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Perhaps Alan Cutler was trying to run Billy Gillispie out of town. Considering the amount of behind-the-scenes “If this is true, he’s worse than anyone thought” news that’s come out since Gillispie made way for John Calipari, I can understand if that’s what Cutler was ultimately doing. Now we have news about some Nike t-shirts, which support the rumors about Gillispie not liking his star player, Jodie Meeks.

First, a recap of the how their relationship may or may not have ended:

[Gillispie] told Jodie Meeks in a number of games to stop shooting and decried him for his selfishness, even during his 54 point performance in Knoxville. He told Meeks he should quit on a number of occasions and even threatened to kick him off the team in his last game ever, in South Bend during the NIT.

Now, on to the shirts in question. After Meeks torched the Volunteers with his 54-point explosion, Nike apparently made some not-for-resale t-shirts to commemorate Meeks’ accomplishment.

54 T-shirt
Image courtesy of UKAthletics.com

Unfortunately, the players didn’t receive them until yesterday. Evidently, they had been sitting in Kentucky’s practice facility, still in the boxes Nike shipped them in. What a grand way to foster healthy coach/player relationships. Good thing Calipari didn’t go the same Team Chemistry school Gillispie attended. Kentucky’s new coach handed the shirts out to the players at a practice session with his blessing:

“I loved that game for a lot of different reasons,” Calipari said in a sly reference to the Memphis-Tennessee rivalry. “But I loved what I saw in how he played and the heart that he showed.”

Too bad the coach on the bench during the Meeks explosion didn’t share the same appreciation.