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: