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Calapari's draft night comments prove Cali-bashing is never out of season


OK guys, Calipari made a stupid comment Thursday night.  High off the euphoria of seeing five of his players live their lifelong dream and get drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft, John Calipari made a rare faux pas by saying that this was the “biggest moment in the history of Kentucky basketball”.

Any other coach could have made the statement and for all of maybe five schools, this would have been a correct statement.  But since Calipari said it, the critics are scrambling to bash Calipari like roaches seeing a light turned on.

Oh, Calipari is all about individual glory, not team glory” they are lining up to cry. We know that it is late June and that college basketball news now is as rare as Tom Crean signing a top recruit at Indiana, but guys … is this really worth the extreme Cali-bashing.

I love John Calipari, and I am widely perceived as a Cal apologist, but even I admit, it was a stupid comment.  Any NBA draft achievement would rank at least 8th on any UK purists list in regards of “biggest nights:” and I would say that Thursday night would struggle to be a top 20 moment in my personal recollection of UK top nights.  But regardless, it was a history making night.  No other school had ever put five players in the first round of the NBA Draft. so I was more than willing to forgive Calipari’s statement, say almost immediately.

When you consider that UK and Calipari’s big night was akin to $500,000 in free publicity for Kentucky, Calipari’s mis-statement is even easier to overlook.  Regardless, the Herald Leader’s Jerry Tipton took the time to speak to a bevy of ex-Cats, including all time leading scorer Dan Issel, who called Cal’s statement “dumbest thing he’s ever heard”. 

OK.  We get it.  Titles mean more than the NBA Draft.  Everyone knows this, Calipari included.  And I have to agree with A Sea of Blue’s Tru and say that all this unnecessary criticism is just rather silly.  I think that if you took a poll of every division coach, they would all say, that aside from a national title, getting five players in the first round of the NBA Draft would probably rank as a very good second night. 

Calipari just had the fortune to be at college basketball’s all time winningest school with a chock full bag of “greatest moments ever” when he made his euphoric statement.  But anyone that thinks Calipari puts Draft Night above a title needs to have their head examined.  Can we just move on?

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