I don't believe it. Not for a second. I don't believe any of the rumors of a LeBron James-John Calipari package deal, including rumors that haven't come out yet but will eventually. Whatever they are, whenever they are, I don't believe them.
The rumor today was printed in the Chicago Tribune by a solid NBA reporter, K.C. Johnson, who wrote that "noted NBA power broker William Wesley continues to work back channels to sell Calipari and James as a package deal" to franchises with room for both. I don't believe that. Not for a second. I'm not saying Johnson is lying. I'm saying Johnson was lied to , and yes, it happens. It has happened to me, way too many times. Sources who think they should know things make the leap from thinking something to knowing something, and they make that leap to a reporter, and the reporter prints it, and there you go. Rumor becomes fact.
But I don't believe this one. Or any of them, as they relate to LeBron and Calipari and the summer of 2010. And I'll tell you why.
Calipari won't allow it.
Hear me out. I'm about to win you over with some common sense, so wait for it. Here it comes ... Now:
Calipari has already gone on the record, via his Twitter account which reaches all of Kentucky Nation (and then some), that he will not coach in the NBA next season . If he leaves for the NBA this offseason, he's a liar. Cynics among you will note that Calipari made a similar pronouncement last year when he was quoted as saying he planned to be at Memphis -- and then days later he was at Kentucky. I hear that.
But this is different, and here's why: If Calipari goes to the NBA with LeBron, not only is he a liar -- he's a stooge, too. He goes to the NBA as LeBron's lapdog, and I have to tell you, I don't see Calipari as being anyone's lapdog.
Do I rule out Calipari's eventual return to the NBA, to coaching LeBron some day in the future? Nope. I don't. I can see a scenario where a season ends, the NBA team with LeBron makes a coaching change, and Calipari gets the call. But now? Riding on LeBron's coattails? Using LeBron to get a job in the NBA even as he has gone on the record to say he won't do just that?
Nope. Not gonna happen. Calipari's ego is way too big to let this happen. That's not an insult, either. A big ego is a healthy thing. It fuels you to succeed at a high level -- and it also prevents you from being anyone's stooge.