With another successful collegiate season in the books and several NBA head coaching vacancies on their way, the annual John Calipari-to-the-NBA rumor mill has started heating up. Per usual, if Calipari wants to coach professionally their will be an opportunity. Heck, even the Knicks are in the market for a coach. If you want high profile — which we all know Calipari does — it doesn’t get much better than that.
The important thing to keep in mind, however, is that Calipari’s first go around in the NBA didn’t exactly work out. Some coaches (yes you, Rick Pitino) are just better suited for college. Calipari had a combined 72-112 record in three seasons with the Nets in the mid-1990s. He made the playoffs once and was bounced in the first round. According to Yahoo! Sports, Calipari even had an intern call WFAN in New York to defend him during those rough years.
Calipari became obsessed with the callers to the midday New York radio show ripping into him, and orchestrated a counter propaganda program.
And so was born “Anthony from Hoboken,” several team sources said. Anthony was a staunch, defiant and fictional advocate for the eventually exiled Emperor of East Rutherford. He made calls to WFAN out of the Nets’ offices, telling metropolitan New York that he was one fan who couldn’t understand all the criticism heaped on Calipari.
Pitino openly admitted that leaving Kentucky for the NBA was one of the worst decisions of his career. Coming off a national championship season that just might end up being a clean one, Calipari is just getting started. If radio criticism bothered him enough that he had to instruct interns to pose as Coach Cal supporters, that’s just further evidence that college is where Calipari belongs.
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