By LARRY VAUGHT
Not once has John Calipari ever tried to hide his belief that getting players drafted to help them secure their financial future is his primary focus.
During Thursday’s Media Day, Calipari risked infuriating Kentucky fans again by saying the draft was more important to him than a national title.
“If you want to pin that on me, I’ll take it. We all know it’s not true because we’ve won more games than any team in the country the last seven years, we’ve been to more Final Fours than any team in the country,” said Calipari. “We won one national title. Probably should have won three or four, but we won a national title.
“In our league, we’ve done what we’ve done every year. I’m happy with what’s happening on the basketball court, but I’m more happy about what’s happening for these kids. If my team won a national title and no one got drafted, I’d be disappointed.
“Oh, that will just rifle through our state. I would be disappointed.”
Boom. That’s not what UK fans wanted to hear a few years ago and certainly not what most will want to hear now.
That’s why I asked Calipari if he wanted to clarify his disappointment about a national title and if he really would be totally disappointed if UK won a national title and nobody got drafted,
“The question is would I be totally disappointed? ” Calipari asked.
I said it was just to let him clarify what he meant.
“Now you’re mincing words. You’re putting words … Look, I would enjoy the fact that I had a team that won a national title, but I would be disappointed that none of the kids got drafted because that’s not how it’s supposed to work,” Calipari said.
“Everybody should benefit by the success of this program — everybody. The fans, the university, the athletic department, the assistant coaches — everybody should benefit when things like that happen. And then not the players? No, they should benefit just as well. ”