Is it really March Madness without Dickie V? I don’t think so. Thankfully, Dick Vitale is healthy and ready to watch the SEC Tournament. Before all the action began in Vitale’s hometown of Tampa, John Calipari paid the college basketball lifer a visit.
Most meetings between Coach Cal and Dickie V take place on a hardwood court in front of thousands before tip-off. This one was a little unusual. Vitale is cancer-free after undergoing rounds of treatment for lymphoma, but he still cannot talk. The enthusiastic broadcaster has been silenced, put on voice rest by dysplasia on his vocal cords. It did not prevent the two from trading light-hearted barbs.
In addition to calling him “the star of Billions,” Dickie V credited Calipari for finally winning a basketball debate. “He held court baby as he loved it because I couldn’t debate with him since I could not speak,” Vitale Tweeted. Calipari crafted a similar response.
Vitale is typically broadcasting the final three games of the SEC Tournament for ESPN. Even though he cannot speak on camera, he will be at Amalie Arena this weekend. The Southeastern Conference will honor him Saturday afternoon for his contributions to college basketball and his courageous fight against cancer.