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Jeff Eisenberg

John Calipari delivers season's most awkward in-game interview

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

There's not a more pointless exercise in sports broadcasting than the in-game interview with a coach.

Major League managers assess the performance of their starting pitchers between innings in vague cliches. NBA coaches show their disdain for between-quarters interviews with facial expressions typically reserved for a prostate exam. And college football coaches force out a few single-sentence answers as they jog off the field to the halftime locker room.

Even in a genre as painful as the in-game interview, however, few have ended more awkwardly than Kentucky coach John Calipari's conversation with an ESPN sideline reporter during a first-half timeout Tuesday night.

Asked a follow-up question that coincided with the whistle signalling that play was starting again, Calipari bristled, turned and understandably walked to the bench to do his job. He started to answer the question over his shoulder but his voice trailed off and ESPN thankfully cut away to spare viewers any more cringe-worthy moments.

"Interview's over," analyst Jimmy Dykes said, summing up the obvious.

The between timeouts interview is a phenomenon that to my knowledge we haven't seen in college basketball prior to this year. For the sake of the coaches, the sideline reporters and most importantly the viewers, let's hope the above clip is a reminder why it shouldn't catch on.

(Thanks, CBS College Basketball Blog)

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