[Post] - “I want the Knicks to win, and I want the Knicks to compete for a championship, and I want the Knicks to win a championship, OK? My overriding concern in this is Kenny Payne; that’s like my brother,” Calipari said on a Wednesday conference call, adding Payne deserved a college head coaching shot and he would’ve recommended him as his successor for the plum UK post.
“I just wanted to make sure that … Kenny understood he’s leaving a great situation here. He’s paid a lot of money here, the highest-paid in college basketball. Now all of a sudden he’s coming to the Knicks, and it’s going to be a build. But here’s his strengths; how are you going to utilize him? And Thibs was on point. He went point-to-point. … He knew why he wanted him on his staff.”
Sorry haters, the Knicks are about to win multiple (yes, I said multiple) championships. Coach Cal is known to be the most trustworthy man in all of college hoops. Correction: the most trustworthy man in all of basketball. CORRECTION AGAIN: the most trustworthy man in all of sports. So when he says that he wants the Knicks to compete for titles, guess what? They are going to compete for titles. That's just a little something called the Coach Cal and Kenny Payne effect.
But the real story here for me is the fact that Cal was going to recommend Kenny Payne take over Kentucky whenever Cal decides to hang it up. I know he just signed a lifetime deal (10 more years), so we got some time. But that's something that's discussed by Kentucky fans and haters. Who will take over the program when Cal leaves? It is bullshit that Payne never got a college head coaching job. He's one of the best assistant coaches in the entire country, known for development, especially with bigs. It made no sense that he was never hired away to be a head coach somewhere.
And this is where I'm torn. I'm a Knicks and Kentucky fan, who cares way more about Kentucky. Losing Payne hurts Kentucky, but if it gives the Knicks a chance to compete? Well sign me up I guess. I can find a way to be happy with two people I'm dating, right? That always works out well for everyone involved. Never once heard a bad story about someone dating two people at once. Just ends in threesums and good times.
Clem and I were texting about this and we have the perfect conclusion about the Knicks. This regime (Rose/Worldwide Wes/Thibs/Payne, etc) will be either what turns this goddamn franchise around or Dolan's biggest masterpiece of failure. Everything is there in place in terms of guys like Rose/Wes/Payne that are well connected with players and kinda beloved. Thibs has had success as a head coach. There are draft picks. There are young guys. It's all right there. Maybe Cal is just right.
And as for Kentucky - it still might be Payne that takes over for him. If not, hello to the names of Chris Beard and Brad Stevens. Those are the 3 names that every single Kentucky fan and person will bring up first. I'm not worried about that though. Cal's got a decade more of dominating college hoops.