I intend to write a longer post about this in the near future (specifically, about Calipari & Pitino), but I just can’t say enough about how much I love it when two coaches openly hate each other. Palpable tension always makes for a better game.
John Calipari and Jim Calhoun are two coaches who fit that description. While Calipari was at UMass, he and Calhoun butted heads over everything from New England recruits, New England program hierarchy, to the proper pronunciation of shitty New England foods.
ESPN’s Dana O’Neill writes:
“John came in from Moon Township (Pa.) and said their program was king of New England and he didn’t know what ‘chowda’ was with an A,’’ Calhoun laughed. “You know what I’m saying? You’ve got to know what clam chowda is before you start saying that, especially to a guy from South Boston, it’s very tough to hear a guy say that.”
This bastardization of his native accent infuriated Calhoun (I mean, how could it not?), and the two have apparently been playing the roles of Hatfield & McCoy ever since.
Other things that may have lead to the bad blood:
– Calipari going on television and allowing the show’s host to hold up a t-shirt which called out UConn and Calhoun for discontinuing the series with UMass.
– Calipari swiping Marcus Camby out of Calhoun’s backyard.
– Calipari evenutally deciding, once UConn became interested in renewing the series, that now he didn’t want to play them.
I love a coach that plays dirty. Especially when he’s my coach.
The Commercial Appeal: Calipari’s greatest coaching fueds (this one was written awhile back)