Called by some media members as the most polarizing figure in college basketball since Bobby Knight angrily roamed the sidelines for the Indiana Hoosiers, there is no question that Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari lets people know what really is on his mind.
Whether it is recruiting, the changing of the rules, or just his definition of what “student athletes” should be and what is it basically a construed term with all of the influx coming out of Mark Emmert’s office at the NCAA Headquarters in Indianapolis, John Calipari will take his place among the sport’s giants when he is inducted on September 11 into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts–an honor well deserved if you asked this blog reporter.
Veteran writer Mike DeCourcy from The Sporting News composed this excellent five-part series which can be found starting at:
The articles are broken down into five individual chapters:
- Success: After leaving the former New Jersey Nets when his team was squashed 3 games to none by the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls during the first round of the 1998 NBA Playoffs, he finds his truer calling in the college ranks.
- The Salesman: Wooing people to the Kentucky brand and making his coaching staff believe in him and his philosophies
- The Target: Always a lightning rod of controversy, Calipari is definitely no stranger to using words differently than many heads of state.
- The Citizen, visiting people in hospital rooms where normally he would be at the NABC annual coaches dinner during the week of the Final Four.
- The Strategist: Looking back at the decisions he made that cost UMass a trip to the 1992 East Regional final, won by Kentucky before losing probably the greatest game in NCAA Touranment history with Duke’s Christian Laettner finishing a perfect 10 for 10 from the field and 10 for 10 from the charity stripe in a dramatic overtime win which propelled the Blue Devils to win back-to-back titles. There are also some tidbits on the Derrick Rose-led Memphis Tigers when they squandered a six point lead late in regulation, only to be passed up by Lionel Chalmers and the rest of the hungrier Kansas Jayhawks to claim the 2008 National Championship in San Antonio.
There are also some corresponding videos on each page. Definitely great holiday reading if you get the time this upcoming holiday weekend, as I began to wrap my mind a bit on the ACC schedule being released for the first two plus months of 2016.
Two nights before the first-ever prime time Super Bowl Media Day, Jim Boeheim will return to the bench as Syracuse hosts Georgia Tech. And North Carolina’s schedule in February will be very difficult if they wish to grab one of the four number one seeds come Selection Sunday.
Please have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.