John Calipari admits at least one part of trying to survive in the Alaskan wilderness would be difficult.
“I probably would struggle wrestling a bear,” Calipari said Wednesday at his pregame press conference before the Kentucky Wildcats open the NCAA Tournament.
Otherwise, however, the Kentucky coach continues to insist he could handle life in the wild.
“Other than that,” he said, “I could handle living off the grid.”
Calipari’s newly revealed fascination with survival shows, specifically “Alaska: The Last Frontier,” “Life Below Zero” and “Building Off the Grid” has been one of the most delightful sub-plots of this quiet few days before the first round begins, and Calipari tripled down on his boisterous claim that he could survive off the grid Wednesday before his No. 2-seed Wildcats face the No. 15-seed Abilene-Christian Wildcats on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. EST.
In an appearance on ESPN on Sunday, Calipari explained he doesn’t worry about watching other games during March Madness. Instead, he watches some of these shows and tells his wife, “I can do that.”
A little later, Gonzaga Bulldogs coach Mark Few appeared on ESPN and analyst Jay Bilas had to ask him about Calipari’s thoughts.
“Calipari couldn’t make it in Alaska,” he asked. “Could he make it in Montana at a five-star resort for a weekend?”
Few laughed, then took a few playful jabs at Calipari, which prompted a truly legendary, out-of-context tweet from Calipari.
Calipari’s family members quickly roasted him. So did some of Calipari’s players. No one believes the 60-year-old from the Pittsburgh suburbs could make it on his own.
No one except for Calipari, that is.
“They truly don’t know me,” he said.
Not even his wife, apparently.
“When we watch the shows, I say, ‘I could do that,’ and she busts out and says, ‘You couldn’t do that for four minutes,’ but, no, I could,” Calipari said. “I really could.”