Every year about this time, John Calipari’s war on “clutter” begins. Today, Calipari was asked how he helps his young guys avoid distractions from the media, which launched him into a rant about how some of his players need to stop checking “draft boards,” or the mock drafts that come out almost weekly this time of year.
“The media — you want me to do it as Donald Trump would do it or like I would do it. I said President Trump, excuse me — I would tell you, there is clutter, and you all [the media] are part of the clutter. Sometimes you’re writing that they’re the best in the world and they’re the best that’s ever been and that’s poison. You can drink that stuff and die. The other side of it is, the negative stuff about one or the other, and it starts breaking down team, so you don’t listen to it. How about part of the media is all these draft boards. How about part of the clutter is the people around them. I always say, they love you more than they love this team. It’s just how it is. And it’s not just in this program, it’s in every program.”
Sadly, Calipari did not give us his Trump impression, but he did mimic his players trying to “run away” from the clutter, which inevitably catches back up with them.
While it’s easy for us to sit here and say, “Hey, UK players, stop checking mock drafts,” Calipari pointed out that it’s human nature.
“How about if you guys were their age, 18 or 19? You wouldn’t go to the draft boards? You would not go to the draft boards every day? Every day. You’d go four times a day and you’d look where am I draft and if you start going the wrong way, you’d probably think, I got to shoot more. No. I’ve got to hold the ball a little bit. No. Or someone’s trying to tell you who to play. And you say, ‘Who was telling you that?’ ‘Well, the guy that was cutting my hair.’ ‘Oh, so you’re going to listen to the barber now?’ I mean, it’s all stuff we deal with with young kids.”
Cluttermuffs ’til April.