Washington Wizards fans, your savior is out there. Yes, there is a solution for the only thing in Washington more convoluted and depressing than the United States Congress. This coach has won has won at every level. He's close with the Wizards best player and is perhaps the most charismatic figure in college basketball. Your table is waiting at Old Ebbett's Grill, Mr. Calipari.
Calipari just coached the Kentucky Wildcats right now to a National Championship and landed the nation's No. 1 recruiting class. He'd be crazy to leave, right?
Calipari leads a charmed life in Lexington, but at some point he's going to challenge himself in the big leagues again. He's taken three separate college teams to the Final Four, yet struggled in a short stint coaching the New Jersey Nets. If Calipari could succeed in the NBA after the dominance he has exerted over the college game, he'd reach a different stratosphere. And unlike Coach K, who has famously rebuffed the pros, Calipari has shown no loyalty to a specific college.
An apt comparison from a different sport would be Pete Carroll. He bombed his first stint in the NFL, went to USC and dominated, winning a National Championship and finishing with a record of 69-12. Carroll's now back with the Seattle Seahawks and thriving.
If he came to Washington, Calipari would be reunited with John Wall, a player he's often called one of his favorites. With the Wizards chances of picking in the top three of the draft pretty high, he'd also likely be coaching with Anthony Davis or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist again, two of the phenomenal freshman who led Kentucky to the promised land this spring.
There are few basketball coaches at any level who handle their players as well as Calipari. He has the unique ability to take supremely talented, pampered players and make they buy into his team-first system. While the Wizards are currently short on the talent part, that skill of being able to handle the massive egos of modern athletes is nothing to sneeze at.
Though he just landed the nations No. 1 recruiting class, Calipari will have other NBA suitors besides the Wizards. The Sacramento Kings have two of his former players, the shot-indulgent Tyreke Evans and the mercurial DeMarcus Cousins, both of whom could desperately use Cal's therapeutic wizardry. The Knicks are perhaps a bigger threat for Calipari's services as they offer the world's biggest basketball stage and a deep and talented roster with major connections to the CAA agency, which is Calipari's agency as well.
Before the Wizards can upgrade their roster, they need something to sell. GM Ernie Grunfeld will probably be gone by May and besides Wall and a few role-playing big men, the cupboard is bare. Is there a better pitchman in basketball than Calipari?
As the losses pile up the Wizards are slipping into a comatose state of irrelevance. This offseason they need a spark. Something to wake up their dormant fan base and give free agents around the league a reason to consider them. That spark's name is John Calipari and based on his past, nothing is impossible if the price is right. So it's time for Wizard's owner Ted Leonsis to break the bank.
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