For most of us, Maui is a dream destination. Sun, surf, luaus, the whole deal. If someone else is paying, so much the better.
One guy’s not looking forward to putting on a floral-print shirt and ordering another mai-tai, however. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, John Calipari does not plan to take his Kentucky Wildcats back to the Maui Invitational any time soon, if ever.
The best part is that the Herald-Leader learned this bit of news second-hand, by asking Missouri head coach Frank Haith, who overheard a conversation between Calipari and North Carolina’s Roy Williams, and passed it along to Jerry Tipton.
Williams mentioned that he planned to take his North Carolina team to the Maui Invitational in 2016. Kentucky apparently won’t be returning to Maui … while Calipari is coach.
Calipari has made no secret of how he dislikes the arduous trip to and from Maui.
“That’s legit,” Haith said of Calipari’s concerns about traversing across five time zones. “He hates it. It’s just too far for him.”
And how did the North Carolina coach react when Calipari recoiled at the idea of taking another team to Hawaii?
“Well, Roy said, ‘I’m going every four years,'” Haith said with a laugh.
Honestly, it kind of makes sense. The trip from Lexington must take forever, and it’s not like you can really spend all your time hanging out once you get there. The TV exposure is nice, but Cal gets plenty of that, and doesn’t really need it to reel in top talent anyway – the price in time and travel may be too much.
Not to worry, though. The Maui Invitational isn’t about to run out of high-profile participants. According to the report, Bill Self and new UCLA coach Steve Alford in Hawaiian shirts in upcoming seasons – the two schools already booked their return trips. And obviously, Roy and his boys are in.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.