Former Kentucky player and assistant coach Scott Padgett treated us to many great stories this morning on KSR, but the funniest may have been how John Calipari had a baby bottle made for DeMarcus Cousins during the 2009-10 season. Padgett, an assistant coach at Kentucky that year, said that whenever DeMarcus whined or complained during practice (which happened a lot), Cal would yell for the assistants to “get him his bottle.”
“If you see the transformation that guys like that that were a little rough around the edges have made — I can remember [DeMarcus] Cousins being in practice and throwing tantrums to the point that Cal had a baby bottle made up and said, ‘Give him a bottle.’ I mean, he didn’t ever give him the bottle, but he had it made up and it was kind of funny. ‘Get him his bottle! He’s acting like a child!’”
Padgett said Cal’s ability to get guys like DeMarcus, who are used to getting their way based solely on talent, to listen is one of his best traits as a coach.
“You guys see Cuz still gets some technicals and things like that, but the real amazing thing is to see how far they’ve come, and I think it started with their time at Kentucky because Cal was always talking about the things you have to do moving on in life to be successful. I think they’ve done a great job with those guys. You don’t see very many guys come from there and get in trouble afterwards, and that’s rare with the one-and-done guys because 19-year-olds all of a sudden become millionaires. A lot of times, that becomes trouble.”
“It’s part of the testament to Cal and his staff. They’ve recruited great talents, but they’ve recruited good kids and I think that’s part of the reason the kids have been willing to accept certain roles even though they’re all stars when they get there.”
I’d love to see if that baby bottle is still around the Joe Craft Center. Listen to Padgett do his best Calipari impression in the clip below: