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Top 5 John Calipari and Rick Barnes bromance quotes

© Randy Sartin | USATSI

© Randy Sartin | USATSI

Since Rick Barnes took over Tennessee in 2015 we hear this story at least twice a season. Barnes and UK head coach John Calipari are boys, and Calipari helped convinced Barnes to take the Tennessee job.

But the two seem like they’re ready to take their relationship to the next level after Wednesday’s SEC Media Day.

Here are the Top Five bromance quotes from the two coaches picked to finish top two in the league:

  1. I look at Rick like he’s a brother, well an older brother. He’s helped me throughout my career.- Calipari
  2. John means a lot to me. We’ve grownup in this business together.- Barnes
  3. He’s a person that I trust. He’s a guy that, I really believe this, if I need something if I called him and asked him for it he wouldn’t ask me why or what, he’d say, ‘You name it, whatever it is.’- Barnes
  4. John, I think all of the times he’s been accused of things that aren’t true, and I will say that. What I do know about him is that I consider him a brother, I really do.- Barnes
  5. … You know how good he is. And on top of it? A great guy. Like, a good human being. Tennessee has everything. They have a great coach that can recruit.- Calipari

Seriously, get you a friend like Barnes or Calipari. Both consider the other a brother while competing for a conference championship, and hell, maybe even a national title this season.

Here are their quotes on one another in their entirety:

Calipari:

“Well, you don’t know, I look at Rick like he’s a brother, well an older brother. He’s helped me throughout my career. I remember I was at UMass and my team was the worst defensive team in the country. I sat down with him and I said, ‘Coach, I need some help on this.’ He said, ‘Well, tell me what are you emphasizing?’ So, I tried to tell him what I knew and I tried to say like 25 things, I was just thinking things as I go. He bust out laughing and he says, ‘What are the four things you’re trying to emphasize because all of this doesn’t matter.’

And he got me to focus defensively on a few things and today that still helps. From that conversation my teams defensively have always been pretty good, but when you look at him and what he does and how he brings people together and his demeanor as a coach, you know how good he is. And on top of it? A great guy. Like, a good human being. Tennessee has everything. They have a great coach that can recruit.

When we play them, here’s how close we are. I didn’t know they beat us three times in a row. They beat us three times in a row. I had no idea. I just knew after the game I was sad and he was happy. I didn’t know. Then he says, ‘Yeah, but you beat us in the (SEC) tournament,’ and I say, ‘By the way, that was the most important one just so you know that.’ But he’s a good guy and a good coach.”

 

Barnes:

“John means a lot to me. We’ve grownup in this business together. I met John back in, I think, 1977 or 1978, University of Pitt with Tim Doughtery. John had transferred from Wilmington back to Clarion. From the time, when you think about it, we both got in the business I am at Providence and he was at UMass. He’s a person that I trust. He’s a guy that, I really believe this, if I need something if I called him and asked him for it he wouldn’t ask me why or what, he’d say, ‘You name it, whatever it is.’

I know he cares a lot about what he’s doing. I know he’s got a great passion for this game. I know he wants to see this game, he wants to protect this game. I’ve been around him and Frank Martin. I know their love for this game. The fact is, they want to help this game.

John, I think all of the times he’s been accused of things that aren’t true, and I will say that. What I do know about him is that I consider him a brother, I really do. He actually, before I took this job, he was the guy that called me and told me, ‘You need to take this job, you need to do it.’ He told me all the right reasons about it, he spoke nothing but great, great things about the University of Tennessee and what he thought it could be. For that, and many reasons, he’ll always be a special coach to me.”

Article written by TJ Walker