Huggy Bear’s relationship with Coach Cal was one of the hot topics during his press conference earlier today. They’ve known each other since Calipari was in high school, though they weren’t very close then, and the friendship has grown over the years.
When asked what he respects most about Cal, Huggins said, “He’s more than a basketball coach. Somebody asked me what separates Cal from other coaches, and Cal and I have gone to Europe together and done a bunch of things. And I say, well, most other basketball coaches aren’t getting on a plane and read U.S. News and World Report or Money Magazine or those kind of things. Cal is a very diverse guy and I and think he’s kept things, I think, in a very good perspective. He’s a great family guy, just, and he’s been a good friend.”
Huggins also repeated the story of Cal’s cousin introducing himself in the ambulance after Huggins’ heart attack in Pittsburgh. In case you missed that one, long story short: Cal’s cousin was the EMT and he told Huggins he won’t let him die until Cal wins a game against him. Huggins was undefeated at the time, and in a hurry to get to the hospital.
From there, Huggins joked of his team’s chances to repeat the 2010 upset, saying, “If Cal promises to miss his first 20 threes like they did in 2010, that would help, if we could get him to do that.”
And according to Brett Dawson, Huggins passed Cal in the hallway after the interview and told him not to slip in the vomit near the stage after all the good things he said about him.