Duke University is shaping up to look like the #1 program in NCAA basketball this year, but not everyone is pumped about the prospect of a Blue Devil dynasty.
As of this weekend, Duke has the #1, 2, and 3 draft picks on their roster. In the past three years, they’ve landed 9 out of the top 10 recruits in each class. They’re also just coming off of a key victory over Kentucky this weekend, so Wildcats coach John Calipari had some choice words for the rival program following their defeat.
“I don’t sell, like, ‘When you come here, the university and the state will take care of you the rest of your life,’” Calipari said. “You may buy that, and I’ve got some great property in some swampland down in Florida to sell you, too.”
What a jokester.
While he didn’t name Duke specifically, everyone knows he’s referencing that April 2016 pitch that Duke offered to the five star shooting guard Hamidou Diallo. According to Diallo, Duke told him if he signed on with them, he’d be set for life.
But Calipari’s explanation went downhill (or perhaps uphill) from there.
“Every one of us in this country is based on you’ve gotta take care of yourself,” he said of the American spirit. “And then when you make it, you make sure that you’re helping [others]. And along the way you bring other people with you. And that’s what we’re trying to do, just give these guys the best opportunity. We’re not trying to say this university or this state will take care of you the rest of your life. There’s no socialism here. This stuff is, ‘You’ve gotta go do it and we’re gonna help you do it.’ Some [recruits] like that. Some don’t like it.”
You have to respect Calipari’s approach here. Don’t like Duke? Drop a bunch of hints about them without actually saying their name then accuse them of socialism. It’s an airtight strategy really.
Now I didn’t go to Duke so I can’t personally attest to whether they’re actually running a socialist institute. I know plenty of people who attended the school and they seem fine enough. But you never really know who’s got socialist tendencies until tensions rise. Just ask Vermont.
What I really love here is just Calipari’s raw, unfiltered hatred for Duke. Calipari can’t stop himself from going right for the jugular. He didn’t stop short and say something like “I don’t agree with Duke’s soft approach to equality.”
He just dove right in and threw out “socialism.” It’s that old school guerrilla approach that defines a man. If you’ve given it all you got and you’re still losing, just start making stuff up. You’ll at least land a spot at CNN, MSNBC, or ABC. If it worked for Brian Ross, why can’t it work for Kentucky?
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