LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- John Calipari has long talked about how much being the Kentucky coach takes out of him. And while that hasn't really changed, his thoughts on how long he might like to try has changed.
"I thought I'd coach like five more years, be 60 years old and be done with this part of my life," said Calipari during a recent sit-down interview. "Now I'm seeing these guys coach in their 70s and I'm saying maybe I'll be able to coach in my 70's, I don't know. You know, the thing for me has been as long as I keep focused on these kids I'll feel young and I'll feel inspired and I'll wake up every day with a smile on my face. Who am I helping today, how do I help this young man get where he's trying to go? It's not about me."
Calipari readily admits that he wouldn't have gotten into the Hall of Fame this year without getting the Kentucky job. He has amassed a 190-38 record in his six years as top Cat, including four trips to the Final Four and a National Title in 2012. And he's done it by mostly reloading and retooling year after year. That will be the case again this season after saying good-bye to seven NBA bound Wildcats following last season's 38-1 campaign. Five Freshman and a Junior-College transfer are ready to step in and do what so many other newcomers have done before them.
And he hopes some of those newcomers end up helping him realize a dream down the road.
"Before I retire I would like to have half the NBA All-Star game to have played for me," said Calipari. That's 12. We've got four right now. And those four are all 25, 26 years old. From Derrick to John to Demarcus to Anthony, that's four. So now how do we get eight? We got five or six, seven other guys that just signed contracts in the last year or so for anywhere from 55 to 85 million. Well they've got to be on the edge of an All-Star berth and then we got the guys that just went in and the next group and the next. Well in the next seven years, can you imagine if I get to an All-Star game and every basket is scored like 'that was mine, that was mine, that was mine' and that drives me.
"Now if we're able to do something crazy like that think of the number of wins, think of the Championships, think of the Final Fours, think of the National Championships you win."
How many more of those types of years Calipari puts together at UK remains unknown, but it certainly appears to be more than what he was saying a few years ago.
"The one thing here is you're on a treadmill," said the 56-year-old coach. "Can you imagine if I had the same team for three years. I would be golfing every day. My body wouldn't look like this. I'd be slim. I'm on a treadmill, flying, just trying to survive. I'm inspired by this. I'm inspired because I'm coaching at Carnegie Hall. If you can get in and get on that stage and you want it, it's amazing how your life changes if you can be a star at Carnegie Hall. I'm coaching at Carnegie Hall giving kids an opportunity to go up there. Be a star here, life changes."
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