Could Calipari Really Become a Knick?

Posted: April 8, 2011 by Bacon in Kentucky Basketball, Outside the Ville
Tags: , ,

As April begins and Spring starts up. A new Kentucky basketball tradition is also starting back up. What NBA team will head coach John Calipari leave for? In just two off-seasons as head man in Lexington already Calipari is being rumored to headed to the NBA…again.

This time last year the rumblings began that the New Jersey Nets would bring Calipari in for a second go around. Of course they were hoping to give him LeBron James through free agency as well. Opposed to sticking him with a center named Yinka Dare like his first venture there. In the end the Nets didn’t get James or Calipari. Kentucky fans got their basketball savior back and as a result their first trip to the final four since 1998.

The Nets seem to be happy with Avery Johnson for  now but it is the Knicks turn to make Kentucky fans sweat. Rumors started to hit the internet early this week but it has really hit the fan with the return of Peter Vecsey to relevance.

Vecsey reported today in the New York Post that Knicks owner James Dolan is not interested in retaining (In my opion the best general manager in the NBA) general manager Donnie Walsh, or keep head coach Mike D’Antoni (only in his third year with Knicks)  and give both those jobs to John Calapari.

Peter Vecsey in his NBA on NBC glory days

Vecsey may have written my new favorite line in his article regarding how he discovered the possibility of a Calipari return to the NBA…

“According to a team executive, who knows a thing or two about a thing or two regarding goings-on behind the screens, believes Dolan may have eyes for John Calipari….to run the front office and coach.”

Have you ever seen a better description of a writers source then that? Something tells me Kentucky fans are not thinking this is as funny as the rest of the nation might though.

There is a huge difference between last year’s Nets rumors and this years Knicks rumors. Last year the idea of Calipari returning to New Jersey was hardly a threat to big blue nation. There was no guarantee James would be a Net (of course he isn’t) and whether he did sign their supporting cast was less than stellar. If Calipari learned one thing from Pitino it is don’t take a job (Boston Celtics getting Tim Duncan) with good odds of adding a player cause nothing is for sure.

The Knicks already have two superstars in Amare Stoudimire and Carmelo Anthony. Throw in a ton of cap room to spare and take a shot at either Deron Williams or Chris Paul in the upcoming off-seasons. An offer to coach and run the front office is very inticing.

Regardless the job, would Calipari want to return to the hustle of being an NBA coach? In his only other previous stint as a head man in New Jersey, Calipari spent just over two full season with the Nets. Going an overall 72-112 (did not get handed the best group of talent) and took the Nets to the play-offs in his second season there. A 3-17 start to his third year combined with a ton of negative publicity after Calipari referred to Newark Star-Ledger sports reporter Dan Garcia as a “fucking Mexican Idiot.”

Calipari in 1997 with then Nets stars Sam Cassell and Kendal Gill

This could all be just more smoke and Calipari may have no intention on leaving Lexington anytime soon. Only the jag-off himself can answer that. One thing is for certain though. Whether Kentucky is getting knocked out of the tournament by another Big East team or if they win their eighth or more titles under Calipari. Every April will bring warm weather, flowers blooming, and Calipari to the NBA rumors.


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