John Calipari to NBA: Why He Will Still Consider Leaving Kentucky Despite Report

Randy ChambersAnalyst IApril 6, 2017

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 30:  Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats looks on during practice prior to the 2012 Final Four of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 30, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The rumor mill always picks up when a college coach gets hot.

He begins winning so much that rumors start flying and people think that he's accomplished anything and everything to do at the college level, so they must see what they can do at the pro level.

In this case, it's John Calipari in the rumor mill and many believe that he is interested in coaching the New York Knicks, a team that is loaded with talent, but has no permanent head coach. Calipari has denied these reports, according to ESPN, and used the excuse that winning a national championship earlier this week is enough reason for him to stay at Kentucky.

"Kentucky is the best job in basketball coaching," Calipari said. "Why would I leave? We just won the national title. We're chasing UCLA."

This may sound believable; I mean, Kentucky is one of the most prestigious programs out there and they do land some of the most talented players in the country every year. Why in the world would he leave?

Well, here are few reasons why you may see him on the sidelines of an NBA team next season despite what he says now. 


Never trust a coach

This is the first reason why you shouldn't believe anything Calipari says. Despite the fact that he hasn't exactly walked the straight line when he's coached at the collegiate level, he is a head coach. And those guys never tell the truth when it comes to what their next gig will be.

They say they're happy where they are and the next day they end up exactly where they say they wouldn't go.

It seems like every coach who has switched gigs in the last few years has said at one point that they would never end up there. Nick Saban and Urban Meyer are just two quick names right off the top.

Sure, they coach the football side of things, but coaches all have the same thing in common. The majority of them lie and will do whatever is in their best interest at the end of the day. 


Cash rules everything around me

Every time a coach or player leaves the team that they've been at for a while, we all say it's all about the money. And in most cases, we're absolutely right.

In this case, it'll take more than money to get Callipari to leave Kentucky, but it surely wouldn't hurt.

The Kentucky coach currently makes about $4.5 million a year coaching the Wildcats. Mike D'Antoni made $6 million a season when New York hired him. That's a $1.5 million a year increase right off top. I'm sure if the Knicks really want Calipari as their head coach, that wide margin can increase even more. You're telling me you would walk away from that kind of money if it was being thrown at you?

It'd be extremely difficult. 


It's the Knicks, baby!

Kentucky is a fantastic basketball school and one of the first programs we think about when we think about college basketball. But Madison Square Garden is pretty much where it's at when it comes to basketball, period.

Sure, they've struggled for several years, but it doesn't get much bigger than New York—especially the Knicks.

Calipari could expand his brand like he's never done before and do so under the brightest lights in America. Kentucky is big, but New York is bigger—much bigger. 



Calipari has established himself as a college coach. Despite what many may think of him, he's won 78 percent on his games, reached the tournament several times, is 102-14 at Kentucky and is now a national champion. He's made his mark, and while he could always improve in the record books at the college level, he hasn't exactly had the same success in the NBA.

Calipari coached two-and-a-half seasons for the New Jersey Nets and only won 39 percent of his games, putting together a 72-112 record. The Knicks, as talented as they are, have a shot to win a national championship sooner than later. And with somebody as competitive as Calipari is, you'd have to believe he'd like the shot to redeem himself at the NBA level.

What better way to do it in New York? Bright lights, more money and an extremely talented team.