Even after the trade deadline, you still have to take most rumor-ish reports with a grain of salt. Like the one from the New York Post that details an NBA GM pointing out that New York Knicks owner James Dolan apparently wants to hire John Calipari to both run his team and coach it from the sidelines. Right. The story's from Peter Vecsey, you should know.
Then again, it's a story about James Dolan. Damn. We could read a rumor about Dolan wanting to hire Isiah Thomas as New York's much-needed defense presence in the middle, much less de facto GM, and because Dolan would be involved you still couldn't slough it off.
Or maybe you can. You definitely can. Please do it for me while I, struck by James Dolan's terrible tenure as Knick owner, cling to that 1 percent of a guess that this terrible rumor might have some traction.
According to a team executive, who knows a thing or two about a thing or two regarding goings-on behind the screens, believes Dolan may have eyes for John Calipari….to run the front office and coach.
Do I have confirmation on this? No. I unsuccessfully reached out to Calipari and left a message why I was calling. Does it make sense? Yes, especially in view of Dolan's disinclination to do right by Walsh.
We're talking about a marquee (there's that word again) college coach fresh from another Final Four, who owns pro experience (some of it good with the Nets), is an outstanding recruiter (though NBA's salary cap may limit impact) and relates remarkably well with young black players.
Vecsey goes on to point out that Calipari is represented by CAA and Worldwide Wes, how Wes tried to sell teams on hiring Calipari as a coach to run with free agent LeBron James last season, and the fact that Dolan is a terrible judge of character and basketball talent. Actually, the last part was my addition. Pete works for a newspaper, you know, so he has space limitations.
The idea of Calipari as an NBA coach wouldn't be the strangest in all the NCAA-to-pro rumors we've heard over the years. After all, he was a celebrated hire when the Nets couldn't afford Rick Pitino and set their eyes on the mini-Pitino in Calipari back in 1996. Calipari's Nets made the playoffs in 1998, pretty par for the course for a team that had postseason talent, and as a result they "earned" a SLAM Magazine cover that featured the sort of endless hyperbole that led me to stop reading SLAM all that much after I finished high school.
Injuries and then Stephon Marbury hit the Nets hard the next season, and while the Nets weren't a great team, Calipari wasn't all that great either, as he slunk back to the NCAAs. Rife with regular-season success in that realm, he's still far from a viable NBA coaching candidate. NCAA coaches just can't make the jump, unless they're so versed in players 1-through-450 that they'll know what's what the minute they leave campus.
And Calipari, I'm sorry, probably doesn't know who Johan Petro is. Mike D'Antoni might be screwing up in MSG's eyes, but at least he knows the league.
And that's not even getting into the ridiculous idea of John Calipari, NBA GM. He had his input with the Nets, but that was mainly John Nash's team with Calipari as coach. For him to be the end-all in terms of personnel … sorry, forgot. It's Vecsey.
Then again, it's Dolan. The man who can make any rumor seem like it could see itself all the way to fruition.