HoopsHype John Calipari rumors

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June 9, 2014 Updates

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

John Calipari has been linked to the head coaching job of the Los Angeles Lakers following the departure of Mike D'Antoni. Calipari has another stacked incoming freshman class, as well as several key returners. "Before it starts, I'm totally committed to helping this group of young men reach their dreams," said Calipari. "I wouldn't & couldn't leave this group!" RealGM

To that end, sources say, Lakers officials intend to reach out to two of the biggest names in the college game -- UConn's Kevin Ollie and Kentucky's John Calipari -- to at least gauge their interest in the job. The Lakers' immediate aims, sources say, are to focus on the draft and free agency and "hold back (on the coaching front) until they get a better sense of the marketplace." ESPN.com

The Lakers, coming off their worst season (27-55) since moving to Los Angeles in 1960, said they will begin their coaching search immediately. What kind of coach they pick might depend on their luck in the NBA draft lottery on May 20. Here's a quick look at some possible coaching candidates, starting from the college ranks. John Calipari. Current job: University of Kentucky. NCAA record: 548-171, one title. NBA record: New Jersey Nets (72-112). Calipari was fired by the Nets in his third season, but his success at Memphis and Kentucky — including the Wildcats' title in 2012 with Anthony Davis — keep his name in the NBA coaching rumor mill. Los Angeles Times

April 21, 2014 Updates

Wall credited Calipari for getting another batch of freshmen to come together this past season, when No. 8 seed Kentucky reached the national championship game, losing to Connecticut. He said that even after picking the Wildcats to lose in the round of 32 before the tournament. So should Calipari return to the NBA head coaching ranks? "I think he'd be a great NBA coach," Wall told USA TODAY Sports. "But he loves Kentucky too much. The Big Blue Nation loves him back. ... It's kind of different (in the NBA) though. The NBA guys are going to do what they do they're playing for checks and stuff like that. He's great at getting young guys to buy in." USA Today Sports

April 15, 2014 Updates

John Calipari, who has often been linked to NBA coaching jobs and who also has been critical of the NCAA for not changing with the times, told ESPN on Tuesday that he's more motivated by helping his players at Kentucky than he would by building the value of an NBA franchise. ESPN.com

But the former coach of the New Jersey Nets also believes that he'd be a better NBA coach the second time around. "I think I would be (better than my previous NBA stint) if I did it, but that's not the point for me," Calipari said on ESPN's "Numbers Never Lie" on Tuesday. "Can I say this in a humble way? I don't need the money. If I stop coaching today at Kentucky, my toes are up and I'm eating Cheetos and I'm fine. But here's my point: What's happening for me, what I'm feeling about coaching, goes beyond wins, goes beyond building a franchise. Can I do that in the NBA? If there was someplace that I felt that it would be more than just coaching and trying to win ... I'm not there to help you build your franchise value or help sell tickets. That doesn't move me. What moves me now is what I'm doing, and how I'm helping families." ESPN.com

April 9, 2014 Updates

John Calipari says his immediate future will remain at Kentucky, not in the NBA. After Monday's night's 60-54 loss to Connecticut in the national championship game, Calipari denied a rumor that he was headed to the NBA. "No. I'm right [here] at Kentucky," Calipari told ESPN's Jeannine Edwards. "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." ESPN.com

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