Calipari says his only NBA interest is following former players


Take a deep breath Big Blue Nation. Calipari isn’t going anywhere. From the Sporting News…

Fresh from his first NCAA championship, Kentucky coach John Calipari plans to attend a number of NBA games this spring, but not because he plans on coaching in the league—with the New York Knicks or anyone else.

“You don’t think I’m going to watch Derrick Rose play, or John Wall or DeMarcus Cousins or Patrick Patterson?” Calipari told Sporting News on Wednesday. “I’ve done that my whole career. I’m not changing my lifestyle because somebody wants to put a rumor out.”

Calipari said he might even “pop into New York” to watch former Wildcats center Josh Harrellson, a rookie with the Knicks. But that does not change his intention to continue at Kentucky, which he has led to two Final Fours in three seasons and the school’s eighth NCAA title, claimed Monday night in New Orleans with a 67-59 victory over Kansas.

Roughly 5,000 greeted the team’s arrival at the airport Tuesday and more than 20,000 jammed into Rupp Arena to see the 2012 championship banner revealed.

“I’ve got the best job in basketball,” Calipari said. “I’ve got more money than I’m ever going to spend, so I don’t have to make a decision based on finances. “No one is going to steal the joy of what just happened this season. For people that don’t know me, have never met me, and from a distance watched me and listened to what other people said about me … I don’t care about their opinions.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said he’ll be at NBA games in the future, but only to watch his former players, not to coach. (AP Photo)

“People that I don’t know, that I wouldn’t know if they walked into my office, have an opinion of me? Fine. You’re not stealing my joy, my team’s joy. I’ve got a great job. I’m going out recruiting this weekend.”

One factor in Calipari’s future that isn’t being noted in discussion of him moving onto the NBA is his son, Brad, a ninth-grader in Lexington.

Calipari mentioned that he did not leave Memphis until both of his daughters had graduated high school. “I didn’t want to uproot them.”

Brad plays on his school’s basketball team, and Calipari has talked frequently about someday coaching him in college.

“I will be seen at NBA games a bunch of times,” Calipari said, “because I’ve got so many players in the league that I want to see, or friends of mine that I want to watch. That does not mean I’m coaching in the NBA. I enjoy watching basketball.”



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