Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Look Out Mexicans! Kentucky Hires Calipari
Well, it's official. The SEC has a Mexican-hating coach amongst its ranks now. Is that over the top? Ah, well, what do I care, it's just Kentucky.
Until today, we had a nice, clean cut, conservative, racially tolerant group of outstanding basketball coaches in the SEC. Thankfully, we still have John Pelphrey at Arkansas, but now, we add John Vincent Calipari to the mix.
The bluegrass state is officially welcoming Italian Johnny C. today as their new head basketball coach, but I, for one, will always think of him as the failed New Jersey Nets basketball coach from 1996-1999, and will remember him most for his tirade against Mexicans all over the world (my interpretation) when he called out Newark Star-Ledger sports reporter Dan Garcia by calling him a "[bleeping] Mexican idiot" for apparently giving Calipari a "D" grade at the time as coach of the Nets. Calipari also said he would would punch Garcia in the face when Garcia said the coach was acting like a five year old.
Look out all of you of Mexican heritage located in and around the SEC college towns, because you never know when UK's new coach is going to call you an idiot and punch you in the face!
This especially stings close to home, because after Nolan Richardson left the U of A, he spent some of his gracious time to coach the "[bleeping] Mexican idiot" national team. I know that he would not be pleased with Coach Calipari's comment or his hire.
Coach C made a half-hearted apology to Dan Garcia back then, but the damage has been done and his legacy established. With a large Mexican population in northwest Arkansas, I asked a few knowledgeable Mexican basketball fans to give me their perspective on the hiring of Calipari.
(Last names withheld for anonymity purposes)
Juan: "Who the hell is John Calipari? Whoever he is, he made a mistake, amigo. A grave mistake."
Jose: "Dan Garcia is my brother, man. I will cut Calipari and watch him bleed like a dog if he ever shows his face in Fayetteville."
Skippy John Jones: "My eyes are too beeg for my head. My head is too beeg for my body. I am not a siamese cat, I am a chihuahua!"
I think all us Hog fans can let out a collective sigh since that is as good as UK could do in getting a coach. I, for one, feel better knowing that Kentucky has taken another step toward consistent mediocrity with the hiring of a second tier coach like Calipari. Thirty-five million for this bum (with my apologies to bums everywhere)? What has Calipari done? Let's take a look at the highlights:
1988–89 UMass 10-18 8th place A10 conference
1989–90 UMass 17-14 6th place A10, NIT 1st Round
1990–91 UMass 20-13 T-3rd A10, NIT 4th Place
NJ Nets 1996–97 - 26–56
NJ Nets 1997–98 - 43-39
NJ Nets 1998–99 - 3–17
NBA Overall: 72–112 (Kentucky pays good money for NBA talent to come to that school, and look what Calipari did coaching NBA talent)
2000–01 Memphis 21-15 NIT Third Place
2004–05 Memphis 22-16 NIT Semifinals
I could care less that his teams have made eleven NCAA tournament appearances, including reaching the Sweet Sixteen seven times, the Elite Eight five times, the Final Four two times, and the championship game once (last year with Memphis). He still hasn't won a national championship has he (N.I.T. ones don't count)? No.
Until he deals with the anti-Mexican feelings he obviously still has, I think UK is in for some highly illegal recruiting violations and some very average basketball over the next few years. First Adolph Rupp and now John Calipari. Are decendents of Che Guevara going to be on staff as well?
Posted by KK at 2:31 PM