One of the hot topics after UK’s loss to Florida was Malik Monk smiling and laughing on the bench during the final seconds of the game. Turns out Malik was laughing at the Florida student section, who was serenading him with “Happy Birthday,” but unfortunately, the ESPN cameras caught his brief moment of laughter, which rubbed some in an already frustrated fan base the wrong way. Jerry Tipton asked John Calipari about Monk’s laughter today on the SEC Coaches Teleconference, and Cal admitted he was upset too until he heard the context.
“First of all, when I heard it, you know, I got on him, and what they had done is they were singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him because it was his birthday and that’s why he was — he caught it. But, I said to him, ‘Do you understand you’re at Kentucky and the camera is always on, the mic is always on.’ You know, it’s a lesson for him. I mean, two seconds before, Joel [Justus], my assistant, was sitting next to him and Isaiah [Briscoe] and they were going nuts about how bad they’d played. ‘I can’t believe this, you and I are better than this, what in the heck, how did we let this,’ and then they started singing ‘Happy Birthday,’ which I looked at Joel, I said, ‘Joel,’ and he said, ‘Coach, I didn’t see any of it and I was sitting there.’
So, he learned a lesson. I’ll probably put him out in front of the media tomorrow and let him explain himself.”
Only at Kentucky would this be an issue, but Cal’s right; context or not, Monk will learn from it and move on, as we all should.