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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / June 21.
  • Calipari Interviews Pitino on Podcast, Talks Coaching Responsibility

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    Kentucky head coach John Calipari hit the airwaves Wednesday night with the familiar ‘Coach Cal’ flare he displays on the hardwood.

    Calipari released his much anticipated ‘Cal Cast‘ with an interview featuring rival Louisville head coach Rick Pitino.

    The two Hall of Fame head coaches discussed a variety of topics on the podcast, ranging from their latest book endeavors, to Pitino’s time spent coaching the Wildcats, and mention of how both their sons are impacting basketball as well – Brad Calipari as a freshman at Kentucky and Richard Pitino’s head coaching job at Minnesota.

    The direction changed from a story-telling, witty banter to a more serious tone though when Calipari roundabout hinted at Pitino’s latest scandal at Louisville that found the Cardinals coach charged with failure to monitor a staff member of his basketball program.

    Calipari asked Pitino about the “accountability” and “responsibility” coaches have when it comes to their jobs.

    “If I have 29 (assistants) that went on to prosperity and one went the wrong way, well, I’ve gotta be accountable for that one person and I feel very saddened that he did the wrong thing,” Pitino said in reference to Calipari’s question of responsibility. “That being said, there’s certain things that we can’t control in our lives. This is a college atmosphere right now and certain things that we’re not in control of.”

    Pitino added that coaches today “can’t be scapegoats for society” and there are many things that take place in a basketball program when it comes to dealing with young adults that a coach can only have so much control over.

    Aside from the seriousness of Pitino’s role as a head coach and the hot water he’s found himself in, there are some interesting tidbits sprinkled throughout the podcast.

    The Wildcats hired Pitino as their head coach back in 1989, and the current Louisville leader made a mention of how outdated everything was in Lexington back then. Even that the program seemed to be living off the glory of days past.

    “Everything was so antiquated, they just lived on the reputation of Kentucky basketball,” Pitino said. “It was the name. From a facilities standpoint, everyone would be shocked what we have today.”

    Before closing out the podcast session, Calipari went on to wish his contemporary best of luck… kind of.

    “I wish you luck… until we play you next year and I hope we beat your brains in because that was just miserable for me walking off that court,” Calipari said in reference to Kentucky’s 73-70 loss to Louisville on Dec. 21.



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