Apr 4, 2012, 5:19 PM EDT
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.
- Report: Rajon Rondo agrees to one-year, $9.5 million deal with Sacramento Kings 0
- Report: DeAndre Jordan agrees to four-year, $80 million deal to join Dallas Mavericks 39
- Report: Kings signing Marco Belinelli to three-year, $19 million contract 14
- Report: Knicks to sign Robin Lopez to four-year, $54 million contract (unless DeAndre Jordan changes his mind) 8
- PBT Extra: Free agent signings we didn’t love 6
- Report: Wes Matthews reaches agreement to join Dallas Mavericks 23
- PBT Extra: Five best free agent signings in the first days of free agency 11
- Dwyane Wade agrees to one-year, $20 million deal to stay with Heat 55