What was happening in the world on this day in 1994? Well, for one, John Chaney threatened to kill John Calipari.
That’s right; today is the 25th anniversary of Chaney barging into Calipari’s press conference at UMass and screaming, “I’ll kill you” and “I’ll kick your ass” at him. It’s a classic clip you’ve seen plenty of times, so why not one more?
Amin Touri of The Daily Collegian has a great oral history of the fight out today, which includes an interesting note. The reason Chaney went after Cal was because he thought Cal was berating the officials after the game. Larry Lembo, one of those officials, insists that never happened.
Lembo: When I got home, my wife greets me at the door, and she says there’s like nine phone calls for me. AP, the Globe, every newspaper in the country was calling, and Mickey Crowley, who was the supervisor of the officials at the time, said “don’t speak to anyone until you speak to me.” And I was befuddled, like, what the hell’s going on? My wife told me what had happened, what they showed on TV, was that apparently Chaney went into Calipari’s press conference, and made some threatening remarks of some sort.
And I said, why? My wife didn’t know, so I called Mickey, and he gave me the background, and he said someone had said something to Chaney, that Calipari was outside in the hallway berating the officials.
And I said, that never happened!
LOL. All these years later, Cal’s able to laugh about it, giving Chaney a birthday shoutout on Twitter last month:
My friend John Chaney turned 87 today. I know everyone still remembers when I tried to choke him — or wait, did he try to choke me? I can’t remember. LOL. A true Hall of Fame basketball coach but even better at developing young men. I miss our battles. Happy birthday, Coach!
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) January 21, 2019
More on the feud at the link below.