HoopsHype John Calipari rumors

August 17, 2014 Updates

Even if John Calipari had known LeBron James would eventually return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the University of Kentucky coach told The Courier-Journal he likely still would have signed his seven-year extension to stay with the Wildcats in June. He just couldn't leave more than a half-dozen players who themselves passed on the NBA draft to return to UK for another season. "They came back because it was good for them and their careers and they knew they needed more developing and coaching. That was by me. That's what they wanted," Calipari told the paper in an interview Sunday morning in the Bahamas. "So that made it a tough deal to say, 'I'm just going to leave these guys here.' With who? It may be somebody I don't know that wouldn't do the things for them that they needed to do. Now, obviously coaching at Kentucky is special. It is unique and special. But this, for me, becomes about these kids. I have no desire, nor am I out looking for (jobs). I got the job. I got the job. What would move me to stay was these kids need me here. That's what I'm doing. At the end of the day, that was what (kept him at UK). It wasn't money." Louisville Courier-Journal

Despite reports that he was in serious talks with Cleveland – and ultimately turned down the Cavs earlier this summer – Calipari was "not as (close) as everybody thought" to leaving for the NBA. But James, who Calipari has said he'd love to coach, had not made his decision at that point. Would that have made a difference? "No. No. I don't think so. Because he and I have a great relationship, but it's not based on me coaching him," Calipari said. "We've got a relationship. I've known him for years and years. We've always been friends. But it was never based on that. I've said that. I've had a chance to coach Derrick Rose, John Wall and DeMarcus (Cousins), Anthony Davis and Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist). And I'm leaving names off, but I've coached some of the best players in basketball, and it is a thrill. There's nothing better than that. Especially when those guys are all good guys. Well, LeBron is also that kind of player and that kind of person. But again, leaving guys who made decisions based on what's right for their career was something I couldn't have gotten by anyway." Louisville Courier-Journal

June 29, 2014 Updates

The Nets discussions about a replacement for Kidd as head coach are in their infancy. Former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins and at least two college coaches, both with championship resumes --and long-term contracts, are in the mix. Neither of the college coaches is John Calipari. Once the situation with Kidd is resolved, expect discussions to increase in intensity. NetsDaily

June 10, 2014 Updates

Earlier Monday, Yahoo Sports reported that Gilbert had offered Kentucky coach John Calipari a seven-year, $60 million deal to serve as president and coach of the team. ESPN put the numbers at $80 million for 10 years. Calipari turned the offer down and signed a seven-year, $52 million deal with Kentucky. Gilbert declined to address the report saying, "It does the franchise no benefit by commenting on coaching search rumors.'' Cleveland Plain Dealer

June 9, 2014 Updates

Earlier Monday, Yahoo Sports reported that Gilbert had offered Kentucky coach John Calipari a seven-year, $60 million deal to serve as president and coach of the team. ESPN put the numbers at $80 million for 10 years. Calipari turned the offer down and signed a seven-year, $52 million deal with Kentucky. Gilbert declined to address the report saying, "It does the franchise no benefit by commenting on coaching search rumors.'' Cleveland Plain Dealer

Marc Stein: Cavs' thought process: If you can convince Calipari to make the move to Cleveland, it gives Cavs MUCH better shot at bringing LeBron home. But Calipari, like Kevin Ollie before him, resisted Cavs' overtures. Billy Donovan & Tom Izzo, as they did w/Wolves, have also resisted Cavs Twitter @ESPNSteinLine

Before finalizing a contract extension with the University of Kentucky late last week, John Calipari had gone deep in discussions with the Cleveland Cavaliers on a seven-year, $60 million-plus contract to become president and coach, sources told Yahoo Sports. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert had been persistent in his pursuit and kept returning to Calipari in an effort to deliver full control of basketball operations, sources said. Yahoo! Sports

Gilbert and Calipari had discussed a package in the range of $8 million-plus a year, sources said, and it wasn't until midweek that Calipari finally rejected Cleveland and fully committed to his seven-year, $52 million extension at Kentucky. Yahoo! Sports

After reaching the NCAA championship game in April, Kentucky will return as a clear-cut No. 1 in the preseason college polls. Once the Harrison twins – Andrew and Aaron – made decisions to return to Kentucky as sophomores in late April, it became a more difficult proposition to lure Calipari out of his job, sources said. With the Harrison twins staying, Kentucky will return nearly 60 percent of its scoring – despite losing two projected lottery picks to the NBA draft in Julius Randle and James Young. Around Calipari, there is a strong belief that he would've landed in Cleveland had those key players decided to turn professional this year. Yahoo! Sports

June 6, 2014 Updates
June 5, 2014 Updates
May 21, 2014 Updates

A source told Sporting News that, after slogging through with Byron Scott and Mike Brown for the last nine seasons, the Cavaliers were, “looking to hit a home run,” with their next coaching hire, hoping to attract a big name to the job. The lottery result makes it that much easier to bring in a coach. That means three names at the top: former Warriors coach Mark Jackson, former Nuggets coach George Karl and former Memphis coach Lionel Hollins. All won 50-plus games in the season they were let go. There has been talk that the Cavaliers would like to draw John Calipari away from Kentucky and hope that he could attract LeBron James in free agency, but that is almost pure imagination. Sporting News

May 14, 2014 Updates

Yes, John Calipari said, he would love to coach LeBron James someday. But now is not the time. "Are you kidding me? Have a chance to coach the best player in the world? Yes, I would love to coach him", the University of Kentucky coach said in a telephone interview on Wednesday morning. "But what's happened is our careers are criss-crossing without crossing." Cleveland Plain Dealer

"I'm not in a position where I would leave Kentucky right now. I'm not sure whether this is his last contract, or his next-to-last contract. But I would tell you if I had a chance to, I would absolutely." Whenever the Cavaliers are looking for a coach, Calipari's name comes up as a possible lure to bring James back if he opts out of his contract in Miami this summer. The two are close friends. Cleveland Plain Dealer

"You'd have a chance to say, 'I coached here, I coached here and I coached Derrick Rose and I coached LeBron James,'' said Calipari, whose name has been linked to other NBA openings as well. "Are you kidding me? To know he's all about championship. He's all about family. He will defer. He will give up money. He'll do whatever he has to. Yes, I would love to coach him. But early in his career I said maybe that would happen happen some day, but as we both get older it doesn't appear that it will happen. But he and I have never discussed it." Cleveland Plain Dealer

May 3, 2014 Updates

John Calipari has no shot to get the job, just as he didn’t when Rex Chapman tweeted that Calipari was on his way to Laker-land with a “done deal,” as Kentucky hit the court for the NCAA championship game against UConn. Calipari knows the Lakers have zero interest in him and that’s why he tweeted on Friday that he is not leaving the Wildcats. New York Daily News

May 1, 2014 Updates

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