Tomorrow night, John Calipari will be honored at UMass as part of the program’s 20th anniversary celebration of the 1995-1996 Final Four team. Yesterday, the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy wrote another Calipari hit piece in which he shamed UMass for honoring Cal, calling him everything from a “snake oil salesman” to a “glorified AAU bag man.” As Taylor Swift and Calipari would say, haters gonna hate, right?
This morning, Calipari went on the Dennis & Callahan Morning Show in Boston to talk about the festivities at UMass, and when asked about the Shaughnessy piece, things got a little awkward.
“This is a time to celebrate an era of basketball, I’m not worried about what somebody thinks. None of those guys can steal our joy,” Calipari said. “What we did, we did it right. We did it right. We had good kids who did what they’re supposed to. They graduated. I didn’t have one-and-dones back then.”
Then, one of the hosts cut him off and insisted Calipari and his staff did NOT do it right.
“John, I’m sorry, you can’t say you did it right. Marcus [Camby] got caught with hookers, he received diamonds and stuff. You didn’t do it right, come on.”
Despite Calipari’s attempt to move the dialogue back to tomorrow night’s celebrations, the hosts kept at it, asking Cal if he knew if Marcus Camby broke the rules.
“No. We didn’t know anything. And what we did was everything ahead of schedule and we were on top of everything we did and again, they said we didn’t know nor should have known,” Cal said. “Here’s what I’ll say to you. That kid, you know what he ends up doing in the end? He ends up paying the money back the school lost. It was about $150,000 and he paid the money back. It’s never been done before. We were the ones who got Marcus Camby to talk–he was in the NBA, he doesn’t need to talk to the NCAA. There were other players at other schools involved, they wouldn’t talk to the NCAA. We got our guy to talk to the NCAA. And he paid the money back. I’m not embarrassed by anything we’ve done. I’m proud of what we’ve done.”
From there, Calipari wrapped up the interview, giving the hosts the ole “I appreciate you” line.
“I’m walking into practice, I appreciate you guys. All the UMass fans out there, let’s enjoy this. Let’s enjoy our time. Let’s get behind Derek Kellogg and make this thing happen. Walking into practice guys. Appreciate it. Bye.”
Phew. Listen to the interview yourself below: