There were big shots and highlight plays made all night by NBA level talent. The game could have gone either way until UCONN wrapped things up with just under two minutes to play. The presentation, broadcast and atmosphere were A-plus.
Shabazz Nappier and Ryan Boatright were phenomenal.
Kentucky’s heralded freshman class flashed NBA talent. Especially James young.
It was the second fantastic title game in a row.
But that’s all secondary today.
The aftermath to a terrific game — and tournament — has been overshadowed by former Kentucky Wildcat Rex Chapman’s twitter bomb he dropped Monday night just before the game.
— Rex Chapman (@rexchapman) April 7, 2014
Calipari to the Lakers is far from a done deal, but I wouldn’t put it past either side.
It’s the Lakers.
But as much as the media will love to play cupid with this match made in heaven, it is far from a done deal. Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel explains why:
This can’t be dismissed as the Cal/NBA rumor du jour. These are the 16-time champion Lakers, the best coaching job in the league and one that is expected to open at season’s end with the firing of Mike D’Antoni. This year they’ll have a high draft pick to go with their history of being the most attractive place for superstar free agents.
And who can be a superstar free agent this summer? LeBron James, a friend of Calipari. The concept of LeBron and Kobe Bryant playing side by side has seemed too impossible to even consider. It probably still is. Would LeBron even want to play for Cal? It’s one thing to be friends. It’s another to leave the Miami Heat and cast your career with the guy. At this point, though, who knows?
Mostly, it is foolish for anyone to dismiss that Calipari – or any coach, anywhere – would refuse to listen to the Lakers. Mike Krzyzewski once almost left Duke for the Lakers. They’re that big of a deal.
Wetzel brings up some excellent points, but let’s get one thing straight before we dig deeper: LeBron James is not leaving Miami to join Cal with the Lakers. Lebron and Calipari’s relationship stems from Creative Artists Agency (CAA). LeBron was once represented by CAA and Cal still is. They are friends, LeBron supports Kentucky, and that’s about it.
But while this shouldn’t be dismissed, it’s hard to take Chapman’s word with complete seriousness. Yes, he may be plugged in to Kentucky and the NBA, but Wetzel throws the hammer down on why this is far from a done deal:
Chapman’s tweet and subsequent comments were sloppy and should hardly be considered a legitimate news report. However, it’s reasonable to assume this is what he is hearing from people either close to Calipari, the NBA, or both. It’s telling that he’s dealing with massive backlash from Kentucky fans yet not backing down.
So let’s start with this: There is no way this is anything close to a done deal. It’s improbable the Lakers would negotiate with Calipari a) before firing D’Antoni; b) while the college season is still going on. There is no rush here. It makes zero sense for the Lakers. They could just wait a week.
So where does this leave us?
While not backtracking from his comments, Chapman spent Tuesday setting the record straight while holding firm on what he said about Calipari and the Lakers:
I said before last night’s Uk/UConn game that, “Word is – it’s a #DoneDeal that John Calipari will leave UK – win or lose – to coach Mamba’s Lakers.”
And then I followed-up after the game with, “We have to listen to what they (Lakers) have to say.”
The first was given to me by someone I’ve known for more than 20-years. The second was given to me by someone I’ve known for nearly 30-years. The most comical part of the entire thing is that – IF you are one of the people wanting Cal to stay at UK – and I told you exactly who these people were – you’d be like, “Shit. For real? Shit.”
This morning I go on Dan Patrick’s radio show and say, “When it’s all said and done I think Cal stays at Kentucky.”
Some fools act as if I shouldn’t be allowed to have that opinion. Like I can’t say, “I was told that Cal is headed to the Lakers win or lose. But I’ll believe it when I see it.”
I want someone – anyone – to find a quote from me saying that I BELIEVE John Calipari IS GOING TO BE THE NEXT COACH OF THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS. If you find that I’ve said such, show it to me and I’ll apologize on the spot. I have never maintained anything other than I feel Cal will remain as coach of the Kentucky Wildcats.
Chapman then went on to explain his distaste for the “loud BBN minority” that has caused all of the backlash to his comments made regarding Calipari, but what he stated above makes this all simple: take it for what it’s worth.
Are the Lakers going to consider making a coaching change?
Why wouldn’t they.
Would Calipari be on the shortlist of candidates?
Take it for what it’s worth.
Onto more from around the NBA