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Calipari book excerpt: “If you kill one of mine, I burn your village. It’s the Italian in me.”

Kentucky coach John Calipari, a marketing genius, announced Tuesday that he’s writing another book — Players First.

Here is an excerpt from the book posted on http://thepenguinpress.com (the book should be available in the spring):

“In my office at the University of Kentucky, I can stand in front of a huge window and look right down on the hardwood floor of our practice court. I can also see the eight banners representing eight national championships—starting with 1948, the first of Adolph Rupp’s four titles, to 2012, the one that I added to the collection.

One day I was looking through that window with John Robic, a Pittsburgh kid like me and one of my assistant coaches going all the way back to the University of Massachusetts, which ranked 295th among 300 NCAA Division 1 teams when we took over. We turned to each other and both said a version of the same thing: Can you believe we’re coaching at this place?

Kentucky is college basketball’s legendary program. It has the most wins and the most devoted fan base. (I call them crazy; they watch more game film than I do.) I respect the hell out of the tradition—I’m lucky to be a part of it and I’ve got the best job in basketball—but I don’t do what I do for the commonwealth of Kentucky, for the university, for the legacy of the program, or for the greater glory of Big Blue Nation. There was a time I coached partly for myself—for status, respect, money, wins. But I don’t do that anymore, either. Good for those coaches who get to seven hundred, eight hundred, or even a thousand wins, but I’m not staying in it that long. I can promise you my record will not be on my tombstone.

I coach for the names on the back of the jersey—not the front. My players. They’re sent to me by their fathers, their mothers, their grandmothers, their aunts—whoever in this world raised them and loves them. Others look at their NBA bodies and consider them lucky. Future millionaires, just stopping through before they cash in. That’s not what I see. They’re kids, some of them as young as seventeen. They all need me in a different way. Some want my affection, others my approval. It’s a burden to be responsible for other people’s children, sometimes a heavy burden.

I go to Mass every morning. It’s how I start my day and it’s my moment of peace, almost meditation. If I’m struggling with a player, it’s where I ask myself: How would I want my own son treated?

But I’m also a sinner, as we all are. If you come after one of my players, I come after you twice as hard. If you kill one of mine, I burn your village. It’s the Italian in me. I’m not proud of that, but it’s who I am.”

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/calipari-book-excerpt-if-you-kill-one-of-mine-i-burn-your-village-its-the-italian-in-me/


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  1. Larry Pup

    Glad he’s our Coach. There is no one I would rather have coaching the Kentucky Wildcats at this time than this man. I like his style and devotion to his players. And yes Coach, we are all sinners in need of the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

  2. Kokamo Joe

    What a Public Relations giant this man is! What other coach could say that he coaches for his players and not his University or it’s traditions? It is all to keep the recruits coming. What parent would not want his kid to look into Kentucky. The coach loves his players. He claims that he wants them to move on as soon as they are ready. And he does send them on to the NBA soon.

    Actually I don’t believe that he does not respect the University or it’s traditions. I respect and understand why he puts out this line at ever opportunity. It works. We got another number one class.

    And the BBN will make his book a great seller. Our fans will lap it up like a wild cat licking up cream. Where can I buy one?

  3. Larry T Clemons

    Shut Up Joe, He PERFECTLY STATES, ” I respect the hell out of the tradition—I’m lucky to be a part of it and I’ve got the best job in basketball “…So Joe, where glad you believe Coach Cal, jeez are you kidding. KOKO JO, YOU and YOUR PR (best ever) RANT, is getting old. Are you so jaded, that you can’t understand, maybe Coach Cal is at that stage of his LIFE & PROFESSION, that he actually, ” Is Doing It For The Players! ” Hell, he just told YOU… And he told you he respects the Tradition, but you commented like he said the opposite, just Go Away Joe. You say KoKo Joe, ” He Put That Line Out “, YOU KOKO JOE are The only one continuously putting the line of Bull sh-t Out. Even in Coach Cal’s kindness you find Crazy, manipulator, PR, Salesman….Give us all a break KOKO joe…And WE at BBN Are Not part of Your Fans, that lick up ice cream like a Lap Dog. You condescending piece of Cake… Buy a Brain First, you must think, we are ignorant, not to see your constant cut downs Of Coach Cal, consealed in YOUR slimy, slurpy back-hand compliments. And Your STUPID QUESTION, ” Where can I buy one ? ” Is sarcastic mental sewage…” It wasn’t even a good try, KOKO Joe, unhappy ignorance. Stay away from Our Team and Quit Hounding Our Coach, with your mean spirited, Un Kentucky, Same Ole BS !

  4. Larry T Clemons

    BBN, have you all noticed that every time Coach Cal makes a Statement or Comment…, Kokamo Joe, Thinks it’s the most, greatest, incrediblest Public Relation Coop, ever Perpetrated On Mankind ! JOE is a one Issue Joke, just watch, he’ll be at it soon…and I’ll be right after Him.

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