16 years ago when Rick left Kentucky for Boston, Kentucky was a premier job in college basketball and Boston was coming off a 15 win season and hadn't been to the playoffs in a couple of seasons and hadn't been past the first round in 5 years. It was in transition everywhere and had one good player, Antoine Walker, on the team.
Knicks job would actually be a downgrade from his current gig. So I think Calipari would be nuts to leave Kentucky.Pitino left Kentucky after back to back national title game appearances (won the first, lost the second) to take over a 15 win team in the NBA. I don't think anyone around considered that to be a downgrade, so I can't see how Calipari going to the Knicks (which have a lot more talent than the Celtics did) would be considered a downgrade.
Although, money talks so you never know.
John Calipari isn't exactly Rick Pitino now is he? So besides one leaving KY to take a pro job and the other (possibly) considering it, I don't really see how one would affect the other. You're also talking about something that happened 16 years ago.
Kentucky is one of the premiere college basketball programs in the country. There are a handful of coaching jobs that carry that allure in the game of basketball (college or pro). The entire state is a basketball hotbed. You don't get much more beloved than winning a national title in basketball there. When has coaching the Knicks (especially in the past decade) had any sort of caches besides being in the middle of a media circus?
It's a downgrade, IMO.
If he leaves, it'll be because of money or ego. It's not a better job.
Not to mention, Pitino left a Kentucky squad that would win the national championship the very next year (with virtually the same team - Mercer left and that is about it), while Kentucky this year is losing virtually its entire team (it still might win next year, but that would be because of another superb recruiting class not because it is a veteran team).
As long as you admit Pitino downgraded when he came to Boston, I have no issue with your contention that Calipari would downgrade if he took the Knicks job because in reality while Calipari would be leaving a worse situation, he would be going to a much better team than what Pitino walked into.
I'm well aware of the history surrounding Pitino's departure. I'm not sure how lecturing on something that happened with a different coach a decade & a half ago has much to do about anything here besdies the coincidence that both were at Kentucky at the time and coming off national title game appearances. Other than that, you have two different men. Despite what some media might contend, Calipari and Pitino aren't exactly twins.
How is it an upgrade from going from one of the cornerstone college basketball programs in the country with a rabid fanbase coming off the adulation of a national title (where a national title means the world) to going to a professional basketball organization where he'd most likely not have GM control (unlike college where he has personnel control), work with professional athletes with a documented history of coach/player strife and deal with the media circus of New York?
Tell me how's that an upgrade for any reasons beyond money & ego?
Kentucky is a better coaching gig than the Knicks. Especially for a guy who's already in the college game.
The Knicks may not have the titles recently, but they are located in the largest city in the U.S., have a rabid passionate fan base, have an owner that will spend whatever it takes to win, are a place that free agents want to play, provides a lot of things outside of basketball, and despite not winning titles is still considered a premier organization and one of the five best jobs in the NBA by virtually everyone.
The Knicks also have two multiple time all stars in their prime (amare and melo), a solid defensive minded center (chandler), and some decent young players (fields, lin, smith, douglas, novak, walker). With the right coach, they could easily be a top 3 team in the Eastern conference.
That is a great job and a clear upgrade over any job in college and is certainly a better job than what the Celtics were when Pitino took over in the late 90's (which I take it from your non-response to my question, you think was an upgrade for Pitino).