Kevin Durant has already told him that he’s next in line for the MVP award, and now John Calipari is putting a timetable on Anthony Davis’ ascension to the top of the NBA mountain.
While discussing two big men he coached at Kentucky who are now headliners for Team USA – Davis and DeMarcus Cousins – Calipari says it won’t take very long for AD to become the top dog in the L. Per USA Today:
… Calipari and USA assistant and Pelicans coach Monty Williams noted players often take major strides in the NBA season that follows their Team USA experience. That was the case with Rose in 2010, when he helped Team USA win the gold in Turkey and went on to win the 2010-11 NBA MVP Award. The same could be said for Davis, who played sparingly on the 2012 Olympic team that won gold in London and has quickly developed into one of the game’s elite players.
“Right now, you look at (Davis) and say, ‘Man, in five years, he could be the best player in the NBA,’ ” Calipari said. “And this USA Basketball stuff pushes that date sooner. Again, here’s what it does for him: how to work, new things to add to his game, and confidence like, ‘These are the best in the world, so I’m all right.’ “
“This thing that (USA Basketball managing director) Jerry Colangelo created, to bring like minds together, to be a part of that (is great),” Calipari said. “I saw what it did for Derrick Rose, I saw what it did for Anthony Davis and what I hope and believe will happen is that DeMarcus is going to be a 10-time All-Star from this. […] He’s going to be more mature. He’s going to understand what it means to serve and be a part of something that he has got to share. He’s going to have more of a desire to make that Olympic team in 2016, as is John Wall (who didn’t make the USA roster) and I’m hoping half of the (former Kentucky) guys we have in the league, 20-something, will have an opportunity to make that roster. It is about your country, but the other side of it is, ‘What do they take away from that?’ They take away what it means to be a pro.”