Blog Entry

Rick Pitino shoots back at John Calipari

Posted on: October 6, 2011 9:25 am
Edited on: October 6, 2011 9:28 am
 
By Jeff Goodman

It was only a matter of time.

Just a few days after Kentucky coach John Calipari's verbal jab directed squarely at Pitino and Louisville, the Cards' head coach fired back.

"Four things I've learned in my 59 years about people," Pitino told CBSSports.com on Wednesday. "I ignore the jealous, I ignore the malicious, I ignore the ignorant and I ignore the paranoid."

"If the shoe fits anyone," he added. "Wear it."

Wow.

To refresh your memory, here are Calipari's comments earlier in the week in which he purposely omits Louisville when talking about programs in the state of Kentucky.

"It's a unique thing," Calipari said. "There's no other state, none, that's as connected to their basketball program as this one. Because those other states have other programs. Michigan has Michigan State, California has UCLA, North Carolina has Duke. It's Kentucky throughout this whole state, and that's what makes us unique."

This is why the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry currently has no peer in college hoops.

At least while Pitino and Calipari run their respective programs.

It edges out the one with closer proximity down in Tobacco Road between Duke and North Carolina. Not due to the hatred between fan bases, because that exists at a similar level in Bluegrass country.

But because of the hatred of the two coaches who run the programs.

Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina's Roy Williams aren't exactly partners, but those guys are buddies compared to Calipari and Pitino.

Louisville Courier-Journal columnist Rick Bozich touched upon Calipari's jealousy in a column this morning and there's certainly some merit to his points.

It's no coincidence that Calipari accepted the job to coach the Dominican Republican national team shortly after Pitino agreed to (and later decided against) coach the Puerto Rican National club.

Calipari is envious of the fact that Pitino won a national championship.

Calipari is brash -- and even his closest friends in the business will tell you behind closed doors that he'll turn on anyone. I mean, think about the fact that Pitino was a key proponent in Calipari getting the UMass job years ago.

But that is ancient history now.

Pitino is nearing 60 and doesn't care what he says or who he offends these days.

A year ago, his team was over-matched talent-wise by Calipari's Wildcats. This year, although Kentucky remains loaded due to another stellar freshman class, the gap has closed significantly.

The two coaches will square off on New Year's Eve.

This makes for terrific theater, so grab some popcorn and enjoy the show.

Because it's not going to last forever.

Photo: AP
Comments

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: October 10, 2011 7:56 am
 

Rick Pitino shoots back at John Calipari

groggy1...UL still doesn't have any forwards!  Like I previously stated, is one 6'9 chunky Cardinal going to stop three 6'10-6'11 lottery picks in the paint?  Didn't think so!  The game will be over at halftime, so all the Cods fans can get back to the Thoroughbred Lounges on Dixie Highway, in their Chevy Camaras, and sport their rattails, baggy pants, line-beards, high-tops, basketball jerseys, etc.!!!



Since: Jul 1, 2011
Posted on: October 10, 2011 1:16 am
 

Rick Pitino shoots back at John Calipari

Cal wont win a title at UK cause star freshman cant do it? He bud I dont know if you know it or not but UK team this year has three starters returning from a final four team to go with maybe the best recruiting class ever. He has been at UK two years and people are saying he cant ever win it. We only had 1 one and done player last year. His first year year we had 5 but only Wall was considered a one and done player before the season. I think all non uk fans should accept that 2 years isnt enough to make such predictions. Elite 8 and losses 5 players to the draft and takes a team of 6 players last year to the final four through the toughest region. Yeah he is terrible. Pay attention this year to UK, you opinions will be proven wrong



Since: Feb 12, 2009
Posted on: October 9, 2011 9:07 pm
 

Rick Pitino shoots back at John Calipari


n this week's Louisville Courier-Journal, sports columnist Rich Bozich wrote a on John Calipari's envy of Rick Pitino. However, for those who have been following Calipari and Pitino for the past two decades, this isn't news. Calipari has been obsessed with Pitino for years.


The Ville-  Read that article a couple days ago.  Don't think Bozich would be a little biased do you???  Great job on cut and paste.  I can find articles that say the opposite if you like. 



Since: Oct 6, 2011
Posted on: October 9, 2011 6:09 pm
 

To "The Ville"

recheck your googled history list! After the 1996 championship Rick Pitino won while at Kentucky he stated basically the same thing Calipari did. That the entire state of Kentucky revolved around UK basketball and that there was no other school in the state that challenged it!!! So is Rick calling himself ignorant?????



Since: Aug 23, 2007
Posted on: October 9, 2011 5:35 pm
 

Rick Pitino shoots back at John Calipari

In this week's Louisville Courier-Journal, sports columnist Rich Bozich wrote a on John Calipari's envy of Rick Pitino. However, for those who have been following Calipari and Pitino for the past two decades, this isn't news. Calipari has been obsessed with Pitino for years. 


Let's take a look back at just some examples of Calipari's long-standing fixation with Pitino. The list is too long for this note. Here are some of the more memorable Calipari bites: 

 

  • In his book, "Hello Everybody, This is Cawood Ledford," legendary and long-time Kentucky Basketball announcer Cawood Ledford described a visit from Calipari's UMass team when they traveled to Lexington and faced Pitino's Kentucky squad on December 4, 1991. Wrote Ledford: "The most energetic one of the (UMass team) was the coach, John Calipari, whose clothes and sideline behavior were so much like Rick's that it was almost comical." 
  • In a March, 2011 article published in Sports Illustrated, writer S.L. Price on Calipari: But he's still not above calling editors to savage writers he dislikes, and he takes a child's delight in zinging ESPN columnist Pat Forde—co-author of a book with Pitino, Calipari is quick to say—who has detailed Calipari's perceived misdeeds in print and on television.
  • ...Later, in the same article, Calipari is quoted: "I would just tell you: I respect (Pitino), respect what he's done over his ." Then he yells in a voice thick with sarcasm, "And thank him for all the help he's given me over my career!"
  • In 2008, Pitino published his book, "Rebound Rules: The Art of Success 2.0." Less than two years later, Calipari's book hit the shelves. Its title? "Bounce Back: Overcoming Setbacks to Succeed in Business and in Life." As Cawood put it, almost comical. 
  • Pitino's Louisville team lost to Calipari's first Kentucky team in the 2009-10 basketball season, in a game played in Rupp Arena at Kentucky. Months later, former Kentucky player John Pelphrey brought his Arkansas team into Rupp Arena to take on Calipari's Wildcats. Pelphrey, one of Kentucky's famed "Unforgettables," has his jersey retired and hanging in the rafters of Rupp Arena. When Calipari was asked by a member of the media if he had ever faced an opposing coach whose jersey was retired in his team's home arena, Calipari responded: "Well, if I recall, Pitino's got a retired banner hanging up there and he came in here and took an 'L.' Hmm...look who was on Calipari's mind again, in the middle of his team's SEC schedule, weeks removed from the Kentucky-Louisville game. 
  • In April of 2011, Calipari was asked if whether he was rethinking his policy of filling his roster with prospects who only play one season of basketball. Calipari responded: "Now, who knew that , who I loved to death, was able to leave after a year? He didn’t play in the McDonald’s game that year. He was behind (Louisville guard Peyton) Siva in all the stats and everything else." Interesting that Calipari could have compared Bledsoe a number of top recruits, but he picked . Par for the Calipari course
  • In Calipari's first season at Kentucky, he tried to schedule a practice at Louisville's Freedom Hall
  • Calipari showed interest in coaching the Dominican Republic immediately after it was announced Pitino might be coaching Puerto Rico's national team. 
  • Having accepted the Dominican coaching job, Calipari staged a midsummer exhibition game in 2011 in Louisville's KFC Yum! Center
  • Calipari has been squeezing Pitino recruits since taking the head coaching job at Kentucky. First, it was Marquis Teague. Now it's Gary Harris. Calipari also tried to court former Kentucky Mr. Basketball to Lexington after he had committed to Pitino and Louisville. Justice kept his word, and had an effective freshman year at Louisville. 
  • Asked about former Pitino guard , who played on Calipari's Dominican Republic team, Calipari said: "Somebody had to teach that kid the pick and roll."
  • And the most recent: Calipari was asked last week about the Kentucky fans camped outside of Memorial Coliseum in Lexington to secure tickets for Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness tip-off to the basketball season. Calipari's response: Cal’s answer: "It’s a unique thing. There’s no other state — none — as connected to their basketball program as this one. Because those other states have other programs. Michigan has Michigan State. California — UCLA has all those. ... North Carolina has Duke. It’s Kentucky, throughout this whole state, and that’s what makes this unique." Could Calipari simply have forgotten that Louisville was a city in the state of Kentucky? Probably not. Said Calipari in December of 2010: "The state is driven by the city of Louisville." 

Of course, it's easy to understand why Calipari is fixated on Pitino (not counting Calipari's possible deep-rooted psychological problems and anger issues). Pitino has coached in Five Final Fours. Calipari has had two Final Fours vacated (the third, it is only reasonable enough to say, is still pending). Pitino defeated Calipari's No. 1 ranked UMass in the 1996 Final Four, en route to Pitino and Kentucky's sixth NCAA Championship. (Calipari's 1996 UMass team later had its Final Four vacated by the NCAA). Pitino is the only coach in the history of college basketball to lead three different schools to the Final Four, is a five-time National Coach of the Year and is a lock for the Hall of Fame. Calipari is the only coach in the history of college basketball to lead two different schools to the Final Four and have both of those Final Fours vacated. Pitino is one of only 12 active Division I coaches to have won a National Championship. Calipari has never won a National Championship and has a long, long row to hoe if he ever wants to see his name mentioned in the same sentence as "Hall of Fame." Pitino has a winning record versus Calipari in games coached head-to-head, and perhaps most telling, Pitino has never lost to Calipari when it matters - in the postseason. Pitino has never lost a same season rematch with Calipari, and is 3-0 versus Calipari in postseason play, including 2-0 in the NCAA Tournament. 


After Calipari's latest geographical jab, Pitino responded: "Four things I've learned in my 59 years about people. I ignore the jealous, I ignore the malicious, I ignore the ignorant and I ignore the paranoid."
"If the shoe fits anyone," he added. "Wear it."


Kudos to Pitino for sticking up for his program and its fanbase. Like any other opposing coach Pitino might face, the only time Calipari crosses Pitino's mind is when Pitino is scouting Calipari's teams, three or four days before gameday. But for Calipari, Pitino is something he just can't seem to shake.




Since: Feb 12, 2009
Posted on: October 9, 2011 1:29 pm
 

Rick Pitino shoots back at John Calipari


UK owes Pitino big time.  He took it over and brought it back from death.  Instead, what do they do?  They go back to their dirtbag roots and try to dog him.  Nice try.  Karma's a bitch guys.  Calipari for President, 2012.



fairminded-  I believe you better pick another nickname.  UK paid Pitino well and treated him like a king when he coached the Wildcats in the 1990's.  The whole state would have given him anything and worshipped him.  But what does he do.  He turns his back on the fans and goes to Boston where he was a failure. 

Now tell me again who owes who.  Yes Karma is a bitch isn't it for Pitino.  He turns his back on a team and state because of his ego to coach in the NBA.  Then he comes back to the state and coaches the archrival of the Wildcats.  ,Then he has a sleazy affair in an Italian restaurant him being a family man. 

Yes Yes Karma is nice for a 15 second, egotistical, over the hill, adulterer.   



Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: October 9, 2011 5:14 am
 

Rick Pitino shoots back at John Calipari

That's right Bsharp. Resort to calling me a name. And you're right, I am fat. but I can live with it.

Your comments won't change anything down the road. But when the NCAA sanctions Kentucky, you are going to hate it.



Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: October 9, 2011 12:08 am
 

UK fans clamor for Pitino like an ex girlfriend

It's so funny to see these posts by UK fans slamming Pitino.  They pine for this guy to this day.  I know, I'm right in the middle of it all hearing it on the radio and seeing it on TV here in Louisville.

They still call him a traitor?!  If you don't think he's worth it, why say anything?  Oh, because the dude you have is a walking calamity waiting to infect the program, that's why.

UK owes Pitino big time.  He took it over and brought it back from death.  Instead, what do they do?  They go back to their dirtbag roots and try to dog him.  Nice try.  Karma's a bitch guys.  Calipari for President, 2012. 



Since: Feb 6, 2008
Posted on: October 8, 2011 11:24 pm
 

Rick Pitino shoots back at John Calipari

It speaks VOLUMES of what you know.  Make sure you give us another brillant display of your wisdom.
No, I remember them too. Exactly why Steve Fisher is coaching where he is today and has accomplished what he has, nothing.



Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: October 8, 2011 8:28 pm
 

Rick Pitino shoots back at John Calipari

Just like Rick Penistino, 15 seconds, short , sweet to the point. Just like good a Italian boy! Doing any seminars on how we common folk should live our lives to be successful like you slick Rick!


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