June 6th, 2011 11:58 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Kentucky
Tags: Allan Houston, John Calipari, NBA, UK
When your coach’s name is John Calipari, you’d better get used to NBA rumors. Every spring. Every summer.
There has already been speculation this offseason that Kentucky’s coach might be offered the head coach and general manager jobs with the New York Knicks. Over the weekend, The Bergen (NJ) Record listed five candidates who might replace Knicks GM Donnie Walsh and at the top of the list was — again — UK’s Coach Cal:
“The former Nets coach wants to return to the NBA and would leave Kentucky, especially for a coach-GM combo.”
Today, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes that seven candidates: “maybe even John Calipari — are expected to be approached” about the opening. (Another potential candidate, by the way, is former Tennessee and Knicks player Allan Houston.)
So one paper writes that Calipari “wants to return to the NBA and would leave Kentucky,” while another says the Knicks might approach him.
But Frank Isola of The New York Daily News has a different take:
“Kentucky’s John Calipari has also been mentioned, but he has told close friends that he plans on coaching the Wildcats next season.”
We have stated previously that Calipari should look across the state to Rick Pitino before making any leap back to the NBA. Pitino was the king of the Bluegrass in the mid-90s when the Boston Celtics came calling. He’d already had a taste of life in the NBA and wanted to prove that he could star on the sport’s biggest stage. So he left UK, Boston got a bad break in the Tim Duncan lottery, and Pitino rolled snake eyes. Eventually he was forced to return to the college ranks at Louisville where — as good as that job is — he’s still forced to play second-fiddle in his own state to Calipari.
Calipari should see the lesson there: the UK job isn’t one you walk away from unless you’re forced.
Or as Eric Crawford of The Louisville Courier-Journal writes today:
“Calipari has a pretty good NBA job right now. He’s coaching NBA-level talent, making (almost) NBA-level money, and has more exposure than just about every NBA coach.”
We at MrSEC.com don’t believe Calipari will split on his UK team this summer. And if he does, he’ll be rolling the same dangerous dice that Pitino crapped out with a decade ago.
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