John Calipari Used To Make A Nets Intern Defend Him By Calling Into New York Talk RadioS

Now that John Calipari has finally won an NCAA championship, Adrian Wojnarowski has written something over at Yahoo that posits the Knicks' job as Calipari's potential next step. Wojnarowski is a terrific reporter, so the rationale behind his suggestion—money, the spotlight, leverage, Calipari's bitterness over his failed NBA tenure with the Nets, etc.—is not just naked speculation. There are plenty of obstacles to consider, of course, but the real takeaway is just how insecure Calipari was when he had the run of the place in New Jersey from 1996-99:

When John Calipari ruled as general manager and coach, one of the interns within the New Jersey Nets' basketball operations had come to expect his frantic, flustered boss to deliver a most vain order. Calipari became obsessed with the callers to the midday New York radio show ripping into him, and orchestrated a counter propaganda program.

And so was born "Anthony from Hoboken," several team sources said. Anthony was a staunch, defiant and fictional advocate for the eventually exiled Emperor of East Rutherford. He made calls to WFAN out of the Nets' offices, telling metropolitan New York that he was one fan who couldn't understand all the criticism heaped on Calipari.

Come on man, Cal's doing a great job.

The vanity and paranoia didn't stop with a secret propaganda offensive, either. Calipari also believed he had enemies inside the Nets' organization—all the way to the top:

Calipari had underlings searching his phones for ownership-installed listening devices, realizing little that those basketball ops guys assigned to the sweep wouldn't have known if they had even found one. Of course, they never did.

Calipari's contract with Kentucky runs through 2019, but he can leave after the 2014 season without paying the university a dime. Wojnarowski stresses that Calipari "has grown, but he hasn't changed," adding that the Knicks' chaotic atmosphere is one in which Calipari can be successful. Should he and the Knicks decide to join forces—and there's still nothing to indicate anything's imminent—Calipari would obviously be subject to the notorious whims of James Dolan. But at least he'll know they're out there.

Photo via AP.
Knicks in prime spot to get Kentucky's John Calipari [Yahoo]