Mar 29, 2012, 10:01 AM EDT
When John Calipari trots out to “On, On, U of K” in the Mercedes Benz Superdome on Saturday night, a nation will stand unified and root against him.
While Kentucky is unquestionably the wildest and loudest college basketball fan base in the country, not even the state they represent will be completely behind them. Unless you bleed blue or are in position to win your tournament pool, you don’t want this team to cut down more nets.
That’s not a knock on freshmen phenoms Anthony Davis or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, or senior Darius Miller, or the soft-spoken Doron Lamb. They’re all well deserving of a National Championship, and players a casual fan could develop a rooting interest for.
The reason for the venom being thrown around is all about Cal. He’s a fantastic basketball coach, no doubt, but as long as he’s the face of Big Blue Nation, few want this program to achieve excellence.
We’re not trolling, we’re just a culture that chooses to believe the bad and gloss over the good. You can’t sensationalize Calipari’s charitable deeds (and there are a number of them), but you can sensationalize all the speculation as to just how and why two of his former programs were put on probation but Calipari got off clean. You are also free to draw your own conclusions as to how he gets the pick of the litter from each high school recruiting class.
Whatever Cal did or didn’t do that crippled UMass and temporarily handcuffed Memphis I don’t care about. Perhaps there are a few members of the NCAA still flummoxed trying to prove something they’re quite certain of, but for the most part life goes on.
No, whatever Calipari may or may not be hiding in his closet isn’t why I’d prefer to see him lose, it’s what we see when the bright lights are shining: Cal’s effort to be charismatic sends shivers up and down my spine.
His personality borders on con-artist friendly, too-good-to-be-true charming, which raises red flags and prevents me from trusting him and his motives.
He reminds me of a used car salesman.
From giving back-handed compliments to Charles Barkley after beating Iowa State, to telling Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg that Anthony Davis was just being a “momma’s boy” when he banged knees with Perry Jones III during South Regional finals, Calipari’s method of interpersonal communication rubs me the wrong way, and it leads me to believe he’s overcompensating for something. Whether or not it’s for allowing someone not named Derrick Rose to take Derrick Rose’s SAT, I don’t know. I haven’t been in the thick of this long enough to confidently formulate an educated argument, but I do know I would never send my kid to play basketball for John Calipari.
Sure he’d do his best to get my kid to the NBA if that was the best place for him, but there’s other schools that produce pro players too … and I’m probably not going to raise a professional athlete.
Fair or unfair, my dislike for Calipari has nothing to do with basketball, and everything to do with what I see through a number of mediums.
Maybe he really is a genuinely nice person. Maybe he’s cordial and doesn’t do things public figures are forced to do for the sake of maintaining a favorable perception with the masses, but I don’t buy it.
I could be way off, ridicule me if you’d like, but if Kentucky wins the 2012 National Championship, I’d prefer it if we didn’t hail Cal.
We don’t need him gabbing anymore than he already does.
Follow Nick Fasulo on Twitter @billyedelinSBN
Oct 21, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
Stanford’s back court depth took a hit this week.
Oct 21, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT
Suspensions have been handed down for two James Madison players involved in a fall altercation.
Oct 21, 2014, 8:38 PM EDT
Nebraska has been recruiting the state of Illinois very hard and it paid off with a 2016 commitment.
Oct 21, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT
Kansas State has taken a hit to its front court depth this week.
Oct 21, 2014, 7:15 PM EDT
Florida’s backcourt depth received a big boost this week.
Oct 21, 2014, 6:15 PM EDT
Georgia State loses Kevin Ware with a high ankle sprain.
Oct 21, 2014, 6:00 PM EDT
American went from ninth in the Patriot League preseason polls to a No. 15 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Safe to say, the Eagles will be viewed much differently this time around with four returning starters.
Oct 21, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
Wyoming becomes a contender in the Mountain West Conference with the return of senior forward Larry Nance Jr.
Oct 21, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT
Clemson added a junior college post that could come in and make an immediate impact.
Oct 21, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT
The Aggies now have one of the best recruiting classes in the country.
Oct 21, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT
American was the surprise team in the Patriot League a season ago. Can they repeat as league champs?
Oct 21, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT
No surprise that Murray State and Belmont are expected to be at the top of the league.
Oct 21, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
L.J. Rose is expected to return around Christmas.
Oct 21, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
The Gators are good enough to win the SEC. They have enough question marks to finish outside the top 25 as well.
Oct 21, 2014, 10:08 AM EDT
That fan looks like he’s enjoying things.
Oct 21, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
These are the players to keep an eye on if you like seeing aerial acrobatics.
Oct 20, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
Kansas State is losing a redshirt freshman to transfer.
Oct 20, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
Virginia got a very skilled guard in the 2016 class.
Oct 20, 2014, 9:15 PM EDT
Florida landed an in-state Class of 2015 wing to make it a four-man class.
Oct 20, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT
Memphis found a 2016 guard to join center Nick Marshall in the recruiting class.
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