I’ll be honest, I don’t have great memories of UK’s ESPN All-Access special from the 2012-2013 season, probably because it reminds me of what a train wreck that year was. ESPN aired three episodes of the behind-the-scenes look at Kentucky basketball, which included such gems as Calipari talking about tupperware, Johnny Gold Chainz laughing at Wheeler’s Pharmacy, and Ryan Harrow talking about the motivational posters in his dorm room. (That last one still bums me out.)
We loved it at the time, but looking back, it’s another cruel reminder of the ridiculous expectations that squad was burdened with and in retrospect, how they just never gelled; however, it turns out some good did come from it. On today’s show, Aussie big man Isaac Humphries said he first got to know about the Kentucky program and Calipari through the show, becoming the latest international commit to say that.
“When I was younger, I was put on to a video, the Kentucky All-Access video,” Humphries said. “I just saw how [Calipari] treated his players and talked. I really liked the way he seems and the way he takes his players under his wing and protects them and develops them so much that they become these great NBA players that go on to do great things.”
Skal Labissiere also mentioned watching the All-Access special growing up in an interview with the Courier-Journal’s Steve Jones.
“I remember watching Kentucky’s all-access show on ESPN about a month before (Calipari) offered me (a scholarship) and was praying that God would make it happen that Coach Cal would offer me. That’s when I knew I was going to go there.”
Nothing has made me feel older today than hearing a kid talk about watching that show when they were growing up. Regardless, this is still my favorite part of the All-Access special. Surely, it is the reason Isaac and Skal committed to Kentucky:
Or maybe it was watching the swaggy intro of Calipari walking through the Joe Craft Center:
That’s still pretty boss.
If you’d like to relive the All-Access special this afternoon, you can watch clips of it here.