Earlier this week, Kentucky coach John Calipari fired off one of the best, funniest and most thinly veiled recruiting pitches ever delivered via Twitter. It went a little something like this:
I want to apologize to all the recruits this week. I'm spending the majority of my time answering questions from NBA teams about my six guys
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 26, 2012
Perfect, right? It's just perfect. No other coach has so blatantly and wisely used the quick path to the NBA draft lottery as a recruiting tool, but instead of a bold proclamation like the one he made two years ago -- when he riled even Kentucky fans by calling the 2010 NBA draft the "greatest day" in UK hoops history -- he chose a winking tweet to do his bidding. With six guys likely to go in the NBA draft, and four likely to go in the first round, what else really needs to be said? Game, set, match Coach Cal.
Newly minted South Carolina coach Frank Martin wasn't going to let this brilliance stand. So in a joking manner, it seems, (at least in so far as the man capable of doing this is also capable of joking) Martin fired back at Calipari on Twitter:
@UKCoachCalipari I love u & u r the best but while u talk 2 the NBA I will talk 2 the future NBA players
— Frank Martin (@FrankMartin_SC) June 27, 2012
Oh, it's on! Though you'll notice Martin didn't lay a friendly wager on the line. Calipari has turned Kentucky into an NBA draft mill (and I don't mean that as a pejorative); Martin is just beginning one of the great long-term rebuilding projects in the country at South Carolina, a place with little to no basketball history. Martin isn't catching up to Cal in the draft pick counter anytime soon. But you have to love the fighting spirit.