"We're two different types of people," Auriemma says. "Our issues are different."
"There's no rivalry or jealousy," Calhoun says. "No. That's not what it's about. We're in different worlds."
So the players talk. The players from the two teams talk all the time. They talk about feet. ("We were comparing feet in the trainer's room the other day," guard Ricky Moore says. "You know how everybody's feet are ugly if you really look?") They talk about anything at all. The women rag on Kevin Freeman, stretched on a table with a bag of ice on his shin splints; they ask if "a real power forward" should be in the trainer's room. The men rag on the women's rah-rah attitude, cheering for a simple foul shot made in practice.
So the assistant coaches talk, are friends. So former Calhoun assistant Dickenman is godfather to Auriemma's son. So the athletic director, Perkins, talks to both men. So Dee Rowe, a former UConn men's basketball coach, is a confidant of both. So....
So the base salary of the two men is the same figure, $153,306. So they both make a whole lot more from sneaker contracts, speaking engagements, other interests. (Calhoun owns part of a bar in Hartford. Auriemma broadcasts WNBA games on ESPN in the summer.) So Calhoun gave $125,000 last year to the cardiology unit of the UConn health center in memory of his dad. So Auriemma gave $125,000 to the Homer Babbidge Library at UConn in tribute to his parents, who came to the U.S. not knowing a word of English. So....
"I do love the way his teams play," Auriemma says of Calhoun. "I love to watch them. I love the control on defense, the press. I love the freedom he gives his players on offense, not total freedom, but freedom, the running. I love that."
"I'd tell any woman in the country to come to UConn to play for Geno," Calhoun says. "Look at what he's done. Where else would you want to go?"
No reason at all.
Two men don't have to talk, be friends. Even if they lead pretty much the same life.