next Bill Gates, and all the rest of us 2-second time-wasters just haven't heard of you yet.

The point I'm trying to get to here is that the value of the Internet is in giving readers an unlimited amount of information from which to choose to read. Read it if you want, don't if you don't. Complaining about the information being there in the first place is pointless. Besides, as a Boston-area Jayhawk, I am interested in what JR has to say, even though I think the Celtics picking him over Mario was a painfully bad mistake. I'm also kind of pleased that JR sounds like a reasonably mature person, even if he doesn't have the ball-hawking skills of Super Mario.

I don't think the LJW, ESPN, or anybody else has overplayed the story of the running riot between Jayhawk football and basketball players. It happened, and should be reported. The news may hurt recruiting, but on the other hand the coaches and administration seem to be doing what they can to make sure the feud stops. I'm also not particularly ashamed by the behavior of a handful of high-testosterone twenty-year-olds still learning that their athletic abilities have made them public figures. They are in school for an education, after all. Going back to JR, he seems to have learned at least something during his time in Lawrence.

Most people in the world could not care less about the fights or the reporting of them. Those who do but are critical of the messenger should look up from their own navels long enough to see that the messengers are simply doing their job.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 4 months ago

Who in the *&!# cares what J.R. Giddens thinks? Seriously. So the next time someone acts does something wrong, let's get J.R. Giddens comment. Dateline, 2030, "KU player punches bar patron" -- "So, J.R., what do you think?" "Uh, you know, they be actin' wrong, and I, uh, obviously an immature thing to do. But, you know, like me bein' stabbed, bad thing to do."

What a waste of space.

TwistedFish31 10 years, 4 months ago

jayhawk252 - "...the running riot..."? You must be related to Keegan. Are you sure it wasn't a Grueling Gangfight or a Waskily War? It was some kids fighting and it's over with except for Keegan and some missery fans that don't want the story to end. I agree with most of the posters on this board...Giddens' opinion on this means nothing. And you spent a lot of time preaching against the exact same thing you were doing. If you didn't want to read the posts complaining about the didn't have to.

100 10 years, 4 months ago

One more thing: KU basketball nationally, perhaps partially through this Fighting Jayhawk mistake, will pull more fans from other markets than any other team. Kids on the East Coast who love watching Georgetown, North Carolina, St Johns or Duke, will now stay up past bedtime to catch the #1 team in the land...

"The Fighting Jayhawks"

We can thank ESPN for this (by the way SI had no mention of this dislocated thumb girlfriend story in their most recent magazine but they did mention Pearl's embarrassing moment).

So does ESPN "want" to push this story -- of course they do.

It's ratings.

Ratings means money for them.

Ratings also means recruiting for those who are lucky enough to be watched more than any other team in America, pulling together all the viewing markets in America.

ESPN, by their jumping the gun in the initial story, has given themselves a huge boost in ratings when we play -- good for them. And yes, strangely, good for us...

Martin Shupert 10 years, 4 months ago

Actually, JR should have been booed more often. Just because a player chooses to come to KU, if he ends up being uhmmm... lazy? or doesn't buy into the team concept, why should we act like he's part of the team? Yes, he was wearing our colors, but he was never committed to KU and he admits that now. Good luck to him. The thing I remember the most is Michael Lee having to push, literally push him out of the way to dive for a ball in a scrum while JR kept his balance and continued to watch. I remember actually hitting my hands on the ceiling in frustration while watching at home and then, seeing the replay of Bill Self's reaction. He was incensed and rightfully so. Again... good luck to JR, and I don't want to know what he thinks about anything having to do with the Jayhawks. He burned that bridge.

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