Before last night NCAA Basketball Championship game against eventual National Champion UConn, Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari had his name linked to the probable Los Angeles Lakers coaching job opening up later this spring after the end of the NBA season, one of the worst in the history of the Lakers’ franchise.
Calipari denied the rumors, but there could be something going on, especially when former player Rex Chapman put it out on Twitter that it was a “done deal” that Calipari, win, lose or draw in the NCAA Championship game, would be going to coach in Los Angeles next season, especially as the rumors have been incredibly strong that Mike D’Antoni would be let go soon.
If “Coach Cal” took the Lakers job, he would actually be taking a step down, especially with the set up that is in the Lakers organization right now. The Lakers, as presently constructed, has a very bad setup in terms of being able to win immediately come next season.
The team has Kobe Bryant coming back, who most people have no idea if he will actually be back to himself after going through a bad season that saw him come back too quickly after an ACL injury in the 2012-13 season. The Lakers may or may not have Pau Gasol back after this season as he is a free agent & many believe that he will go to the Memphis Grizzlies & play with his brother, emerging center Marc Gasol.
Yes, the Lakers may have one of the top 5 picks in the upcoming NBA Draft in June, but the main player that would be a great fit in the Lakers organization is Jabari Parker from Duke, but that’s not a guarantee that Parker will even go into the draft.
At Kentucky, Calipari has the ability to go out & recruit the best players in the country & because of his track record, be able to get the best players in the nation consistently, every single year. Many jump on Calipari for getting many of the “one-and-done” players that immediately go to the NBA, but that’s honestly not on Calipari. He is a capitalist in the sense of encouraging young men to capitalize on their ability & readiness for the next level & doesn’t give them fluff about it, which many college players can respect.
In the NBA, Calipari wouldn’t have that kind of power & in Los Angeles, it has been said many times that Kobe Bryant is the de-facto coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. There could easily be a power struggle with Calipari & Bryant, & if the Lakers aren’t successful immediately, between Calipari & the Buss family.
Calipari is a legend already in Kentucky basketball & clearly doesn’t need the money. He is a hall-of-fame college coach & has the ability to have a power team for years to come.
Cal, stay in Lexington & deal with Ashley Judd, not with a way-to-intense Kobe Bryant.