While he is denying it now, there was a rumor that coach John Calipari might be heading back to the NBA to coach the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers have struggled immensely this season, and could certainly use some help.
John Calipari is a veteran basketball coach, and as a coach that is disliked by a number of people for the way in which he builds his college teams around McDonald’s All-American players, he may be better suited for the NBA.
Throughout his career, he has coached at Memphis, Kentucky, and attempted to coach once in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets. The 55-year-old coach had an unsuccessful run the first time around, and had a record of 72-112 from 1996-1999.
The rumor that John Calipari would be taking his talents as a coach to the NBA was started by Rex Chapman, a former player for Kentucky, and current commentator for Wildcats TV. The rumor started to spread prior to the NCAA Final game between Kentucky and UConn last night.
— Rex Chapman (@rexchapman) April 7, 2014
Calipari’s current squad of Kentucky Wildcats had a starting lineup of five freshman, and a handful of others, the majority of which will not be returning next year. Despite their age and maturity, the young Wildcats made it to the championship of the NCAA tournament, but lost to the UConn Huskies in the final 60-54.
Following the NCAA Final, John Calipari said that there is no doubt that he will be back at Kentucky next season. As one of the best at his profession, he is always in high demand, but that does not mean that he wants to leave the program that he has been the head coach of since 2009.
When addressing the rumor he told ESPN’s Jeanine Edwards that “No. I’m right [here] at Kentucky. I got the best job. I’ve got a good group of kids. Love what I’m doing. Speculation? That’s there every year I coach.”
My best guess: Kentucky will be John Calipari's last coaching job.
— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) April 8, 2014
I'm more disappointed this morning than I was last night but I'm still really proud of our kids that we had our chances to win the game.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) April 8, 2014
— Jason Wilde (@jasonjwilde) April 8, 2014
Perhaps he simply remembers what he happened the last time that he attempted coaching in the NBA, but John Calipari quickly denied the rumors that he would be the new coach of the Lakers, and has decided to stay put with the Kentucky Wildcats.
Image via Wikimedia Commons