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Difference Between Calipari and Others…He is Real

There has been a ton written on what Kentucky’s victory would mean and the players/coaches who would be a part of the program’s eighth national championship. But as to the topic of the team’s coach, this Deadspin article on Calipari may have hit the nail on the head the best. The author notes that John Calipari is real, not messing around with the antiquated notion of what college basketball should be, but rather what it is. And in so doing, he should have everyone’s respect. Some excerpts:

You’re old enough now to know the truth. No more fairy stories about “student-athletes” (a tortured phrase Calipari refuses to use) and loyalty and preparing a teenager for manhood. Division I is a minor league and a cattle call for the NBA, and one-and-done only exists because none-and-done no longer does. Save the “shaping young men’s characters” bull for John Wooden’s condolence book. John Calipari is successful because he recruits the type of player who’s going to leave after one season. Win-and-done.

“I could bulldoze ’em, brainwash ’em and make ’em stay. I will never do it. Get another coach. Because if it were my son, I wouldn’t want my son treated that way.”

It’s telling that this is somehow a controversial statement. That the man who outright says he’s not going to stop a 19-year-old from earning the millions of dollars he’s worth is vilified. That Kentucky is referred to as “a trade school for transients,” or that terrible human Bobby Knight can claim Calipari is “lacking in integrity” and nobody bats an eye.

And then a great conclusion on how Calipari is really showing a degree of selflessness with his success:

“If we ever won a national title and no player was drafted, I would be excited for our fans, excited for our school and our program, but I’d be disappointed.”

That’s selflessness, and the words of man who’s figured out how to build a great basketball team with great players, not student-athletes. Stars come and go. By letting them go, Calipari gets them to come.

John Calipari is honest…and like lots of other honest people, truly honest people that refuse to accept the standard party line when it is clearly no longer correct, he is thus vilified. So be it…but I am glad he is on our side.

Article written by Matt Jones

36 Comments for Difference Between Calipari and Others…He is Real



  1. TigerDNA
    2:33 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Players first



  2. Another Perspective
    2:34 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    One day he will be known for who he is: a great coach and a good man.



  3. cgee
    2:34 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    hey Dan Le Batard (on his show today) said its impossible to root for kentucky cause we have lowest gpa in entire sec..is this true?



  4. The truth
    2:35 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Honesty and Hard-work will pay off tonight.

    Hanging the Banner !

    Down with Jayhawks and GO C-A-T-S !!!!!



  5. The truth
    2:36 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    #3 .. no that is not true. We have an average of between 2.8 and 3.0 That is definitely not the lowest in the SEC (should actually be in the top 5).



  6. WildcatRX7
    2:38 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I beleive we also have the highest APR.



  7. number8in12
    2:40 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    You want Championships? THIS is the way to do it!



  8. Blobby
    2:41 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    First!!



  9. Wasteful Showboat
    2:41 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Cal has figured out how to make the most of the cards he’s been dealt. You either love him or hate him and I love him.



  10. GR8TNESS
    2:43 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Dan The Bastard must be getting his faux facts from Booby Knight!



  11. AshlandCat
    2:44 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    anywhere to watch the first matchup from november?



  12. Blobby
    2:44 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    FIRST!! YES SIR. FIRST!!



  13. Cotton Nash
    2:45 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Yep. Well said. Go Cal!!! Go Big Blue!!!!



  14. cgee
    2:45 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    ty thought that was a blatent lie and him and his father were laughing having a ball while they lie about our kids gpa to make people root against us(see dan le batard show on espn if u missed it)



  15. KSR1080Fan
    2:46 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    “By letting them go, Calipari gets them to come.” #BOOM



  16. BobKYCats
    2:48 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    17th.



  17. BobKYCats
    2:48 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Damn.



  18. granny
    2:50 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I think too many people forget that Cal doesn’t necessarily recruit “one and done” players…..he develops “one and done” players! When John Wall came to UK we all thought he would be gone after his first year, but no one expected that all the rest of them would be good enough to enter the draft! He helped them reach their goal much quicker!! Great job Cal!!



  19. Chicago Chris
    2:56 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    “John Calipari is successful because he recruits the type of player who’s going to leave after one season.”

    What’s lost here is that some of these players choose to come back. It’s not fair to lump Jones and Lamb in with one-and-done players, the idea if you’re talented enought, you WILL declare after one year. Henson, Sullinger, etc., not everyone leaves.



  20. Han
    2:57 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    What Pitino said the other night, that he doesn’t think he could say goodbye to his players after 7 months, should warn every top player to stay away from him. He doesn’t think he can prepare you to go the NBA in 1 year. Cal doesn’t like the system, but he does his best to use it, and he’ll have you as ready as anyone can after 1 year.

    The other coaches will lie to you and try to play down your skill so they look better after “reigning you in and teaching you” over 2-3 years. Their one-and-dones don’t have fun, and they tend to leave as sophomores or juniors after watching their draft stock fall.

    18) I disagree on Cousins, though Cal claims no one expected it. Cousins had the skills to be drafted where he was. The question was his maturity. But you’re right, Cousins may have been a 2-3 year player elsewhere if a coach just benched him instead of working with him and helping him mature like Cal did.



  21. UKBlue
    2:58 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    That is total BS Self won coach of the year over Cal. Cal is new school & everyone else wants the current rules but still want to live in the past. If the present coaches can’t or don’t lie to recruits & players, then they have no chance of landing them.



  22. Al's IndiCats
    3:07 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I liked the article except the headline. I too thought it was all BS that Cal didn’t get COY, for we all know better. The only thing with Dan Le Batard is they omitted the letter “S” as the third letter in his last name. I think I also heard that UK had one of the top 5 in the SEC for GPA. So Ba(S)tard and his pop can go behind the water sprinkler and play “Let’s hide the Weenie”. Cats by 8 for #8. GO CATS!!!!!!!!



  23. Han
    3:08 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    21) Cal recruits so well that people decide he can’t coach, even though he’s had to replace 3+ starters each year. Meanwhile other coaches lose players early, recruit poorly, still return more players familiar with their system, and are praised to high heaven because they coached their players to a similar or weaker record than Cal (including a loss to Cal this year for Self).



  24. tzuzaki
    3:10 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I didn’t take that article as positive. It was more like, “Cal is a sleazeball who honestly admits that college athletics are sleazy.”



  25. Laughter Ensues
    3:12 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    lol, this is crazy. I suppose EVERY other coach in the history of collegiate sports has always wanted the terrible players? Maybe these idiots should be reminded that Eloy Vargas plays/sits on UK’s bench. Just because Coach Cal has the swagger to get them here? Highest GPA in the SEC must not mean anything. Let the haters hate while we hang #8!!!



  26. CAUKFAN
    3:14 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    There needs to be more people like him. Note to self, go look in the mirror.



  27. Harry O
    3:16 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    It doesn’t make any difference if it is “one & done”, “two & done”, or “three & done”, Cal will always be successful. He can play the game as long as he knows what the rules are.



  28. Big Blue Buster
    3:22 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Coach Cal is brutally honest about his program and will not lie in order to recruit the very best players.

    Give him all the credit he is due



  29. uklaw95
    3:22 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t know that student-athletes is a misnomer. 1) Wall and Knight got 4.0s and the rest (sans DO) remained eligible. 2) education takes many forms. Getting interviewed every day = communications. Learning who to trust and who to not = human relations/psychology. Working together to achieve a common goal = organizational development. These kids learn more in a year than many people learn in four.



  30. billyb
    3:35 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I didn’t like the writer referring to Cal as a “smarmy greaseball” who is involved with NCAA violations. No, he’s not.

    The writer is a smarmy greaseball coward who writes bad things about good people that are totally undocumented, and passes them off as truth. My two cents.



  31. uktennis92
    3:38 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Well the title refers to Cal as the “First Honest Pimp” and the first sentence calls him a “…smarmy greaseball” – a borderline racist comment regarding Cal’s Italian heritage. Agree with #24 not sure it’s all that flattering but I get the point that Cal’s honest with his players. Which most fans already knew. Although I’m not sure this is the article I would cite to sway anyone who is a Cal-hater that his philosophy really makes sense.



  32. Marv
    3:43 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    “Win-and-done”. I like it.



  33. Sean
    4:36 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    NY sux. Stay and be a demi-god.



  34. Lalbright
    4:47 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    You go to college to get an education to get a better paying job. The ones that get drafted are acheiving that goal. It’s simple.



  35. DTuck
    8:13 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Cal wins multiple championships this way and the NCAA will be forced to make rule changes to keep up. Getting the NBA to change their rules is a lot harder to do. Neither he or the NCAA have the leverage to do that.

    Let’s get #8!



  36. the Big Dog
    3:14 am April 3, 2012 Permalink

    Honestly, I listened to Bill Self before and after the game and he impressed the heck out of me. Easy going, soft spoken, articulate- it’s easy to see why kids want to play for him even in the middle of nowhere. Too bad he coaches at Kansas or you might even like the guy.