John Calipari Impressions, PART FIVE

"I want to connect with the fans and let them know this is their team and I am their coach. I want them to have fun. That is the biggest thing. If we lose a game or someone is not playing well or we don't beat somebody as bad as we are supposed to, don't even think about that," the new coach said."

"I want to connect with the fans and let them know this is their team and I am their coach. I want them to have fun. That is the biggest thing. If we lose a game or someone is not playing well or we don't beat somebody as bad as we are supposed to, don't even think about that," the new coach said. "Everything should be about enjoyment. If it is bringing you any grief, turn the radio off. Turn the TV off. Don't read the paper. It is supposed to bring you joy.

"I want them to see me and say, ‘This dude is having fun.' I don't need the job. I don't have to work. It is not life and death for me. I don't need that contract. I am fine. So I am here because I have the opportunity to live a dream, coach at a great place with great tradition and a basketball program that is second to none. I am not going to get beat down. I don't hear all the stuff on the radio or read the papers or chat rooms. If you are doing it to get to me, don't do it. If a piece of mail comes in here without a return address, it gets thrown in the trash. I won't even read it. If it has a return address, I will write you back. I promise that."

Don't worry about offending him, either, if you ask for an autograph or picture.

"The other thing is signing autographs or people taking pictures when you are eating dinner or doing something. The option is you are 2-28 and nobody comes near you. I am fine with it. I don't get carried away. My autograph is not worth anything. I have signed it a million times. But if that makes somebody feel good, that's what I will gladly do," Calipari said.



Check back tomorrow for more on this series of articles, which appeared in last month's issue of KSR, teh magazine. Sign up for Kentucky Sports Report, the magazine, today. It is filled with great articles and glossy photographs of all things Wildcats.

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