(John Calipari and John Chaney. Photo courtesy of AP Photos)
Emotions were running high between Atlantic-10 powers Massachusetts and Temple. UMass squeaked away with a 56-55 win, though head coach John Calipari was hardly jovial in victory. Before leaving the floor, Calipari complained to the three refs about the officiating. Temple coach John Chaney was witness to this, though it didn't appear that he thought much of it. Chaney was calm and collective at the post-game press conference and walked away from the podium without a shred of combativeness.
But when Calipari stepped to the microphone a few minutes later, Chaney returned and engaged with him at the opposite end of the media room.
"Can I please say something? Coach, you don't say [expletive] to officials without me being involved in it. I'm not going to be a party to that. Against George Washington you won with three [expletive] calls down the stretch. You had the best guys out there today. Three class guys."
"You weren't out there coach," responded Calipari. "You don't know a thing about it."
"You got a game given to you by officials right here with G.W. on three bad calls, okay?" Chaney said, his voice growing louder. "Then you send your kids out there pushing and shoving. You had the best officiating you could ever get here. And for you to ride them, I don't want to be a party to that."
"Coach, coach, I'm going to tell you something," Calipari began. Chaney yelled, "Shut up!" and approached the podium, getting right in the face of Calipari. The two coaches came very close to an all-out brawl; Mike Williams, whose jumper with 3.2 seconds left won UMass the game, wedged himself between the Johns.
"I'll kill you!" Chaney blared, as onlookers escorted him away from the press room. "I'm going to kick your ass. You remember that. When I see you, I'm going to kick your ass. You've got a good team. You don't need that kind of edge. That's why I told my kid to knock your kid in the [expletive] mouth!"
This was not the first time Chaney took umbrage with John Calipari. Back in 1990, their respective teams played a triple-overtime game in which the Temple Owls narrowly won in the closing seconds. But the game-winning shot was disputed by Calipari, who argued that it was a shot clock violation. The officials huddled around Chaney to discuss the play, and when Calipari went over to join the conversation, words were exchanged between the two. Chaney lunged at him and had to be held back by the officials.
Chaney's post-game outburst landed him a one-game suspension from Temple. "I fully accept the actions that the university has taken and I feel they are deserved, well deserved," he said, apologizing to Calipari and Massachusetts.
The feud was one of the first involving John Calipari, who would go on to quarrel with several other coaches. The two men eventually reconciled their differences and were able to call each other friends by the time Chaney retired in 2006.