John Calipari: Our goal in 2015 was not to win a championship
Kentucky fell short of expectations last season by not winning a national championship, but fortunately the Wildcats’ head coach is a master spin doctor in addition to being an expert recruiter.
According to John Calipari, Kentucky is still working toward its goal, which is to have eight players drafted by NBA teams this year.
“Last year we started the season with a goal,” Calipari said Wednesday, per Jeff Eisenberg of The Dagger. “You may think it was to win a national title or win all the games, [but] it was to get eight players drafted. Well, how can you be about your team if you’re worried about getting players drafted? We kind of work it the other way. What are your dreams? What are you looking for? What are you trying to get out of life? How can we help you with that?”
It got even more corny from there.
“For me, the mission for me is to be a vehicle to help others reach their dreams, to be the stone that creates the ripple in their lives that goes on and on and on,” Calipari continued. “Now in our state, they want my mission to be, ‘win national titles, win national titles.’ My mission is bigger than that.”
Kentucky fans might not appreciate that, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise. When five Wildcats were selected in the 2010 NBA Draft, Calipari labeled it the biggest day in Kentucky basketball history.
The comments were nothing more than a recruiting tactic for Calipari. Almost all top high school prospects care more about making it to the NBA than they do about winning a championship in college. As long as Calipari can continue to get those players to buy into his philosophy, his teams will contend for a title every season. The two go hand-in-hand, though we wouldn’t blame Kentucky fans for calling Calipari’s comments a cop-out after their undefeated season was spoiled.
Some people would tell you that Calipari’s ultimate goal for himself is to coach this team or some other team at the NBA level. Only time will tell if that’s the case.