“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. This is the kind of quote that we as Americans like to use in tough times. We tell our kids the same thing, so that they can build character. Yet when someone does just that, we ridicule them for it? If a stock broker who learned to invest stocks at the same level John Calipari recruited top high school athletes, he would be considered a genius. But because it is basketball it is deceitful.
The NBA and the Players Association set an age-limit rule. In 2006, the age limit for entering the Draft increased from 18 to 19 years of age. U.S. players must be at least one year removed from high school and 19 years of age (by the end of that calendar year) before entering the draft. An international player must turn 19 during the calendar year of the draft. John Calipari did not make the rule, but what he has done is make Lemon Meringue Pie, with a glass of lemonade to wash it down with. Yet somehow some have managed to find ridicule in his Championship and what he has done in his tenure while at The University of Kentucky.
In the two years previous to winning the Championship he has sent ten players to the NBA, with only two of them going in the second round. Yes the John Walls, and Demarcus Cousins of the world would have gone anyway but Daniel Orton being a first round pick and did not even play. Taking a Josh Harrelson, an out of shape bench player, and turning him into a starter and NBA player. Developing a Darius Miller through three recruiting classes.
All the point guards that he has coached were more scoring guards with exceptional athletic skills and he molded them into team leaders. Marguis Teague, while not as explosive athletically but was still responsible for a huge scoring load in High School. The transition that he made was as good as anyone Coach Cal has coached in a one year period. The evidence is in the Championships
According to Wikipideia in 2009-2010 his first year on the job at Kentucky. Coach Calipari spear-headed an effort to raise money for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, yielding $1.5 million and a congratulatory call from President Barack Obama. The celebrity fans like Ashley Judd, (although she was always there), to Jay-Z, to Drake. Big Blue Nation has morphed into a Bigger Bluer World.
So I guess we can turn out nose up and say that he is just some guy that knows how to recruit. He couldn’t even recruit Jodie Meeks to stay in 209-2010. Had he done that, the three points shooting the team lacked would have been there with him and maybe he would be raising his second championship.