Why can't Rick Pitino and John Calipari get along? | Sports on Earth
Pitino and Calipari backed up their protestations with more than just words and were seen conversing in the bowels "That's our relationship.". With their teams set to face off in the Sweet 16, John Calipari and Rick Pitino said their relationship is not as icy as outsiders would believe. What makes Calipari and Pitino so unique? We ask a man who knows them best.
How different are Calipari and Pitino?
Full bracket Check out Instant Reactions Buy team gear ] Yet despite the public perception that both coaches would rather answer a question about student-athletes joining unions than acknowledge their counterpart, Pitino and Calipari continued to insist on Thursday that their decades-long relationship is a cordial one. We're friends," Pitino said at Lucas Oil Stadium, one day before his fourth-seeded Louisville squad faces Calipari's eighth-seeded Kentucky program in a Sweet 16 matchup.
That's not usually the f-word people think gets tossed between the last two national title winners. Calipari, however, agreed with that assessment. He'd throw something at me.
Calipari has podcast with Rick Pitino already in the can
I'd throw something at him. Different things about our teams.
Maybe these guys don't really dislike one another -- pic. Both men shared similar sentiments before their matchup in the Final Four, when Calipari beat Pitino en route to winning a national title at Kentucky — something Pitino had done in Lexington 16 years earlier. The printed record suggests just as much. As the story is often told, the two met when Calipari was a teenager at the Five Star camp.
Rick Pitino and John Calipari insist that they're friends, no matter what the rest of us think
Not only did Price quote a source that said Pitino backed another candidate for the UMass opening, but Pitino was initially reluctant to talk about Calipari for the article. Not exactly the type of thing one burger-and-beer buddy would say about the other, is it? The chance meeting was cordial and they spoke softly for a few minutes before going their separate ways.
That little snippet perhaps summed up the relationship between two of the country's great coaches. They speak, and then they go their separate ways.
They have healthy egos. They want to win national championships. They want to beat each other, and will have another chance Friday. And they work in Kentucky, which really is the whole point here.
Did Mike Krzyzewski and Dean Smith break bread often?
How about Bobby Bowden and Steve Spurrier, once upon a time? And more to the point, how about Denny Crum and Joe B.
How different are Calipari and Pitino? - ESPN Video
No, certain situations just aren't conducive to healthy relationships, and this is one of them. At first, this one was supposed to break the mold. The two go way back, to Five-Star Camp decades ago where Pitino worked as a young up-and-comer in the business and Cal was a camper and later a counselor looking for a mentor. Pitino took note of how energetic Cal was then and still is now.
Pitino did so much for Cal early on, showing him the ropes, talking him up for jobs, that Cal was largely viewed as a Pitino creation, a carbon copy, an understudy.
You can see why. They both had success in their first taste of big-time college basketball. Both chased the dollars and the prestige of the NBA, with mixed results.John Calipari Vs. Rick Pitino - Sports Illustrated
Both returned to the college game somewhat tarnished -- and then won titles and became giants. Did Cal, after he certified himself as an ace recruiter and coach, begin to bristle at suggestions his career wouldn't have been possible without Pitino's guiding hand and glowing recommendation?
That's what the mill says. And perhaps, to a degree, it's true. Ego often gets in the way and when two sides don't spend much time doing lunch, misunderstandings tend to happen. It doesn't help that the Cardinals and Wildcats are both good and constantly ranked in the top 10 and lately, realistic title contenders. They played in the Final Four just two years ago. It doesn't help that they won the last two national titles and will play Friday in a football stadium expected to draw 40, fans for a chance at another title.