Smaller national teams typically cling to NBA players like Craig Sager to an ugly suit, but John Calipari and the Dominican Republic national team apparently aren’t quite so desperate. In a surprising move, Calipari has cut NBA stalwart Charlie Villanueva from the team, citing weight and conditioning issues. And then there was a little drama.
In response to being cut from the team, Villanueva tweeted the following photo (which has since been removed/disappeared).
It seems Villanueva wasn’t too happy about being cut, and showcased his svelte 243-pound frame alongside a 2004 NCAA Championship ring from his title with the Connecticut Huskies.
“Charlie was not in good form when we saw him,” coach Cal informed Deportes en la Z. “He was overweight, and unfortunately, we could not slow down the entire team and it was a decision taken collectively. Last year Charlie behaved really well with us, and his only problem was his weight.” I don’t think there are any conspiracies here. Calipari wanted players who could keep up with his fast-paced style of play, and Villanueva simply didn’t fit on the menu.
To be fair, 243 pounds is below Charlie’s listed playing weight of 255, but I can’t figure out why he included an 8-year old championship ring in the photo. Was he trying to taunt Calipari. Did he miss the last few months? Was he too busy eating to notice Calipari’s title run? Were his giant feet blocking the view of his TV?
We may never know, but if there’s anyone in basketball that can recognize the proper talent and the components of a team, it’s John Calipari. He knows who is worth the wait, who’s worth their weight in basketballs, and who has a mature-enough attitude to continue. Evidently, Charlie Villanueva didn’t meet those criteria.
Filed Under: Basketball
About the Author: Corey Tincher is a lifelong Kentucky fan and professional writer who couldn't keep the two worlds apart. He is the lead contributor for StraitCats.com and literally wrote the book on the 2012 NCAA Tournament Championship run, Big Blue Articles: Kentucky Basketball in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Follow @Corey_Tincher on Twitter for more Kentucky news and discussion.