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Dan Wolken on Cal’s tenure at UK: “Won’t be 8-10 years”

We have given Dan Wolken a very hard time here are KSR, mostly because he seems like a bitter little kid who lost his best friend when Calipari left Memphis for UK.  At the time, Wolken worked with the Memphis Commercial-Appeal newspaper, but has since moved on to The Daily, an internet based newspaper.  Anyway, The Big Lead interviewed Wolken last week on a variety of issues ranging from the cesspool of college athletics, the Bruce Pearl issue, and the changing face of newpapers.  But, of course, he was also asked about Calipariand what might draw him away from the Kentucky job, in particular the New York Knicks job.  Here is what he had to say:

Q: As someone familiar with John Calipari, how’s this scenario: He wins 
a title at Kentucky — the Wildcats will probably open No. 2 in the 
rankings — and the Knicks underwhelm in the playoffs. Could you see 
New York firing Mike D’Antoni and Calipari giving the NBA another 
shot? I can’t see him coming back to the NBA if the job isn’t right, 
but the Knicks — who have two stars — would certainly be right.

WOLKEN: Whether he wins a title at Kentucky or not, there’s no question in my mind that coaching the Knicks is his true dream job. I know Kentucky fans will say that he failed in the NBA before, so why would he want to go back? The truth is that’s why he’d want to go back. Cal doesn’t like the idea he’s perceived as a failure in the NBA (which is actually a bit unfair, though an entirely different can of worms), and it’s probably inevitable that he gives it one more shot before he retires. Who knows how it plays out, but if D’Antoni isn’t there and the Knicks have Amare and Carmelo with the possibility to add Chris Paul, there isn’t a job in all of basketball with more upside. Is Cal going to leave Kentucky to go coach the Raptors or the Bobcats? No, but I think he’ll be in the NBA again at some point. And the nature of the Kentucky job is such that he’ll see the NBA as a bit of an escape. The Kentucky job, especially the pace he’s trying to maintain, is impossible to sustain forever. In Memphis he and his family were able to live fairly normally. He was a celebrity, but Memphis is a bigger city with an NBA team and more going on. In Lexington, it’s just suffocating. I think he knows he can’t do that for eight or 10 years.

So there you go.  And I am sure Dan would love nothing more than to see Cal leave this job and fail with the Knicks.

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Article written by Bryan the Intern

24 Comments for Dan Wolken on Cal’s tenure at UK: “Won’t be 8-10 years”

  1. Holden McGroin
    5:11 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    Wolken didn’t say anything at all that i would disagree with. I think as soon as Cal brings the hardware back home for the Cats, we better get used to the idea that he is likely leaving within a short timeframe.

  2. Owen
    5:17 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    At least that was reasonably thought out and expressed. That kind of statement I can at least respectfully disagree with.

  3. PatPattersonISwalkingthruthatdoor
    5:17 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    can’t really disagree with him, though. i think that’s a very fair and accurate take.

  4. macon_volfan
    5:21 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    BTI—the KSR #2 league is messed up. There are 25 games, but Yahoo only assigns 24 ‘confidence points’

  5. manbearpig
    5:28 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    Have to agree with others. This is a pretty level response and def can understand his reasoning

  6. mocha
    5:35 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    He still looks like Gary Parrish’s bastard child.

  7. Seriously
    5:40 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    I still wouldnt think anyones dream job would be to coach Amari and Carmello…..

  8. Seriously
    5:43 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink


  9. JD
    5:46 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    he says lexington is suffocating, well so is new york. larry brown was able to coach and win everywhere he went except new york

  10. Sean
    6:12 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    Wolken is an turd brain but I think he’s dead on here.

  11. blue ink
    6:16 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    step one : win a title at UK … we’ll figure it out after that

  12. Lex07
    6:18 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    Wolken is exactly right here, I think. Cal won’t be able to stand it here forever, especially after he’s hung a championship banner in the rafters. Remember that embarrassing fiasco with the jersey for the White House? Wouldn’t happen in NY. My only hope is that he wants to win TWO championships at the college level.

  13. bluetooth
    6:32 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    remember pitinos departure for the celts ? MAJOR MISTAKE ! think long and hard coach cal , it rarely works out with overpaid prima donnas . why be just a pedestrian in NY when you are a king here . a new arena ? just around the corner .

  14. T
    6:33 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    Sean. Miller.

  15. bluetooth
    6:36 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    remember pitinos departure to the celts ? MAJOR MISTAKE ! think about it long and hard coach cal . it rarely works out coaching a bunch of overpaid prima donnas . a new arena ? just around the corner

  16. Boyd Baker
    6:52 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    If he gets us a title, he can bounce to the next level and I won’t stand in his way. Until then, he’s got a job to do.

  17. P.L. Wallingford, III
    7:15 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    Cal will be at UK longer than it takes this jerkweed to wash his hair for the first time.

  18. Enes
    8:27 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    Very fair take by Wolken there. I can’t disagree with much, though i believe Cal wants that title before he leaves … two reasons – (1) he doesn’t want to be regarded as a recruiter who couldn’t close the deal; and (2) Pitino’s title at UK.

  19. Bballdoc
    8:33 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    Number 10, I love your poetic agreement.

  20. ukupay1
    9:32 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    Knicks a dream job..are you serious..that is laughable..what have they done to make them a dream job..He will be here 10 years and hang banners…

  21. Charles
    9:36 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    Can someone PLEASE tell me why ANY opinion of wolken’s is relavent?

  22. It's a Celebration
    10:05 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    The Knicks are nobody’s dream job. They are irrelevant in the NBA these days. Carmelo, Amare and even Chris Paul won’t change that. It starts at the top and the top is full of morons and why the Knicks have been a failure for over a decade now. There’s no greater pressure cooker than New York. They will eat you alive there if you destroy their sacred teams. And UK isn’t suffocating. It’s supported. You come to UK to be a legend not just another coach. Cal knows that. Cal wants that. If he wins a title this season he won’t leave. He’ll stay and win multiple titles. If it takes 10 years to win a title he’ll probably leave. He said himself that when the job is no longer fun he’ll move on. There are some things he didn’t expect when he got here like the media scrutiny and bias but the flip side is the support that UK fans give to not only the program but to the community and world. He knows he can do great things at UK that he can’t do anywhere else including the NBA. Cal is here for a while so sit back and enjoy it. And don’t listen to meatheads like Wolken that don’t have a clue what Cal will do.

  23. Justin G.
    11:21 pm August 30, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with him, but for different reasons. I think Cal, loves the spot light, and the media attention that he gets. UK, shines in the college basketball world with his charisma at the helm, and he is the head of an entire state. UK fans like me are ecstatic with the success he has had! Especially last year, with all of the players he lost. There is pressure at UK, but, that is where he thrives. I think he will be here for 7-8 years, and then give it a shot! There were a lot of opportunities recently with stud teams (Miami, New York could have come calling). New York would have to lose in the 1st round of the playoffs for this to even have a shot.
    UK fans just want to be in the championship race every year! On the other hand, we do not expect a chip every season. You do not leave one of the kingdoms of college basketball for the pros, when you have not achieved your goals. I will agree, he will be in the league eventually, but I do not think he will spurn one of the greatest jobs in collegiate basketball before he gets a chip.

  24. Brew Crew
    8:56 am August 31, 2011 Permalink

    Can’t believe I’m saying this, but Wolken was entirely reasonable with his answer there. The UK fan in me wants Cal to stay 10-15 years, but that would be a superhuman feat at the pace he’s going. 8 – 10 years seems like a ceiling for Coach Cal’s tenure at UK, and Cal has always corroborated that. If he leaves tomorrow or next year for the NBA, that would be disappointing. But after 8 years if he moves on, I don’t think we can really blame him too much. Though that will still be a tragic event.