If you are watching ESPN on Thursday, you know it is “John Calipari Day” on the World Wide Leader.
The Kentucky basketball coach was on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” this morning. Then he was on “First Take” debating Stephen A. Smith. He’s been on Sports Center. He’s supposed to be on “Highly Questionable” with Dan Le Batard on Thursday afternoon, though that might be (a) canceled or (b) highly entertaining, thanks to Le Batard’s comments Thursday morning on his ESPN radio show.
According to The Big Lead, LeBatard is not too happy with the fact that Calipari has been allowed to sell himself and his program on the same day as the NBA Draft, which starts at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
“This is unseemly,” Le Batard said. “This is ESPN being in on the deal. And there’s no getting around this. I can moralize and gasbag all I want, but this is ESPN in on the deal. A texter writes in, ‘Dan, any thoughts on what ESPN is doing today with Calipari? It comes off like a gross recruiting tool for Kentucky. Calling moms of former players, letting him schmooze live on the air, does ESPN have any obligation to keep clear of this type of thing?'”
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Le Batard said he doesn’t blame Calipari, he blames ESPN for given Cal a recruiting advantage.
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Le Batard has a point. Kentucky fans no doubt love the fact Calipari is using the ESPN bullhorn to promote the program all day long. It is, after all, according to Calipari, the most important day of the year. Other fans and coaches, however, are probably not so crazy about the fact Cal is doing a solo run through the network’s so-called “Car Wash.”
One more thing, Calipari also claimed this morning his remarks on the Mike Lupica Show last week, perceived to be about Rick Pitino, which earned a reaction from Rick Pitino, were not about Rick Pitino. Calipari even apologized to Pitino.
Where: Brooklyn, NY
Time: 7 p.m.
TV: ESPN and livestream on Yahoo