Behind The Scenes

Calipari, Wildcats visit Bristol

As the University of Massachusetts head basketball coach from 1989-96, John Calipari had plenty of opportunities to visit ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. campus in its relative infancy.

Calipari remembers when ESPN seemingly consisted of just two buildings and some trailers.

Today, the University of Kentucky’s head coach put his team through its paces on ESPN’s spanking new indoor basketball court, seen in the photos above.

Apparently, Coach Cal is impressed with ESPN’s growth.

“I was here when there was Building 2,” he told Scott Van Pelt on ESPN Radio this afternoon.

“You parked on the street. You walked under the overhang. You went upstairs. People had their makeup on their desks. Not like you have windows, and glass, and ladies who make you guys up, even for radio!”

Calipari was impressed with the state-of-the art gym and the sprawl of rest of the campus. But he suggested ESPN executives remind employees where it all started.

“You should have a tour of Building 2. People are getting fat and sassy now, and they’re getting comfortable,” he told Van Pelt.

But after practice Friday, Calipari had no time to get comfortable.

He had interviews scheduled with ESPN The Magazine, SportsCenter, Dan LeBatard is Highly Questionable, Page 2, the Van Pelt Show, and a phone interview with The Mike Lupica Show on ESPN 1050 Radio in New York.

That’s a lot of ground to cover.

Calipari and the Wildcats are in Connecticut to play in the the Naismith Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament in the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville.

Saturday, Kentucky meets Penn State (Noon ET, ESPN3) and on Sunday will play either Old Dominion or South Florida (noon ET, ESPNU).

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