There’s been a ton of hype surrounding John Calipari’s return to Memphis. Oddly, the most typed story is about his favorite local watering hole, Gibson’s Donuts, where he used to enjoy coffee each morning.
Calipari brought a similar routine to Lexington, joining the “horseshoe of wisdom” at Wheelers from time-to-time and enjoying Dunkin’ Donuts each morning. The Wall Street Journal believes Calipari’s accessibility is what has made him successful at each stop, especially at Kentucky.
Since the Wall Street Journal has a paywall and you’re probably not interested in reading the entire story anyway, here are the four best parts to the story.
1. Cal uses a Dunkin’ Donuts loyalty card. It doesn’t matter how much money you make, if you don’t use your loyalty card to scoop freebies from time-to-time, you’re wasting money.
2. Calipari attended Psychology class after arriving at UK. He didn’t need it to finish his degree (cough Masiello, cough cough), he did it because he was asked by the professor. Jonathan Golding has been asking basketball coaches for years to attend his class and Cal was the first to accept the invitation. Calipari did it during his first semester on campus.
“He understands the importance of dealing with the general masses,” Golding told the WSJ.
3. Joey Palumbo gets not one, but TWO quotes. A friend of KSR, Palumbo’s early-morning coffees with Coach Cal give him unique insight for this story. The quotes in all their glory:
When one local Dunkin’ Donuts closed, “he was actually the one who said, well, let’s find another one,” said Joe Palumbo, a real-estate developer who meets him in the morning…
…That someone in his position was so willing to be seen in the wild might have surprised Palumbo before they met. But then he got to know Calipari. “And it wasn’t surprising at all,” Palumbo said. “Cal understands the position he’s in and what it means to people here in Kentucky.”
4. Cal has a reserved seat at Gibson’s. If the coach arrives and someone is sitting in it, they immediately move to make room for the coach. Calipari also has another special privilege: he can go behind the counter at Gibson’s.