By LARRY VAUGHT
Ask John Calipari a question, especially on a national stage, and you are going to get a detailed answer.
The Kentucky coach was on ESPN’s “Get Up!” Thursday and he was asked about Duke, a team that beat UK by 34 points in the first game of the season.
“They’re really, really good. They beat us by 100 early in the year,” Calipari said while exaggerating as he is sometimes prone to do. “They did whatever they wanted. I don’t know what the score was, but it wasn’t that close.
“But I see five, six or seven teams that have separated themselves. But you never know in this thing. If you have a streaky kind of shooting team — my first year in 2010 that’s what we had then we go 0-for-16 from the 3-point line in a game (against West Virginia) and we lose.
“You never know in these situations because it’s one-and-done. It’s not like we have another game left. This is it.”
ESPN’s Mike Greenberg and Laura Rutledge also asked Calipari about rumors linking him to possible NBA coaching jobs.
“I’m at Kentucky having a ball preparing young people for the rest of their life,” Calipari said.“It’s a different job than coaching in the NBA.”
He’s been mentioned as a possible coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, especially with speculation that the Lakers are going all-out to get former UK star Anthony Davis on the team. Caliipari said he thought current LA coach Luke Walton was “doing outstanding work” in games he has seen.
“’ve watched his demeanor. I’ve watched his adjustments. He’s coaching a young team in that league and that league is unforgiving now. In that league you’re not playing Popcorn State next week, you’re playing a professional team. Even the teams that are struggling have terrific players. I think Luke’s doing a terrific job.”
What about the trade rumors with Davis, who was named to the NBA all-star team Thursday?
“I don’t know what’s happening with Anthony. He and I haven’t talked about it,” Calipari said. “I try to leave him alone in situations like this. He wants to win. I don’t know all the particulars. All I know is he loves New Orleans. He loves the city, loves the scene and all of that. But all of these guys get to the point where winning becomes more important than anything else. Guys want to move to a team where they have more of a chance to win.”