John Calipari held a press conference at 12:30 this afternoon to announce and discuss the details of his “John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience.” Calipari held court in front of the media, which included a giggling group of “print guys” who took turns cracking jokes about which television stations they were fielding calls from last night. No mention of a call from KSTV. Calipari then fielded questions on various other topics, which included the Indiana series and the future of the 6 departing players from this year’s team to the NBA.
Notes and quotes from the presser:
- “It’s always not good to see you.” Cal’s opening line elicited a chuckle from the room and he kept the room laughing off and on throughout the rest of the nearly 30 minute press conference.
On the “Fantasy Experience” and why he decided to try it at Kentucky:
“It’s been done other places. Again, I want Kentucky to be the gold standard. 80 spots available for people 35 years or older to come in and become a Kentucky basketball player. From uniforms to practice sessions to film sessions to being coached by our staff and former players here. We want to have as many former players as we can come back and be involved in the camp and experience. And then laying in Rupp Arena, to having announcers and radios, streaming the games so their families can watch them struggle up and down the court. We’ll even let the media cover the games. Maybe. (cue Jerry Tipton erupting with laughter). There’s not many places you can do these. I hate to tell ya, but we’re one of em’.”
On who will benefit from the profits made by the experience:
“We want to give back to our community and our state, different causes we are involved with.”
On whether or not he will coach a team at the “Fantasy Experience” and what his involvement will be:
“Oh yeah. I’ll be there. I’m not going to coach a team. That’s not fair. We’ll win. We’re going to do stuff at my house. There will be a function at my house where they’ll all be there. We were thinking about different ways to house them. We can’t do it on campus because of timing, but our whole staff will be involved.”
What he hopes people say in response to the experience:
“I want people to walk away saying ‘Only at Kentucky. Only at Kentucky could someone pull this off.’”
Thoughts on having 6 players in the NBA from this year’s team:
“I’ve been on the phone with different people as they workout to see how I see this thing playing out. The good news is all 6 will be drafted. It’s just a matter of where. I will be there for the draft. My hope is all 6 (will be drafted in the 1st round) but I don’t know. I would be surprised if four aren’t. The other two will have to show in their workouts.”
Thoughts on the Indiana/Kentucky series:
“I wanted to do what Bobby Knight did. He decided that the series would be neutral. And when it was, it was huge. Battle of the flags and all of those things. He was the one who made it the first neutral. I liked the idea because we had to move someone neutral. It was logical that it was them. Couldn’t find a place in Kentucky, so to make it more beneficial to them we said we’d play them 2 years in their state. We’re not having more than a 2 year contract. When we schedule, we do it for us.”
On the triple-header:
“I want to play a triple-header so bad. I want to overrun a city. I don’t know what city yet. But I want to overrun a city.”
When asked about whether or not he had talked to Joker Phillips about the triple-header:
“He just said, please not Notre Dame!”
I will have a few posts later on various other topics that Calipari went into detail about during the press conference, including his “Schedule for America!” moment. It was a classic. Stay tuned. And until then, in the spirit of talking about fantasy experiences…
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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