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Calipari says NBA teams that passed on Tyler Ulis are eating crow

Tyler Ulis has been proving people wrong his entire life, and after his successful rookie season, John Calipari couldn’t help but serve some crow to those who doubted Ulis could make it at the next level. In an interview with Arizona Sports 98.7 FM this morning, Calipari said he reminded the teams that passed on Ulis what they’re missing out on. 

“I talked to three or four teams, like, ‘You understand what you did by passing on Ulis?,’” Calipari said. “(And they said) ‘I knew I was getting this call, you were right.’ So I think Phoenix, with Tyler Ulis, I mean come on now. This kid’s heart, this kid’s ability to do what he does, it’s amazing.”

Their loss is the Phoenix Suns’ gain. The Suns got one of the steals of the draft by taking Ulis with the 34th pick. In a guard-heavy lineup, Ulis averaged 7.3 points and 3.7 assists in 18.4 minutes per game this season. When the Suns decided to rest Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight late in the season, Ulis started and led all rookies in scoring in the month of April with 20.7 points and 6.8 assists per game. That performance was good enough to earn Ulis Western Conference Rookie of the Month, and is further proof that Suns GM Ryan McDonough made the right choice in taking a chance on him, one year after he made Devin Booker a lottery pick.

“Devin Booker coming out there, he was the youngest player in the draft, did not start for Kentucky,” Calipari said. “And Ryan made him a lottery pick? What the hell are we doing? What is that? And then when he takes a 5-foot-6 player that’s 150 pounds, everybody’s like, ‘Are you kidding me? Why would we do that?’ So I don’t know exactly what they’re looking at or what they need or what draft picks they have, but they’ll do their homework. I have a lot of faith in that.”

Listen to the audio of the interview here, or enjoy Ulis’ rookie highlights below:


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

7 Comments for Calipari says NBA teams that passed on Tyler Ulis are eating crow

  1. jonthes
    7:30 pm April 21, 2017 Permalink

    I said this last year – Tyler will be seen eventually as the biggest steal in the history of the NBA draft. I’ve been watching since the 60s and he is the smartest player I’ve ever seen. When he has a front line to feed, title contender. And he will have a long career as he avoids getting hurt. Then I hope he coaches UK.

    • bhb71
      9:50 pm April 21, 2017 Permalink

      I don’t think he’s going to beat out IT for biggest steal. I think Ulis is the better player, but Thomas was literally the last pick in the draft, while Ulis went pretty early in the second round. I really hope he comes back and coaches when he’s done playing.

  2. david8577
    8:33 pm April 21, 2017 Permalink

    That second video is cool, but the commentary was horrible.

  3. 8xchamp
    9:07 pm April 21, 2017 Permalink

    If you can play, you can play

  4. maximumscott
    9:35 pm April 21, 2017 Permalink

    Where is the game winner vs celtics?