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
Mar 30, 2015, 11:10 PM EDT
UConn, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Maryland make up the 2015 women’s Final Four.
Mar 30, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT
Some great names highlight this list.
Mar 30, 2015, 10:24 PM EDT
Williams was the leading scorer and rebounder for the Tigers this season.
Mar 30, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT
Nebraska forward Walter Pitchford is giving up basketball for his senior season.
Mar 30, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT
Xavier is losing a reserve guard to transfer.
Mar 30, 2015, 8:05 PM EDT
Utah Valley has found its new head coach.
Mar 30, 2015, 7:00 PM EDT
Chris Mullin will get a chance to restore glory at St. John’s.
Mar 30, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT
George Mason makes a move to hire a new head coach.
Mar 30, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT
Who were the best players in the second-weekend of the NCAA tournament?
Mar 30, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT
Cincinnati gets Mick Cronin back.
Mar 30, 2015, 3:40 PM EDT
Harrell and Rozier were both expected to head to the NBA.
Mar 30, 2015, 3:07 PM EDT
Izzo became the first coach to lead three teams seeded No. 5 or lower to the Final Four.
Mar 30, 2015, 2:41 PM EDT
Lee will be a priority target during the offseason.
Mar 30, 2015, 2:22 PM EDT
The Tar Heels should return every piece to its rotation next season, but what happens with the NCAA inquiry will have an impact as well.
Mar 30, 2015, 1:50 PM EDT
Dekker was the best player in the second weekend of the event.
Mar 30, 2015, 12:42 PM EDT
There isn’t anything all that wrong with the AP’s list. The first team is perfect.
Mar 30, 2015, 12:19 PM EDT
If you need to place a bet, here are the lines you’ll be working with.
Mar 30, 2015, 10:46 AM EDT
Neubauer was with Eastern Kentucky for 10 years and John Beilein for nine seasons before that.
Mar 30, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT
R.J. Hunter and his father/coach became a sensation during the tournament.
Mar 30, 2015, 9:43 AM EDT
This is not a surprise, as Turner was expected to be a one-and-done player.
- Frank Kaminsky, Jahlil Okafor highlight five Wooden Award finalists 0
- 2015 NCAA Tournament All-Second Weekend Team 1
- While a major question remains unanswered, No. 4 North Carolina can be special in 2015-16 2
- Tournament darling R.J. Hunter is heading to the NBA 3
- Texas freshman Myles Turner declares for the NBA Draft 6
- The Final Four is set, and it’s going to be insane 23
- No. 7 Michigan State reaches the Final Four for the seventh time under Izzo 15
- Andrew Harrison’s late free throws send No. 1 Kentucky to the Final Four (86)
- Kentucky responds to Daxter Miles Jr.’s pregame comments (30)
- Updated tournament records: Big Ten teams make up half of Final Four (27)
- The Final Four is set, and it’s going to be insane (23)
- West Virginia freshman on Kentucky: ‘They’re going to be 36-1′ (21)