Shortly after the news, it was reported that Bruiser Flint would be the replacement for Payne on John Calipari’s staff.
Losing Payne is a big loss for the Cats seeing how he has developed a number of elite big men during his time at Kentucky, as he has been a huge key in the success of the program.
However, Kyle Tucker of The Athletic later reported that coach Cal was the one who sold Payne hard to the Knicks.
Payne to NYK has been heating up for weeks. I’m told Calipari even sold KP hard to the Knicks.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) August 11, 2020
So he’s had plenty of time to line up the replacement. Staying in his comfort zone, it would appear. https://t.co/HdPZttwepR
Coach Cal has always put his players and his staff first and wanted what was best for them, so seeing that he sold the Knicks on Payne isn’t a surprise since it is a step forward in the career for Payne, and Cal wants him to succeed.
As for the hiring of Flint, this means that Coach Cal had plenty of time to find a replacement hire, and this wasn’t just dumped on him all of a sudden since he played such a role in the Knicks offering Payne.
Kentucky is going to miss Kenny Payne, but we should all wish him nothing but the best as he starts this new chapter in his career with the Knicks.