During some down time in L.A., Coach Cal stopped by the Fox Sports 1 studios to have a chat with Colin Cowherd. The interview was extremely entertaining, but the highlight was watching Calipari defend his former players.
Nobody has hated on John Wall since he came to the NBA more than Colin Cowherd. Rant after rant after rant, Cowherd has blasted Wall for being immature. Today, Colin and Cal had a “Coming to Jesus” moment.
Cal: “Our kids, what I’m proud of (is) what they’ve been able to do, and you and I have gotten on the John Wall thing. Ever since I hammered you, you’ve been a little bit better. You know I listen and (have people) tell me if he’s hammering John Wall? John Wall, aside from being a heck of a player, the expectations were way too high as I said going in.”
Cowherd: “He was a number one pick and he was a baby.”
Cal: “Yeah, but he has turned (into) not only a great player, he just gave $400,000 to a homeless shelter. He gave a million dollars when he signed his contract. You remember him and the girl when he cried?”
Cal: “I mean, our kids…DeMarcus Cousins. He’s a little crazy, but he’s got a wonderful heart for other people.”
Cowherd: “Your guys have been good ambassadors for basketball.”
Colin’s concession appeased Calipari, but only temporarily. He poked at him again later in the interview, but Colin insisted, “I’m over the Wall thing. Really, I am.”
A few more takeaways from the interview.
— One person Colin could not concede on was Derrick Rose. Cal tried to explain that Rose is just a guy with a really low pain tolerance, but Colin wasn’t buying it.
— Coach Cal pumped up as many former players as possible, including Karl Towns. “He’s setting historic records creating double-doubles.” Cal talked about a time he left Towns’ high school gym shaking his head, but applauded Karl’s work ethic for getting him where he is today.
— Calipari talked about his decision to draft Kerry Kittles in the 1996 NBA Draft. His second option behind Kittles was Kobe Bryant. Cal shared a story about seeing Kobe a few years ago who joked, “You know if you drafted me you’d still be in the NBA?”
— Calipari’s biggest miss was one that would bite him in the butt. One guy he looked at closely in high school, but didn’t think would make the cut is Kemba Walker. “I watched him play in high school and I said, ‘He’s not big enough for me, and I’m not sure how good he is.’ And then he beats us early in the year, and then he beats us in the Final Four game 57-56, but he made like 30 himself.”