BOZICH | Calipari to Lakers like Calipari to Nets, Cavaliers, Knicks, Bulls ...
Are the John Calipari to the Lakers' rumors any different than the stories that linked Calipari to the Nets, Cavaliers, Knicks or Bulls? Unlikely.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Los Angeles Times mentioned a string of prominent coaches as possible replacements for Byron Scott, who was fired as the Lakers' coach last weekend.
There was Jeff Van Gundy. And Mark Jackson. Luke Walton made the list. Those are all NBA guys. Kevin Ollie of Connecticut was also mentioned.
But guess which coach the Times featured in the picture that accompanied Mike Bresnahan's story (the link)?
Bingo! You win the pool if you selected Kentucky coach John Calipari.
Feel free to chuckle.
Former UK star Rex Chapman actually started this rumor two years ago at the NCAA Final Four in Dallas when he tied Calipari to the Lakers' job on the day of the NCAA championship game. Rex used the hashtag #DoneDeal. I looked it up.
The job went to Scott. He went 21-61 in 2015 and backed that up with a 17-65 performance this season.
I'm surprised the Lakers waited more than a week to dump Scott. Maybe they showed him some respect because he was a player on multiple championship teams during the Magic Johnson/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar era.
It didn't take long for Calipari's name to enter the news cycle. Colin Cowherd of Fox Radio has already suggested Calipari would be the perfect fit with the Lakers. (Another link.)
Honk if you’ve heard that one before.
Calipari to the Nets.
Calipari to the Knicks.
Calipari to the Cavaliers.
Calipari to the Bulls.
Have I missed anybody?
Yes, the Lakers have one of Calipari's favorite former UK players -- forward Julius Randle. Yes, the Lakers also have one of the league's best rookies -- former Central High star DeAngelo Russell (as long as you confiscate his cell phone).
Yes, Kobe Bryant has retired and the Lakers are looking for somebody to bring back the glory days.
Yes, the Minnesota Timberwolves just signed former Bulls' coach Tom Thibodeau to a five-year deal worth $40 million.
What would that make the Lakers' coach and team president job worth? Five years and $50 million? More?
But here is one vote that Calipari will stay at Kentucky.
In the NBA, the playing surface is level. In college basketball, it isn't. Calipari will regularly have better players than anybody he plays. His recruiting classes always rank among the nation's five best. He won't have the best players in Los Angeles -- at least not for several years.
In the NBA, teams market the players. In college basketball, coaches are the most interesting men in the world.
In the NBA, the season goes forever. In college basketball, coaches can exhale.
In the NBA, you can't add your son to the roster as the 15th player. At Kentucky, Brad Calipari begins his career as a walk-on guard next season.
My guess is that the next time the Los Angeles Times runs a story about the Lakers' new coach, they'll have to post a different picture.
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