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John Calipari Ripped Up Bam Adebayo’s Scholarship


Similar to guys like Kevin Knox, PJ Washington, and Hamidou Diallo, Bam Adebayo struggled with an NBA decision last year.

He saw a late surge in the season, and at times, was one of the most dominant low-post players in the SEC. But he had many holes in his game, and genuinely loved his time at UK. Many reports said Adebayo went back and forth on whether to return to Kentucky for a sophomore season or enter the draft, and ultimately, he decided he was ready for the NBA.

But that choice may have been made for him by head coach John Calipari.

When I asked him on Friday night following Miami’s game against the Knicks, Adebayo said Coach Cal wanted him to provide for his family.

He ripped up my scholarship for sure,” Adebayo said with a laugh. “He said this is your life, I want you to take care of your family. I took the time and thought about it, and made the jump.”

Malik Monk also said in Calipari ripped up his scholarship last offseason in an interview.

When it comes to current NBA decisions for guys on the team, Adebayo had one word of advice: If you’re wanting to make a jump, you better be ready for the grind.

“Going from playing 33 games to 82 is a big jump. You have to take care of your body,” he said. “If you have confidence in yourself, if you believe in yourself, and you have people in your circle that are going to be honest with you, that’s your choice.”

As far as his time at Kentucky goes, Adebayo says he loved every second he was in Lexington, and if you work hard, it’ll pay off with an NBA paycheck.

“It’s one of the top schools in the country. Just how many dudes we have in the NBA, we know Cal does his thing. We work hard for it, and it pays off in the end.”

Check out my entire interview with Bam below:

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Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

31 responses to “John Calipari Ripped Up Bam Adebayo’s Scholarship”

  1. CatstopWontstop

    There are various reasons why a large segment of UK fan’s are getting a bit worn down on the current system Calipari has brought to UK. Now, before I continue let me assert that I am overall happy with the success and am in no way advocating we replace Coach Cal.

    This specific article really does burn me out though. How many others considered a return to have Cal tell them to go. We may never know, and obviously Bam is doing well in the NBA, but Dakari? Teague? Monk has struggled this year (until literally this week), would one more year in Lexington not have helped him, and certainly helped this year’s team?

    Who knows…but this is the system we have, and we get to go to final fours consistently, and have a potential to bring home a banner most years so I guess we live with it.

    1. KYcats11

      Yes, but he didn’t push out dakari or teague.

    2. BBNDan7

      Monk struggled because their coach wouldn’t play him until Michael Carter-Williams bum butt got hurt.

    3. Cokely53

      This I coming days after an article where Cal tried to convince Knox to stay. Monk wasn’t the one who Cal “pushed” out. Yes it gets old seeing guys leave only after a year but are we supposed to cheer for them to be good but not great so they have to come back? because the really good ones aren’t coming back. It’s not our system, it’s the culture of college and pro basketball right now.

    4. terwilliger

      I think the frustration of some fans lies in the fact that a lot of these players leave after having subpar seasons. Like they can’t shoot, or they have problems with turnovers that they never fix, or can’t guard the pick and roll, or whatever. But then they get to the league and in two or three years they are dominating. That’s frustrating for fans.

    5. JoeMoney333

      I mean he does this for kids who are poor. Knox could literally afford to come back for another year and Calipari tried to pitch that idea. Bam and others come from such poverty that NBA will change their entire families lives in ways nothing else will. Those kids can’t risk coming back.

  2. Han

    For the people who get mad about this story, look up Dajuan Wagner to see why Cal does this.

    1. JusSayin

      Exactly. Dajuan is at for life because he left. He stays one year longer injuries derail his career.

  3. calfanboymafia

    Please stop defending every thing Cal does .. All coaches make lots of mistakes.. Advising these players to go to the NBA after 1 season is fine.. Ripping the scholarship up is way over the line!!! If he tells a kid he should go the player should be able to make his own decision..Cal deserves heat for this .He says all the time he just gives them all the information they need ..This deserves alot of press

    1. Cokely53

      Just because your old coach hired strippers doesn’t mean you have to get all pissy about ours. It was a gesture and didn’t mean he couldn’t come back. #FakeNews move on

    2. Perry1987

      @calfanboymafia, You cant be serious? I highly doubt Cal “rips” anyones scholarships up.
      I think it pretty obivious that by saying this its just a way for Bam to say that Cal was encouraging him and telling him it was his time to go pro, to support his family, fulfill his dream, where as Bam and his mother needed the monetary gain.

    3. Perry1987

      Do you really think Cal “rips” up anyones scholarships? Cmon, we cannot be this nieve…..

  4. calfanboymafia

    Its amazing the support Cal gets every other Coach would be killed by the fans for this!!

    1. 4everUKblue

      Well Slater is back under a new name, it was just a matter of time before the top nutcase returned.

    2. Cletis75

      Wrong! Coach K will copy this in the next couple of years and be a genius for it!

  5. JTA

    And the next season with Marcus Lee as our best post option made it all worth it.

  6. calfanboymafia

    Didnt Bam say he actually ripped it up?

    1. 4everUKblue

      Glad you’re back Slater, haven’t had nearly the laughs since you disappeared. Cant hide behind a new name.

    2. catsarerunnin

      Slater did mommy help come up with your new ID??

    3. catsarerunnin

      Didn’t you say NIT Slater??

  7. chris43

    PJ Washington def doesn’t need to be pushed out! He’s by no means ready. I love his potential but let’s be honest at the moment he plays bully ball which won’t work at 6’7 in the NBA. He has a lot of areas to improve in before leaving.

  8. TBW3011

    Are we sure it was his scholarship and not Cal’s Inbounds Play Defense and Offense playbook? He appears to have lost it somewhere in the last 10 years.

  9. BPatte

    The transfers bother me much more than the guys going to the NBA. Matthews, Witjer, and many more. Are their scholarships getting ripped up forcing them to leave?

    1. Cokely53

      You do know EVERY school has transfers. Duke probably has more than us. Sometimes the fit just isn’t right.

  10. Atg2112

    I cannot believe how many people took this literally. As if there’s one, and only one, piece of paper that says scholarship and Cal literally ripped up said piece of paper, destroying all evidence that Bam ever played at UK.

    1. Cryingtheblues

      Destroying all evidence Bam played at UK? Dude are you serious with that comment?? That’s as stupid of a comment I’ve ever heard in my life!!

    2. Cryingtheblues

      Atg2112, my apologies I misread your comment.

    3. Cryingtheblues

      Atg2112,My apologies I misread your comment!

    4. Cryingtheblues

      My apologies! I misread your comments!

  11. futrelljr

    They have lifetime scholarships according to Cal. Don’t think he really ripped them up.

  12. Alleykat16

    I can not believe the people that has actually thought that Cal is ripping up a scholarship. Its a metaphor, as saying your no longer need to be here. Kicking the baby bird out of the nest cause its ready to fly. I love my state but some times some people are just stupid