University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 11 in Springfield, Mass., talked with NBA TV on Tuesday night about the honor of being elected, how he got there and answered questions about his former players in the pros.
Calipari, who has led Kentucky to four Final Fours and one national championship in his six seasons as Wildcats coach, was asked during the interview if it's validating to receive such an individual honor in a team sport.
"When you coach and you didn't make a basket, you didn't grab a rebound you had no assists -- especially if we won; if we lose I get a few assists, you know that they'll throw those my way -- it's truly about getting kids to trust you, getting good enough players, having families who entrust you with their children," the UK coach said.
When asked what his advice would be to a young coach hoping to follow his footsteps to the Hall of Fame, Calipari said, "If you're chasing fame and fortune it's really fleeting and you'll probably get fired like I did in New Jersey. And even if you survive it all, it's pretty hollow. So if you make it about the players, their success, you create relationships, which the relationships you have with your players are as big as the X's and O's in my mind. And if you be about them, you know what their dreams are and you help them chase their dreams and you chase them with them, you'll always have a job an you'll love what you do."
Calipari went on to talk with NBA TV about some of his former players chosen in the 2015 NBA Draft, including Willie Cauley-Stein, Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker.
Watch the entire interview below: