John Calipari’s talents are wasted as a basketball coach. Oh sure, the guy’s at the top of his profession as a recruiter, motivator, developer of talent and as a winner. He’s shown as much at UMass, Memphis and now at Kentucky.
But to really harness his talents, Calipari should be a negotiator where people need who can smooth things over in tense situations. Send the guy to Egypt. Send him to North Korea. He’ll ensure the two sides talk. (I kid. Mostly.)
I mean, anyone who can patch things up with John Chaney can probably do just about anything. This wasn’t that long ago.
Here’s Chaney today . “I admire him and he knows that.”
The quote’s from a lengthy profile in Sports Illustrated by S.L. Price, who examined Calipari at every stop of his life, from his childhood, to his time as an assistant, then his rise to Massachusetts, Memphis and his current job at Kentucky.
Price did his homework, too. He spent 5-6 weeks conducting 60-70 interviews in three different cities. The result should be familiar to hoopheads, with the exception of a few parts.
The Chaney item struck me, but mostly because the video is forever stuck in my head. Perhaps most notable to the folks in Lexington are comments regarding something Louisville coach Rick Pitino, which John Clay recaps here. (The gist? Pitino may have lied.)
It’s a solid story, but probably fails in one regard in today’s sports world – it doesn’t take a stand on Calipari and lets the reader make up their own mind. Talk about a throwback.
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