By LARRY VAUGHT
Big-game John Calipari always manages to go off on at least one tangent before a game like the Kentucky-Kansas matchup Saturday night.
ESPN GameDay is here for the game and ESPN’s Paul Finnebaum did his show live from Rupp Arena today.
So what about all the media distractions?
“You want me to do this as Donald Trump would do it? I said President Trump, excuse me. I will tell you that there’s clutter, and you all are a part of the clutter. Sometimes you’re writing that they’re the best in the world, they’re the best there’s ever been. That’s poison. You can drink that stuff and die,” Calipari said Friday.
“The other side of it is the negative stuff, and it starts breaking down teams. So you don’t listen to it. How about part of the media is all these draft boards? How about part of the clutter becomes the people around that? And I always say, you know, ‘They love you more than they love this team.’ That’s just how it is.
“Now, that’s not just in this program; it’s in every program. You’ve got to keep the clutter away, and you’ve got to be about your teammates. You got to know we’ve got to come in in understanding that if we’re starting a race and we’re way behind because we’re not ready, they’re the aggressor, when you catch up, they look around and they run a little faster. You catch up, and they look around and, by the third time you let go of the rope, ‘I can’t catch them.’ All because you weren’t ready coming in saying, ‘I’m playing harder than these dudes. We’re coming after them.’ It’s all that kind of stuff.
“The clutter? Sometimes you’re worried about six months from now. I’ve always tried to keep teams in the moment. Don’t worry about that. You worry about now. You do your best every day and that stuff plays out fine, but it’s hard. How about if you guys were their age –18 and 19 (years old)? You wouldn’t go to the draft boards? You would not go to the draft boards every day? Every day? You would go four times a day. You look, ‘Where am I drafted?’ And if you started going the wrong way, you would probably think, ‘I got to shoot more. I got to hold the ball a little bit.’ No.
“Or someone’s trying to tell you how to play. And you say, ‘Well, who was telling you that?’ ‘Well, the guy was cutting my hair and he was trying to tell me’. Oh, so you’re going to listen to the barber now? I mean, it’s all stuff that we deal with, with young kids. That’s why I say you got to have relationships with these kids. It’s a different day in age. They all talk to each other.”