Quantcast

John Calipari calls into Mike Francesa’s show after Francesa criticizes him (Audio)

John CalipariJohn Calipari was a guest on WFAN with Mike Francesa on Wednesday. Calipari joined Francesa in his studio, and Francesa waited until after Calipari left to give his honest opinion of the Kentucky coach. In short, Francesa said that Calipari is one of the best recruiters and motivators in college basketball but that he is not one of the top “X’s and O’s guys.”

Since Calipari was no longer in-studio to defend himself, he decided to call into Francesa’s show and argue with him. The exchange was fantastic.

“This is John Calipari. What are you saying, I can’t coach,” Calipari asked. “Are you saying I can’t coach? Why didn’t you say that when I was sitting there next to you? … You changed your tune.”

[Related: John Calipari goes on Colbert Report and things get funny (Video)]

“You know what you’re like — you’re like a caller who doesn’t listen,” Francesa fired back. “What I said to (the caller) is you’re a master recruiter, you’re a master motivator and you’re not a great X’s and O’s guy, which you’re not. … Are there better X’s and O’s guys than you?”

“You think I believe that?” Calipari said. “I will pass a lie detector test and say no. What are you talking about?”

Francesa then dumped Calipari like he would any other caller. And that, my friends, is exactly what you get when you take two self-absorbed, opinionated middle-aged men and put them in a classic sports talk radio setting. Fantastic.

Related: Mike Francesa shocked soccer players kick with both legs (Video)
Related: Mike Francesa goes off on caller for Jerry Sandusky joke (Video)
Related: Caller tells Mike Francesa Jacoby Ellsbury deal is best deal since Babe Ruth

H/T College Basketball Talk

John Calipari: I wouldn’t have gone to Cavs even for LeBron James

John CalipariA little over two months ago, a report surfaced that indicated John Calipari was in “deep discussions” with the Cleveland Cavaliers before he finalized a new contract extension with Kentucky. That was before LeBron James shocked the world by announcing he was heading home to Cleveland.

In hindsight, Calipari was probably using the Cavs and any other NBA team as leverage to get more money from Kentucky. But what if he knew that taking a job in the NBA would mean getting a chance to coach the greatest player on the planet? Would Calipari have left the Wildcats for King James?

“No. No. I don’t think so. Because he and I have a great relationship (with LeBron), but it’s not based on me coaching him,” Calipari told Kyle Tucker of The Courier-Journal. “We’ve got a relationship. I’ve known him for years and years. We’ve always been friends. But it was never based on that. I’ve said that. I’ve had a chance to coach Derrick Rose, John Wall and DeMarcus (Cousins), Anthony Davis and Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist). And I’m leaving names off, but I’ve coached some of the best players in basketball, and it is a thrill. There’s nothing better than that. Especially when those guys are all good guys.

“Well, LeBron is also that kind of player and that kind of person. But again, leaving guys who made decisions based on what’s right for their career was something I couldn’t have gotten by anyway.”

Once the Harrison twins — Aaron and Andrew — decided to stay at Kentucky along with Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley-Stein, Marcus Lee and Dakari Johnson, Calipari said there is no way he was going to leave. Kentucky gave him a $52.1 million extension through 2021 just to be sure.

“They came back because it was good for them and their careers and they knew they needed more developing and coachingm” Calipari explained. “That was by me. That’s what they wanted. So that made it a tough deal to say, ‘I’m just going to leave these guys here.’ With who? It may be somebody I don’t know that wouldn’t do the things for them that they needed to do.”

Somehow, I find that hard to believe. The potential to make $8 million per season as an NBA head coach and president of basketball operations while coaching the best player in the league probably would have intrigued Calipari more than the thought of inheriting a rebuilding project. He’s only human, after all.

Report: John Calipari was ‘deep in discussions’ with Cavs before Kentucky extension

John CalipariJohn Calipari already tried coaching in the NBA once, and it didn’t go well. After winning the Naismith College Coach of the Year Award in 1996, Calipari went on to compile a record of 72-112 in less than three seasons with the New Jersey Nets. According to one report, he was fairly close to giving the NBA another shot last week.

Adrian Wojnarowski and Brett Dawson of Yahoo Sports claim Calipari was “deep in discussions” with the Cleveland Cavaliers before he finalized a contract extension with Kentucky last week. He had even reportedly outlined the terms of a potential agreement with the Cavs that would be worth $60 million-plus over seven years and make him president of basketball operations as well as head coach.

Calipari, who signed a seven-year, $52 million extension with the Wildcats, was offered more than $8 million per season from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert. That would have placed him among the highest-paid coaches in the league. Calipari was said to be “intrigued” by the offer, but there is some speculation that he may have been concerned over how he would mesh with a hands-on owner like Gilbert.

Had Kentucky defeated UConn and won a national championship in April, it probably would have been easier to lure Calipari away. Now that the Harrison twins are returning to Lexington for their sophomore seasons and the Wildcats are easily the No. 1 team in the country heading into next season, Calipari probably wants to stick around. It’s a shame he’ll have to settle for only $7 million-plus per season.

John Calipari’s daughter Erin got engaged

Erin-Calipari-Cody-Siciliano

John Calipari picked up a new recruit this week, but this time he didn’t land another basketball player. Calipari will soon have a son-in-law, as his daughter Erin got engaged on Wednesday.

As many of you know, Calipari’s daughters are very supportive of him and seem to have a close relationship with their dad. Erin and Megan defended Coach Cal after Kentucky’s loss to UConn last month with a series of heartwarming tweets. They also fully buy into the Wildcats’ rivalries by despising teams like Louisville.

This Cody Siciliano cat is one lucky dude. He’s marrying into a power family.

Photo: Twitter/Erin Calipari

John Calipari goes on Colbert Report and things get funny (Video)

John CalipariJohn Calipari is apparently famous enough to the point that Stephen Colbert had him on his Comedy Central show, which is saying a lot.

Cal is a pretty serious dude, and Colbert obviously has a unique, funny style of humor, so watching them interact was pretty amusing. And it says a lot about how big time Calipari is that Colbert had him on to promote his new book.

The interview was very light and enjoyable. Colbert had some great lines, of course, but the best part was seeing the dynamic of serious Cal trying to keep it light while Colbert was running funny circles around him.

H/T Eye on College Basketball

Tucker Max paid $25,000 to hang out with John Calipari

Tucker-Max-John-Calipari

A lot of people feel that John Calipari is an insufferable jerk who thinks way too highly of himself. Award-winning author Tucker Max, who has chronicled his raunchy sexual encounters with women through his best-selling book and popular website, openly admits that he is a narcissist who thinks too highly of himself. Together, they make the perfect pair.

According to Deadspin, Max participated in a silent auction last September at the John Calipari Fantasy Basketball Experience. Everything from three days of instruction from Calipari to playing ball at the UK facilities was offered. One person who attended the camp told Deadspin Max bid $25,000 for a night with Calipari that included a private jet to the Bulls-Bobcats game on Wednesday night.

“Me and @UKCoachCalipari on our way to see the Bobcats and Bulls tonight,” Max wrote on Twitter. “He travels in style pic.”

Calipari’s wife would have probably preferred if someone else was the highest bidder.

John Calipari says ‘tweak’ he made was having Andrew Harrison pass more

John Calipari KentuckyThe Kentucky Wildcats were a completely different team once the NCAA Tournament began. After a season of disappointing results and tumbling in the national rankings, Kentucky knocked off some of the best teams in the tourney field en route to a National Championship appearance. So what changed?

When reporters asked how the Wildcats were able to make such a deep run, John Calipari credited a minor “tweak” he made in the team’s approach. That apparently involved freshman guard Andrew Harrison. Calipari elaborated on Monday.

“I was trying to make the game easier for Andrew,” Calipari told CBS This Morning, via The Dagger’s Jeff Eisenberg. “I got tapes of Deron Williams, who averaged nine assists throughout his career in the NBA. We had a game where he had 11 assists and I showed Andrew and I said, ‘Look at this. Let’s watch. Would you have passed or shot?’ He said, ‘I would have shot.’ ‘Would you have passed or shot?’ Well, Deron was throwing balls to everybody.”

The only regret Calipari had was not making the change sooner.

“And so I said, ‘Monday, you will not shoot one basketball. You will pass,” he explained. “We’re going to run less plays. You will create shots. We will chart. We’re not telling our team.’ He comes in and has 26 assist attempts. Twenty-six assists that Monday. I’m mad the whole practice because it’s changed my team. Why didn’t I do it earlier? And then I apologized to him, I apologized to the team and I said, ‘I messed this up, make me look good now.’”

It obviously worked. Kentucky probably wasn’t going to beat UConn in the National Championship game regardless given the way Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright were playing. Guard play almost always carries a team in the postseason. By realizing that, Calipari was able to defy the odds.