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Izzo, Calipari React To Coach K’s Comments On Pandemic Basketball

Everyone always has an opinion, and even more so now

USA v Dominican Republic - Mens Exhibition Game
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12: Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski of the US Men’s Senior National Team chats with Head Coach John Calipari of the Dominican Republic Senior Men’s National Team during an exhibition game at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 12, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The reaction to Coach K’s comments about basketball and the Covid-19 pandemic are causing a big ripple in college basketball, which is not surprising, given his iconic status in the sport.

Nate Oats said his piece already, and now John Calipari and Tom Izzo have weighed in.

Izzo said this: “I have great respect for Mike... but like, I didn’t let my kids go home for Thanksgiving.. At Christmas time, we’re not going home. Sure that was hard. But LeBron (James) stayed for three months (in the bubble). Sometimes there’s sacrifices you have to make. That was my way of saying ‘don’t feel sorry for the players. Let’s give them something to do.’ And what do they love to do? Play.”

And Calipari said this: “If there were a way we could do it, I would say let’s try. But you leave our state, what happens in 10 days? Do you quarantine two weeks when you come back? There’s all kinds of pieces to this that make it hard. Do I want them to come home? Dudes, I’m going 16 hours a day, I’d like to get a little break. But we also gotta make sure we’re doing the right things and being safe. This is uncharted waters. Every coach can do what they think is right for their team, I’m not going to question any coach.”

Fair enough.

It’s a tough situation for anyone and Calipari makes a great point about quarantine. But so does Krzyzewski when he reminds that these are young kids, some away from their families for an extended period for the first time. And if you remember how strongly affected Zion Williamson was by his family’s unidentified medical situation last summer, you can imagine that for a teenager to worry about family health isn’t necessarily easy. The stress and anxiety of this pandemic are tough for anyone but maybe most of all for young people.

So we’d have to say that while Krzyzewski is right, so is Calipari. There is no universal answer about what to do, much less what is right right now. And it’s worth mentioning that Coach K has a very good idea about how his kids are doing and most of his critics have none.