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Old 05-31-09, 07:40 AM
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alh1020 alh1020 is offline
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If any college coach looking to go pro, it’s Pitino

NBA job doesn't appeal to big-time coaches with money, job security

Each week, Sporting News college basketball writer Mike DeCourcy takes on five burning questions. Here's one of them:

Villanova's Jay Wright says no thanks to the Sixers. What current college coach will be next in becoming an NBA head coach?

When Rick Pitino, John Calipari and Lon Kruger made their cash runs to the NBA roughly a decade ago, the league was paying obscene salaries to coaches and the colleges merely were paying huge salaries. Pitino and Calipari, in particular, received life-changing paydays by accepting NBA jobs.

The current trend in the league is moving away from the "star" coach (unless that coach happens to be named Jackson or Popovich) and toward guys who get lesser paydays and shorter contracts. Miami's Erik Spoelstra and Chicago's Vinny Del Negro might be considered prototypes.

It doesn't make sense for a college coach with a contract term that might run as long as a decade at $2 million per to run after an NBA job where he might get four years for roughly the same money.

One college coach with appeal to an NBA team that would be interested in taking such a job would be Pitino, whose interest in getting back to the league would be less about money or security and more about being away from Louisville as the court case related to an alleged extortion attempt against him becomes a Jon-and-Kate type of obsession in the city.

It still makes me laugh, though, that people think the NBA is too complicated for college coaches. Jim O'Brien won 10 games combined in his final two seasons at Dayton. He's been a head coach in the pros for seven seasons. Cavs assistant John Kuester was drawing up plays for LeBron James and Co. at the end of game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. His next-to-last team as George Washington head coach went 1-27.

Opinion: If any college coach looking to go pro, it?s Pitino - College basketball- nbcsports.msnbc.com


A thought: With the Cleveland Cavs's season now over with their loss to the Magic, is Mike Brown's coaching job in jeopardy? Could Pitino be a fit there? -- alh1020
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