John Calipari says he’s not chasing NBA, but ‘chasing UCLA’

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It took less than 24 hours after Kentucky won the 2012 NCAA tournament for the John Calipari-to-the-NBA stories to start popping up.

It shouldn’t really come as a surprise given Calipari’s previous stop in the NBA was a mess and the Knicks are one of the one of the league’s marquee franchises. But let it be known, Calipari, 102-14 in three seasons at UK, says he isn’t interested in anything except coaching the Wildcats.

“Kentucky is the best job in basketball coaching,” Calipari told Andy Katz. “Why would I leave? We just won the national title. We’re chasing UCLA.”

Kentucky’s 8th national title places it three behind UCLA. Does that mean he’s staying at least three more seasons?

Anyway, getting Calipari wouldn’t be cheap – he made $4.65 million this season and could make $5.65 the next three if he hits all of his incentives – nor would it be a given just to throw money his way. (He also says he has plenty of money.) He’d almost certainly want control of personnel decisions as well.

The possibility of an NBA jump is there. It always will be. A coach as good as Calipari would always be intrigued by a new challenge. That’s just a given.

So be prepared, BBN. If he bails, who would you want coaching Kentucky?

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