With Calipari’s Hall of Fame Enshrinement only two days away, most from his past are coming out of the woodwork to sing their praises. Julius Erving, Pat Riley and Larry Brown will do it during his induction. His previous stop before Kentucky, Memphis, will honor him in December. Now, a former UMass beat writer has taken the time to profess Calipari’s excellence.
Calipari is a coaching genius, a recruiting genius and a marketing genius. He is not perfect. Like all superstars, his best and worst qualities all get inflated out of proportion and to some, he represents all that is wrong with modern NCAA sports.
If that were true, I would never want any kid of mine infected with his influence. But within the sport, I’d take Calipari over any number of his critics, because his imperfections do not include hypocrisy in an incredibly hypocritical NCAA world.
Ron Chimelis is a columnist for The Republican of Springfield, Mass., and a former beat reporter during Calipari’s UMass tenure. Chimelis indicates that he hasn’t always been a Calipari apologist, flirting into a Jerry Tipton-type territory. Yet years later, he respects Calipari so much that if possible, he would love for his son to play for Coach Cal.
There aren’t better words you can say about a basketball coach. That’s why he’s entering the Hall of Fame.