It only looks awkward because you can’t hear the KC & JoJo playing in the background.
Marcus Camby recently spoke on how it’s sometimes awkward to think that Calipari, his former college coach at UMass, is now coaching the team that beat the Minutemen in the 1996 Final Four. “[It’s] a tough pill to swallow. … Probably the run we had going all the way to the Final Four and eventually losing to Kentucky. And now fast forward 20 years and Calipari’s coaching Kentucky, so it’s a tough pill for me to swallow.”
That’s an understandable conflict for Camby, who went on from UMass to have a successful NBA career that he’s still enjoying as part of the New York Knicks. But while he’s still maybe a little salty with Kentucky after almost twenty years, would he consider coming to coach here? Apparently, he and Cal have had conversations like that before, even if they never explicitly mentioned Kentucky:
“I talk to Cal all the time. I just talked to him a couple days ago. He wants my advice. He always told me whoever retires first, the other one has to come work for the other one so he’s probably going to have a longer tenure than I am but it’s always good to see him and catch up.”
Playing careers have a way of ending long before coaching careers, and Camby has been in the League for a long time. Even though he’s currently with the Knicks this season, there’s no telling what next season could bring. And while anybody who likes Cal will wish Camby as many more years in the NBA as he can get, you have to figure that the player will retire before the coach, right?
So if that happens, would he come and coach at Kentucky? Kenny Payne had a couple losses to the Cats in the 80s, but that didn’t stop him from coming over, right? And if Camby does decide to suit up in Rupp, how great would that be as a recruiting tool for future big men? Like Rod Strickland is a great asset for mentoring point guards, Camby would be a great guy to have on the bench, and in home visits, for talented big men.
So enjoy your NBA career, Marcus Camby. We hope it’s got many more years left. But, whenever you decide to retire… well we’d be happy to have you in Lexington.