By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach John Calipari might have been in a better mood at Kentucky’s Media Day Tuesday than I have ever seen him for this annual preseason event where the UK coach holds court for 100 or more media members for nearly an hour.
Maybe it’s my age, but hearing Calipari throw a little shade at his wife Ellen — who later conducted interviews with several players for coachcal.com — let me know he was feeling really comfortable going into this season.
It started when Calipari was asked about his son, Brad, who transferred to Detroit Mercy this season after spending three years as a UK walk-on playing for his father. Calipari said his son was “doing good” with coach Mike Davis and that his wife likely would watch him play more this season than he would.
Then it got to be real fun.
“Does anybody follow her on Instagram? Raise your hand if you do. I cancelled that. I cancelled it. So her whole thing is to — how can I say– like attack me? Is that a good way?” Calipari asked Eric Lindsey of UK Media Relations.
Linsdsey replied, “That’s your words, not mine.”
That got a laugh from Calipari and media members before the coach praised for now “kind of stepping out” and having her own voice.
“And I want her to have her own voice. And I don’t mind that she pokes fun at me, none of it is true, so, you know, you can believe it, but, you know, she — but she’s going to miss her son. She will probably be to more of his games than I will,” Calipari said.
Then the press conference’s final question was about the automated trash can the coach had tweeted he might get his wife.
“The automatic trash can, it was unbelievable, you just see this thing go right down and then it goes and parks and it opens. It’s unbelievable,” Calipari said.
“And I also, when we were at UMass, just so, you know, she was — it snowed. So she was shoveling and we had gravel. So I blacktopped it so that she could shovel easier.”
Calipari couldn’t help smiling and laughing at his own words there and then had another zinger to end the press conference.
“You have to think of your wife. I mean you have to,” Calipari said.
Only a man feeling very good about his team — and wife — would joke that much publicly.
However, none of this should overshadow that Calipari is going to miss having his youngest child with him this year.
“I’m talking to him every day, and the first practice kind of hit me, I’m not getting to coach him for the first time in three years. His mother went up there and stayed five days with him and (I) told her she could stay up there. That’s fine. And the Princess came back,” Calipari joked.
“But he’s doing fine. And Mike sends me clips of him and stuff, so it’s hard, I mean, it is my baby. But he had a plan of what he wanted to do. And you think about it, these, the players that play with him all respected him because of how he worked and how he trained. The problem is he’s going against NBA guys every day. And he came from me. So it’s not like he’s — and he knew, look, eventually, I want to have a chance to play. And so let’s hope that he has that opportunity.”
The coach said he has looked at UK’s schedule and his son’s schedule. He sees about 15 possible Detroit Mercy games he might have a chance to attend — even though he might have a Plan B to make more.
“I don’t think I’m going to make all 15, but I’ll make a bunch to go see him play,” Calipari said. “So if I get thrown out of a game early and he’s playing that night, you can kind of figure it out. You chase me out, they will say, ‘Look, he’s going to the airport. He’s trying to get out.’”