Mar 6, 2012, 5:24 PM EDT
NEW YORK– As Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun sat at the podium with players Ryan Boatright and Jeremy Lamb, following his team’s 81-67 win over DePaul in the first round of the Big East Tournament, questioning began about Calhoun’s recent health concerns.
“Thank God it’s no longer a nerve pain and I’m not walking with a cane anymore,” he said, seeming upbeat. Then he added a joke: “I couldn’t walk with a cane on the sidelines because the officials might have been hit.”
A hearty laugh echoed through the press room. But then, an unexpected change.
“By the way, speaking on that note, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank, generally speaking, almost everybody in the media for the way you’ve treated this,” he said with a palpable sense of sincerity.
Some reporters looked around at each other in what seemed like disbelief.
“You reported what happened, you didn’t make value judgments about it. I know people are going to talk about retirement, any other thing, because we’re talking about the sport,” he continued. “But I have great respect, and generally speaking, for the way you’ve treated me and my family…”
It was undoubtedly sincere, there’s no arguing that. He reiterated that fact at different points, as he spoke.
The real question is timing. Why now?
His team needed a win and they got it. As they try to shake the “underachieving” label, it seems these Huskies are trying to come together at the right time. Could it be an attempt to seize on the spirit?
It did, though, have the sound of a swan song. Speculation about his retirement has resurfaced since news of difficulties with his health. But doesn’t it seem this question comes up every year?
Whatever the reason, Calhoun and his Huskies move on, playing West Virginia on Wednesday at noon.
But, if I were to take a guess, it will be a while before we see a repeat of Tuesday’s press conference.
- Steady improvement turning Alize Johnson into valued Division I prospect 0
- Report: SMU’s Larry Brown up against ‘lack of coach control’ charge 0
- If the NCAA is correct, Donnie Tyndall is in big, big trouble 2
- Former Memphis forward Austin Nichols transferring to Virginia 3
- Saturday Las Vegas Recap: Zach Norvell goes off, Josh Jackson makes it look easy 0
- Thursday Las Vegas Recap: Dennis Smith and Frank Jackson battle; Lonzo Ball quiets critics; Wendell Carter talks visit 0
- Wednesday Las Vegas Recap: Dennis Smith vs Lonzo Ball; Frank Jackson faces Kobi Simmons 0
- Nik Stauskas trolls Ohio State fans, claims Thad Matta didn’t know who he was (PHOTO) (6)
- 7-foot-6 UCF center Tacko Fall throws down between the legs dunk (VIDEO) (3)
- United States wins bronze at Pan-Am Games (3)
- Former Memphis forward Austin Nichols transferring to Virginia (3)
- Wichita State forward working hard to improve offensive repertoire (3)