Why John Calipari Fleeing Kentucky for the NBA Is a Bad Idea

Corey TaylorCorrespondent IJune 2, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - MARCH 20:  Head coach John Calipari  of the Kentucky Wildcats during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the New Orleans Arena on March 20, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

There has been much buzz recently surrounding John Calipari leaving Kentucky to take on yet another NBA job. 

There have been rumors spread about him heading to Cleveland to team up with LeBron James, going to New Jersey so he could bring in numerous amounts of talent with the cap space they have, and even going to Chicago so he could not only just coach Lebron but also Dwayne Wade.

The idea of John Calipari heading to Chicago is almost as ludicrous as thinking that Dwayne Wade and Lebron James will be playing in the same uniform next season.  Neither of those two players are going to take a pay cut in the prime of their career and why should they? The NBA is purely market-based now and winning comes second. 

John Calipari isn't going to take a pay cut either.  If any of these teams are going to get Calipari to shift his head from Lexington towards them then the salary is going to have to be substantially different.  Any NBA franchise obviously can out pay a university but would Calipari sacrifice everything he has received from college basketball to take another shot at the pro's?

I believe John Calipari has learned his lesson.  He is not going to be able to succeed at the NBA level.  He is a recruiter and a damn good one at that. 

You don't recruit in the NBA, you scout, and if you are lucky enough, you get one of the multiple people that you spent your energy on.  In college Calipari spends a lot of time and energy on his recruiting and it pays off because he gets four or five of those first round draft picks on his team every year.

He gets a shot at coaching perhaps the next Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or LeBron James.  Does money really mean everything to a coach of Calipari's stature? I realize money talks but it doesn't talk enough to take a man away from a job he was meant to do.

John Calipari was meant to coach the Kentucky Wildcats.  I have seen only a handful of coaches that found their perfect coaching match.  Pete Carroll at USC (he will flounder in the NFL), Joe Torre with the Yankees, and Phil Jackson with the Lakers to name just a few. 

Look no further than Rick Pitino when trying to assess Coach Cal's situation.  Pitino has time and time again said that it may have been the worst mistake of his career leaving the University of Kentucky for the NBA. 

Pitino had it made at Kentucky. He had played in National Title games and had won one.  Instead of him trying to convince recruits to come to Kentucky they were calling him asking for a shot.  Pitino knows better than anyone the success coaching at Kentucky can bring to your resume.

Without a doubt Pitino would have won more championships if he had stayed at Kentucky but he wanted to test the waters of the NBA and it came back to bite him.  Billy Donovan was so scared to take an NBA job he coached the Magic for about a day before returning back to Florida.

Allegations and talk about leaving for the NBA will always surround Calipari because people enjoy talking about him.  Calipari is at the pinnacle of his career with nothing more to prove.  Mitch Barnhart Kentucky's Athletic Director has stated many times he is currently trying to restructure Calipari's contract which would make him the coach of Kentucky until he retires.

Don't look for Calipari to make the same mistake he did by leaving UMASS even though many would like that.  Instead get ready for the college basketball world to be put to sleep by Calipari and his 'Cats.