Duke basketball unleashed and then hastily deleted a direct takedown of John Calipari and the Kentucky basketball program on Thursday afternoon.
As ballsy as it was fleeting, the tweet was released in the wake of Marques Bolden’s decision to attend Duke over Kentucky, a move that gave the Blue Devils the country’s No. 1 recruiting class (according to 247Sports.com).
The post featured several “fire” emojis before getting to the heavy-hitting stuff: A fishing rod and some underwater creatures that poked fun at Calipari’s apparent disgust with Duke’s recruiting tactics, as well as a proverb he’s recently become fond of: “Our approach is to give (recruits) the fishing rod and the lures to help them catch fish, not to just give you the fish.”
More context for you: The Duke-Kentucky rift of 2016 began near the end of April, when five-star recruit Hamidou Diallo told Courier-Journal.com’s Kyle Tucker that the Wildcats are simply about “the NBA thing,” while Duke focuses on a more well-rounded approach.
Calipari responded in a section of his May 9 blog, “The vision of the program,” where he first unleashed the fish bit, among other recruiting thoughts. Many readers thought he was directing his comments at Duke, but he later said that wasn’t the case.
“It wasn’t specific,” Calipari said last week. “When I speak, you guys parse every word, and you tell me back what I meant when I said something. And I let you run and I don’t really care. But the reality of it is, that post is more in a general sense. It wasn’t geared toward one person, one program. It was in a general sense.”
While Calipari is a prolific tweeter — when stacked against other coaches, at least — he’s not likely to respond to Thursday’s attack with an emoji assault of his own.
Last week’s press conference appeared to be his final word on the matter.
“It gave me a chance to educate,” Calipari said. “Someone on the outside who lives in another state, it gave me a chance to say, ‘This is who we are. This is not for everybody.’”