ESPN’s Maria Taylor says John Calipari’s arm-grabbing didn’t faze her

SHARE ESPN’s Maria Taylor says John Calipari’s arm-grabbing didn’t faze her

Considering the current landscape of college basketball, the last thing a coach wants is to call undue attention to his program.

Step right up, John Calipari.

During the obligatory halftime exit interview Tuesday of the Kentucky-Kansas game at the United Center, the Wildcats coach set the Twitterverse in motion when he grabbed the arm of ESPN’s Maria Taylor during the conversation.

As the coach who perfected the one-and-done blueprint complained about having to play five freshmen, he reached over and grabbed the arm of Taylor. Calipari continued for about 20 seconds on how the Wildcats would have to rebound better in the second half.

At one point Calipari said, “Do I have your arm really hard?”

A smiling Taylor responded: “It’s really tight.”

With that, Calipari smiled and let go. Taylor, recognizing his frustration with his team, quipped: “I’m not your player.”

Of course, social media exploded with comments about the unusual interview.

Though it might have seemed awkward to the viewing audience, Taylor never missed a beat and smoothly finished the interview.

In a video posted Wednesday on Twitter, Taylor said she has interviewed Calipari several times and at no time did she feel his arm grab was “awkward.”

Calipari was right about his team’s rebounding woes. Kansas proved to be too much for the younger Wildcats and ended up winning 65-61.

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