John Calipari is back from his European vacation, just in time to make a trip to… Wisconsin? Coach Cal tweeted he was headed to one of Kentucky’s least favorite states (no offense, Tyler Herro), but he also mentioned some interesting conversations he’s recently had with a few Kentucky parents. In fact, he specifically referenced conversations with Herro’s dad as well as comments made by PJ Washington’s dad.
This could be totally harmless… Or, could it be Calipari’s sneaky rebuttal to Reid Travis’ father’s comments that went public last week? Let us remind you:
In a feature by the Herald Leader published last Tuesday, Nate Reid expressed some “uncertainties” regarding Kentucky and his son’s potential draft stock, saying he thought his family would have “a little more of an understanding of when he’d fall in the draft” after his son’s decision to spend his final season in Lexington.
“He probably had more of a leadership role as far as helping younger players develop. Maybe his abilities got somehow shifted a little bit for the sake of helping younger players develop and understand the process,” Nate told Jerry Tipton. “He kind of took that role and kind of got away from what he wanted to do when he came there.”
Now, Calipari has taken to Twitter to post about his positive interactions with two other fathers. Coincidence?
In a series of tweets, Calipari said:
“Tyler Herro’s father, Chris, heard I was going to be in Wisconsin and gave me a call today. We had a great conversation about [what] our program meant to them. After that call and what I read from Paul Washington Sr., I’m reminded of how proud I am of this program and this university.
We want everyone to leave Kentucky with the feeling that it was more than what they thought it would be. The words from those two parents make me happier than I can explain. I’m so proud of what we do here.”
We want everyone to leave Kentucky with the feeling that it was more than what they thought it would be. The words from those two parents make me happier than I can explain. I’m so proud of what we do here.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) May 19, 2019
As for the aforementioned comments from Paul Washington Sr., Calipari is referencing Kyle Tucker’s latest work for The Athletic, where Washington Sr. gives UK and Calipari a glowing review. Here are a few of his comments:
“[PJ] is more well-rounded from being at Kentucky. Experiencing all that at the college level will definitely help him in the NBA — he’ll be balanced and able to contribute right away… I think he learned all that at Kentucky.”
“They have so many All-Americans, I didn’t expect them to be able to get to each one and figure out how they tick and motivate them and get the most out of them, but Cal and [assistant Kenny Payne] did.”
“From a parent’s standpoint, the quicker you learn how to be there for your kid and help develop them mentally while leaving the other stuff alone, the better off you’re going to be when they get to the NBA… If LaVar Ball couldn’t do it, what makes you think you can?”
Could Calipari be “subtweeting” Nate Travis? Is this simply some sort of recruiting pitch? Or, could it be actually genuine and Coach Cal just wanted to share a piece of his inner monologue with the BBN?
There’s no way of knowing for sure – if only we could get inside Calipari’s head! – but nothing Cal does ever strikes me as random.