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What do Calipari, Pitino, and Brad Stevens have in common?

BradStevens

They all came to coach in Kentucky after disappointing NBA gigs.

Okay, so Brad Stevens isn’t there yet, and he might be one of the exceptions to the general rule that college coaches don’t fare too well in the pros, but it’s always a risky move.  This list documents that pretty well, and includes some names you may have forgotten tried to make the NBA work for them.  Remember when Billy Donovan was head coach of the Orlando Magic for like a day and a half?  And CBS has a pretty similar list of guys who thought they could handle it.

Particularly, at the end of their dismal predictions, CBS had a note that might be relevant for Kentucky fans:

Worst-case scenario? He can always go back to college. And no matter what he does in the NBA, just about every program available would take him.

So, depending on how Stevens does, is it too early to consider the “Brad Stevens to UK” bandwagon open for seating?  What are the factors we need to consider?

Cal’s got as long as he wants at UK.  Let’s be real, as long as he wants to be the coach, we want him here.  Bottom line.  He’s done so well in his four years that we’d be crazy to ask for anybody else.  The Tubby situation was a  little different; he peaked early and declined pretty consistently through his tenure.  Cal came on strong, and has only gotten better.  So, as long as he keeps signing contracts, we’ll keep going to games.

Stevens might fail too early, or too late.  Timing is everything in the coaching world, and Brad Stevens knows that.  He held off on offers from college suitors like NCAA, knowing that the right opportunity would come.  And apparently, it did.  But assuming he leaves the Celtics (which might or might not happen), will it be at a time when Kentucky is ready to bring him in?  This is sort of in line with the above point–Cal’s here as long as he wants.  But what about the next guy?  If Stevens is in Boston for 6, 7 years, will UK be in a position to hire him?

Is Stevens the right fit for UK?  This is what you’ll probably hear the most argument about from anybody discussing the topic.  Stevens clearly has a very different approach than Coach Cal, but he’s also been very successful with it.  But can he copy that success in Lexington?  BCG didn’t work because he didn’t like the spotlight.  Will Stevens?  Safe to say if he handles the scrutiny in Boston (which is pretty crazy about basketball, too), he should be just fine in Kentucky.  But will his coaching style fit?  Can and will he recruit at the same type of level?  And if he doesn’t, will Kentucky fans be happy with recruiting classes outside the top ten?  Even if he’s successful with it, it might make the offseason a little bit more boring.  After the year-round excitement of the Calipari Era, could we accept that?

This is all obviously hypothetical.  There’s no telling how Stevens will do with the Celtics, and no way to know if he’d be willing to come to Kentucky.  But if he does end up leaving the Celtics, both Pitino and Cal are proof that Northeastern NBA coaches can be successful, and win championships at UK.  So, in 2019… Brad Stevens come on down?

Article written by Corey Nichols

47 Comments for What do Calipari, Pitino, and Brad Stevens have in common?



  1. Bilbo
    8:06 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t want Stevens at all….we need shaka smart…the best choice going forward period…it’s not even close



  2. O T I S
    8:10 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    The only coach I’ll be happy with after Cal gets fired for cheating is either luring Bobby Knight out of retirement, or bringing him back from the dead.



  3. fat jesus
    8:14 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Zzzzz

    #douche



  4. Sammydog
    8:24 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Ridiculous discussion.



  5. The Internet
    8:26 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Stop polluting me with your filth, Corey Nichols.



  6. bob
    8:40 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    As a follow up… Who will replace Stools? #veryveryverybadquestions



  7. vator32nh
    8:40 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    I hope not. UK needs to go with Coach O after Cal retires.



  8. bob
    8:41 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    *Stoops, damn you auto correct



  9. 420
    8:44 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Sooooo is there a reason as to why you’re talking about Stevens coaching at UK? First, Cal is still our coach so that is a douche move on your part. Second, the guy hasn’t even been the coach for 2 days! Back off Nichols, damn!



  10. Grant
    8:48 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    How does Cal get better every year if we went from champion to NIT?



  11. RichieFarmer'smustache
    8:50 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    4) My thoughts exactly. Cal’s not even close to calling it quits, not to mention the fact that he’s just pulled in the best recruiting class in the history of college basketball, and this hack of a so called blogger, Corey Nichols, is talking about replacing him with Brad Stevens???? Hey Corey, here’s a little piece of advice for you. Enjoy this ride we’re on with Cal and his players, and don’t worry about what’s going to happen 6-8 years down the road. You’re life wont suck as much as it does right now.



  12. Ricky Bobby
    8:53 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Why is it that UK fans can’t enjoy the present? Too many articles, call in show discussions, etc where the so called fans are talking about ‘what ifs’ and ‘next’. This discussion is stupid! Pure stupidity.



  13. DB11
    8:56 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Derpedrrrr Nichols



  14. IowaCat
    9:09 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Deep depression ensues anytime I think about the inevitable fact that Cal won’t be coaching UK one day. Please don’t bring it up again.



  15. come on
    9:11 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Isn’t Stevens leaving Butler for the Celtics just to bizarre? Didn’t he seem to be trying to project a John Wooden image with his demeanor, cliches’ and almost patronizing interveiw style? He seemed to be all college material. Then leave the rural paced Butler for the urban unforgiving eat the weak. Boston market with no warm up stops between? Something out of balance



  16. I shoot 4s
    9:13 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    I want Sean miller post-Cal



  17. RahRah
    9:19 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Personally hoping for Coach Cal to be around for a long time followed by Coach O.



  18. John Ellis
    9:22 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Again with the Tubby errors. UK was an overtime point from the FF two years before he left. Rondo ruins one year on his ego trip. Morris ruins another with his NBA fax. Cal just had a one game out NIT year, Tubby never sank lower than an 8 seed – and the first one was ridiculous, the 13th team in RPI against the #1 schedule – the two years Florida in the same SEC division won the title. Pointless I know to point out reality. Cal and Tubby roughly equal coaches at UK, and ditto Pitino whose only claim to being better is more FFs (where he blew games he should have won). Head to head both Tubby and Cal own Pitino. Back to the delusion.



  19. Ukato80
    9:24 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    I still thinks Duke is the college job Stevens wants.



  20. ProspectMike
    9:27 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    An absolutely worthless post. Enjoy the ride now.



  21. Opie Harris
    9:33 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Hey I love this site. KSR addicted, but talking about this like talking about your second wife is standing there. And she is as fine as the day is long.



  22. Opie Harris
    9:36 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Like talking about your second wife while your first wife is standing right there. You just don’t do it.



  23. Mr. I Like To Curse In The Comments Section
    9:40 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    If most of my damn comments have to be moderated, so should Corey Nichols’ posts.



  24. Larry
    9:43 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Corey, Pitino’s time with the Knicks was far from disappointing. He made them respectable and made them a playoff team from the bottom of the division. Come on man. I don’t mind bashing pitino but get your facts straight.



  25. Kojack
    9:51 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Alan Cutler is in training to chase after Cal when he will be fired next year
    Next UK coach is Slobodan Bjokovic of Serbia



  26. Question mark
    9:56 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Why are all of your article titles questions? They are almost always dumb as hell too. Yeah lets just assume that since two of our best coaches have came to us after nba flops that stevens will too. First of all that is basically saying he will fail in Boston (noone knows that). Any number of current younger nba coaches could be on the market by the time Cal retires. Yet another Corey nichols article that has sucked major ass



  27. TheRealHambone
    9:57 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    The “Cal came on strong and has shown steady improvement” statement is ridiculous in the extreme. Have we already forgotten last season? There is absolutely NO excuse for the crap of a season his team turned in last year. The NIT is not for KY. If that is “steady improvement” then maybe we should all start following WKU or EKU. This upcoming season is pivotal. There is a lot of pressure on Calipari. Is he the “Second Coming” like Mr. Nichols seems to believe? Or a wind-bag that got lucky in 2012? We will soon see.



  28. tomcat9698
    10:12 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Why does this guy still write for this site? Corey continually comes up with some of worse crap that I have ever read on here!!!



  29. bosshogg24
    10:24 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Stevens will never coach at UK, get that out of your head and quit writing about it if not you need to be fired!



  30. bosshogg24
    10:30 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Corey, your man will probably follow Shawn Woods at Morehead! Coach O will be the next man up at UK in 10 to 15 years when Cal retires!



  31. 2step
    10:37 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    I wasn’t aware that we were thinking about replacing our coach, and I think this kinda thing is ridiculous to even talk about. This was actually kinda sad to read, I mean I know we like to jump a year or two ahead when talking about possible recruits, but jumping into who even knows how many years from now to speculate Coach Cal’s replacement? GEEZ!



  32. Really?
    10:39 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    24) Amen. I’m not a fan of Pitino, but 24 wins prior to his arrival in NY, then 38 in year 1 (2nd in Atlantic) and 52 in year 2 (won the division).

    I don’t expect any breaking news or real insight (or proper grammar/spelling) but please save face and steer clear of any NBA commentary, b/c it’s beyond bad.



  33. Bryce
    10:49 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    You are what’s wrong with BBN. Quit writing for this site



  34. mashburnfan1
    10:49 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    10}agree. The keeps getting better statement is a JOKE. I know you can’t improve on winning a title but a first round NIT loss is a huge dropoff.



  35. You're a Douche
    11:29 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    Never satisfied. Stop writing stupid posts…..even if it is a slow 4th of July.



  36. alacat
    11:52 pm July 4, 2013 Permalink

    This article is nothing more than Onanism.



  37. mike
    12:21 am July 5, 2013 Permalink

    31, could not have said it any better.



  38. Corey Sucks
    7:19 am July 5, 2013 Permalink

    This was GE WORST idea for an article. Matt, on behalf of all of the KSR readers, please replace some of your writers. You, Drew, Mrs. TT and Nick Roush are the only good consistent writers on this site. Ally Tucker has her moments but she gets long winded and misses facts on occasion.

    I know this site is free but the fans deserve a better than what is being put on here. Get some intelligent yet funny writers that can connect with your audience. Obviously the people you have aren’t doing that.

    Rant over.



  39. Please Fire Corey
    9:00 am July 5, 2013 Permalink

    This guy hasn’t had a good post yet! He makes BTI seem brilliant!



  40. WhatTheHeck
    10:10 am July 5, 2013 Permalink

    This is out of line. Stop writing articles like this. I feel wrong just reading it.



  41. Dee
    10:43 am July 5, 2013 Permalink

    You insult the word suck…there is not a word in the English language to adequately describe how horrible your post are….
    I am sure you are a fine human…but jeez…your articles are beyond compare…you are the skip Bayless of Ksr



  42. I could write for KSR
    11:11 am July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Hypothetical questions on who will coach UK are grounds for firing. My 10 yr old nephew could come up with something better than this. I will never get back the 5 minutes of my life reading this GARBAGE!



  43. Hitman
    11:50 am July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Come on Matt, don’t allow these kind of mindless stories on this site. It demeans one’s intelligence to even speculate these scenarios . Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.



  44. smigskyOTS
    1:15 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Good stuff #18. OTS led Kentucky to one national championship in 1998, a perfect 16—0 regular season conference record in 2003 (as well as being named national AP Coach of the Year), five SEC regular season championships, five SEC Tournament titles and four Elite Eight finishes.

    Don’t get me wrong Cal’s the man but tard’s like Nichols are clueless. I’m with the masses’s this article should be Corey’s swan song. He’s pathetic.



  45. 5 minutes I'll never get back
    2:26 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    I just don’t understand how you can possibly think this post was a good idea. Just plain awful



  46. G
    4:04 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    Could this discussion be any more ridiculous? No



  47. here ya go
    5:49 pm July 5, 2013 Permalink

    i have one question. even after back to back final fours, how many top 50 recruits has stevens landed? I’m not sold on his premise that he can do it without the prime athletes. not at Kentucky. my go to guy would be the coach at Arizona.