John Calipari Addresses NBA Draft Combine's Importance, Agrees with Kevin Durant

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 17:  Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts during the game against the Northern Kentucky Norse during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 17, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

After Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant questioned the value of the NBA's predraft combine for top prospects, Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari largely concurred with the assessment.

"He may be right. For the guys, if you think there's anything here that would hurt you, don't come," Calipari said Thursday, per ESPN.com's Nick Friedell. "If there's anything here that would help you, come. If you have to play to help yourself, come. If it doesn't help you [to] play, then don't play."

Calipari added that while he has never directed one of his former players to skip the combine altogether, he had advised some to decline playing in the five-on-five portion of the event.

Durant was more blunt in his take on the combine.

"Stay your ass home, work out and get better on your own time," he said, per ESPN.com's Chris Haynes

The 2014 MVP recalled how at the 2007 combine some strength coaches joked about his lighter frame and "were giggling with each other that I couldn't lift 185 pounds." Durant said that part of the experience was embarrassing.

The combine could provide a nice boost for players who are looking to move up draft boards, whether it's climbing into the lottery, the first round or the draft altogether.

For stars like Durant, who was essentially a lock for one of the top two picks in the 2007 draft, there isn't much to gain from fully working out at the combine.

In the cases of Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and Josh Jackson—widely regarded as the top three players in the 2017 class—the combine can be a good opportunity to meet personally with front office personnel from NBA teams. Beyond that, there's little else they can do to impress talent evaluators.

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