HoopsHype John Calipari rumors

April 26, 2012 Updates

Calipari has already said publicly that he will remain at Kentucky, but people close to him say the former Nets coach is eager to prove he can be successful in the NBA. The fact that Calipari is represented by CAA, the same agency that represents Anthony, has fueled speculation that he is a strong candidate. As for Jackson, there is a feeling in the organization that his heart isn’t in coaching anymore. There is also a fear that if Jackson came aboard, he would want complete control, which is something Dolan is not prepared to surrender. New York Daily News

April 18, 2012 Updates
April 16, 2012 Updates
April 13, 2012 Updates

Calipari, who some NBA executives believe will become a viable candidate, does not have that cache with NBA players. Calipari could stand as a risk, considering his NBA flop with the Nets and theatrical coaching style that his former Kentucky player, Knicks rookie Josh Harrellson, admitted might be too much for the league. Calipari probably would adjust, but why take a $7 million-per-year gamble that his college methods will work instantaneously in the NBA’s. There are indications he is not high on the Knicks’ list. New York Post

April 5, 2012 Updates

Dolan and the Garden have been doing so much business with the CAA talent people lately, that has to give John Calipari a leg up in the Knicks coaching sweepstakes. Calipari has his NCAA championship now — subject to being vacated in the future, of course — and everyone knows that the former Nets coach would love another shot in the NBA. “Cal’s wired into the CAA people,” said one former NBA head coach Wednesday. New York Daily News

April 4, 2012 Updates

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." ESPN.com

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 games." ESPN.com

The circumstances are aligned for Calipari to make a move: the validation of an NCAA title, a suspect relationship with his athletic director and his ability to leverage a monumental contract out of the Knicks. Calipari is a great salesman, and he’ll sell owner James Dolan on his ability to get the most out of Carmelo Anthony, to keep the Garden sold out and get the Knicks winning in the postseason again. Dolan can’t sell results as an owner, so he’s always selling a new savior. Now, Calipari is no longer the failed ex-Nets coach, but the national champion Kentucky Wildcats coach. Yahoo! Sports

Calipari wants the next big, shiny thing – wants the biggest paycheck – and that’s the Knicks now. Out of UMass, the Nets gave him complete organizational control. It was a mistake. He abused the power, the way that he abused people. Calipari was forever trying to prove he belonged, and would need this time in the NBA to understand that less is more. As one official privy to the Garden’s decision-making processes in the past few years said Tuesday, “Any big name has to have Dolan away from the day-to-day, or it’s a disaster.” Yahoo! Sports

Whatever happens, Calipari isn’t leaving Kentucky to simply return to the NBA. He has it too good there, and only the Knicks would pay Calipari like a Doc Rivers, a Gregg Popovich. No general manager in the NBA would hire Calipari, only an owner. No front-office executive wants the power struggle with him – never mind believes he’s a difference maker. That’s what makes the Knicks and Calipari so intriguing: This is the job that will give him pause – Madison Square Garden, New York, the resources, all of it. Yahoo! Sports

When John Calipari ruled as general manager and coach, one of the interns within the New Jersey Nets’ basketball operations had come to expect his frantic, flustered boss to deliver a most vain order. Calipari became obsessed with the callers to the midday New York radio show ripping into him, and orchestrated a counter propaganda program. And so was born “Anthony from Hoboken,” several team sources said. Anthony was a staunch, defiant and fictional advocate for the eventually exiled Emperor of East Rutherford. He made calls to WFAN out of the Nets’ offices, telling metropolitan New York that he was one fan who couldn’t understand all the criticism heaped on Calipari. Yahoo! Sports

April 2, 2012 Updates

Wall believes that it is time for Calipari to finally add the one missing piece to his accomplished resume – and he will get a chance to do it against Kansas and Bill Self, the same team and coach that denied him an opportunity during Memphis’ epic collapse in the 2008 title game. “I want him to get his championship. I think he’s been to the Final Four a couple of times. I think they’ve had a great season so far, so to cap it all off, it’ll be good to win a championship,” Wall said. “He never expressed it to me, but you know how much it’ll mean to your coach. Especially after the year that he lost with Derrick Rose, to lose with some free throws down the stretch. We went to the Elite Eight and last year, a team that nobody expected to go far made it to the Final Four and lost to a good UConn team. I think it’s time for him to win one. I think, third time is a charm, so hopefully he can win it.” Washington Post

“His demeanor, how he treats players on the court and off the court, he’s going to push you to be your best every night and all the drills are competitive,” Wall said of Calipari. “You’re being competitive with those guys every day. You get used to being with each other and he does a lot of stuff to make sure that you’re together, bonding together and getting along. If you buy in or go with the team’s flow, and you’ve got a lot of All-Americans buying into the team concepts, and if not, you probably won’t play.” Washington Post

March 31, 2012 Updates

Knicks rookie center Josh Harrellson, a member of Kentucky’s Final Four team last season, said he believes John Calipari has a great chance to win his first NCAA championship Monday, but is less certain on whether Calipari’s sideline theatrics will play well if he decides to cash in on a title by making a return to the NBA. Because Knicks management is influenced by the super agency Creative Artists Agency, the team likely will consider Calipari, a CAA client, if he wants to return to the NBA after his disastrous Nets stint of 1996-99. New York Post

“The NBA is more laid-back coaching,’’ Harrellson told The Post. “You really don’t yell too much. You don’t get up and stomp your feet like Coach Cal loves to do. That’s what motivates guys to play hard [in college. When they see him getting into the game, that’s when they get into the game and play harder for him. It might work at this level, I don’t know. I’ve never seen an NBA coach do that. Maybe he’ll be the first one to do it if he ever comes back.’’ New York Post

March 30, 2012 Updates
March 29, 2012 Updates

So the Wildcats could beat an NBA team, but it’s not especially likely, even in a simulation that generally makes favorable assumptions. I didn’t penalize Kentucky at all for depth, which is the biggest obstacle to this entire question. Calipari can use a seven-man rotation with occasional contributions from Eloy Vargas over 40-minute college games without any real injuries. (Terrence Jones, with two, is the only ‘Cat regular to miss a game.) Doing the same over 66 games and 48 minutes a night is a different issue, and Kentucky doesn’t have another player outside the top eight who has seen more than 44 minutes of action all season. By contrast, even deep Charlotte reserve Cory Higgins, a rookie who might be the worst player in the NBA this year, averaged 32.2 minutes per game for a good Colorado team as a senior. Basketball Prospectus

March 15, 2012 Updates

Kentucky coach John Calipari didn’t take long to respond to speculation that he might follow in the footsteps of former UK coach Rick Pitino and return to the NBA after Mike D’Antoni resigned from the Knicks. He immediately got on Twitter to get the message out that he had no interest in leaving his current job. “Every job that’s open, including high school jobs and AAU jobs, my name is mentioned,’’ he said. “But I have a great job. The best in the profession.’’ New York Daily News

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.