John Calipari Is Incredibly Pissed About NCAA Mid-Season Firings
February 20 / Tanya Ray Fox / SportsGrid
Love him or hate him, John Calipari is one of the most accomplished college basketball coaches in the new millennium. His Kentucky teams are virtual locks for the NCAA Tournament every year, and he's sent countless kids on to successful NBA careers.
That's why the man makes $8 million dollars a year plus bonuses, which is more than just about every professional coach in the country. It's also why he is highly unlikely to be fired in the middle of a season; something that he evidently disapproves of greatly.
After Kentucky's 82-77 win over Georgia on Saturday, Calipari fervently defended Bulldogs coach Mark Fox and criticized the mid-season pseudo-firing of NC State's Mark Gottfried, who the school announced will be let go at the end of the season. (Tough week for all the Marks, am I right?!)
"Here's what bothers me about this profession right now," said Calipari. "So [Fox] goes to Florida - overtime. Shoulda won the game. He comes to us - overtime. Shoulda won the game. We were lucky to win. Loses at Texas A&M because the clock stalled! The clock stalled! That's why he loses the game. But he keeps his team together. That's coaching..."
Calipari continued, delightfully trolling his own fans by reminding everyone that not only does his team have to win, but they have to win by 25 points in order to keep people quite.
"If we win by two or in overtime, people are jumping off bridges."
Don't worry, he wasn't done there.
"We're firing coaches mid-season. Are you shitting me? We’re firing coaches in midseason. You know what I’m putting my contract? You can fire me at mid-season but you’re going to have to pay me $3 million. Oh, you’ll let me stay now, won’t you... Every coach in the country PUT IT IN YOUR CONTRACT. What if Mark Gottfried goes on a run at the end and gets to the NCAA Tournament, which he was in four out of five years? Two Sweet 16s, which is not done at NC State. What happens if he now if he goes and wins and gets another team [in?] He had good players but they’re young, they’re like my team. It’s hard to do this with young guys."
Clearly recognizing that he'd just freaked out everyone in the press conference with his impromptu rant about the ethics of NCAA hiring and firing, he proceeded to jokingly yell "fake media!" at the reporter who asked the ensuing question.
I still wonder whether Calipari is the guy that should be speaking on behalf of hardworking, elite basketball coaches everywhere, but the guy sure can hold a press conference.
You can watch the entire rant below:
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