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 â€¨a title at Kentucky — the Wildcats will probably open No. 2 in the â€¨rankings — and the Knicks underwhelm in the playoffs. Could you see â€¨New York firing Mike D’Antoni and Calipari giving the NBA another â€¨shot? I can’t see him coming back to the NBA if the job isn’t right, â€¨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.
This is also the last week to sign up for the KSR Football Contest Groups. The college football pick’em game begins for this weekend’s games, and the NFL Survival Leagues start on September 11th. There are still approx. 100 or so slots open for the college football game in the 4 leagues listed below. The games should be published today or tomorrow, so remember to get your picks in. You can already make your pick for Week 1 of the NFL Survival League.
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