John Calipari is known for two things in the coaching world: attracting the best recruits to come to Kentucky and then putting those same recruits in the NBA. So far, he has had 38 players drafted, 29 in the first round, 21 in the lottery, and 3 were taken first overall, BUT no NBA Championship rings. Sure, it’s out of his control, but why is that?
Well, one of the biggest reasons is that his best players get drafted too high. Others never live up to their full potential. The ones that can actually make a difference go to the worst teams that get lottery picks for a reason. The dysfunction of upper management and coaching can ruin even the best players. It’s hard to make the best of a bad situation when it takes 3 All-stars or perfectly timed injuries to win a championship anymore (nothing against the Raptors, health is an important part of a championship team).
But Coach Cal’s NBA Title woes may be coming to an end as early as next season. As part of the Lakers’ “oh my God, LeBron is older than we realized, we need to win now” initiative, they just traded away 95% of their future for Kentucky’s own Anthony Davis. Love or hate the Lakers, you have to be happy that AD now has the best chance at winning a title since 2012.
In fact, the Lakers are now the favorite to win the World Championship next season.
Many of Calipari’s Kentucky players have tried to win a championship, and some have come close, but all have failed. Boogie Cousins was the closest, but a plethora of injuries crippled his Golden State Warriors. Josh Harrellson was actually on the Miami Heat roster that won the title in 2011. But he did not meet the Heat’s minimum games played threshold to receive title recognition.
Hopefully, this year is the year. The LeBron and AD combo should be good enough to make a deep run in the Western Conference Playoffs, but they need just one more piece to ensure that Calipari finally gets his champion.
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