BOZICH | Calipari isn't bound for the NBA; End of story
At Kentucky, Calipari is in charge. In New Orleans, general manager Dell Demps controls the roster -- and that isn't going to change.
In college basketball, the playing field is tilted toward programs like Kentucky. In the NBA, the playing field is as flat as the Rupp Arena court. You're never going to walk onto the court with better players at all five spots as Calipari did nearly every night this season.
I could tell you more. Like this nugget: Calipari has won better than 83 percent of his games at UK. He was a 39 percent guy in the NBA.
There's no reason to stretch my list to 10 items. If you live in Kentuckiana, you already understand that Calipari has a better job than anything the NBA could offer.
You didn't need to read the statement Calipari rushed out Tuesday afternoon after a media report linked him to the opening with the New Orleans Pelicans.
But here is it anyway:
"Even though Anthony (Davis) and Tyreke (Evans) are in New Orleans, I have no interest in coaching the Pelicans or any other coaching position. I have a great job and I'm happy at Kentucky."
The Pelicans' rumor had more juice than most Calipari rumors. Anthony Davis indeed plays there. He gave Calipari his NCAA championship at UK three seasons ago. Davis is the best under-25 player in the NBA, a guy with the skills and temperament to bring a championship to an NBA franchise, too.
Tyreke Evans, who played for Calipari at Memphis, is another fixture with the Pelicans.
I get it. The Pelicans are on the move. They won 45 games this season. (Only seven more than UK won, by the way.) They made the NBA playoffs. They played four reasonably tough playoff games against Golden State.
The Pelicans and New Orleans situation lacks the toxicity of the Nets and New Jersey, where Calipari lost 112 of 184 games in less than 2 ½ seasons as the head coach.
That's correct. Calipari lost 74 more games in less than 2 ½ seasons in the NBA than he has during six seasons at Kentucky.
Calipari loves to be loved. Nobody will love him more than Kentucky has loved him. There have been a few grumbles about the Final Four loss to Wisconsin, but it's not as if anybody is directing traffic to FireJohnCalipari.com.
New Orleans ranked 24th in the NBA in average home attendance. The Pelicans had a fantastic year – and still averaged about 7,000 fewer fans per game than Kentucky.
I'll give New Orleans two advantages: Anthony Davis and post-game restaurants.
Other than that, every other edge goes to the job Calipari has done so well that Kentucky helped bump him into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2015.
Calipari is no dummy. He knows you don't trade the Kentucky job to direct a franchise that is the Other Team in a town that adores the Saints.
He'll be the coach at the University of Kentucky next season. End of story.
Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.