November 19, 2012
Sean Woods had a teleconference on Monday, and it certainly wasn't boring.
The former Kentucky player and current Morehead State coach - whose team plays the Wildcats Wednesday night at Rupp Arena - was asked about Willie Cauley-Stein's recent admission that he'd never seen Christian Laettner's famous shot against the Cats in 1992. That shot, of course, was preceded by an almost-as-famous driving basket by Woods.
That's what got Woods started down a fascinating path. Here's where it led:
On Willie Cauley-Stein never seeing the Laettner shot:
"That doesn't surprise me, because kids nowadays are different. When I was growing up, I never once saw Wilt Chamberlain play, but I could tell you every little thing about him. Earl 'The Pearl' Monroe, I didn't grow up watching him play - he was way before my time - but I could tell you a lot about him. Kids nowadays, they play too many video games. Just being honest with you. They don't get it. They play basketball, but they don't know what basketball really is. And they're very, very fortunate. We live in a microwave society now, and it's a shame that kids don't know the history.
"I walked into a deal the other day when they had that (Kentucky basketball) telethon at WKYT, and I didn't like the vibe, I'm just going to be honest with you, of those guys. It's totally different now. And it's not anyone's fault. It's just the way society is now. I think my generation... my class and maybe four, five years after that, anything (players) after that, these kids don't know anything.
"I bet you any type of money, besides the kids from Kentucky that's on UK's team (the other players) couldn't tell you anything about not one player in the history of Kentucky basketball. Where when I walked in the door, I know about every player, almost everything history-wise about the University of Kentucky. But these kids don't, and it's a shame, but that's just the way society is."
On not liking the telethon vibe:
"They didn't seem like Kentucky basketball players to me. And I'll leave it at that. I'm a Kentucky basketball player through and through, and there's just a certain aura about you.
"These kids nowadays are just so different. When I was coming up, we were humble. Very humble. I think because of the success that Cal has created - which is not a bad thing, it's a great thing - it just lets you know what Kentucky basketball is right now. But I'm just one of those kids really, really am a blueblood Kentucky guy at heart. There's just a certain way and a certain look Kentucky basketball players should have, and not have such a sense of entitlement. I think today, it's still an honor to wear that uniform.
"They don't owe Kentucky nothing. Even though they're coming in one-and-done, what Cal's created, it's the only university (where) that's happening on a consistent basis. North Carolina's not doing it all the time. Kansas is not doing it all the time. But Kentucky is, and that's what sets Kentucky apart from everyone else in the United States. And I think these kids should be more appreciative coming through here wearing that uniform knowing that maybe in six months that you're going to be an instant millionaire, but still you went through there and it helped you become who you are in those six, seven to eight months."
Update. Woods took to Twitter this afternoon and posted the following in a string of three tweets: ""In no way were my comments meant to offend or insult the current players at UK. Simply an observation of today's youth everywhere. I greatly admire Coach Cal and what he has done for the University of Kentucky and college basketball. I will always be proud to have worn a Kentucky Wildcat uniform and to be the head coach at Morehead State University."
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