Calipari: Should he stay or should he go?
Is it a good idea for Calipari? The answer to that is as simple as the answer to another Kentucky-related question. You know, the one where people ask if they could beat an NBA team.
No, there's no way Kentucky could beat an NBA team.
And no, Calipari has no business coaching in the NBA.
Let's remember, we've already seen Calipari in the Association before. He did a 3-year stint with the Nets, finished with a .391 winning percentage, and only made the playoffs once, where his Nets were swept in 3 games.
In college, on the other hand, Calipari has seen success at every stop. Well, relative success, that is. His teams win games, he can recruit great players, and he has a pretty rich legacy in the NBA, from veterans like Marcus Camby, who played for Calipari at UMass, to younger players like Derrick Rose (Memphis) and John Wall (Kentucky).
Then again, technically speaking, Calipari's Final 4 appearances at both Memphis and UMass were vacated thanks to NCAA rule violations, so the past two seasons with Kentucky are his only remaining Final 4 appearances on the record.
Calipari has said that his next goal is to have an undefeated NCAA season, something that hasn't happened for a men's team since 1972, but was accomplished by the Baylor women this year.
Then again, we all know better than to take an NCAA coach at his word, don't we?
Whether it's football or basketball, NCAA coaches are legendary for their proclivity to stretch the truth at best, and flat out lie, at worst. It wouldn't surprise anyone if Calipari was simply telling Kentucky fans what they wanted to hear, but still wants an NBA gig and would jump at the offer if it were to come up.
Coaching in the NBA is obviously the top level of the basketball coaching profession. Calipari is one of the best coaches in the country at the NCAA level. But does that mean he should make the leap?
Absolutely not. If he stays with Kentucky, he could end up going down as one of the greatest college coaches of all time. Kentucky is one of the most storied programs in the NCAA, and there really aren't any better college coaching jobs. If he leaves for the NBA and fails again, which is highly likely (especially with the Knicks), then he'll most likely have to take another step back to a smaller program before getting the chance at another top-tier job like Kentucky again.
John Calipari is an incredible NCAA coach. Even if his vacated seasons leave some room for skepticism, there's no doubting his ability to recruit great players and groom them for the NBA. Clearly, with Kentucky, he can do that AND win a championship.
Just stay, Coach Cal. I'm not a Kentucky fan by any means, but no one wants to see you crash and burn in the NBA again. And we all know that's what will happen if you get lured away by the League. Don't let that happen.