Tag: Calipari to Knicks

NCAA Men's Championship Game - Kansas v Kentucky

John Calipari says he is not leaving Kentucky for the NBA


This has all the weight of a college player saying he will come back to school — he has to say it now, but things may be different in a couple months.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said he is not leaving Kentucky to coach in the NBA, reports Andy Katz at ESPN.

“Kentucky is the best job in basketball coaching,” Calipari said. “Why would I leave? We just won the national title. We’re chasing UCLA….

“No one is stealing our joy,” Calipari said. “I’ve made statements that I’ve got the best job in basketball and I’m not going to change my lifestyle. I’m not leaving.”

Calipari said he has not been contacted by the Knicks or any other team about coming back to the NBA to coach (remember he was the coach of the Nets for just more than two seasons in the late 1990s.

Calipari has to say this — he is out recruiting right now trying to get top flight high school seniors to come to Kentucky and replace the boatload the program is about to lose to the NBA. Those recruits aren’t coming if they think he is coaching the Knicks next year.

Calipari also has to say this to appease he fervent Kentucky fan base.

But the Knicks and other NBA teams will reach out to Calipari — not directly at first but through the rivers of back channels that flow through Kentucky basketball. The Knicks will not be looking for a coach until next month anyway (after their playoff elimination, I think Mike Woodson is the fallback) so nothing formal is happening right now anyway.

He may stay, but if Calipari wants to take another shot in the NBA, he will get his chance.

If he does change his mind, he can explain it away like so many players who have said they were staying only to disappoint a fan base.

Start the John Calipari rumors. Up first: New York Knicks.

NCAA Men's Final Four - Kentucky v UConn

Every time there is a high profile coaching opening in the NBA this summer, Kentucky coach John Calipari’s name will come up.

Usually from an anonymous source. A source that probably is one of Calipari’s people (or CAA). But know that Calipari’s name will attach itself to job openings like a fly to… well, you get the idea.

Up first: The New York Knicks.

It seems fitting that Peter Vecsey should start these rumors off in the New York Post.

According to a team executive, who knows a thing or two about a thing or two regarding goings-on behind the screens, Dolan may have eyes for John Calipari … to run the front office and coach….

Does it make sense? Yes, especially in view of Dolan’s disinclination to do right by Walsh.

We’re talking about a marquee college coach fresh from another Final Four, who owns pro experience (some of it good with the Nets), is an outstanding recruiter (though the NBA’s salary cap may limit that impact), and relates remarkably well with young black players.

Now, this is Vecsey in the Post, so you should swing by the Morton’s Salt Factory in Chicago and pick up a 50-pound bag to go with this.

But as we said the other day, there is a vacuum because Knicks owner James Dolan has not picked up team president Donnie Walsh’s extension for next season (he has until the end of the month). And Dolan doesn’t speak to the media. Frankly I’d rather predict what Congress is going to do with the budget than try to predict Dolan. And nobody likes Congress right now.

In a world with no real information and an unpredictable owner, you get crazy rumors. Like Calipari. Which in this reality is not out of the realm of possibility, I guess.