Mike DeCourcy and the folks at The Sporting News are rolling out an impressive five-part series on John Calipari this week to commemorate Cal’s Hall of Fame Enshrinement on September 11. Yesterday, we were treated to Part One, which focused on Cal’s firing from the Nets, his time at Memphis, and the move to Kentucky.
Part Two, entitled “The Salesman,” just hit the net, and, as you might expect, focuses on Cal’s prowess in recruiting. In a busy basketball recruiting period, it’s fascinating stuff:
Eventually, he warms up to explaining his philosophy on selling. “You’ve got to sit on the same side of the table as them. And if you help them get what they want, you’ll get more than you need,” Calipari said. “But you’ve got to be about them; not your organization, not yourself, not your staff. You’ve got to be about them. I learned that as I went through the process.
“I used to say, ‘We’re young. People will say we’re too young, but they won’t have energy, they won’t have the relationship, they won’t be about you like I will. I am young, and I’m younger than all these guys.’ Now I’m old. Now I have to say, ‘I’m old enough that I have the experience, I can help you.’”
The piece also features an interview with Tony Barbee about Cal’s pitch to get him to UMass back in the day, and how Calipari is still committed to helping him all these years later.
Neat stuff, so go check it out. Part Three, “Target,” drops this afternoon.