Apparently, Larry Brown – who now coaches SMU after a lengthy and mostly successful NBA career – didn’t learn from that saga.
Brown on Kentucky, via ASAP Sports:
I think they’d honestly make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference if they were in the NBA.
This is a cliché, but it’s often repeated for a reason. Larry Brown has forgotten more about basketball than I’ll ever know.
But he’s dead wrong here.
At best, he’s just trying to speak highly of a friend, Kentucky coach John Calipari (who doesn’t even believe this nonsense).
At worst, Brown has become this out of touch.
Kevin Pelton smartly analyzed this in 2012, when Kentucky had Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, Marquis Teague and Darius Miller. Pelton found that Kentucky team would be expected to win just 1.6 games in a 66-game season (it was the lockout season).
Of course, this Kentucky team might be better than that group. John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins would surely claim their 2009-10 Kentucky team was the best of the bench.
But all three teams – and every great college team – operates on the same general level. It’s far short of NBA caliber – let alone NBA-playoff caliber, even in this historically bad Eastern Conference. The Pacers, Heat, Celtics and Hornets would run circles around Kentucky. For that matter, so would the Knicks, Timberwolves, 76ers and Lakers.
This is probably just Brown spouting off, but just in case an NBA team actually considers hiring him to run a front office, it better check just how much he still remembers about basketball.