In what shouldn’t come as a major surprise, the NY Daily News speculates today that, if and when the Cavs fall short of the Finals this season, Coach Calipari will be the front-runner to replace Mike Brown as head coach in Cleveland. Even though Mike Brown is loved by the city and by his players, the head coach usually becomes the scapegoat when teams consistently fall short of expectations.
To be honest, this makes more sense to me than last week’s rumors of Cal to the Bulls. For starters, I don’t believe LeBron wants to leave Cleveland. If he truly wants to be the universally-liked global icon, he doesn’t get there by betraying his hometown. This situation may provide the perfect opportunity for a Cal-LeBron union without destroying a city’s basketball, economy, and morale in the process.
You have to believe that if Cal bolts to the NBA, he’s going because he’ll have an opportunity to coach LeBron. That’s why I don’t think the Chicago rumors would completely pan out. Too many variables and no guarantee that LeBron would jump ship to the Bulls. That would then leave Cal coaching Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and a band of misfits. But going to Cleveland? Cal would have the opportunity to coach LeBron and a contender. The only problem is that Cleveland is a flawed team with no draft picks and little cap flexibility.
When it’s all said and done, I don’t believe that Coach Calipari leaves for the NBA this season. That perfect situation for him just doesn’t exist out there. But prepare yourselves, if the Cavs lose tonight, you’ll hear a lot more about the Cal-to-Cle rumors floating around. And like Matt said yesterday, those folks who are claiming that these rumors are just thrown out there to “hurt UK’s recruiting” are a little off the mark. There’s some legit stuff floating out there that’s not coming from Lawrence, Durham or Chapel Hill. Again, I don’t believe Cal is leaving yet, but we, as UK fans, better develop some thick skin in coming weeks.