The coach meets the chief: John Calipari, John Roberts watched Trump's speech together

John Roberts, the Chief Justice of The Supreme Court of America, watches the Kentucky Wildcats game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Rupp Arena on January 31, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Story highlights

  • Chief Justice John Roberts visited Kentucky head coach John Calipari at Rupp Arena Tuesday
  • They watched Donald Trump's nomination of a new Supreme Court justice in Calipari's office

(CNN)While President Donald Trump was walking down the red carpet Tuesday into the East Room to finally reveal his Supreme Court pick, the chief justice of the United States was near a different court, talking basketball with famed Kentucky head coach John Calipari.

The two men -- both head coaches of sorts -- had been scheduled to meet before the game against Georgia because Roberts was in town to give a talk to the law school.
"You talk about surreal," Coach Cal said in an interview. "They asked a couple of days prior if I had time to meet him and I said, 'I'll delay the game!'"
Tip off was at 9 p.m. and Roberts wandered in to Rupp Arena closer to 8. The TV in the coach's office happened to be on in time for Trump to formally announce his nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch.
"I said, do you mind if we watch?" Calipari said he told Roberts. "And he said, 'you know you aren't going to get any emotion from me about the pick.'"
After Roberts learned about his next potential colleague, the two men discussed the game and looked at pictures of Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Roberts then invited the coach to come to Washington and maybe meet some of his bench mates.
"I said, 'absolutely,'" Calipari said. "If that's not a bucket list item, I don't know what is."
During the game, the coach said he snuck a couple of peeks at the Chief until things got tense. A jump shot triggered overtime. Kentucky won, 90-81.