Last week, Brad Calipari turned the college basketball world on its head when he put his name in the transfer portal. This morning, his dad told reporters that Brad’s career at Kentucky may not necessarily be over, but he’ll support whatever decision he makes.
“He’s still walking through it,” Coach Cal said. “Do you blame him? All the work — he was in here three times yesterday working out. Do you blame him for wanting to play more and knowing who’s here? Has he gotten better? Absolutely he’s gotten better. But he’s, you know. So now he can look around.
“I even told him, look at Division II. What’s wrong with that? Where you’re well-coached, where you get a chance, a good league. Division II basketball, they’re just a little smaller but you’ve got talented guys. He may end up coming back. He’s in the lodge and all the stuff and in classes. He may come back.”
Because Brad graduated in three years, he’ll have two years of immediate eligibility remaining, which Cal made sure to brag about.
“I’m proud he graduated in three years. It took me six. I mean, he graduates in three years and is playing every day against guys like this and survives and thrives and gets better. What he’s taking from this, his commitment to how he trains, how he eats, what he does is going to help him with anything especially after basketball when it’s done. Take that and do what your sister did, which was the same thing and shift it over to here and you’re going to be unique and special at whatever you want to do.”
Calipari said that the only thing that’s bothered him about the process is how the media found out Brad’s name was in the transfer portal so quickly.
“I didn’t know all the stuff went crazy. He puts his name in the portal. How does the media get it in a minute? That’s supposed to be for colleges not for the media. I’m researching that. How does the media know all this? It was out within 30 seconds that he put his name in. The night before he said, ‘Dad, if I want to do this, how do I do this?’ I said, ‘You’ve got to put your name in the portal to get started.’ It was a two-minute conversation. The next morning, he put his name in without telling me, his mom, his sisters. He didn’t think anything but the media got it within 30 seconds and all of a sudden, it’s trending nationally and ‘Cal and his son are having a fistfight and he’s leaving.’ What?”
The other big question: how is Mrs. Cal coping with her son potentially leaving Lexington?
“Mom said if he leaves she’s going with him so I don’t know if that’s a good thing. I hope she was kidding. Maybe she wasn’t. But the ideal thing would be for him to have more of an opportunity here. I just — I’d love to do it but that’s my own son. Has to be earned and you have to deserve it.”
Forever earned, not given.