Let me speak honestly about John Calipari’s new 30 for 30 that will air tonight on ESPN, if you will.
When it was first announced, I wanted nothing to do with it. Don’t care. I love John Calipari, but I’ve heard the story that documentary is going to tell me a million times. Super Bowls, changing families, gold standard, one-and-done, etc. — heard it all. Maybe I’ll watch it if I have nothing else going on, I thought.
Boy, was I wrong. One And Not Done is awesome and it was awesome for many reasons, which I will now list for you because we love writing in lists here:
One — it’s not a puff piece. No sunshine pumping here. The film shows the bad with the good and Cal had no control over its message. You’re getting the whole story and I don’t know how much he liked seeing it, but it’s honest (from what I understand is the truth) and still paints him as a good man and passionate basketball coach.
Two — there is a TON of footage from his younger days. Fans will love seeing young Cal at the Five-Star camps and in some of his first jobs in basketball. He looked 12 when he was 25.
C — the UMass stuff is really interesting. Maybe some of you know a lot about Cal’s time at UMass, but I admit I did not until seeing the film. It’s cool to learn more about how he brought the program from absolutely nothing to the No. 1 team in the country while fighting off John Chaney (literally) and getting screwed against our own Kentucky Wildcats in the NCAA tournament.
IV — It’s funny. I laughed out loud a handful of times, courtesy of unintentional comedy from Cal being Cal and some good quotes from guys like DeMarcus Cousins and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Five — The Kentucky/Hall of Fame stuff will tug at your heart strings. No spoilers here, but if you love Coach Cal and what he’s done for UK, you’ll get a warm, fuzzy feeling in your heart toward the end when the cameras followed him around Springfield. I’m afraid ESPN will kidnap me and lock me in an underground bunker if I give away any spoilers before it airs, so let me just say things get emotional. The whole thing is a wide range of emotions.
I better shut up now or I’ll never get asked to preview something again. I’ll wrap it up by telling you to be home on your couch at 8:55 pm with a bowl of popcorn, ready for two hours of excellent television.