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Cameron Mills not surprised Calipari, Pitino will be on podcast together

Vicky Graff Photo

By LARRY VAUGHT

Cameron Mills knows the perception is that coaches John Calipari of Kentucky and Rick Pitino of Louisville hate each other.

“I don’t know, but I’ve never thought that was accurate,” said Mills, who was on UK’s 1996 and 1998 national championship teams. “I thought they were competitors. They do not send each other Christmas cards as they say. They compete in games. They compete for recruits. But I don’t think they can’t stand the sight of each other.”

Calipari announced this week that Pitino would be a guest on one of his podcasts. The two have already taped the podcast and Pitino said this week he had fun doing it.

“I think coach Pitino being on Cal’s podcast shows where their relationship is,” Mills said.

Mills recently worked with Dick Gabriel and Jason Epperson to put out a documentary on the 1996 national championship team (one is already in the works on the 1998 team).

“We were working on the documentary and found some footage from 1995 of Cal speaking to Kentucky fans about Rick. He was telling them not to go on the radio shows and tell Rick what he was doing wrong because he was the best in the business and would figure it out,” Mills said. “I thought that was gold and we had to use that in the documentary.’

However, with the perception many fans have of the two coaches, Mills wanted to make sure Calipari had no problem with him doing that. Mills said Calipari’s answer was to “absolutely” use it.

“There is also a big false perception that Cal does not like the 1996 team and the 1996 team does not like Cal,” Mills said. “That’s a bunch of garbage, too.”

 

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  1. KingGhidora

    I don’t think I know anyone that believes the two coaches hate each other. Rivals? Absolutely. But the fans have other reasons than the coaches have. Rick stabbed the BBN in the back. I thought he was the best basketball coach I’ve ever seen. I still think he’s a great coach but he lacks something. Character. If he had it he would never have taken the Louisville job. He had to know what that would do to die hard UK fans. In fact he gloried in it. He rubbed it in their faces on several occasions. He told people he was a lifetime UL fan and never liked Kentucky as a kid for example. He made out like the two teams were equally loved around the state. Yeah right. For every UL fan I know in my area I probably know 5000 UK fans. In fact I only know 2 UL fans in the region and I’ve met lots of UK fans. I can’t really estimate the number because it’s so big. The two schools are not equal by any means in my home area.

    Rick has certainly proven his lack of character while at UL. I won’t go into the history because we all know it and there’s no point in saying what we all know. It was bad and we all know that too. And I’m not at all sure he wasn’t involved in the latest scandal to be honest. When I think about his history I have to wonder. I don’t think he would be that stupid but he has proven he is pretty stupid when it comes to such things. And Mills might paint a better picture of the teams of his era that people I know who were at the parties the players were at. I could talk about things found in ashtrays in cars players were driving. I could say a lot of things that are second hand reports to me. But the person who said those things was a dedicated UK fan and a UK graduate. She has zero reason to lie.

    Cameron has done great things with his life. But sometimes I think he was either left out of the cool kids parties or he just doesn’t want to reveal all he knows. The team was obviously a fabulous team. But we all know Pitino stopped recruiting before he left UK. He knew he was going to leave the first NBA chance he got that was right for him. He probably thought Boston was his dream job. I don’t blame him for having a dream. But I certainly do blame him for stabbing the fans that supported him in the back. And he did just that. Rick has character flaws that keep him from being the great coach he could be. I have to wonder how he attracts players to be honest given his reputation and the school’s reputation under him. I don’t live in a world that’s shaded by rose colored glasses. But sometimes I think Mills does. Rick is not the great man Cameron has portrayed him as being all this time. Neither is Smith. And Mills stands by both of them. The BBN is a tight knit community even if it is a huge one. Word gets around of what goes on. I’ve seen parts of it myself. I really think Cal is a person of great character even if he does cave on certain issues in order to be more appealing to his potential recruits. But Rick is so far beyond anything like Cal it’s like they are from two different planets. Cal really cares about his players. It’s obvious. Rick hasn’t shown that. He doesn’t care about the fans that pay his salary either. Cal isn’t a dyed in the wool UK guy. He just never was. But he knows and respects what he has. I don’t think Rick did. He showed that by taking the UL job. It would be like Hillary suddenly becoming a Trump supporter and completely abandoning everyone who supported her. Rick not only didn’t care what UK fans thought he played on that to make UL fans like him more. That’s dirty. That’s obnoxious. That’s disrespectful I’ve never seen Cal do that. He didn’t hammer the Memphis fans for being mad that he left. Of course that wouldn’t have really helped him at UK like Rick bashing UK fans helped him at UL. But things could have slipped out. Yet they haven’t.

    I think Rick is probably the better game coach of the two. But Cal is the better human being and that makes him the better mentor and coach of the program. He runs the ship at UK. And he does it very, very well. Rick – not so much.

  2. Cats79

    King , I got respect for you and I know you been around longer the program than U have. But sometimes you gotta let things go hell it’s been over twenty years and you still let it bother you like some other BBB fans The man did great things for UK we were in ashes that Sutton out us in and got away with it. Sutton is the goat that we should be mad at not Rick Putin. The other you name a school that doesn’t party it’s every where this stuff being going on behind close doors for years that’s nothing new

    1. KingGhidora

      I know what goes on behind closed doors. Heck I was there behind a few of them. But not to the extent things were under Pitino at least from what I’ve heard and my source was a first hand source.

      As for hanging onto to my dislike of Pitino I don’t stay up nights worrying about it. I didn’t bring this up. I just have a different perspective on the situation than one of Rick’s former players who won two titles on teams Rick put together. Heck Mills even likes Smith. And my problems with Smith are much bigger than the ones with Pitinio. At least RP could coach.

      As for Sutton causing the trouble you have bought the Sports Illustrated version of reality. You need to check the facts. Start with the envelope. Never happened. A huge lawsuit win by Dwane Casey proved that. And then there was the so called cheating on the test by Eric Manuel. Again the facts don’t support this. Read this web page and then we’ll talk. The guy who researched this is a highly respected Cat fan with a tremendous web site dedicated to the Cats.

      http://www.bigbluehistory.net/bb/manuel.html

      When you get done with that we’ll talk about what Eddie Sutton describes as a setup all the way. The NCAA hates UK and has ever since Rupp wouldn’t resign after the point shaving scandal. They even had a judge try to force him out. But Rupp, being Rupp, fought them all the way and won. He stayed at UK until he retired. Lots of people, including Bear Bryant, thought he should have resigned but he did nothing wrong. It was his players who did that without his knowledge. Why should he retire? Our current coach had a similar situation when he was at UMASS.

      No way on earth an envelope was mailed with that much cash and in an envelope that would fall open of all things. It’s insane. A bunch of UCLA fans took up a collection to put that money in that envelope they forced open at Emory (a defunct overnight letter service). Sutton said it would have taken a crowbar to open the packages they used for overnight letters. He was right. No way that just happened. It’s stupid to think it did and a court agreed giving Casey a huge settlement for damages by Emory.

      You should really take the UK view of things and not the one the national press tries to pin on the Cats. It’s been that way since the late 1940’a. I’ve seen articles from that time talking about how awful it is that UK didn’t play black kids or Jewish kids. First the percentage of Jewish kids within 500 miles of UK is about 1% so not much chance there will be any good ball players there. And there was this pesky state law called the Day Law that prohibited blacks from even attending UK. But Rupp should have played them anyway. So said the NY press which was the only national sports press of that time. After all they were used to seeing their local teams play people not even enrolled in the college. NYU did it and so did LIU. And they think UK cheated and were racists. After all Rupp shared a name with that Hitler guy and he hated Jews and blacks so naturally it was a good fit to pin the same feelings on the German descendant, Rupp. Yes just like Cal is Italian and Rick was Italian Rupp was German. And they pinned the whole Nazi slime on him trying to get even with him for beating their pet NYC teams and that is what the whole mess was really all about.

  3. Cats79

    Sorry for misspelled dang phone and my fingers not corporate this morning

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