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LSU coach Kim Mulkey questions timing of story

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LSU coach Kim Mulkey questions timing of story

ALBANY, N.Y. — LSU coach Kim Mulkey said Saturday that she probably won’t read the newspaper article over which she threatened to file a defamation lawsuit, but she did question the timing of its release.

Mulkey was the subject of a profile published Saturday in The Washington Post in which family members and former players are quoted about her personality and how she runs her basketball program.

Her father and sister are quoted as saying they have not talked to Mulkey in years while others suggest Mulkey was uncomfortable at best with the LGTBQ+ community, including some of her own players.

Days before the story was published, Mulkey had threatened to sue the newspaper for what she said would be a “hit piece.”

Instead, it was a wide-ranging profile that examined both positive and negative aspects of her life.

After her team beat UCLA 78-69 on Saturday, she responded with false surprise when a reporter told her the article had come out an hour before the game started. She had been asked about it on ESPN before tipoff.

“Imagine that,” she said. “Must have thought y’all would look at it, get some clicks or be a distraction. No, ma’am, I haven’t read it and I probably won’t read it. I probably will have my attorneys communicate with me to see if there’s anything in there that we need to be concerned about.”

The profile comes during a season when LSU opened the defense of its national title with a surprising loss to Colorado and a holiday tournament in which star Angel Reese didn’t play because of unspecified “locker-room issues” that Mulkey declined to divulge.

Reese made some general references to her mental health and not wanting her behavior to be detrimental to the team.

The Tigers bounced back to have a solid season, losing in the Southeastern Conference Tournament final to South Carolina. They entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed and are trying to become the first back-to-back champions since UConn won its fourth straight in 2016. LSU will play Caitlin Clark and top-seeded Iowa on Monday in a rematch of last year’s national title game.

While declining to speak about The Post’s article, Mulkey did defend her players against how they have been portrayed in the media, referring to a column published Friday by the Los Angeles Times in which they were called “villains” and “dirty debutantes.”

“How dare people attack kids like that,” she said. “You don’t have to like the way we play. You don’t have to like the way we trash talk. You don’t have to like any of that. We’re good with that. But I can’t sit up here as a mother and a grandmother and a leader of young people and allow somebody to say that.”

Her players praised Mulkey for letting them be themselves on and off the court, with Reese labeling herself and her teammates as “good villains” who are changing the game and supporting each other.

“That’s what we’re worried about,” she said. “Just being able to have teammates that have my back, have teammates, have coaches just have each other’s back this whole time — I don’t care what the outside thinks. I know what’s going on in that locker room.”

AP’s Doug Feinberg contributed



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