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Calipari on Diallo: “If he’s a lottery pick, I’m retiring, I’m done.”


The NBA Combine got a whole lot interesting when John Calipari walked in. Cal showed up at the Quest Center in Chicago to check in on his guys, De’Aaron Fox, Isaiah Briscoe, Bam Adebayo, and Hamidou Diallo, and was immediately swarmed by reporters. ESPN brought him on air, and after complaining about his headset (“This is typical ESPN, stuff’s falling off my head here!”), Cal started his pre-draft stump speech, diving headfirst into the situation surrounding Hamidou Diallo, who has yet to decide whether or not he’s staying in the draft.

“We have Hami[dou]. Hami in the agilities is really going to do his thing,” Cal said. “He’s not played, and he’s just gone from, woo, wait a minute now to, you keep not playing and you’ll be a lottery pick.”

“Hami, he practiced with us. The last guy to do that was Enes Kanter. He practiced for the year and he was the fourth pick in the draft. Hami practiced four months. If he’s a lottery pick, I’m retiring, I’m done. There’s nothing more I can do. He has a chance of being drafted and doing all this stuff. That’s what we’re supposed to be doing. People are mad, ‘He didn’t play!’ This is what this is for. And if at the end of the day, if someone going to draft him in the first round, 21, 25, lottery pick, it’s hard for me to tell him to come back.”

After the commercial break, Fran Fraschilla asked Calipari what it would take for him to tell Hamidou it’s time to go.

“It would have to be in the first round and probably 21, 22, something like that.”

Diallo’s measurements are off the charts, which has some general managers considering taking a risk on him even though he didn’t play last year and (wisely) decided not to play at the Combine. When asked, Cal said Diallo’s freakish measurements and upside are why he’s going through this process.

“That’s why he’s here and that’s why this is the way it is. And he’s young. They’re looking at him four, five years down the road. The issues becomes, you’re going to be in the D-League for a while. Are you going to accept that? The other thing I want to tell you, from 17-21, you’re making a million dollars a year. Their investment isn’t like five million a year where they’re going to give you time. The better position to be drafted, the more they’re investing in you.”

Video from the lovely Jennifer Palumbo:

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.

21 Comments for Calipari on Diallo: “If he’s a lottery pick, I’m retiring, I’m done.”

  1. Ukgrad2006
    5:17 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

    LOL Cal is begging for him to stay in the draft. He GONE. Heard it here first, folks. 😉

  2. ChitownUKFan
    5:58 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

    No he’s actually marketing his player as he should, Kentucky is a players first program.

  3. TBW3011
    6:03 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

    No Cal. College hoops is NOT for guys to be on athletic scholarship and willingly not participate in the sport. It absolutely is NOT for that. Not buying the horseshit you’re trying to sell in this situation.

    • Chuck Norris
      6:09 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      Don’t take this the wrong way, but I doubt Cal really gives two shits what you think. The kid is pursuing his dream, and he didn’t make the NBA eligibility rule. Quit being so damn bitter, and find a hobby that doesn’t involve getting angry.

    • TBW3011
      10:43 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      I never implied Cal should care what I think. And I have ZERO problem with what Diallo decides. None whatsoever. The issue is with Cal allowing someone on athletic scholarship who isn’t going to compete in athletics. That’s bs and let’s leave no doubt, I certainly don’t give two shits what Chuck Norris thinks.

    • Mathlete
      6:57 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      Why so mad? Hami was a great practice squad guy this year and he didn’t cost you anything. Cal and UK are about getting guys who have the potential to play professionally into the best possible position to do so and succeed at the next level. Succeed and proceed isn’t just a slogan Cal came up with, it’s his whole philosophy for how he thinks of his players

    • TBW3011
      10:45 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      All good. He hasn’t been a player. If you’re going to be on athletic scholarship you need to compete in the sport unless it’s outside your control. IE, Kanter situation or injury.

    • catsarerunnin
      8:24 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      Horseshit expert obviously…

    • six8
      12:34 pm May 14, 2017 Permalink

      It ou need to know the whole story he wasn’t eligible to play this past year cause he graduated high school in December and joined the team so he had to take a red shirt for this past year
      Since the scouts got a chance to see him in practice and what he did in high school they have interest so it was something like th lantern situation cause he had to red shirt this year know before u post

  4. BigBlueMeade
    6:10 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

    He’s coming back

  5. TonyMontana
    6:36 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

    So its looking like its a high possibility that a team will take a chance on him in the 20’s. Cal is going to encourage him to go in the 20’s. So that doesnt look good for us. Cal says in the 20’s he would spend some years in the D-League and make millions less, why wouldn’t he lay out the option of coming back, improving his stock and possibly moving into the Top 10 and in that place he would earn millions more and avoid the D-League. You feel me?

    • bhb71
      12:58 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      I think his point is that he’s not going to tell Diallo that he’s making a mistake if he does decide to go based on projections that have him going around 20-23. That doesn’t mean that he’s not going to advise Hami to come back.

    • dballrb
      3:48 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Who’s Cal’s replacement going to be.Since he’s retiring if Hami goes lottery.

    • chrisg18
      8:54 am May 12, 2017 Permalink

      Uh I think he just laid out the option of coming back. Did you read the whole article?

  6. jim tom
    7:08 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

    This has turned into nothing more than a NBA website. Screw this horse This is not college basketball period and I don’t give a rats ass what anybody says.

    • Chuck Norris
      7:19 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      The feeling is mutual, buh-bye!!

    • kenny
      8:16 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      If I were you I’d say to hell with this horse, and never visit (or comment) again. I personally think every single one of your comments are horse

    • TBW3011
      10:46 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      Yet you’re not me. I’ll visit anytime I please. Why wouldn’t I? It’s not like you can do anything about it.

    • catsarerunnin
      8:25 pm May 11, 2017 Permalink

      I thought two first names went fishin.

  7. dwford61
    4:16 pm May 12, 2017 Permalink

    why does anyone care If this kid has a chance who wouldn’t take that??? everyone thinks they would do something different are ignorant. Let us see what happens. It isn’t costing me or anyone else a dime. If he gets drafted then good for him.

  8. six8
    12:37 pm May 14, 2017 Permalink

    The kid couldn’t play this year cause he graduated in December and joined the team had to red shirt