Josh Pastner knows John Calipari. The Georgia Tech coach worked with Cal at Memphis and was poised to follow him to Kentucky in 2009 before being offered the Tigers’ head coaching job himself and accepting. After the Wildcats’ 67-53 win over the Yellow Jackets tonight, Pastner said he believes his old boss will eventually leave the coaching world for the political one.
“He may deny it but when he retires, he will not go into TV,” Pastner told reporters. “He will go for politics and I really believe he’s going to run—he was going to possibly run for the President of the United States. And if not that, he’s going to go for governor or senator. He’s going to come up here and deny it, but mark my words.
“And he just—you know, he has that charisma, he has that energy to do it, and he’s always been interested in it. And so, I’m telling you, when he does it—and he can deny it now—he will end up running for it. And I don’t know which part or anything like that, but he’s got that ability. He’s a genius marketer. He’s obviously a genius of a basketball coach—one of the greatest to ever do it. Regardless of sport, he’s one of the greatest coaches ever. It wouldn’t matter if he was running a slice-by-slice pizza place down the street. It would become a multimillion-dollar company. He just has something about that, that, you know, the ability to be very successful and he happened to choose basketball. And he would’ve been successful no matter what he does.”
With Kelly Craft, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, bringing the UN Security Council to tonight’s game, Calipari didn’t miss his chance to shoot his shot to meet the Queen when Kentucky travels to London next year to play Michigan.
“Is the ambassador from London here?” Calipari said to Ambassador Craft. “Where? I need to see the Queen, please. We’re coming over next year. Do you know we’re coming over? Can you please let her know that I am the biggest fan. I read everything. I watch everything I can. Amazing, amazing woman. She’s going to say who is this guy? (Laughter) She’ll say, where is he from, Italy? What’s his name?”
Oh, Cal. Never change.