Friday, March 20, 2009

Calhoun: 'I Didn't Realize I Was That Healthy'

He's baaaack …

Jim Calhoun was back at the Wachovia Center today for a 30-minute press conference (typically, only 20 minutes are reserved for players and coaches).

He seemed in perfectly good spirits, complete with some typical self-deprecating humor and wisecracks. Here's some of what Calhoun had to say about his bout with dehydration that caused him to missed Thursday's first-round win over Chattanooga:

I fully expected to coach the game yesterday early in the morning, 10, 11 a.m. I mentioned to Jeff Anderson, our doctor, that I wasn't feeling particularly well (and) had felt weak for a couple days, but no problem. He said, 'Let's go down and have you checked out'. So we went down. I was checked out. Next thing I know, this hour or so turned into being admitted so they could do a full and thorough examination. They looked at virtually everything, it seems, and came out with the fact that I probably was totally dehydrated. They could find that out. I left early this morning. I bribed my way out of there as quick as I could. Quite frankly, I feel good now. I probably feel good because, once again, I got a full physical examination. I will say one thing. The full exam, which got high ratings, did not include a psychiatrist.

(on George Blaney)
I can only make this about a friend. When I called him about 7 a.m. He said, 'Where are you?' I said, 'Quite frankly, I'm getting ready to get out of the hospital. His response was, (unenthusiastically) 'Oh.'I think it was that picture in USA Today. That was George's response when I told him I was on my way back to the hotel. In all honesty, the farthest thing from my mind, this is really true, sometimes you know if -- everybody hears of some illnesses, any different type of thing, and I'm thinking of the game even in the ride over just to be checked out quick to see everything. Next thing I know, they put a bracelet, I was admitted. I was the most shocked guy in the world. Right now, I practiced with the team at the Palestra. I had to only walk a couple paces to join the team over there, got to practice with the kids. We will go out to eat tonight and have our chart talk. I'll get a chance to talk to almost all the kids.

(on this being somewhat of a yearly occurrence)
I missed 10 games or something (actually 21). I had looked at it and I said the other day, I've coached 1,142 games. I had to look at the sheet, so I knew. It isn't like it happens every single day. I haven't had a great run over the last year certainly of not having something happen, at least it seems, from cancer to shingles to this, although this was not an illness really, it was something where I didn't feel well. Normally, if I probably hadn't gone, got such expert care at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, they wanted to be exceptionally thorough, and they were very thorough, as in the whole time that I was there. But bottom line is that, you get to the fighting part, then you realize that bracelet, unless you can whip up on a couple security guards, you're not going anyplace, and I wasn't going anyplace.

Once again, if you get me a day or two before an NCAA tournament game, I go back to the kids. On occasion they tell me, Coach, I'm a little bit high strung, nervous before a game. I said, There's a guy named Bill Russell who threw up before every game. He turned out okay, the greatest winner ever. Biased, but the greatest winner ever. I have the stats on that one to prove it. And there is no game that I've ever approached that I don't feel that in my stomach, okay? And I felt a little bit the night before, but nothing really drastic. But in the morning I just felt lousy. So I thought Jeff could give me something. Jeff said we can either go right around the corner here, up to Penn, we'll do this and that. Once again, one thing led to the other and I had no choice in the rest of the matter.

(on whether there could be any lingering health issues for him)
I'll probably take it the other way. Actually the opposite. I got more than a clean bill of health. Once again, I'll preface by saying no psychiatric tests were taken. So we have to keep that in mind. Regardless, quite frankly, I didn't realize I was that healthy. I didn't feel that way, you know. That's the honest truth. There's no guarantees in life and all that type of thing. But I left there feeling awfully good because they did an extensive look at me to make sure everything was okay.

(on the coincidence of missing all or parts of games in both the 1999 and 2004 tournaments)
I hope it is. I do remember those years vaguely, some good things happened to us at the end, if I had my druthers. You know, I really can't -- it doesn't seem that my body picks its spots. I think it's different because I didn't feel that I couldn't get to the game or I had to sit or anything else. As I said, when I told our doctor, I mean, I was not by any stretch of the imagination, if I hadn't told him, I wouldn't have gone over at 11:30 a.m. to watch the first game and keep on going. So it wasn't quite that critical. I still remember San Antonio, he came over, had a suit on, I was soaking wet. Kind of knew then that I wasn't going to the game. Maybe it's an omen or something. Hopefully it is. I wouldn't necessarily like these types of omens. I'd rather have the kids play. If they play like they did yesterday, everything else will work its way out.


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