Coach Cal, please...
Posted April 18, 2012
At a Tuesday night press conference, Kentucky coach John Calipari was surrounded by his three freshmen and two sophomores, starters on the Wildcats national championship team. Calipari was the first to speak, "This is a players-first program," he said. So why didn't he let the players say they were leaving early to join the NBA? Calipari made the grand announcement for Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb.
But the worst quote of the night came from Calipari in his opening remarks. He referred to the five stars seated next to him, "They understand why they are in school. They're here to get an education." Coach, please. Don't hand us that hot bag of garbage. It's insulting and false.
First and foremost, they were there to make themselves better basketball players.
Now I don't fault highly talented players leaving early for the NBA. They are a product of a flawed system controlled by the NBA. If you are 19, one year out of high school and think you're good enough, the league will accept your application.
Some return to get their degree and some don't. I won't judge either way. I just wish the current early entry draft rules could be combined with the way college football determines its national champion and blown up at the same time.
There has to be a better way for both. But don't look for any changes to the current NBA way of life. The league wasn't able to change draft eligibility rules during collective bargaining last year.