Let’s get this party started. No seriously.
The Chicago Bulls are in the market for a new head coach, that’s no secret. The turmoil between Tom Thibodeau and management has pretty much boiled over. The only thing that would prevent Thibodeau from getting the boot/leaving Chicago is if the team miraculously wins a NBA Championship this year. It could happen, but pretty unlikely at this point.
“Several league sources believe Thibodeau’s relationship with management is beyond repair.” (Pro Basketball Talk)
Fred Hoiberg, current coach of Iowa State, has been rumored to be a successor to Thibodeau but a new name has officially entered the conversation. A recent report from Pro Basketball Talk indicates that John Calipari “desperately wants” to coach in the NBA again.
“He desperately wants it,” the front office official said. “He won’t say it out loud. The NBA is the only place he’s ever failed and it drives him nuts. He’s not the same guy he was then. He came to the NBA and he wasn’t ready. He’s ready now.”
After setting numerous NCAA records at Kentucky, with the possibility of finishing as the first undefeated team since Bobby Knight’s 1976 Indiana Hoosiers, what else does Calipari have to prove in the college game? Back in the 90’s Calipari coached the New Jersey Nets, his first pro stint, and it didn’t go so well. His overall record was 72-112 with a .391 overall winning percentage. He was fired in the 1998-99 season after starting 3-17, but that’s the past.
Calipari has recently solidified himself as one of the best college coaches in history leading an undefeated Kentucky team that gets the job done playing ferocious defense. He’s won the Naismith College Coach of the Year award twice, Sports Illustrated College Coach of the Year once and already has a NCAA Tournament Championship under his belt. After compiling a record of 591-174, there’s little for him left to prove in the college game.
Did we mention he previously coached Derrick Rose? In the 2007-08 season he recruited Chicago’s golden child to Memphis and led the team to the National Championship game. If it wasn’t for poor free throw shooting by Rose, they would have beaten Kansas but fell short in overtime. Calipari eventually left Memphis before an investigation revealed Rose’s SAT score was not good enough to gain eligibility but he played anyway.
Most Chicago Bulls fans refuse to see the writing on the wall with Thibodeau and the front office, but a name like Calipari could make them believers quickly. After all, Calipari is much more exciting than Fred fuggin’ Hoiberg.
Did we mention he’s also tied to Chicago native Anthony Davis who’s a restricted free agent in 2016?
In June 2014, Calipari signed a seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension with Kentucky but the writing is already on the wall.
Seems like the perfect coach for Chicago, with the perfect opportunity to exit the college game on top of the world. He would get a huge payday and inherit a very talented team with a lot of young talent. Get excited.
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