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November 7, 2011While locked out of the NBA, former Boilermaker star and reigning NBA champion Brian Cardinal will bide his time as an "athletics administration intern" at Purdue.
Cardinal, a member this past season of the Dallas Mavericks who'll be a free agent when the NBA's labor unrest resolves itself, will work with the John Purdue Club and Purdue's Wooden Leadership Institute, the athletic department's announcement said.
When the league starts up again, Cardinal will look to continue his playing career.
He's said many times that he intends to play professionally as long as he can, but also that he aspires for a "future in basketball" beyond his playing career, perhaps in coaching.
Coach Matt Painter has spoken with Cardinal about breaking into coaching.
"There's no doubt I've talked to him about being part of our basketball program," Painter said at Big Ten media day in Chicago in late October. "In what capacity, I don't know.
"He has such a passion for Purdue basketball. He cares. It's also a tough transition going from a player to coaching. In the NBA, what you see from your coaches is basketball, a relationship. In college, as an assistant, there's so much more to do. You wear so many more hats. Our conversations have been educational in terms of what assistants do throughout the year and how much of a demand it is on your time. We've had some very, very healthy conversations.
"The one thing that really sticks out to me is eagerness to come back and help Purdue."