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.
- Chris Paul discusses his signature shoe, hoops with media at launch of his Jordan Brand CP3 VIII (VIDEO) 2
- 67RIEFNS No. 1: Tom Thibodeau managing his bigs 16
- Derrick Rose knows injury questions will keep coming. And coming. And coming. 7
- FIBA World Cup preview: USA, Spain, then who else can medal? 0
- Official ‘Clippers’ Number 1 Fan’ on herself and Donald Sterling: ‘I’ll always feel it’s our team’ 17
- Cavaliers GM admits concerns about rim protection on defense 19
- Coach K had DeMarcus Cousins as USA’s backup big long before final cuts 6
- World Cup preview: No Durant, no problem USA still one of two teams with legit shot to win gold 6