What is the basketball world’s opinion of Coach John Calipari? The reactions you would get are mixed. Some love him and others loathe him.
The newest episode of ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series, which premieres tonight at 9pm, is a profile of Cal. The film is titled “One and Not Done” and filmmaker Jonathan Hock puts Calipari’s coaching career into a new perspective.
For me, I was one of those people that said, “Oh Calipari is a sleazy guy.”
After watching this documentary, Cal’s intentions are far from sleazy. Calipari really cares.
Hock opens up the film with Calipari practicing his Hall of Fame induction speech and it really makes you think: Does John Calipari deserve to be in the Hall?
Throughout the film, we gain perspective of Cal at every level. Where he began as a coach at Five Star camps all the way through to his current job at the top of college basketball with the Kentucky Wildcats. Some believe that Cailpari is all that is wrong in college sports. Then, there is another population that believes he is one of the best college basketball coaches around.
One and Not Done’s title coincides with the rule that exist for top NBA prospects. Calipari is a strong believer that if his players are good enough, then they should go to NBA and get paid rather than returning to the college for their sophomore season.
This shows that Calipari wants the best for his players. The emotion in this film is so raw because Cal’s intensity has never faltered from UMass to Kentucky. He has been consistent with his passion and love for coaching for nearly 20 years.
Being a Hall of Famer is defined by the impact you make on the game of basketball. The detractors would say he hurt the integrity of the game by letting his players go to the draft and not getting a degree, but he got them a job. Isn’t that the purpose of going to college?
Players like Anthony Davis, Marcus Camby, and John Wall are just some of the guys he has had the opportunity to coach and they all can attest to Calipari’s impact.
“One and Not Done” is not just a film about basketball’s most scorned coach, but it is one of the American Dream and the conversation of the “one and done” rule. There are few figures in college basketball that draw as much attention like Calipari does and this film dives right into his story with excellent execution.
Despite the allegations and the accusations, Calipari is able to rise above and still change the game. If Calipari’s Hall of Fame speech doesn’t display his impact over the years, I don’t know what else does:
Watch this documentary. You will not be disappointed. Seriously.