Calipari knows how to respect Louisville

Some might disagree, but I really liked what John Calipari had to say about the University of Louisville and the city of Louisville during his remarks at the Tip-Off Luncheon in Louisville.

Calipari obviously knows about the UK-Louisville rivalry and knows just a little bit (wink wink) about the rivalry with Rick Pitino. Yet he also knows to continue his love affair across the state, he needs to treat Louisville with respect — and he did.

"I also understand that the city of Louisville drives the state. The University of Louisville is important to the city of Louisville, which then in turn drives the state by being the biggest city in the state," said Calipari. " I'm not here to hurt Louisville in any way.

"We are trying to gather people to Kentucky. We want people behind our bench. We want the business leaders of the state, maybe from Louisville, to come and be a part of what we're doing. This University is vital to this city, which is vital to this state; I will do nothing to hurt them, but try to beat their brains in when we play them. Other than that I hope they do well and I hope they win."

What's wrong with that? Nothing. It's the right approach because the city of Louisville is vitally important to our state. Calipari has every right to court fans — and business leaders and sponsorship— from the Derby City, but it's also classy to wish the city and Cardinals success.

But Calipari knows this is a Big Blue state and there's no reason to intentionally alienate anyone in Louisville.

"It's what you dream about in coaching. It's what you want. Is there any program more connected to their state than this one? I don't know of one. Anywhere you go, they're excited in this state," Calipari said. "They live and breathe it, like no other state than I've ever seen in my life and it's awesome. It's humbling. There's a responsibility with it now. You understand as a program, the standard that you're going to be held by because of that."

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