It was possible to spend yesterday holed away at home, maybe out doing some Christmas shopping. Heck, an editor even suggested it.
Nah. Not when Memphis was in town.
Memphis-Georgetown was, far and away, the premier nonconference college basketball game in the area this season. Nothing on paper was going to match it. And while the quality of play late left a little to be desired (the teams combined for 18 points in the final 10 minutes of regulation), the spectacle that is Memphis is difficult to beat.
In the center of it all is coach John Calipari, a man with his share of detractors who nevertheless reached the Elite Eight the last three seasons and was a free throw away from a national title last season.
The game —- a 79-70 overtime victory for Georgetown —- was enjoyable enough to make the trip downtown worthwhile. But the real gem was the roughly nine minutes Calipari spent at a podium adjacent to the Verizon Center media room.
In the middle of it all was a comment that just about sums everything up.
As Calipari was finishing a discussion about his team’s toughness, a reporter started asking another question. Along came an apology for interrupting a thought, followed by this Calipari classic:
“I don’t think, I just talk.”
And that, friends, is your John Calipari moment of zen for the day.
—- Patrick Stevens