Death and taxes need to make room for a new certainty in this life; criticizing John Calipari for anything under the sun. Coach Cal took LESS money to stay at the University of Kentucky (7 Million at UK, 8 Million at Cleveland) creating a hefty opportunity cost (finance guys are smiling right now). Over the next seven years he will cost himself about $4.4 Million dollars by passing on the $8 Million per year Dan Gilbert so graciously offered to dump in his lap.
However, you would think he injected an orphanage with cancer cells, gave an endorsement for the Taliban, and threw a double bird to the world as he rode off into the sunset with his piles of cash.
The official release of what Cal turned down was to the tune of 7 years and $60 million. This was to include essentially full-on operations control. Cal would be coach, president, and quasi-GM. However, Marc Stein reported that offer was more like $80 Million over 10 years.
As we just discussed on @SportsCenter, I'm told money details in Cavs' pitch to John Calipari were closer to $80 million range over 10 years— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 9, 2014
You may also know that very recently Coach Cal signed a 7-year extension at UK for $52 Million. Naturally, the haters have come to flock in droves that Cal took UK to the woodshed and he leveraged the Cavaliers offer to get what he loves most... money! Here are a few of my favorite tweets I have seen recently:
Kent has made it no secret his disdain for Coach Cal (other than Cal's stance on the NCAA) so this is not surprising. What is surprising to me is the instant lack of rationality on Kent's part. Criticizing Calipari for turning down a job at $8 Million per year (for a DECADE nonetheless), just to keep a job making a little over $7 Million per year is specious at best. I cannot blame Kent though; he has had his issues with calculations before when he infamously said:
"I would argue that the only person John Calipari has turned into a millionaire is John Calipari."
A few more outstanding citizens weigh in:
@KentSterling he is a fraud— Brian BIGGS Young (@BrianJYoung1) June 9, 2014
@SethOnHoops yup. Used the Cavs and his employer to get a massive raise. Makes Saban's deal look like a bargain.— Shug Day (@EaSyGoEr53) June 9, 2014
Dana goes a step further claiming extortion.
@SethOnHoops still... No less annoying than coaches extorting their employer after they_committed_to terms. Both sides should honor quietly— danamccall (@danamccall) June 9, 2014
Even Celtics blogger Chuck M. of RedsArmy.com jumps in on Cal leveraging the Cavs.
He leveraged the Cavs to get a raise and extension out of Kentucky. His team is stacked and come next year, owners will line up to wine and dine him yet again.
There are many more, feel free to search twitter if you have a few hours to kill. The funniest part about all the talk is the fact that on multiple occasions, Wojnarowski made it pretty clear that Cal did not leverage the Cavs.
"Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert had been persistent in his pursuit and kept returning to Calipari in an effort to deliver full control of basketball operations, sources said."
The entire premise of Gilbert being "persistent" in his pursuit means he was turned down or at the very least ignored on multiple occasions. If Cal was at all trying to play that game, do we really think it would have gotten this far? After all, he could have have used the Lakers for that if he needed a foil.
Then there was this tweet:
Calipari had $52M extension back in April at Kentucky. He never needed to use Cavs as leverage - and didn't. He strongly considered job.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 9, 2014
Oops, our old friend "shug day" (and many others) got their agenda blown out of the water.
In the movie "The Dark Knight" there is a quote that goes;
"Either you die the hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
While the context of the movie is more of foreshadowing, I relate it to Calipari because he has been around for so long and been so good for so long that he has lived long enough to see himself turn into the villain.
Personally, I am embracing the black hat that others see Calipari wearing in Lexington. Get ready folks, it is going to be salty fall and winter for a lot of people.