The University Of Kentucky’s John Calipari (above) either doesn’t earn enough money from his job coaching the Wildcats or he’s simply a huge fan of international hoops competition. Either way, in his summer gig coaching the Dominican Republic national team, Calipari declared Detroit F Charlie Villanueva — out of action most of last season with an ankle injury — surplus to requirements for the London Olympics, suggesting that Villanueva was, y’know, not in prime physical condition. Trouble is, Villanueva claims Calipari said nothing of the sort, and an allegedly damning workout never occurred. From NBA.com’s Keith Langlois :
“I’m at home relaxing and people are hitting me up like, ‘You got cut from the Dominican Republic team?’ I didn’t know anything about it. The crazy thing is I spoke to coach Cal like two weeks before I supposedly got cut. Everything was fine. Everything was cool, then this article came out that I got cut. I had never worked out for them. Besides one conversation I had with coach Cal, they never saw me.
“I still don’t know what was the reason. I read I was overweight? I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ That’s not the case at all. I’m feeling great. I don’t know, but whatever. It is what it is.”
Trainer Arnie Kander said Villanueva weighed less and had a lower body-fat percentage as last season wound down than he’d had since becoming an NBA player and Villanueva said his weight has been maintained since the season ended.