As the NBA season winds down and teams begin to lick their wounds and plan for next season, the "long-tenured, highly successful college coach-to-the-pros" talk begins to flare up in the rumor mill.
This season, of course, was no exception.
First it was Pitino (proof that even the most God-awfulness can be forgotten). Next, it was Coach K.
Now, it's John Calipari, or, as he's more commonly referred to 'round these here parts: Fake Cal.
Fake Cal, as you might have heard, has a history of acquiring mega-hyped players, winning a ton and then bolting for greater pastures just before the NCAA brakes out its Calipari Eraser to said program's record books.
This time, however, it seems like Fake Cal may be trying to get a jump on the feds ... er, NCAA.
The rumor currently being floated out there is that Fake Cal, a close associate of one LeBron James -- Fake Cal even attended a Cavs playoff game last week -- would leave to coach the Chicago Bulls and LBJ would soon follow via free agency. All of this, of course, having something to do with NBA power broker/shadiest man in the world Worldwide Wes.
So why does this have anything to do with UConn? Three reasons:
1. It serves as a reminder of how awesome it is not to have to deal with these stupid rumors every year. Although the Calhoun Retirement Watch is bad enough, having a coach give non-committal answers or even openly toy with the idea of bolting to the pros is far worse -- especially from ones like Fake Cal and Pitino, two inhabitants of the Land of Misfit NBA Has-Beens.
2. Although his genius offensive schemes -- and by that I mean spreading the floor and just running Isos -- translate well to the NBA, Calipari, who was 72-112 in two-plus years as coach of the Nets from 1996-98, will likely fail yet again. Which would do nothing but please me and all of those who harbor disdain for all things that oppose the will of @TheRealCoachCal. And if the Bulls could somehow send a dragon boat to fetch Stephon Marbury from China to bring about his doom one more time, all the better.
3. There's an outside chance that UConn can still land Brandon Knight.
And that's not just my postpartum depression talking.
From Mike Anthony:
Knight has left open an option to attend another school should Calipari decide to leave for the NBA. He signed an "aid agreement" instead of a national letter of intent, according to this interesting piece from Sports Illustrated. Knight is on board with Kentucky so long as Calipari is, and Calipari has been insisting that he'll be in Lexington next season. If he isn't, I wouldn't expect Knight to jump to UConn, which already has a full recruiting class. I would expect him to wait to see who the next Kentucky coach is, and if he isn't satisfied, considering playing a season in Europe like Brandon Jennings did. UConn feels like it came in second place with a lot of the top recruits it lost out on (Cory Joseph to Texas over UConn; Knight to Kentucky over UConn, etc), so sure there's an outside shot that if something crazy happens Knight will come to Storrs. But again, I wouldn't get too excited over the possibility.
... so there's still a chance?!