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Calipari talks about 21 former UK players now playing in the NBA


What does having 21 players — yes, that is right, TWENTY-ONE — players currently on NBA rosters do for the Kentucky basketball program?

That was the softball lobbed toward John Calipari at Wednesday’s press conference and, as usual, he homered with his answer.

“I mean, guys are playing well. I’m so happy for Eric Bledsoe. You’ve got 15 teams trying to trade for him. They love Brandon (Knight) in Detroit. I’m proud that our guys go in the league and they’re prepared to play,” Calipari said. “What we’re trying to do is try to prepare those guys for that, their dream, and life after basketball. Both of those. Yeah, I’m proud of that.

“My biggest thing is when I watch them play, I want to see that they’re having a ball playing like they did hear. The hardest thing is if you’re on a team that’s losing, it’s hard to have joy. But you still control it; you control your own joy. No one else does. You do. So I saw Darius and Anthony Davis on the sideline – not on the court – going nuts when (the Hornets) were playing Miami. They were waving towels, high-chesting, high-fiving guys, running out on the court.

“My thing is: If they lose games, you still have to have that if you’re ever going to reach your potential as team and as a player. That’s what I got on DeMarcus (Cousins) about. I said, ‘You’ve gotta have joy, man. You can’t be playing mad, mean. You’ve got to have fun playing this game.’ But we’ve got a bunch of good guys.”

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  1. TrueBlueJohn

    What that really means is that if those 21 players are still welcome around the program, they set an example for the players currently on the roster. They play pick-up games against the current players during the summer, thus improving their skills against the best competition available. It becomes a recruiting talking point. I am glad Cal welcomes the former players. This wasn’t the case in the former regime.

  2. John

    I am glad Cal welcomes the former players. This wasn’t the case in the former regimeS.
    Fixed that for ya.

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