A revealing and in-depth interview will be airing tomorrow with Coach Calipari on 'In Depth with Graham Bensinger.' Cal opens up about his time as a volunteer coach at Kansas where he lived in a trailer and chose cable to watch ESPN over furniture. He also talks about his critics, Memphis cancelling the dinner planned to honor him, and his lack of interest in returning to the NBA.
Some of the more intriguing quotes from the piece are below:
Over the years, John Calipari has faced a variety of coaching and recruiting accusations, though no charges have ever been verified. He reflects on the criticism but opts to brush it off and focus on coaching instead.
Calipari: "Early on, I probably did some things and said some things to reporters because I thought they were unfair and I didn't take it lying down. And they've never forgot. So they have such an obsession with me that they just continue to write their stuff. I'm not gonna change ‘em; I don't care. My whole thing is - can I sleep at night? I do sleep like a baby.
Bensinger: "Just speaking to you know like Memphis, for example, they were gonna honor you recently as part of the Hall of Fame celebration and then end up deciding not to because of fan outrage. What's your reaction to something like that?"
Calipari: "That one was like ‘oh well'... Those could have been Mississippi fans. When you're in Memphis, you have Tennessee fans, Mississippi fans, Arkansas fans, Vanderbilt fans and you're trying to survive. So you don't know who they were. But, whatever they were, obviously the university listened, and I'm good with it. I mean when you talk about all that's going on and the things that have happened for me, I've been blessed. If there's a couple hiccups like Memphis, the other stuff is so far beyond [that]."
John Calipari has won nearly 600 games in his college coaching career, yet he insists it's impossible for him - or any coach - to win if there are raisins in the oatmeal.
Calipari: "There was oatmeal at every breakfast. No raisins. If you put raisins in the oatmeal, I would go bonkers. Anytime there's raisins - you lose every time. We were 27-0, I walk in and there's raisins in the oatmeal. [I] literally grab the oatmeal, throw it against the wall... Threw it against the wall and we lost the game - at home. We had a 50-game winning streak and we lose the game. I knew we were going to lose. I think I got thrown out of the game - for not saying anything."
John Calipari describes the environment in which he operates - from jokingly taking credit of staffers' ideas to his unwillingness to adapt to modern technology.
Calipari: "I take on all ideas. They end up being mine, but I accept all ideas. I give no credit, I just take them. People around me laugh - I say I really like that idea, now that's mine..."
Bensinger: "You have nearly a million and a half Twitter followers and you don't even know how to use a computer."
Calipari: "I have no computer. If you walk in my office you'll see there's no computer. I don't know how to turn on a computer. I start looking for buttons. I don't know how to do it. But, there's nothing that goes out on the tweets or Facebook that I didn't do or call on."
Despite a 72-112 record in three years as head coach of the New Jersey Nets, John Calipari says he learned a lot during his time in the NBA and isn't interested in coaching in the league again.
Calipari: "I had no idea what I was doing - didn't play in the NBA, hadn't coached in the NBA, hadn't been an assistant in the NBA. Watched some games. Had no idea what I was doing. But we did all right for not knowing what we were doing."
Bensinger: "To what extent do you think - before you stop coaching - you'd like to be an NBA head coach again?"
Calipari: "That's not a burning desire for me. My time in the NBA - I loved it, it made me a better coach, I have great relationships with people. I hired some bad people. One of the things you learn, you better surround yourself with everybody on the same page. But I learned great lessons from it."