Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Larry Brown Says NBA Isn’t Inevitable for John Calipari
John Calipari gets regularly courted by NBA teams — he was most recently linked to the Brooklyn Nets — and some in the basketball world think Calipari will inevitably return to the pro ranks in order to prove he can coach at that level.
After all, he’s already in the Naismith Hall of Fame and has done just about everything that’s possible at the college level, including winning an NCAA championship.
But Larry Brown says not so fast.
“No, he loves where he is,” Brown, the Hall of Fame coach of undefeated SMU, said Wednesday on The 4 Quarters Podcast. “He’s one of the few guys that I think can embrace the expectations that’s on his team every night.
“I’m sure he’ll be great anywhere he goes but he’s in a perfect spot. I spoke to him [Tuesday], we talk all the time. He’s not happy with the way his playing but Cal’s teams always get better at the end of the year. He really teaches his kids how to win.
“I hope he stays where he is. Not to say the NBA’s not great, not a wonderful opportunity but gosh, I can’t think of a better program for him to be the head of.”
As for his own future, the 75-year-old Brown says he plans to continue coaching for the foreseeable future despite SMU’s postseason ban that resulted from NCAA penalties in the Keith Frazier case.
The Mustangs (18-0) remain the lone unbeaten team in the nation after Tuesday’s win over Houston.
“I’ve been feeling for a long time, why would I ever change,” Brown said. “I’ve never gone to work a day in my life, so I think have the same kind of passion I had when I was young. The only time I realize I’m old is when I look in the mirror and girls don’t look at me.
“But as long as I feel like I’m helping coaches and helping my kids, I’d love to do this for as long as I can.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.