Exit George Karl; Enter John Calipari? UPDATE: Or Nah


UPDATE: Coach Calipari kind of negated most of this article with the following Tweet. Still though, there’s some good stuff in there about stability and handling the Karl situation and it’s still worth a read, but there seems to be a solid zero percent change Calipari leaves Kentucky for any other job at this point.

The Crazy Train just doesn’t stop rolling through Sacramento, it seems.

Adrian Wojnarowski was the first (as usual) to break the news today that the Sacramento Kings are trying to gauge Kentucky Wildcats’ head coach John Calipari’s interest in returning to the NBA to both coach and run Sacramento’s personnel from here on out.

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This would obviously coincide with the firing of George Karl, meaning that Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadive feels the same way about Karl’s attempted power play in getting DeMarcus Cousins traded as I do. Still though, I’m really not sure this is the way to go about replacing Karl if that is what Vivek wants to do.

First off, there’s the whole thing about Calipari just signing a seven-year extension at Kentucky before last season. Getting him in Sacramento could be a long shot. Sure, he’d be re-joining former Kentucky players DeMarcus Cousins and Willie Trill Cauley-Stein, but is that really enough for him to leave his powerhouse NCAA franchise behind?

I’m sure the current Kings situation isn’t the most inviting for new coaches, either. Joining a team that’s been through four head coaches in a year is like dating someone who cheated on their last partner with you–you can’t escape that feeling like you’ll be in for the same fate, eventually.

Especially since according to that Woj article Sacramento ownership is apparently trying to figure out ways to not pay George Karl his contract money if they fire him. Look, I wrote and still believe he deserves to lose his job, but you signed the contract with him. You can’t expect to not pay up because you made the terrible decision to hire him in the first place. That’s just bad business.

So I highly doubt Calipari would want to return to the NBA to coach the Kings, regardless of Boogie and Trill. Even if he would though, I don’t think it’s the right move. Why take away Vlade Divac’s position right now of all times?

Divac made the right draft pick and showed that he can operate independently and effectively out from under Vivek’s seemingly ever-present shadow, and now he’s going to lose his GM status? To a guy who hasn’t ever experienced the same amount of success in the NBA that he did at Kentucky, as great of a college coach as he is?

I don’t like it one bit. Why not go after an actual NBA coach? Scott Brooks, Monty Williams and Tom Thibodeau are all still unemployed last time I checked. If the only reason Calipari is the target is as Woj says, to “convince Cousins to back away from his desire to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers” then that plan is most likely going to backfire horribly.

If keeping Boogie was really the top priority, then why fire Michael Malone in the first place? Boogie actually liked him! This whole insane situation could’ve been entirely avoided by simply not doing something dumb, and Vivek couldn’t do it.

Hopefully this time he can manage to not make the fool’s move. Firing Karl and Divac (or at least removing his GM status) for a completely unproven NBA-level coach just to try to improve relations with DeMarcus Cousins is borderline insane.

This is a guy who’s only NBA track record was leading the then-New Jersey Nets for two plus seasons. His first year the team won 26 games. Next season they snuck into the playoffs by winning 43. The season after that?

Calipari was fired for starting the year with a 3-17 record.

But yeah, let’s upset the apple cart once again to offer John Calipari over $10 million a year even though he probably won’t leave Kentucky anyway. Vivek, do you want to know the secret to making Boogie–and all NBA players–happy?

Stability. Stop hiring and firing everyone. Karl might have to go for the insane locker room damage he’s causing, but if you’re going to fire him just do it already. Don’t play this annoying cat and mouse game and leak a bunch of rumors about potential replacements just to keep him in the end.

It’s annoying to all of us, but most importantly to DeMarcus Cousins. You know, the one you’re supposedly going to shell out a few dozen million dollars to bring in yet another head coach for.

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