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John Calipari opens up about Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

After a failed attempt at UK Basketball Media Day, KSR was finally able to obtain a comment from John Calipari regarding the current state of the University of Louisville and whether or not Calipari will miss coaching against Rick Pitino.

When asked the Pitino question once again during a guest appearance on Tuesday’s show, Calipari said, “Well they were always good games. I coached against him at UMass, I coached against him in the NBA, I coached against him at Memphis; and every one of the games, you knew we were going at each other.”

Cal then opened up about Pitino’s firing and what it means for U of L:

“All the Louisville fans, this is a sad deal for the guys and Tom and Rick — I hate that it’s happened this way — but for the fans there, Louisville goes way back. Whether it be in football, in basketball — what Denny Crum did there — you think about it. And even before Denny Crum — how about Schnellenberger, what he did? How about a field goal by Louisville against Rutgers or maybe they’re winning the national title, the last time. Now you’re in the ACC. Now your facilities are second to none. They’re going to be fine.

He added that, though the rivalry is fun, the entire state of Kentucky needs Louisville to succeed:

“I hate it for the people, but let me tell you: it’s important that Louisville — the school and the athletics department — does well because we all in this state need the city of Louisville to do well. For this state to make it, Louisville has to be strong as a city. Now anytime we play Louisville, I want us to beat their brains in. But I also recognize that the bigger picture is, for this state to make it and to do well, the city of Louisville has to do well, which means the University of Louisville has to do well. And the growth of that city, you can tie it right to the university. So, I just say that, it’s unfortunate what happened. The short-term stuff looks bleak, but I don’t believe that’s even bleak and I think they’ll be fine.”

It’s interesting to hear Cal say the things Louisville fans should be saying: everything will be okay and Louisville is much bigger than Jurich or Pitino.

Hear it all for yourself, including a little dig at Jerry Tipton:


Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

4 Comments for John Calipari opens up about Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville

  1. Bluebloodtoo
    11:54 am October 24, 2017 Permalink

    That’s absolutely a perfect message from Calipari. He always knows exactly what to say, and he’s right. UL is much bigger than Jurich or Pitino and they absolutely need to do well for Kentucky to succeed. Remember when UK was trying to get money from the state for Rupp Arena and Football upgrades? Why do you think they didn’t have any money to give? Was that related to UL’s consumption of funds?

  2. BTownUKFan
    12:03 pm October 24, 2017 Permalink

    Tipton, Sullivan and all their pals should know by now. Cal sets the tone for what he wants to talk about and when. Media days, picture days, post game interviews it should be about the players, the teams and the games. That is Cal’s MO. Matt and KSR have the platform to get him to discuss other subjects and I think that is part of the reason he comes on the show. Tipton should get off his lazy butt and schedule some one on one time with Cal to talk FBI investigations or non-team related subjects.

  3. joshatc
    12:06 pm October 24, 2017 Permalink

    I’d love to hear what Cal thinks about it behind closed doors. Who wouldn’t want to see their most hated rival go out in this fashion? I personally think Cal had a voodoo doll of Rick made and would poop on it every night until the FBI scandal hit.

  4. 4everUKblue
    1:30 pm October 24, 2017 Permalink

    Rick was never able to say anything nice about Cal or the program without slipping in a subtle snide remark. Cal is the bigger man.