April 5th, 2012 09:34 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Kentucky
Tags: Billy Hunter, NBA, UCLA, UK
John Calipari has for three seasons built dominant basketball teams at Kentucky thanks in very large part to one-and-done players. That doesn’t mean he’s in favor of the rule:
“I don’t think it’s a good rule. I hope we change it before this week’s out so all these guys have to come back. But it is a rule. It’s not my rule. It’s a rule we have to deal with.”
As we noted yesterday, NBA commissioner David Stern would also like to change the rule. He’s stated that he would be in favor of raising the NBA’s minimum age limit to 20 (or two years removed from high school).
For pro teams, they would have a better idea of the type player they are drafting/signing. They would also have to spend less time developing a first-year player. That means less risk on both fronts.
But the NBA Players’ Association is against such a move. Why? Because it means athletes have to stay in school longer — risking injury while not being paid.
The hold-up in this matter is not the NBA, the NCAA or Kentucky’s coach… it’s the NBA players’ union. Calipari says he’s met with the head of the union — Billy Hunter — “three times already”
“You’ve got to negotiate,” Calipari told The Lexington Herald-Leader. “We’ve got to go to Billy Hunter and say, ‘How do we get this done?’ Then you’ve got to get the NBA involved.”
If Calipari could keep his current batch of likely one-and-doners in school he’d have a better chance at catching UCLA in national championship banners, his new stated goal. The Bruins have 11 and UK now has eight.
Kentucky’s coach made that comment yesterday while nuking the annual Calipari-to-the-Knicks rumors that have emerged in the last week:
“Kentucky is the best job in basketball coaching. Why would I leave? We just won the national title. We’re chasing UCLA…
All of those (NBA) teams know I’m not doing anything. I’m not changing. I’m going to continue to see my friends who coach in the NBA and see my former players who play in the NBA. I’m going to continue to go to games…
I’ve always said I have more money than I can spend, than my children can spend. It’s not about that.”
Putting one last exclamation on the point, Calipari told ESPN: “No one is stealing our joy (with rumors). I’ve made statements that I’ve got the best job in basketball and I’m not going to change my lifestyle. I’m not leaving.”
(But that hasn’t stopped speculation over who might replace him in Lexington if he did leave.)
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