John Calipari is not leaving Kentucky


With Mike D’Antoni pulling a Tubby Smith and “resigning” from the Knicks yesterday, the Calipari-to-the-Knicks stories are going to be kicking into high gear. As a website devoted to following UK players in the NBA, the last thing we want to see is Calipari coaching the Knicks. Without Cal, this website couldn’t exist. He has brought in so much talent over the last 3 years that you could literally build an NBA franchise with his players. Current NBAcats coached by Cal include John Wall (Wizards), Demarcus Cousins (Kings), Eric Bledsoe (Clippers), Brandon Knight (Pistons), Josh Harrellson (Knicks), Enes Kanter (Jazz), Patrick Patterson (Rockets), Daniel Orton (Magic), and DeAndre Liggins (Magic). But as much as Cal loves his former players, he will not be joining them in the NBA anytime soon.

For starters, he’s making 4.6 million dollars a year (plus bonuses) as the head coach of the University of Kentucky. He’s had three straight #1 recruiting classes with a fourth on the way (what up Shabazz, I know you read He just went to the Final Four last year, and this year he’s got a team that should is going to win the NCAA Championship. Whether he wants to eventually coach in the NBA or not, no one in their right mind would throw all that away. He stayed 8 years at UMass and 9 years at Memphis, why would he leave Kentucky after 3?

To jump at the rare opportunity to coach the Knicks? I don’t think so.
Over the last 8 years, the Knicks have had 7 coaches; Don Chaney, Herb Williams, Lenny Wilkens, Larry Brown, Isaiah Thomas, Mike D’Antoni, and now, Mike Woodson. If and when Calipari ever decides he wants that job, there will be an opening, trust me.

So maybe it’s the allure of coaching the prestigious New York KnickerBockers that will convince him to leave Kentucky? I don’t think so.
Despite what ESPN would have you believe, the Knicks haven’t won a championship since 1973, and in 66 seasons, they have only won 49% of their games (2,544-2,580). Over the last 38 years, they’ve only been to the NBA Finals twice (n 73′, and most recently in 1999). They haven’t had a player selected to the All-NBA First team since Patrick Ewing in 1990, and their last player to be selected to either of the All-NBA Defensive teams was Charles Oakley in 1998. The Knicks don’t acquire and keep talented players and they don’t win (the Knicks are 19-24 this season). They are the most overrated franchise in the NBA. If it wasn’t for their large market, which allows their players and coaches to make tons of money, they would be the Golden State Warriors.

So maybe it’s his northeastern roots that will pry him away from Kentucky? I don’t think so.
Cal has lived in the south for 12 years. He’s had barbecue in Memphis and fried chicken in Kentucky. He doesn’t want your hot dogs New York. If Coach Cal says he’s going to stay at UK for 10 years, then I think we’re going to see him at UK for 10 years. Enjoy the ride.


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