Will Anthony Davis Be Calipari’s First Wildcat to Win an NBA Title?

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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John Calipari Extends His Streak of Lottery Picks

Kentucky is getting exactly what they are paying for from John Calipari. Coach Cal had made it very clear that getting his players to the NBA is his top priority. And he is delivering. Every year he has been at Kentucky, he has had a player selected in the Lottery of the NBA Draft.

So far, Coach Cal has had three players drafted #1 overall and now a total of 21 players taken in the lottery, 29 in the first round and 38 overall. He has had more players taken in the top 14 than some conferences in the same amount of time. And it all started in 2010…

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2010– John Wall (1st), Demarcus Cousins (4th), Patrick Patterson (14th)

2011– Enes Kanter (3rd), Brandon Knight (8th)

2012– Anthony Davis (1st), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2nd)

2013– Nerlens Noel (6th)

2014– Julius Randle (7th)

2015– Karl-Anthony Towns Jr. (1st), Willie Cauley-Stein (6th), Trey Lyles (12th), Devin Booker (13th)

2016– Jamal Murray (7th)

2017– De’Aaron Fox (5th), Malik Monk (11th), Bam Adebayo (14th)

2018– Kevin Knox (9th), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (11th)

2019– PJ Washington (12th), Tyler Herro (13th)

And the haters say he doesn’t know how to develop talent. Don’t worry, they’ll still say that he doesn’t know how to coach by not getting anyone selected in the top 10. Just moving the goal post.

PJ Washington coming back for another season and improving his draft stock had to hit the Anti-Cal crowd pretty hard.

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Swaggy Cal Ends Blackshear Pitch the Only Way He Knows How

The Kerry Blackshear Jr. recruiting saga of college basketball recruiting is finally coming to an end. Having just finished his visit in Lexington with Coach John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats, Blackshear is faced with a choice. Does he play at a school where he could be the best player, but get little national recognition? Or, does he go with the coach that has a proven track record of letting his players realize their dream of playing in the NBA?

Calipari hopefully put that question to rest when he ended his recruiting pitch to Blackshear the only way he knew how. By hopping on a private jet en route to Brooklyn and the 2019 NBA Draft. Swaggy Cal is at it again. This is such a baller move to show to a recruit. I really hope he ended it by saying, “…And that’s why you should come to Kentucky. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have three guys about to get drafted and my jet is waiting.”

Hopefully, Blackshear makes his decision soon. To be completely honest, we all are getting a little warn out by the constant media attention and nothing really happening. I know Blackshear is too. For the latest updates, follow us on Twitter @soft7sports and on Facebook.

UCLA Actually Thought John Calipari Was Genuinely Interested in Head Coaching Job

This is adorable.

A team from the Pac 12 that didn’t even make the NIT last season really thought they had a chance to rip John Calipari away from his dream job. According to Kentucky Sports Radio, UCLA thought that Coach Cal’s interest in their head coaching job was completely genuine.

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Calipari even had contract negotiations with UCLA. The LA Times reported:

“Among them were a contract that would pay Calipari $45 million over six seasons, a $1.7-million pool for assistant coaches, eight new staff positions, private planes for the use of the team and its coaches, and a monthly catered meal for Calipari’s staff and players. Negotiations progressed to the point that (UCLA’s senior associate athletic director Josh) Rebholz reached out to donors, seeking money to help cover all the new expenditures that Calipari’s hiring would entail, according to people familiar with Calipari’s requests.”

Calipari just trolled an entire university. He asked for less that what he was getting at Kentucky with less team perks and UCLA still could not do it even with the help of donors. Then immediately signed a lifetime deal at Kentucky that pays him $9.2 million a year.

This is exactly what is meant by the phrase “Swaggy Cal”. Make a mockery of the only other school with more national titles all while leveraging the most lucrative deal in NCAA Basketball history. Oh, and leaving UCLA with Mick Cronin.

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Rick Pitino Cleared All Suspicion in 2012 Anonymous Survey

In the summer of 2012, CBS Sports’ basketball correspondents spent a month interviewing 100 college basketball coaches. Picking their brains about the biggest issues facing their sport at that time. Coaches were promised anonymity in exchange for their true, honest, unadulterated answers. One question per weekday for one month.

This survey had some very innocent questions like “who is the most underrated coach?”, “what rule would you like to be see changed?” But then the CBS Basketball guys ramped up the questions and started getting some real newsworthy results. Coaches were asked, “Which coach is best at bending the rules but not breaking them?”

It was the summer right after the 2012 national championship, and a guy with a sketchy past had just won the title with a stellar recruiting class. So you could imagine who topped the list.

  • John Calipari: 13 percent
  • Billy Donovan: 11 percent
  • Sean Miller: 8 percent
  • Tom Crean: 8 percent
  • Mike Krzyzewski: 6 percent
  • Roy Williams: 6 percent
  • Tom Izzo: 5 percent
  • Josh Pastner: 5 percent

People think John Calipari was/is cheating? Color me shocked.

Now, there are two things that surprise me the most about the results from the last question. First, the 6 coaches who said Roy Williams was the best at bending the rules and not breaking them were spot on. Great call. For those of you who don’t know, Roy Williams was at the center of a NCAA academic scandal a couple of years back. Athletes took fake classes with minimal work and easy A’s to stay eligible. The only reason UNC got off scot-free was because a couple frat boys found out about it and took them too. Really bent that rule as far as absolutely possible.

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The second most surprising thing is that Rick Pitino did not make the top 8. Maybe because the question asked who bends the rules without breaking them and Pitino was definitely just breaking them. However, there was another question that asked who the biggest cheater in college basketball was. Calipari ranked number one in that poll too while Pitino was nowhere to be found.

Pitino must have been keeping thing pretty tight under wraps, or maybe he really did not know anything after all. Ignorance is unlikely especially since he told boosters shortly before the 2015 scandal broke that he knew everything his players did. Going as far as to say “If one of my players has a beer in Louisville, I know about it.”

Makes you wonder about how good of a program Louisville would be today if Katina Powell had not blown the whole story open.

Odds on Who Will Be the Lakers’ Next Head Coach

The Lakers have finally fired head coach Luke Walton leaving LeBron coachless for his long playoff road ahead summer off. There has been all kinds of speculation of who was going to take over. Would Jason Kidd get a second second chance at coaching? Would LeBron and his puppet, Ty Lue, get a reunion? Would LeBron just take over himself as player-coach? Well, the last two are the same thing, but regardless, the vacancy needs to be filled.

Thankfully, just like who will end up on the iron throne and how long it will take Gronk to end up working for Barstool, you can bet on who will be the next head coach of the Lakers. Here are the favorites:

Now for the longshots.

Let me start with who will never ever in a million billion years will be the coach of the Lakers: John Calipari. How about we go ahead and squash those rumors before they even start?

Definite no’s:
Magic (awkward), Walton (lol), Coach K, Izzo, Stackhouse, Cheeks, Painter, Brown Scott, Phil Jackson, Shaw, Charles, Jackson, Van Gundy.

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SNY

Longshots, but possible:
Fizdale, Fisher, Thibs.

And the rest of the possibilites:

Sports Illustrated

Sean Miller
I think this is probably a 1% chance and that is only if the FBI probe into Arizona goes horribly wrong. Right now, it doesn’t look like anything is going to happen.

Chris Beard
Again, more of 1% chance, but Chris Beard is far too good of a coach to stay at Texas Tech for too much longer.

Juwon Howard
I don’t know too much about him, but the media seems to think very highly of him. Right now, he is an assistant with the Heat looking towards making the jump to head coaching.

Jason Kidd
I have no idea how this guy is the favorite right now. He did an aggressively mediocre job in his 5 seasons of coaching, just barely making it to .500 in 4 of 5 season. But, .500 would be an improvement for the Lakers and that’s what is important.

Tyronn Lue
Of course, this is LeBron’s first choice. The Lakers, having no real idea why LeBron came there in the first place, are surely going to do whatever they can to keep him happy. No one takes a step back and let’s his superstars coach quite like Ty Lue. As of now, this would be my favorite to take the job.

LeBron James
Cannot count this possibility out. It would be stupid to do, but look at the entire dumpster fire that is the LA organization right now. Who is to say that LeBron won’t just demand it and get his way? At +50000 odds, it is definitely worth putting $5 on.

Might I also suggest Rick Pitino?

Kentucky Offers “No Hot Seat Ever” Contract to John Calipari

Death. Taxes. John Calipari on the hot seat. Year in and year out, Kentucky and Calipari has one of the best recruiting classes. And every year that Coach Cal doesn’t take that team to the championship, we get the same boring take: is John Calipari on the hot seat?

Absolutely not. But, hey. Gotta fill air time with no Zion or LeBron until next October.

from Heavy.com

With how bad of a coach the media makes Calipari out to be, it’s strange that there are respected programs that want him to be their head coach. According to Seth Davis of the Athletic, UCLA has offered Coach Cal a 6-year, $48million contract.

In response to UCLA’s interest, it has been reported by Bleacher Report and the Athletic that Kentucky has offered John Calipari a lifetime contract. Cal already makes $9.2million a year and that is only going to go up with tenure. The offer also reportedly has a clause that will allow him to stay with the team after he retires as a paid ambassador.

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USAToday

So, what does this mean? To me, it says Kentucky will get a top 5 recruiting class until God says so. I assume most of the “paid ambassador” work will be recruiting. Next, it takes John Calipari off the hot seat for good. Not that he ever was, Kentucky would never fire him (case and point), but the media loves to say that. This offer will surely get them to stop saying that right?

No. They’ll say it again in June when Kentucky doesn’t have a lottery pick.