On Thursday, UK head coach John Calipari and former UK star Louie Dampier spoke to the media at a press conference at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Moments after they received their Class of 2015 Hall of Fame Jackets, each of the inductees gave a short speech.
"It's an honor, I think for all of us here. I want to congratulate every one. To join this fraternity,which I never thought coaching and growing up, it never entered my mind. I went to many inductions but I never thought I'd be standing up here. I can tell you that when you are coaching, someone has to give you an opportunity to coach. Those people, someone has to give you an opportunity to be a head coach. You get fired like I did, someone has to give you an opportunity to revive. You have to have staff. They all have to work. You have to have players because that's why you are standing here as a coach. And the greatest thing for me, many of those people will be here in the next two days and I get a chance to thank them personally. So thank all of you. Thank all the voters. Thank you for that."
"As one of my coaches, Doug Moe said, "I'm just happy to be here." I've been asked so many times how I feel about being inducted into the hall of fame. It's a difficult thing to express myself how I really feel. Then I got to thinking, my wife Judy's friend called and asked her if I would be a surprise guest at her grandson's birthday party. Of course, I didn't want to do it. Things like that embarrass me. Reluctantly I said yes I'd do it. We went to the house. It was nice. Everything was cordial. Finally at the end, The little fella sat down and asked me questions. Of course, most were about me. But then one of his last questions was, "Who is the best ball player ever: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant?" I thought, "man this was a tough question to answer with that group of players." And then he said, "or Louie Dampier?" I didn't know exactly who the best was, but I knew who the worst was. I kind of relate that to being inducted into the Hall of Fame. There might be a lot of players who were and are better than I was but I'm in and I'm going to accept."
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