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The Dagger

John Calipari calls into Mike Francesa's show to defend himself against perceived slight

Kevin Kaduk
The Dagger
Francesa and Calipari
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John Calipari and Mike Francesa (Getty Images)

John Calipari has been in New York this week and the Kentucky basketball coach spent part of his Wednesday as a guest on Mike Francesa's sports talk show on WFAN.

But it wasn't long after Calipari departed the studio that Francesa engaged in a tried-and-true sports talk tactic: Saying something about a recent guest that he wouldn't have said in front of his face.

Francesa's post-interview take wasn't all that bad. The host basically said that Calipari was known more as a recruiter and motivator than a genius of X's and O's. That may not be totally accurate, but it's far from the first time anyone has leveled that charge toward Calipari.

Calipari, however, wasn't out of earshot, so he called back into the show to defend himself and wonder why Francesa didn't say that while he was in the studio.

Here's a clip as Francesa takes a call from "John from Kentucky":

And here's a little transcript, via the New York Post:

Calipari: “That’s basically saying I can’t coach. You know what they call me? The Magician. Cal, the Magician.”

Francesa: “Wait a second. Are there better X’s and O’s guys than you?”

Calipari: “You think I believe that?”

Francesa: “Yes.”

Calipari: “I will pass a lie detector test and say, ‘No.'”

Francesa: “No you won’t. No you won’t.”

The conversation then came to an abrupt end a few seconds later, though it was unclear whether Calipari hung up or Francesa did one of his famous caller cut-offs. 

From our standpoint, it didn't sound like there was any actual anger there. Just some good sports talk radio being made by two egocentric guys who have few peers when it comes to a knack for self-promotion. 

We'd like to hear "John From Kentucky" give his regular thoughts on the Knicks this fall, though. 

 

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