Behind Door #1: 8 Years, $35M at College Basketball’s Mecca
Behind Door #2: Another year, no love and another overrated team in a pathetic conference
Mr. John Calipari, which do you choose?
The answer is simple… GO TO KENTUCKY. What better way to prove yourself? Move to Lexington, become a jockey for their thoroughbred basketball players, and restore the tradition and prowless that Kentucky hasn’t seen since the Pitino era. To boot, you get $35M to do so. Sounds like a winner to me, but hey, I’ve been wrong before.
Calipari has taken an above average Memphis Tiger team to the NCAA Tournament multiple times in his career there starting in 2000. Just last year his team was in the Championship Game, only to blow a late lead and lose to Kansas in Overtime. This year, Missouri exposed them for what they really were in the Sweet 16…overrated and untested…and knocked them out early, much earlier than so-called bracketologists predicted. All in all, however, that’s neither here nor there in this debate. Now, let’s shine light on Calipari’s current predicament: coach Kentucky or continue at Memphis? We’ll strictly stay with pros and cons, don’t worry folks.
1 – $$$$$$$$$$$$…Can anyone else spell cash?!?! John Calipari has been offered an 8-year, $35M deal to move to Kentucky and coach the Wildcats
2 – Getting to coach at one of, if not the most, prestine and richest basketball schools in the country and of all time
3 – Calipari will be a motivational blessing with a great reputation among Wildcat fans with what he’s done at Memphis over the last 9 years
4 – You get to follow Billy Gillespie who clearly had no idea what he was doing with a young, talented 2009 Wildcat group
5 – His coaching legacy will now live in the same place as Rick Pitino and Adolf Rupp…that’s pretty good company if we’re talking college basketball
6 – Calipari can leave behind the criticism and the “under-appreciation” he got while coaching Memphis who plays in an overall weak and shallow conference. He will be able to truly prove himself in a high calibar conference with lots of talent and physical play and a high level of competition
7 – I heard the Kentucky Derby’s pretty sweet to attend in person…
8 – Mr. Memphis will be able to develop a young, talented set of ballplayers, including Jody Meeks, who could make a run at Player of the Year during the 2009-2010 season
9 – $$$$$$$$…Did anyone mention money?!?!
1 – Calipari will be taking over a set of players who are unproven and will have to live up to Wildcat standards (i.e. Pitino and Rupp) of performance over the course of their and his career
2 – By leaving the Tigers, Memphis will likely lose recruits and Calipari’s abandonment will likely leave a bitter taste in the Tigers’ mouth. They will have to start all over. But who knows, this may not even be a concern of his.
3 – Calipari will no longer be able to cakewalk through a pushover conference and literally guarantee himself recruits and a conference title each basketball season going forward. With Memphis, regular season and tournament championships were literally locked up before the year even started and a high seed in the Big Dance usually followed suit.
4 – He won’t be getting paid as much unless he regotiates his contract…which could get ugly…it usually does…
5 – He’s already married so he won’t be able to “shmooze” with any of the ladies in Lexington…we all know they’re reputation…heard of Ashley Judd?
Clearly, the odds favor the pro here. It looks pretty clear-cut as to what Calipari should do. But to sum it all up, we’ll just use the wise words of Jerry Maguire to pave the way for Mr. Calipari and his decision…SHOOOOOOW ME THE MONEY