John Calipari’s lifetime contract at Kentucky has been the talk of college basketball the past few days, so this morning, Cal did what Cal does best and took the narrative into his own hands. Cal called into ESPN’s “Get Up” — the same program that used a graphic asking whether or not his job was in jeopardy on Monday — to talk about the contract, which he said has been in the works for months.
“What happened was, the school had been talking to me a while about this. It’s amazing — no one has seen the contract and some people lose their minds. No one’s even seen it yet. How do you know what it says? I’m not going to coach until I’m 90. They want me to end my career at Kentucky and they talked about it for months.
“What ended up happening, they know at the end of every year, people are trying to talk to me and this and this and this and they just said, let’s do this. And so what it basically does is give me the opportunity to end my career at Kentucky which I want and which is what they want.”
It wouldn’t be a Calipari interview without him addressing his haters and also claiming he never reads their work.
“There are people that, I don’t know if it’s their opinion or their hope but they get mad and it’s like, why are you mad?” Cal said. “What does this make you mad about? Our fans are happy, our administration is happy, I’m happy, so I really that’s all it’s about. Let me say this: a lifetime contract, sometimes they declare you dead in three years, so you never know how this stuff goes.”
“I don’t deal with all that stuff. I really don’t. I said some stuff today only because this morning, I said, before I go on there, what was the blowback? And then the guys said, well, there was a couple of guys saying stuff. And I said, for what? What would they have a problem for? ‘Well, you know. You know why.’ The agenda, Jalen, in this, the agenda stuff, of being about someone else and not about this, it is what it is. And here’s the other thing with the media, and you know this, if there is good stuff, someone has to write bad stuff. That’s how it is. And so, I usually accept it. And I’m not being defensive. And if I am appearing that way, it’s really not because I haven’t read anything or seen anything.”
Sure, sure. Calipari also talked about his team, once again raving about their character and work ethic.
“This team kept me young. I loved coaching this team. That’s the disappointment of not having two more games. This team was a ball to coach. And I may have had more talented teams, but I didn’t have a team that collectively were in the gym, gym rats, loved it, loved the learning, loved the coaching, loved the competitiveness of practice. This was an unbelievable crew. And I’m telling you, I don’t care where they’re rated or the draft boards, this group of kids will make it in that league and have long careers because they’re into the game. They love playing. They have a good feel. They’re just physically — and maybe again they have to master their craft a little more. They’re not — they’re really good athletes, but they’re not this guy — but I’m telling you, this crew of guys, PJ [Washington] helped himself and Reid [Travis] is going to make someone a good teammate. He’s going to be unbelievable on someone’s team. And the other kids that decide to guy, they’re going to be good too.”
Get ready for a lot of that talk over the next two months.