Nearly 9 years ago John Calipari stepped through those doors and took the job at Kentucky head on. It was a job he said he only thought he’d have in his dreams, never would it be reality. What we didn’t know then, we know very vividly today, he created something that cannot be broken. “La Familia” is a term that year in and year out we never get tired of hearing. “Brothers Keeper” and “Teammates first” are also more key phrases that are etched into our brains forever.
Many would agree that they never would have thought it’d be something this special that would change our outlook. It would never be “Just Basketball” anymore. It would never just be just those “One and done” guys using Kentucky and never looking back. It would never be just another W in the win column. Never just another loss. Not “just about these freshman that don’t care about winning.” We never thought it would be about players being remembered even after they leave Kentucky. Never would we have dreamt it’d actually be a “family.”
As stupid as it may sound these boys “not just players” become apart of our existence for less than a year sometimes maybe longer but it doesn’t stop there. We cheer them on each game night, we’re heartbroken when their loved one passes. We get excited when they get married and have kids of their own. We watch countless NBA clips/games to see them showing off long after their Kentucky days have ended. But they also think about us after they leave, we’re not just an after thought and that my friend, is what makes it so special.
Here’s is one of the most recent messages from a preview Kentucky guy; Devin Booker sends the BBN a message:
“La Familia” doesn’t just apply while they are in the state of Kentucky, it’s at the next level too.
In a recent interview, Towns tells us that he and Booker are still like brothers long after college:
Three years into their NBA careers the friendship between Booker and Towns has only gotten stronger. Their families have become close, Booker affectionately calls Towns’ father “the real KAT,” and Towns said they’re so much like brothers that, “He’s a Towns and I’m a Booker.”
Just recently Towns played the Kings who have three Wildcats on the roster, with Cauley-Stein being the only one he’d actually played with in college but that wasn’t who he spoke with pregame:
photo credit: @Scott_Charlton
De’Aaron Fox got comparisons all season in his on year at Kentucky to the one and only John Wall. Wall had only great things to say about the guard. They are only connected because of Kentucky. The same goes for the video below that includes John Wall.
Jamal Murray and Trey Lyles never played on the same team at Kentucky but here you can see their connection.
Of course these two are an exception, they did play together at Kentucky but no one told them they had to stay friends.
My point here is, John Calipari has created something very special.