John Calipari Says He’s Not Leaving Kentucky to Coach in the NBA

by April 04, 2012

Even before Kentucky won the national title, there were whispers in the media that John Calipari could be jumping ship to the NBA next season. With rumors swirling that the New York Knicks’ head coaching job was basically his for the taking, Calipari said that he’s not going anywhere. From ESPN: “Kentucky coach John Calipari said Wednesday he isn’t going to coach the New York Knicks or any other NBA franchise for the foreseeable future. ‘Kentucky is the best job in basketball coaching,’ Calipari said. ‘Why would I leave? We just won the national title. We’re chasing UCLA.’ Kentucky’s title win over Kansas on Monday night in New Orleans gave the school eight national men’s basketball titles, three short of UCLA’s all-time record of 11. Calipari said no NBA team has contacted him about an opening, including the Knicks, which are being coached by Mike Woodson on an interim basis after Mike D’Antoni was fired. Calipari coached the New Jersey Nets for three seasons after he took UMass to the Final Four in 1996. He was fired by the Nets 20 games into his third season, in 1998-99. He then worked as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers for one season before he coached Memphis for nine seasons, taking the Tigers to the national title game in 2008. ‘All of those teams know I’m not doing anything,’ Calipari said. ‘I’m not changing. I’m going to continue to see my friends who coach in the NBA and see my former players who play in the NBA. I’m going to continue to go to game’ […] ‘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.’”