Sometimes, it’s just not meant to be. That’s the life John Calipari has lived as a college basketball coach.
“I’m sick right now,” he said on Monday night’s call-in show. “We picked a game against a team we had beaten twice that probably their best player went down and we have been the best free throw shooting team that I’ve had here, and we couldn’t make a free throw. We have been a team that did not turn it over. It was hard when you’re getting grabbed because you’re going to lose those balls sometimes. But still, fate intervenes sometimes.”
Call it fate. Call it randomness. Whatever you want to call it in the NCAA Tournament, the same applies in all walks of life.
“In this world that we live in, you don’t really fool anybody. You’ve got to earn, you’ve got to take what you want, you’ve got to compete, you’ve got to pick yourself up when things happen. Fate works against you,” Calipari said.
While we dwell on the times fate took our Wildcats out of the NCAA Tournament, it’s also kept them in it.
“Sometimes it’s really good, like Aaron Harrison making those threes. It intervenes in a good way. Sometimes it’s bad, but how you respond to that is life. That’s real.”
Some days the ball just isn’t bouncing UK’s way. Even so, Calipari knows it’s his job to help his team win regardless of the circumstance. He enjoys the daily challenge and embraces the lofty expectations.
“I understand there are people who think we should win every game and win the national title every year. What I come back to is, let’s be up at bat every year. Let’s be involved with every good player, but guess what, we don’t get ’em all. The ones that come here are the ones that should come here. You know what? I can tell you being at Kentucky is like no other,” he said. “It really matters to people.”