Reid Travis is happy to have spent a season playing for John Calipari at the University of Kentucky. He’s not very happy with how things looked one his way out the door.
In the lead up to the NBA Draft in May, Jerry Tipton spoke with Travis’ father, Nate, about his son’s time at Kentucky. Nate Travis was concerned about his son’s draft status after spending a season with Calipari.
“We felt if he played at Kentucky, he’d have some certainty coming off the season,” he told Tipton. “As a father, I’m a little concerned with that. I thought he’d have a little more of an understanding of when he’d fall in the draft.”
Critics immediately used those comments to throw fuel on their anti-Calipari fire. Even though Reid and his father publicly refuted any negative opinions of Calipari, that statement stuck. In a conversation with Kyle Tucker at the Las Vegas Summer League, Travis’ said his only regret from his time at UK is how it ended.
“I was a little disappointed by the way it got portrayed, because I talked to my dad and knew what he was trying to get across and I don’t think it came out the way he wanted it to,” Travis said. “He echoes the same sentiments I do about Cal and KP: I wouldn’t be the player I am without them.
“I talked to Cal the next day and he was like, ‘I know where your heart is.’ And I think it’s narrow-minded to look at it as just an NBA decision and judge based on whether I got drafted. Everyone has different paths to the league, and in no way can I blame Kentucky, but as far as life experience, it was something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. That year at Kentucky is near and dear to my heart, one of the most rewarding years I’ve ever had playing basketball. I will never regret that.”
In five games at the Summer League, Travis averaged 4.2 points (50% FG) and 4 rebounds per game for the Atlanta Hawks. Travis wasn’t the only former Wildcat Tucker talked to in Vegas. Read his lengthy piece in The Athletic for more from Jarred Vanderbilt, Aaron Harrison, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson and Wenyen Gabriel.