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John Wall: “I want Cal to get his championship”

In an interview with the Washington Post, John Wall said he’s rooting for the Cats to win tonight, not just for the team or the fans, but for Coach Cal:

I want him to get his championship. I think he’s been to the Final Four a couple of times. I think they’ve had a great season so far, so to cap it all off, it’ll be good to win a championship,” Wall said. “He never expressed it to me, but you know how much it’ll mean to your coach. Especially after the year that he lost with Derrick Rose, to lose with some free throws down the stretch. We went to the Elite Eight and last year, a team that nobody expected to go far made it to the Final Four and lost to a good UConn team. I think it’s time for him to win one. I think, third time is a charm, so hopefully he can win it.”

Wall also addressed the restless rumors that Cal may go pro after this season, and said if the Cats win, he’d put the chances at 50/50:

“I don’t know right now,” he said. “That was his dream job to coach at Kentucky, so I think he’s excited where he’s at. It’s all up to him to see what he’s going to do, but I think if he wins a championship, it’s probably a 50-50 chance, whatever he wants to do. I think he likes the college scene, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

The interview is pretty in-depth, so go check it out on this long, long day.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

49 Comments for John Wall: “I want Cal to get his championship”

  1. NBA league pass
    11:17 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    50/50? I don’t even want to think about it!

  2. Gilchrist on D
    11:19 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    where would he go, Knicks I guess. If I were Cal I would have to wait until that 2013 class comes and goes.

  3. tom
    11:21 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    real question is…who would UK get to succeed him? Don’t even want to think about it.

  4. gawdi
    11:21 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    If he stays at UK, he could seriously make a run at UCLA’s record of 11 titles, if he continues to bring in this type of recruiting class. That has to be in the back of his head somewhere

  5. Your Comment is Awaiting Moderation
    11:22 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    let’s get the title first, then we can talk

    11:24 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    He should call Pitino and discuss leaving UK????

  7. Conference Call
    11:32 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Can we not bring rumors up again for a week or so? Honestly. I don’t think he will leave for at least 3 years. That’s how long his son still has at LCA. Who want’s to take their high school freshmen out of a Christian school in Lexington, Ky to a NYC school? And money will be there in 3 years. Damn this post is killing my buzz…

  8. Peter Puffing billygoat
    11:32 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Cal is not going anywhere.. It’s ignorant to think that is even an option. Trust me.. With UK football in the crapper for the foreseeable future.. Uk can not afford to gamble with basketball.. Cal is a lifer for us..

  9. Mike
    11:34 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    3. That is a very good question….who in the world would u go after if Cal did leave??…not sure who would be at the top of my list.

  10. Jimi Garden of Eden
    11:35 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    8…I’m with you…

  11. Wartface
    11:37 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    4) You’re an idiot.

  12. Sheeeeiiit
    11:39 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    3) bill self. Ha!

  13. Richard
    11:39 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I think Woodson will coach the Knicks again next year and Cal won’t leave for another job.

  14. catfaninrockytop
    11:40 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    3. Bruce Pearl

  15. BobKYCats
    11:40 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Cal shouldn’t and probably won’t leave. He could run for governor tomorrow and win (almost) unanimously. UK will give everything to keep him, and he LOVES it here.

    Possible replacements: Jesus, Moses, et al.

  16. GoCats2
    11:40 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Obviously I am biased but he should not leave because UK fans are the only ones giving him support. IF he leaves than UK fans would drop him worse than Pitino. I dont think he could stand to be that hated.

  17. Adam
    11:48 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Rising Stars: Shaka Smart, Brad Stevens, Scott Drew
    Experienced Possibilities: Billy Donovan, Mark Few, Mark Gottfried
    UK Blood: Travis Ford, John Pelphrey, Sean Woods
    NBA fame: Stan Van Gundy, Mike D’antoni, Phil Jackson

  18. Blobby
    11:52 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Geno Auriemma.

  19. Sick of this guy.
    11:52 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Auriemma is a proven winner, and I’m sure he’d love the challenge of the men’s game.

  20. Han
    11:55 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Argh, bite your tongue with the 50/50 stuff.
    Maybe – maybe – if Washington wins the lottery and will get Davis to go with Wall, then I could see Cal considering it just because of being able to coach those two.

    Otherwise, why leave now? With what he can bring it next year and the chance to win back-to-back and cement his legacy and prove his system works regardless of whether he “lucked into” this class as some idiot sports casters are saying (Skip Bayless), he could possibly catch UCLA like he’s referenced. I think he’d like to just plain dominate college basketball for a few years. If we win this year AND sign Bazz and Noel, he’d have that chance.

  21. Uh...What?!
    11:57 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Cal isn’t going anywhere. He’s already got “the best job in the world.” Why would he want to mess with that? He already tried the NBA and it didn’t work out for him.

  22. barn
    11:58 am April 2, 2012 Permalink

    i’m not really a fan of any other coaches in particular, but gottfried is impressive as hell the way he’s recruited the 2 years he’s been at nc st. i never saw anything outstanding about him when he was at bama. he had 3 commits in the mcdonald’s game the other nite, and thus far still has the #1 class coming in.

  23. Derp!
    12:00 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    ESPN has spewed that Cal-to-go-pro garbage every year since he got here. They want him gone, so they try to force that story on us. In Cal I trust, and until I see him stand in front of the UK fans and tell us all that he is giving up the best coaching job in basketball, then I’m not buying a word of this. LET’S FOCUS ON #8!! GO CATS!!

  24. Han
    12:01 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    9) Coach O gets the first interview, in my opinion.
    Among “top tier” coaches who’ve made multiple final fours, only Matta might be available, and frankly, he’s choked.

    If you’re going to take an up-and-comer, you risk another BCG, but if you’re going to do it, might as well go with the guy who’s there next to Cal right now.

    A lot of people talk about Brad Stevens, but he’s already turned down offers, and there’s no guarantee his system would transfer to our magnifying-glass setting. Shaka is still too new. Drew hasn’t won the big game (not the title, just the big game).

    Donovan turned us down twice and chokes except for his perfect class. Few won’t leave Zaga for us and why want him? Gottfried? Really?

    Ford, Pelphrey, Woods – not happening and not enough success.

    NBA – you could probably get Van Gundy, but probably not anyone else of note. And if he couldn’t handle Dwight, what makes you think he could handle UK?

  25. Nat
    12:01 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    oh noes

  26. Guck Foodman.
    12:08 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    No need to worry about him leaving. First, I doubt he will. Second, why would he want to coach an 80 game schedule instead of 30? Lastly, UK has proven they will pay top dollar to get the best available.

    Let’s just focus on tonight, the rest will work itself out.

  27. No Way
    12:12 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I do not see Cal leaving until his son is out of college. I heard Cal speaking a couple of weeks ago saying that Brad has told him he wants to play for him at UK.

    Tell me Cal is going to leave and distroy his son’s dreams…please.

  28. No Way
    12:23 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    One more point…when the Knicks fired D’Antoni, Matt Jones tweeted out the information and said to be prepared for Cal’s name to come up for the job. WITHIN 5 minutes of Jones tweet, Cal tweets out that he IS NOT interested in any other job and that we he WILL be at UK next season. No need to do this unless Cal has NO desire to leave at this point…

  29. bluefan
    12:25 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Can we just enjoy today? Please?

  30. BobKYCats
    12:27 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    So, what is this team’s nickname going to be?

    The Unstoppables?
    The Swat Team?

  31. tyson
    12:31 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I have said all year that if Cal wins the NC, he is gone. The only thing that could keep him here is if he gets both Shabaz and Noel. Every article that references Cal talks about his “failure” as an NBA coach. His ego is WAY too big to handle that. He wants that legacy erased more than adding to any legacy he may receive here for adding additional National Championships.

    As for a replacement, look no further than his replacement an Memphis. Pastner and Barnhart are both “character” guys. Mitch would love to get someone here who is just like him.

  32. CATS
    12:33 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Cal already told all the 2012 recruits that he will be here next year. We have no reason to not take him at his word. I think if anything, Wall just really wants him as a coach and as exciting as Anthony Davis is to coach and watch, Nerlens Noels and Shabazz aren’t bad either.

  33. idiots_don't_listen
    12:42 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Cal has already stated publically and to recruits this year that he’s not going. Wall doesn’t really know what he’s talking about here. Do you think Cal has leaked info to him? Cal gets 5.5 million and is a demi-god in Lexington. The NBA doesn’t need the Cal types to win titles. Just look at the top three teams: Miami, Chicago, and OK City. One of those three will win it all and none of their coaches are Cal types.

    The rumors lack any merit. Move on, people.

  34. idiots_don't_listen
    12:44 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Cal also said his legacy will be defined in how many opportunities he presents for his players, and that his top goal is to put 50 to 70 guys into the league over the course of his career. That doesn’t happen if he leaves now. I think he takes a joy in coaching the top kids who truly CHOOSE to play for him. Rose, Wall, Cousins, Davis, MKG, and there will be many, many more to come.

  35. idiots_don't_listen
    12:46 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Cal has NEVER gone on record with a desire to return the NBA. People just assume it. Some of our fans are no different because they panic and think the worse. Cal has dismissed his NBA try as a failure and one he wouldn’t want to return to. I suggest you guys listen to him as opposed to creating those pyschological parachutes for yourselves.

  36. Megan
    12:50 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    50/50???? WTH- I would have said a 10 percent chance of leaving tops. If he does leave he’s an idiot. With UK he gets the big money, a state that loves him and he gets to actually coach. Pro coaching and college coaching are totally different things and if anyone fully realizes that it should be him. I live in Boston – never been to a Celtics game- had tickets offered because they wanted to get rid of them. I was the only one in an office of men that knew who Rondo was and what position he played. The city only cares about playoffs. You don’t have the same effect on the players as a pro coach and with trades and marketing the fan base max gets lukewarm toward any given team. Even Murray St kids care more about a given regular season game then a Lakers fan does. Mostly IMO because there are 82 games so none really matter. If he leaves it would only be for money and IDK what he will spend it on to make up for public adoration and the feeling that you are impacting young men’s lives in a positive way for their future. Does a boat offset that?

  37. PortlandCat
    1:08 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Just don’t see a move to the NBA making a lot of sense for him. He would get to coach more talent but he’s got such a greater shot of making a permanent legacy at Kentucky than he would have anywhere in the NBA.

  38. GBB
    1:12 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    No, just because players go to get paid, a coach doesn’t have to go. I’d say 95-5 he stays. Not worried one bit.

  39. Mudcreekmark
    1:16 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Cal isn’t going anywhere. He has to be the happiest he has ever been and he knows there is a whole state that adores him. He is a hero to the state of Kentucky. He also has to remember how miserable he was when he was coaching in the NBA. In college, he can pick his team in the pros he has his team picked for him. He has no control of getting the best players year after year like he can now.

  40. Sean
    1:23 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    I’d be STUNNED if he left UK, but maybe that what Shabazz and Nerlens are waiting for. To see what a championship does to Cal.

  41. UKBlue
    1:27 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Cal has the same problem Pitino had, their both & will always be horrible NBA coaches & that’s never going to change. Cal & Rick are both teachers as well as coaches, and they don’t want teachers in the NBA. If Cal doesn’t remember the sting of getting fired by the Nets, he would have to be totally insane to leave UK again for the NBA.

  42. Aaron Craft's Rosacea
    1:39 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    32 & 33- Tee Martin said the same thing to his players…..

  43. ukupay1
    1:53 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Wall has created a shit storm today..Coach Cal is going NO WHERE SOON!

  44. Kevin M
    2:02 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Sportscenter was talking about a 10% ownership deal with the Knicks, hypothetically. If he wins, and gets an offer like that I would guess he is gone. We will only hold it against him if he ends up at Louisville in a few years…

    Who do we go after to replace him…Barnhart better have some big guns ready to fire. If we have a long drawn out hiring process we probably lose a bunch of potential recruits, and I don’t want to spend a year watching Polson Twaney and Harrow launch threes around Wiltjer in the middle.

  45. Cornholio
    3:38 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Tom Crean would be the man to replace Cal if he were to voluntarily leave. Mike Decourcy would be happy.

  46. Cornholio
    3:42 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Nick Saban said he wasn’t leaving for Alabama.

  47. bigblue
    6:42 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    Cal is going win or lose let’s face it. He gets his 1 title. Sorry fellow no coach cares about a program as we want them too.

  48. Sheeeeiiit
    6:44 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    People may not like this but the more i see of Bill Self he is a likeable guy. I would hope we would go after him if Cal leaves. Would he even come?

  49. Truth
    8:47 pm April 2, 2012 Permalink

    NBA Coach = scapegoat to fire if things don’t go well and little more. If Calipari wants to play second string to primadonna talent, and cease using his greatest coaching skill (recruiting), then he’ll have a great three years in the NBA.