Jul 28, 2011 3:02 PM by Brent Carney
Tayshaun Prince believes the exhibition game of Kentucky Pros versus the Dominican Republic in August will only be one part of a busy summer and fall of NBA players migrating to Lexington.
With the NBA currently in a labor dispute, players are barred from working out at their team's facility. John Calipari has said that he would like to see ex-Kentucky players return to Lexington to work out and stay in shape during the off-season and in to the fall and winter, if the NBA fails to find a resolution.
Prince believe that will happen.
"Whether it's mid to late August or early September, I think some guys will start to roll in," he said.
The nine year NBA veteran is in Lexington this week co-hosting a basketball camp with Calipari.
Prince says Calipari texts him and other former Kentucky players about what is going on with the program. Whether the player played at Kentucky while he was the coach does not seem to matter to Calipari. According to Prince, that willingness to build a relationship has impressed the group of former Kentucky players in the NBA.
"That's one thing that we talk about now is that we have a coach here now that really appreciates not just the players that he has here now but the players that have been gone."
"It's a huge, huge thing for us to be able to feel that type of passion from a coach that's here and didn't have the opportunity to coach us, but he wants that relationship with us, it makes guys feel pretty good," he said.
NBA players would come in and out during the summer while Prince was at Kentucky and Tubby Smith was the head coach, but he says with Calipari's proactive approach and all the ways players now communicate with each other, this will be different.
"I think Calipari is trying to do something special where it's just more than a couple of guys," he said.
Prince said he plans to spend more time in Lexington later in the summer and in to the fall and winter, if the NBA remains locked out. Brandon Knight - Prince's teammate in Detroit who was at the camp Thursday - said he plans to return to Lexington in late August or September. The two don't figure to be the only pros around campus.
"I think you're going to see over the next few months here that guys are going to start rolling in, doing workouts and things like that just because the relationship [Calipari's] putting out there with guys that he didn't coach but at the same time is building relationships," Prince said.