Calipari happy for Cousins, Davis but him coaching the Pelicans is “not happening”

DeMarcus Cousins (Vicky Graff Photo)


As soon as word got out that DeMarcus Cousins was being traded to New Orleans to play with NBA All-Star Game MVP Anthony Davis, speculation started that Kentucky coach John Calipari might want to coach the New Orleans Pelicans.

“Well, first of all that’s not happening. Alvin Gentry, who I think is one of the bright offensive coaches out there, is probably working day and night trying to figure out, OK, how do we start playing, and where do we go from there, what are we trying to look like? They gotta get some guards. They gotta get a couple perimeter guys,” Calipari said on the SEC Coaches Teleconference Monday.

“But the bottom line is, both of those two, Anthony and DeMarcus, want to win. They want to win. You can say what you want, but DeMarcus, when he was here, he shared, he wanted to win, he played to win, and then when he was with USA Basketball it was the same. You talk to Mike Krzyzewski they’re going to tell you, ‘Look, the game we needed him to really play he played,’ and there were other games he was a backup and he was fine with that.

“Now, obviously, he’s not going to the Pelicans to be a backup, but he’s going to be with another player who only cares about winning. You think about it, Anthony Davis had 52 (points) in an All-Star Game. You can say, ‘Oh, no defense.’ OK. Go out on the floor by yourself and try to score 52 and see how long it takes you.

“Not only that, you’re out there with the best athletes, the best skill players in the world. And then when he played with me he took the fourth most shots. That’s how unselfish he is, or like I said today, how dumb I am.

“I think, again, the only issue I have is you must give them time to figure each other out. You must give them time. It’s not happening in a week. They got like 25 games left to try to figure out where this is going. If you remember when Cleveland did their thing and everything was going to be, ‘Wow, this is going to be –‘ it took time. And it’ll take those two time. But I think, again, you’re talking two – Anthony could be the three man for that matter. He doesn’t have to be the four.”

Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne said he was happy for both players because they both want to win.

“You have two of the three best bigs in the league,” Payne said.

The third one — former UK player Karl-Anthony Towns.

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