John Calipari Reportedly Wants Back In The NBA, Good Fit For L.A. Lakers?


The head coach of the University of Kentucky Wildcats, John Calipari apparently wants another crack at a coaching job in the NBA reports Steve Popper of Though these reports should be taken with a grain of salt, he could be a viable target for the Los Angeles Lakers if true. “He desperately wants it,” a front office source told Popper. The report seems pretty definitive, though Calipari will surely deny them as he continues to lead his Wildcats on a national title run for the ages.

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Should this report prove true though, and Calipari seeks a return to the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers may want to take a gamble on the Kentucky head-man. Though the report indicates his strong ties to the Nets organization have them as a front-runner to acquire him, the possibility of him coming to LA also makes sense, as the Lakers likely aren’t putting their long-term investments in the hands of Byron Scott. Though his connections lie primarily in Brooklyn, Calipari may fare better with a younger roster, much like the one the Lakers will be trying to assemble around a superstar free-agent signing. Though the Lakers are horrid in just about every area this season, they may still have the leverage to lure someone like Kevin Love, who seems to be struggling at times in Cleveland, as he’s taken a much reduced offensive load behind Lebron James and Kyrie Irving. Even if the team can’t manage a Kevin Love-like signing this off-season, Calipari may still find some appeal in the idea of developing younger talent such as Julius Randle, who played under Calipari at Kentucky last year, and promising point-guard prospect Jordan Clarkson, along with whoever the Lakers get their hands on in the draft. The Lakers are pretty atrocious this year on defense, as they currently rank 28th in opponent points per-game at 104.8. Calipari would likely relish the opportunity to jump-start a defensive revolution in L.A., as well as the opportunity to cement himself into the NBA history books, should he find success in Laker-land.

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  • Besides the basketball reasons, this just seems like a move that has “Lakers” written all over it: a big-name coach with all the hype in the world surrounding him, if nothing else, he would, at least temporarily, re-energize the city’s excitement for the team. The Lakers may find themselves in a bidding war with Brooklyn however, as both of these franchises are in very big markets, and aren’t afraid to show it through their expenditure.

    Another possible lure for Calipari to L.A., would be the promise of coaching his former power-forward in Randle, as well as any other former Wildcats the Lakers could get their hands on. Calipari has said he enjoys developing his players, what better way to do it than develop your former players beyond their college days?

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    All-in-all, Calipari would be a hard sell for the Lakers, but may be worth it, even if he turns out to be nothing more than a hype-generator, the Lakers would do well to generate some kind of excitement for next season, which will most likely be Kobe Bryant‘s last. Though Calipari washed out in his first stint as an NBA coach with the then New Jersey Nets, don’t think he’s run back to the college ranks for good; Calipari is a fiery personality that loves challenges, maybe that next challenge could be sorting out the current mess that is the Los Angeles Lakers.