Let’s get straight to the meat and potatoes of this shit.
Three Reasons Why Calipari Won’t Be Coaching in Chicago Next Season:
Go to Wikipedia, type in the name “Jerry Reinsdorf,” and you will find that the third sentence of the owner’s entry reads, “He has been the head of the White Sox and Bulls for over 20 years, with a reputation for frugality.”
To even the most casual NBA fans (and/or recent readers of the compelling Sam Smith behind-the-scenes classic, The Jordan Rules), this comes as no surprise. Despite the fact that the Bulls are, on average, the second-most profitable franchise in the NBA, Reinsdorf has always run his franchise like a cash cow. With the exception of the tail end of Michael Jordan’s second tenure in Chicago (when he paid MJ roughly $30M/season, mostly because the G.O.A.T. paid for himself), Reinsdorf’s shown zero inclination to shell out big bucks for personnel. The Bulls’ most-recent head coach, Vinny Del Negro, made about $2M/season, and the last semi-successful head guy before Del Negro, Scott Skiles, was paid roughly $4M/season. According to reports, Calipari would need somewhere in the neighborhood of $8-10M per season to be lured away from Lexington. Now, add that number to the buyout Reinsdorf would owe UK for snatching away Cal before his contract expired. Then, add that number to the one that’ll be attached to LeBron James’ max contract. In the end, no matter how sweet a package deal it may be, it’s hard to imagine a dollar figure like that coming out of Reinsdorf’s wallet.
Better yet, egoes. There’d be too many of them in the front office. We’ll start with the guy at the top, Reinsdorf.
In addition to his reputation for being thrifty, Reinsdorf has an equally-deserved rep for ceding power to nobody. With that said, Calipari’s reportedly stated that he wants a decision-making role in addition to the head coaching position at his next NBA stop. Now, I’m not saying there’s a zero percent chance Cal’s coaching in the NBA next season, but I am saying that if there’s any truth to that demand, there’s a zero percent chance it happens in Chicago.
Same deal with John Paxson. He’s the GM of the Bulls, and if we’ve learned anything about him over the past month, it’s that when this guy makes a decision, you best get the fuck out of his way.
And, finally, John Calipari. Not unlike 1+1=2 and the inherent imperfection of man, John Calipari’s ego is a universal truth. It is there and it is gargantuan; anyone who has heard him say just about anything could tell you as much.
Calipari’s had a tough time getting along with Mitch Barnhart. How’s he plan on seeing eye-to-eye with a tightwad like Reinsdorf and a bully like Paxson?
3) Common Sense
Seemingly lost in all this mess is the fact that Calipari (judging by, you know, his previous NBA coaching experience) would make a horrendous NBA coach. His tenure with the New Jersey Nets was an abject failure, highlighted by a 72-112 career record and one quasi-racist rant directed at a NJ reporter. The closest thing to a bright spot came in the form of the team’s 43-39 regular-season record in his second season at the helm, which ended with Kerry Kittles and Co. being swept in the first round of the playoffs. The team picked up where they left off to start the next year, losing 17 of their first 20 to start the season before Calipari was mercifully given his walking papers.
Keep in mind, this is the same man demanding $8-10M/season to coach his next NBA team.
How many guys have to be given chances (or, in some cases, multiple chances) before GM’s learn that 99.99% of the the time, college coaches don’t translate to the NBA? The list of successful college and NBA coaches in the last twenty years begins and ends with Larry Brown (and sort of Gregg Popovich), yet every year you hear the names of guys like Calipari, Pitino, Donovan, and Krzyzewski mentioned for horrible NBA gigs that a coaching fusion of Phil Jackson and Red Auerbach couldn’t turn around. There’s an enormous difference between college and professional basketball — it’s called recruiting. Cal is a great recruiter, maybe the best ever. What he is not, however, is a great strategist. This year’s Elite Eight match-up with West Virginia and the 2008 NCAA Title Game showcased that. And while the college game allows him to go out and get the players he wants for the system he likes to run, the NBA is more of a play-the-hand-your-dealt kind of league.
In summation, the NBA doesn’t cater to Cal’s strengths. He’s one of the best in the college game becaust he’s great at going out and getting the guys he wants. Take away his ability to do that and I’m not sure he’s any better than the last handful of guys the Bulls have fired.
So, to review:
– The Bull’s won’t want to pay him.
– Calipari won’t want the front office headaches.
– Most importantly, he wouldn’t make a very good coach.
Now, can somebody please forward this to Reinsdorf and Paxson and tell them not to steal our fucking coach?