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John Calipari to Cleveland to keep LeBron in town? Why not?

May 12, 2010, 9:43 AM EST

calipari.jpgAny place that dots can be connected around LeBron James, they will be. Even a few places they can’t people will try.

So when popular Kentucky coach John Calipari had courtside seats for the Cavaliers/Celtics Game 5, lines started being drawn. We turn it over to Yahoo Sports college hoops blog The Dagger:

One week after the first report linking him to Chicago and four days after an NBA official suggested Cleveland should hire him to increase their chances of resigning LeBron, there was Calipari seated courtside at the Cavs-Celtics playoff game in Cleveland. Seated next to him on one side was LeBron’s agent, Leon Rose. Seated a few seats away on the other was Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.

The official reason for Calipari’s presence was to accompany the family who won Cavs playoff tickets in Kentucky’s Haiti telethon a few months ago, but the sight of him alongside Rose certainly raised eyebrows. Of course, the major reason an NBA team would have interest in Calipari is in hopes that his strong relationship with LeBron and mutual confidante World Wide Wes would help a franchise lure professional basketball’s most prized free agent this summer.

After watching the Cavaliers play last night, think he still wants the job?

Calipari’s dribble-motion offense is better suited to LeBron’s skills than what the Cavaliers are running now. Which based on last night is to have him float around on the weakside without the ball and hoist a lot of jumpers.

One happy coincidence is CAA represents both Calipari and James, and both have ties to the already mentioned William Wesley, the matchmaker of all basketball matchmakers.

Would Calipari want the job, or is this more negotiating leverage with Kentucky? It’s all speculation, but you can connect the dots on this one.

  1. H25 - May 12, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    He would still find a way to get an NBA team on probation. Total greaseball. You probably have to take a shower after shaking his hand

  2. barry - May 12, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    Calipari? Calipari?
    Its a match made in heaven. Bring exactly what is wrong with college athletics to compound whats happening in the NBA. Perfect. Calipari is to basketball what Don King is to boxing.
    Calipari is to basketball what Jerry Jones is to football.
    Calipari is to basketball what Barry Bonds is to baseball.
    Fraud? Thug? Cheater? You decide.

  3. sports 101 - May 12, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    Hey Barry,
    I was right with you, until you mentioned Barry Bonds.
    He’s never been found guilty of anything, or even admitted to anything, as others have.
    He was a great baseball player who no matter what, had to see it, then hit it.
    Your right the NBA is a Joke, and so is Jerry Jones, but no matter what you say, Barry Bonds was one hell of a hitter, who has been labled by media, who I would not trust.

  4. Mr.Smith - May 12, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    Wow. Two responses, two failed attempts at bashing a man that has done nothing wrong nor has any violations on his record. Probably fans of a team that Kentucky beat this year.

  5. sports 101 - May 12, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    Hey Barry,
    I was right with you, until you mentioned Barry Bonds.
    He’s never been found guilty of anything, or even admitted to anything, as others have.
    He was a great baseball player who no matter what, had to see it, then hit it.
    Your right the NBA is a Joke, and so is Jerry Jones, but no matter what you say, Barry Bonds was one hell of a hitter, who has been labled by media, who I would not trust.

  6. Joe - May 12, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    He’s a breed apart–utterly shameless. And if he’s looking at other options, what does that say? At all his other stops the NCAA investigation had begun before they’d even removed his name from the office door.

  7. MW - May 12, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    Sports 101, your village is missing its idiot if you believe Bonds was clean. Go on back home son.

  8. Reality - May 12, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    No violations on his record, Mr. Smith?! Who exactly do you think was coach during those two vacated Final Four seasons with UMass and Memphis? If you’re giving him a pass on those, you must think Ken Lay got railroaded when Enron went down.

  9. Nicki - May 12, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    @Mr. Smith – you’re obviously a Kentucky fan. I’m a Univ of Memphis fan and proud to say that once we did LOSE Calipari, the utter mention of his name does draw ire. I mean, who can respect a man that lies to you IN YOUR FACE only to pack his bag to receive a bigger paycheck? I’m sure all of the Kentucky fans think that a crude word about Mr. Calipari is because of jealousy, uhmm no! Remember Memphis was just as good as Kentucky too prior to him raping our basketball team and city, leaving us with a marred season that was then taken from us. Yeah, he deserves kind words and all of the accolades that a pimp does. If you think he remotely cares anything about YOU or Kentucky, you obviously sir, are hitting the bourbon.

  10. Nicki - May 12, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    @Mr. Smith – you’re obviously a Kentucky fan. I’m a Univ of Memphis fan and proud to say that once we did LOSE Calipari, the utter mention of his name does draw ire. I mean, who can respect a man that lies to you IN YOUR FACE only to pack his bag to receive a bigger paycheck? I’m sure all of the Kentucky fans think that a crude word about Mr. Calipari is because of jealousy, uhmm no! Remember Memphis was just as good as Kentucky too prior to him raping our basketball team and city, leaving us with a marred season that was then taken from us. Yeah, he deserves kind words and all of the accolades that a pimp does. If you think he remotely cares anything about YOU or Kentucky, you obviously sir, are hitting the bourbon.

  11. Jamie - May 12, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    Nicki, your a retard.

  12. KellyJ - May 12, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    Memphis as good as Kentucky? Um…what? LOL
    Oh, I’m sure Memphis has had a better season or two over the years. I’m sure lots of teams have had better seasons then UK over the course of time. But are you really comparing the Memphis job to the UK job? Seriously? Um…perhaps you need to lay off the Jack Daniel’s…LOL. There is no comparison…UK is an ELITE college job. UK, NC, Duke, UCLA, IU…those are places that coaches strive to one day coach at…not Memphis…LOL.
    You fault a man because he left a mid level job to go and coach at perhaps the best college basketball program in the country? All time winningest program? 7 National Championships? Leads the country almost every year in attendance? Facilities 2nd to none? A university so committed to basketball that it will match any collegiate salary offer for a coach and not even blink? A fan base that not only is the biggest and most loyal but is world wide re known. I could go on and on…are you serious? You’re right…why would he want to leave Memphis for that? LOL Wow!!!
    As far as the other remarks about Cal’s character…it is jealousy. He’s never been implicated in a violation by the NCAA! What part of that you don’t get? You would change your tune in a heartbeat if he coached your university and brought in the talent that UK will bring in while he is there. The Marcus Camby hiring of an agent…Camby did that on his own and Cal turned the violation in himself. Do you really think Cal encouraged Camby to hire an agent?
    The Derrick Rose test scores…were investigated both by Memphis and the NCAA and cleared by the NCAA Clearing House. What was Cal suppose to do? Not play a kid that had been cleared to play?
    The only sin I see if any is Rose’s brother got a free ride to some games which if I understand were repaid back. If that is his only major violation in 20 some years…well, ok…say and think what ya want. I’m not saying he is a saint but I think attacks on him have a lot to do with people being jealous of his success. Now he is at the top of the pile and is not limited to the downsides of coaching at a place such as Memphis or UMass. He can’t go up anymore in college. He is at the highest point he can get too. Now it’s on him…to go recruit the best of the best and bring UK more championships…and in time he will.
    Get a grip…get real…lay off the JD and stop being a hater…sheesh….

  13. BBall Fan - May 12, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    Well I’m not a Memphis fan or a Kentucky fan. I’ll rephrase something that Nicki said. Just the mention of Calipari’s name draws flies. The Dude is dirty. Anyone that keeps up with college basketball knows that. Who else will try to make a kid that commits to another program feel bad about making that choice. Most coaches would wish the kid good luck? Only a snake would have the nerve. And no Memphis was not as good as Kentucky last year, but I don’t think Kentucky would want to play Memphis anytime soon. Regardless to who Kentucky and Calipari has coming in, he’ll never have another class like last year. And recruiting all the one-and-dones will never win a Nation Championship.

  14. Nate - May 12, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    Josh,
    Louisville has better basketball facilities? You don’t know what you are talking about. Google the Joe Craft Center. It is considered the state of the art training facility in all of college hoops. UK led the nation in attendance in college and also had a higher average than any NBA team.
    And as far as the Memphis fans who hate Cal, you didn’t say a word about his “indiscretions” at UMASS. That is not until your feelings got hurt when he left.

  15. KellyJ - May 12, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    BBfan…you prove once again that most people that put other schools or coaches down don’t know what they are talking about.
    1. Cal didn’t call Jones…Jones called him. You nor I know what was said in that conversation. TJ made a remark about letting down people but it was taken out of context by a reporter…later the reporter who first reported that quote went back and clarified what TJ was commenting about. Basically, no matter where he decides to go people are going to be dispointed if it isn’t their school…the first report made it sound like Cal put a guilt trip on the kid and that is not the case nor what the kid meant when her talked to the reporter. But at that point, the media and fans like you took the ball and ran with it not having your facts straight. People are all assuming that Cal tried to recruit that kid after he committed. The truth is, that kid sat down at that table and still wasn’t sure where he wanted to go…he said this afterwards and said that he almost picked up the UK hat.
    I don’t care where the kid goes. I just want him to make the right decision for himself…that’s what anyone that truly cares about a kid would want. If he was still unsure on the day that he picked up the Washington hat then he should never had made his decision on that day. But you have the facts wrong on the whole situation. You have an opinion of Coach Cal and you are looking for anything you can to back up your opinion. You are the cancer…you don’t know all the facts yet you want to spread your untrue rumors and slander a guy and hope others will agree with you. Anyone in the know…knows the facts about Jones…you don’t.
    2. NO ONE is scared of Memphis. I am not trying to put Memphis down but they are not an elite program. They could beat UK…but UK is not scared to play them. LOL

  16. KellyJ - May 12, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    Josh…you ignorant slut…just kiddin’, I don’t want to sink to your level by name calling. You are a joke though because you obviously know nothing about UK’s facilities. UK just updated their facilities and by all accounts…they are top notch. Rupp Arena leads the nation every year in attendance. UK fans are the most loyal and supportive in the country…and this opinion is widely known outside of the Bluegrass. Rupp Arena is nationally known and guess what? The ground work is starting to be laid for another Arena though no time frame has been put on I have no doubt it will also be top notch. Louisville better facilities? Are you kiddin’ me? Talking about something you know nothing about again. LOL
    The world only laughs at haters like you which are more worried about UK then their own team. LOL

  17. Gary - May 12, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    I am a Memphis Fan and I never liked Cal when he was here..I liked us winning of course but I just never trusted him and how he always was about himself (it’s not about the money)–PLZ..I can tell all the UK people out there Cal will always get some of the best players out there and have a team of 5 stars every year, but he will never have the team he just had at KY again..He could not win it all with that team so what makes people think he will with any other team he fields..He couldn’t win the Championship game 3 years ago with a 10 point lead with 2 minutes left..His best chance at winning a title would have been if he stayed at Memphis this past year..He would have won it all and probably gone undefeated(Xavier Henry would have been on the Memphis team along with Wall, Cousins, Dotson included with what Memphis had)..To put it all in perspective Cal can’t Coach he can get the talent but he can’t make in game adjustments at all..Cal left because he knew about the Rose ordeal and was scared about NCAA sanctions so what did he do he ran..Ky no doubt has the tradition but to call Memphis mid major in basketball is just crazy..

  18. RH - May 12, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    Hey KellyJ…there is a word in the dictionary that will help those UK bashers understand their feelings toward KY’s program…
    Envy – is best defined as an emotion that “occurs when a person lacks another’s (perceived) superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it.”[1]
    Go Cats!

  19. KellyJ - May 12, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    Gary…dude, why can’t you Memphis people let go? You just contradicted yourself too. You said Cal can’t win it all at UK because he didn’t this year with all the talented freshmen he brought in but then you said he would have won this year if he stayed at Memphis??? LOL You are contradicting yourself.
    This was Cal’s first year at UK. The previous year UK was in the NIT. The point is…he took basically an NIT team that lost their best player in Meeks and recruited a bunch of freshmen and took them to the Elite Eight in his VERY FIRST year! It was a young team that started 3 freshmen! Patterson was the only returning starter from the previous year! A new coach, a new system, 4 new starters, 3 of which were freshmen. You don’t think that it took any coaching ability to get that team to have enough chemistry to get that far? The only predicted one and done was Wall. Cousins wasn’t seen as a one and done until towards the end of the season. No one predicted Bledsoe and Orton??? It happened and guess what all you haters? It is only going to help UK recruiting even more. What kid wouldn’t want to go play for a coach that can get 4 freshmen into the NBA after one year? LOL
    It’s not going to be that many one and dones every year though. Eventually, there will be some depth added. I was impressed with how Cal handled Cousins and Wall. Cousins really improved as the season progressed and Wall became a good floor leader…AND THEY WERE FRESHMEN! FRESHMEN! Adjustments? I was also impressed that Cal got away from his patent dribble drive offense and played a style that was best for that team…more of inside game. As far as your in game adjustments…every coach in the world has been criticized for stuff like that. I will say that the majority of the time coming out of a timeout Cal had the right play at the right time and UK got an easy bucket.
    Stop hating…the guy can recruit and coach…his coaching gets overlooked because of the high level of recruits. And isn’t recruiting part of being a good coach? Stop hating…

  20. KellyJ - May 12, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    RH…Amen brother…LOL…

  21. Anonymous - May 12, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    KellyJ, I’m not hating, He would have won it all because the talent alone would have have won it for him, whether he could coach or not. That team would have been loaded..More loaded than what he had this past year..What I’m saying is he will never have another team like he just had.. And get use to the one and doners because that’s what he recruits..He has to reload every year, in which he does, but for KY to win it all it will be mostly FRESHMEN,FRESHMEN that will have to do it..And if it wasn’t for the 1 year rule Cousins nor Wall would have played College ball..

  22. Spellcheck - May 12, 2010 at 6:03 PM

    only retards use your instead of you’re

  23. KellyJ - May 12, 2010 at 6:07 PM

    I have heard so much negative about Cal from outsiders since he has come to UK. Lot of things taken out of context. Just the other day I read where Cal forced Cousins to go pro. This reporter was trying to make it sound like Cal screwed over Cousins for pushing him towards the NBA. LOL. I just shake my head. If Cal had told him to come back he would have been criticized for that. Now some jerk off reporter wants to spin it as if Cal kept him from getting an education thus crippling Cousins future in case he doesn’t pan out in the NBA or gets hurt his first year. What the??? It’s all garbage, just like much of the comments by the haters on this site. Cousins basically said he loved playing at UK and for Cal and he really didn’t want to leave. OK…yeah, UK fans embraced Cousins and Cal helped Cousins grow up a bit and he didn’t want to leave. Cal knows that Cousins is a top 5 maybe top 2 pick. Cal knows he needs to go and get the money…you can always come back and get an education. You tell me Cal don’t care about these kids??? The kid wanted to come back and Cal could have easily persuaded the kid it sounds like…but no…Cal told him…you need to go, it’s in your best interest. Cal put the kid’s best interest ahead of his or UK’s. Why are so many so blind to stuff like that? No UK fan wants him to go…but, it’s in his best interest and it was a hell of a year. So he moves on and UK will move on and wish him the best of luck. What a shame that some reporter would try to turn it around and make it sound like Cal was a bad guy. Just like this T. Jones thing…taking something out of context in order to stir the pot and get people to listen to ya. Shameful.
    Keep hating you haters…LOL

  24. Joke's on you - May 12, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    Can’t wait to hear what BBN will say about good ole’ Cal when he turns himself into a one-and-done and bolts for the NBA. I have a funny feeling they won’t be so quick to shine his shoes on these message boards.

  25. Anonymous - May 12, 2010 at 6:24 PM

    What happened last year probably won’t happen again. Four freshmen going pro…won’t happen. Really, Orton shouldn’t have gone. But someone will draft him on potential. He rode the wave that was caused by all the hype. Hype that just started getting stronger and stronger with each UK win. If UK doesn’t have the success they had…then Orton and Bledsoe both stay. Then we are talking about a possible championship again this year…except this time he has more experience and players familiar with his system. Now he has another top 10 class coming and I think he already has the top class for 2011 coming. Stacey Poole and Doron Lamb will stay because I don’t expect UK to be as good and the hype won’t be as intense. It’s hard to see both Knight and Kanter going but who knows right now? They will then be joined by Teague and Gilchrist and more. So, your theory that every Freshmen class he recruits will go pro after their first season at UK holds no water.
    He will add better depth then what UK had this year. He will bring in someone one and dones but there will also be some supposed one and dones that end up sticking around. Depth will be added. Just going to take some time. I don’t think UK will be as good this year but…you never know…and the future is looking really bright.
    Fear the future haters…LOL…

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