Matt Jones, a writer at Kentucky Sports Radio, is asserting on Grantland.com today that the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team is a team of destiny and that Calipari belongs in a group more elite than Bill Self and Billy Donovan. To the best of my knowledge, he is being serious with this. The article is HERE. I have pulled out some of my favorite pieces below.
Lets check out some of the finer parts of this disaster.
In such a season, you need more than simply my inner certainty to crown Kentucky king. So to appease your desire for rational argument, I give you the three rock-solid reasons our championship is destined to be:
1. It’s Calipari’s Time
This might be my favorite part. He talks all about destiny like a little kid trying to sleep the night before his favorite team plays a playoff game, yet when he attempts a mental transition from somewhere deep inside of Bridget Jones’s Diary to the land of sports reality, his first point to make is that its Calipari’s time. Matt Jones’ entire article has me envision a lot of Kentucky fans standing up saying “oh captain my captain” in the final awkward scene at the end of Dead Poet’s Society when Robin Williams has to get his crap from the back room and leave. Like, its a pretty way to think, but eventually reality has to set in on this article. His commencement or a “rational argument” does nothing in that way. Lets go on deeper into the Kentucky Matrix that is this article.
In that way, Calipari is a victim of the randomness of college basketball. The NBA, MLB, and the NHL each mitigate variance by placing their series in a best-of-seven format.
Wow, so Calipari has become a victim of one of sport’s most coveted post-season structures? I love that this goes on to cite the margin between success and failure can come down to a Mario Chalmers “one shining moment” shot. So essentially, for Calipari to win a National Title, we need to create a 7 game post-season structure similar to how the NBA operates their post-season. This will in essence assure that the team of destiny isn’t stripped of a win when some guy like Chalmers hits a clutch 3-point shot. I in turn would like to just say that Jerry Sloan should probably be given an honorary NBA Title, I mean, its not his fault where Jordan fell in the draft, right? What if Michael Jordan had been born a girl, or even luckier, what if Jordan had taken a liking to ballet lessons instead of hoops? Yep, Jerry Sloan would have taken the destiny train all the way to the station that has the kick ass bathrooms and cool homeless people that don’t call you mean names if you don’t give them the change they hear rattling in your jean pocket..
Lets ignore the utter silliness that we should change the game to suit specific players and coaches, as its a worn out transparent diatribe that we’ve hopefully all heard before. Lets focus on this, however, that every team and coach knows exactly the structure of the season and you play to that. If you don’t like it, go coach the Nets and see how that goes. Oh wait? Now, clearly to any true UK fan, Mario’s shot was luck, which in essence, make the final 5 free throws by Memphis in the 4th quarter complete randomness as well (doesn’t have anything to do with the Tiger’s overall 59% FT during the season, and that 63% game, and Bill Self’s awareness and strategy). You know, Bill Self, the less deserving coach. Calipari, by most every account, waited for his players to just “come through” and win a game in a big moment. The key to success is consistency, a rehearsal of successes and an eliminations of failures. I mean, that is, if you are coaches that have titles like Self and Donovan, apparently there is simply a different set of coaching criteria for coaches of destiny.
Have you ever scene Mr. Mom? I love that movie. Its really Michael Keaton at his early finest and most innocent (I could never really deal with him as Batman, but I did love Beetlejuice, that movie was the shiznit for sure). Anyways, Keaton (Mr. Mom), ends up having to race in his wife’s company race against her boss? But then everyone is like “dude you can’t beat the boss you have to throw it.” I feel like that’s what this article is wanting, but veiling it as destiny because the word destiny is pretty. That and a some ruby slippers you click three times that change everyone’s reality. And maybe even something that makes Mario Chalmers’ a different player that doesn’t consistently hit big shots in the NBA.
Now for point number two of Matt’s Rock Solid Reasons.
2. Loading Up With Elite Talent Works
Some big key points in this Rock Solid line of Reasons.
It is an NBA star-system mentality that Calipari has imported into the one-and-done era, flying in the face of the sacred team-first mentality of college basketball.
Fly in the face of anything you want. No title. And who the hell admits to deploying a strategy that’s counter to team oriented? Oh wait, this piece of fine work.
Purists of the game (a.k.a. people who love players who smack the floor on defense and sprint to the sideline to be berated by a coach making millions) argue that this is not a successful recipe for a national title, and that simply assembling masses of talent does not work in the college game.
No one argues this. The world of recruiting the absolute best talent has never been more competitive. Oh, and defense wins games. Seriously, is this article happening?
By my count, four teams have attempted to win a national championship by recruiting and playing three elite freshmen (defined by players ranked in the top 15 by a scouting service) among their top six rotation players. The 2009 Kentucky team lost in the Elite Eight, the 2010 Kentucky team fell in the Final Four, and the 1992 Michigan and 2007 Ohio State teams both fell in the NCAA title game. After four attempts at building a championship run around elite freshman talent, the worst finish is a no. 1 overall seed and a loss in the Elite Eight. I will take those odds
By having Calipari, those odds are assumed by everyone from local dive bars all the way to The Bellagio in Vegas. That’s what Calipari does. I don’t dislike the guy, but this article essentially is playing odds that don’t seem to win titles, while similarly berating “purist” systems that do? And just for the record, its often times that one elite player that can come through when teams go cold that win big games. Lets move on to his 3rd rock solid point.
3. UK Fans Deserve It
In Kentucky, we care more about basketball than you do. In fact, we care more about basketball than you probably care about anything. No program’s fans in America are more committed, passionate, or crazy than those of the Big Blue Nation.
This might actually be true. In fact, it seems that they want to win so bad that their own media can even forgive coaches that run “the dirtiest program in America.” I mean, so long as you associate with UK basketball, nothing else really matters. Recognize the writer of the article below?
If Jim Jones’ had set up as a Wildcats’ fan in Lexington, as opposed to setting up that camp in Guyana, history would be a lot different today. Mostly, there would be no UK and the locals would be really weary about anyone drinking fruity drinks. Have a good day. Don’t drink the kool-aid, folks.
written by Cory Hedgepeth