During his time in Lexington, Kentucky basketball legend Kyle Macy was a three-time All-American, three-time All-SEC First Team member, was named 1980 SEC Player of the Year, and biggest of all, helped Kentucky win the 1978 national championship. Over the course of three seasons, Macy scored 1,411 career points, good for No. 21 on the all-time list, and totaled 470 assists.
Now, Macy doesn’t know if he feels welcome around the program anymore.
“I’m not as involved with the program as I used to be,” he said in a radio interview on the Query & Schultz show on Fox Sports 1260 this afternoon. “There were times I could go to practice whenever I wanted and feel welcome, but I don’t know if that’s the case now. I don’t really have any desire to go there and go to practice.”
Part of the reason? A few philosophical differences he has with Kentucky head coach John Calipari.
For starters, he thinks neutral court basketball games are “ridiculous” and thinks the Kentucky vs. Indiana series needs to continue as a traditional home-and-home.
“I don’t know all the details, but I know Calipari wasn’t too happy about having to go up there after they lost up there the year they probably could have gone undefeated. It’s probably a little bit of both sides,” he said. “You’ve got to give and take a little bit. I know at one point IU didn’t want to play in Louisville because they felt that was like a home game for Kentucky, and Kentucky didn’t want to go into Bloomington. Nowadays, everyone wants to play these neutral court games, which is ridiculous. If you’re a season ticket holder, give them value to the home schedule, play a home-and-home. You may take a loss, but it’s going to make you a better team and get you ready for the tournament. I’m a little old school that way, I guess.”
The biggest gripe he has, however, is Calipari’s mindset when it comes to putting guys in the NBA and that draft day is the “greatest day in Kentucky basketball history.”
“If you’re going to a university, ideally, it’s for an education,” he said. “And I guarantee you there’s not a professor on any college campus that’s making anywhere near what the college basketball coach is making. And the mindset here in Kentucky, John Calipari will tell you that the greatest day in Kentucky basketball history for him is on draft day when all of his players are making millions of dollars and changing the lives of their families. To me, the greatest day of the year in your school’s history is winning a national championship for your athletic program.”
In his mind, Kentucky shouldn’t be a “training ground for the pros.” The focus should be on getting an education and winning titles.
“I’d say we don’t agree with those issues in particular, and he’ll argue with you till his death that [draft day] is the greatest day,” Macy said. “When he first got here, he made the comment that the greatest moment in Kentucky basketball history was draft day because they’re changing the lives of young men. And it is nice that they are able to do that, but it’s not like it should be a training ground for the pros. Granted, you go to college to get a better paying job, and that’s what’s happening with these kids.”
To close the interview, the Kentucky basketball legend added that he is older now and that times have changed from when he was in school.
And overall, he’s still extremely grateful for the opportunity he had to play at UK and the time he had in Lexington.
“Again, times change. I’m old,” he said. “I’m blessed with the time I had at the school, I’m more than happy about it. I’m not bitter about anything by any means. I feel thankful for the opportunities I had and the way things worked out for me.”
You can find the entire interview below: