This past basketball season set a very weird tone around the Kentucky Basketball program. For the supporters of it, it was an amazing ride. For those that watched the team from an unbiased point of view, they witnessed the joy and passion of the Kentucky program at it’s highest (short of a National Championship.) But for those outside of the program, what began as a season of admiration quickly turned into one of jealousy that bred hatred. Once the young Wildcats became so in-your-face good that they couldn’t be denied headlines, the backlash from rivals both new and old ramped up to an intensity I had not yet witnessed in my life. Acts like Coach Cal’s Haiti Telethon and his recent charity donation of 1 million dollars to a Memphis organization were swept under the rug, in favor of rumors about the star players academics in high school and blatantly racist storylines comparing Kentucky to Cornell. With so many media members trying to drag Kentucky and their fans into their core of hatred, stories like the one David Scott tells on coachcal.com today never fail to make me proud of our coach and our players.
Scott writes in place of Coach Calipari as he is spending time with his mother Donna (whom we are all keeping in our thoughts and prayers.) He writes of Calipari’s continued dedication to the success of his players. As all five wildcats that have entered the draft prepare, each one has faced difficult challenges and a different road to take. From Cousins redefining his image to Patterson making sure GM’s don’t forget his name, they all are looking to their Coach for help as they make a huge transition from college kid to business professional. Even John Wall finds himself closer to Calipari than the media might lead us to believe. I won’t try and paraphrase David Scott’s piece, because I wouldn’t do it justice. It’s a good one and deserves a read on its own.
I’m pretty sure I got this quote from Bomani, but I can’t find it right now, so if not, I’m sorry. Still, it is an attitude that should be shared, and he said “I like Calipari, because he does right by the kids.” No matter what you may think about him, fan or not, you can’t deny he does right by the kids. And isn’t that what it should be about? When Bobby Knight is the guy on the ‘moral high ground,’ and Calipari is the center of a media witch hunt, something ain’t right.