Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Charles Pierce: John Calipari Is The Sleaziest Coach In A Sleazy Game


One of the aspects of being successful is criticism of your methods.  And every rung up the ladder you climb brings more, and oftentimes, harsher criticism.

Take John Calipari for example.  Since he's been the head coach at Kentucky, I get people constantly coming up to be talking about how dirty he is.  They seem to get joy out of proclaiming that UK will end up on NCAA probation in the next few years.  Their argument is that since it happened to Calipari's previous schools--Massachusetts and Memphis--then it will happen at Kentucky too.

By now, I've grown a little tired of bringing up the points that in both of those instances, Calipari was cleared of any wrongdoing.  Not once did the NCAA find that Calipari did anything illegal or unethical, but as we have all learned in our lives, the truth doesn't always make for the best story or opinion column.

Case in point is this article from Slate.com's Charles P. Pierce, in which he calls Calipari "the sleaziest coach in a sleazy game." 

Pierce makes some pretty serious claims, including that John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins "have already partly checked out. Their concern for their draft status might be enough to motivate them to play hard in the tournament. But if they do, it won't be because of the motivational genius of John Calipari. He's already distant white noise in their lives."

That's a pretty bold statement considering I very strongly doubt Pierce has spent very much time with either Wall or Cousins or members of their families.  Just because you believe--or want to believe--something to be true, doesn't mean it is.

I was also a little taken back by this passage:  "I watched them beat the tar out of Tennessee in the SEC tournament, a ridiculous 74-45 blowout during which freshman center DeMarcus Cousins took the opportunity to give head coach John Calipari one of the greatest "Honky, please" looks since the demise of Richard Pryor, and a backup named Daniel Orton was told to absent himself briefly from the proceedings and walked up the tunnel, leaving Kentucky undermanned and the broadcast crew completely baffled."

I was not seated courtside at Bridgestone Arena during the SEC Tournament to be able to witness or affirm what Pierce alleges, but I also haven't heard anyone else speak to such incidents either.  I mean, seriously Charlie, those are some pretty strong statements you made.  Honky, please?  Who even says that anymore?  And the fact that Pierce would try to attribute something so foul to a 18-year old kid is beyond petty.  It's pathetic!

So, I encourage you to check out the full article yourself.  And you decide.  Is the criticism justified or is it just some dude spewing Hater-ade??  Either way, knowing Calipari the way I do, it won't slow down Kentucky's march back to the Final Four.  If anything, it will just make that march even more determined!

8 comments:

Our man in Inglewood said...

Bless you, Michael, for saying what needs to be said. If only more rational sportswriters would step up to the plate and not let the Charles Pierces of the world go unchecked. Anonymous fans are one thing, but far too many sportswriters are jumping on the "Cal is a cheat" bandwagon. It's stunning what they can say and get away with. Why do you suppose they do it? What’s to be gained from making such scandalous and sensational accusations?

People do believe what they want to believe. Try convincing a Memphis fan that Cal isn’t the anti-Christ. Perhaps you’ve read a few of the Geoff Calkins pieces in the Commercial Appeal. Wow. He and Pierce and untold numbers of anonymous haters are ready to burn the witches. And no amount of reason or appeal to facts can change their minds. Their talking points are always the same. “He’s dirty, and UK will end up on probation just after he skips town. The UK fans have drunk the Kool-Aid. They’ve sold their souls for success at any cost.” If people believe what they want to believe, why do you suppose so many want to believe the worst?

oxymoron said...

Mr. Eaves, as a 50 year follower of UK sports team it does not surprise me that people make exceptionally strong comments about the Kentucky basketball program. Adolph Rupp became the scoundrel of all scoundrels because of Sports Illustrated, Joe Hall joined Rupp when he beat Bobby Knight more often than media people believed to be in good taste. Kentucky fans joined the parade because they had the unmediated gall to openly criticize Coach Smith. Again, fans were vilified as being too demanding for thinking Gillespie was out of control. And, according to national media boys, we all got what we deserved with Eddie Sutton.

Calipari is simply joining a long list of villains created by people much like Pat Forde of ESPN. Forde outrageously loud criticism of Calipari while defending Rick Pitino should give people pause in accepting remarks of anyone with access to methods of disseminating opinions.

All that said, my bias is related to the Internet. I anticipate that anything I read on the Internet, regardless of the source, was written by someone with the maturity of a 13 year old.

Jimmy said...

Good Job Mr. Eaves. It really is sad that people like Pierce choose to leave or forget facts.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for pointing out the holes in Mr. Pierce's article. While I have my questions about Calipari, Pierce's article stating that Wall and Cousins have checked out couldn't be further from the truth. Watching the UK teams under Billy Gillespie I know full-well what a player or team that has checked out looks like. That sort of drive-by journalism is irresponsible and unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

Great Points Mike. I agree. I think comments like these plus some of the feelings that our bracket includes some "soft penalties," because of its toughness, by the NCAA will only motivate UK.

cats1068 said...

You know UK is back when the haters come out of the woodwork. Where have these people been the last 4 years? UK was oblivious to these people because they were losing. Now that they are winning again, everybody and their grandmother want to take pot shots at them. The real testament to their rise back to the top is that people have resorted to namecalling and smear tactics. My thought on that is if people resort to name calling, they have no point to argue and have lost the battle.

Anonymous said...

Good write up, Eaves!

Todd Holman said...

I took your advice Michael, read the article, and you are right. Pierce sounds like he needs a new hobby.