The John Calipari-to-the-NBA rumor mill will keep turning, but Frank Isola of the New York Daily News pointed out a connection that could prove to be important: agents.
As Isola reports, Creative Artists Agency, which represents Calipari, also represents New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. It is reportedly through the agency that the Knicks have pursued Calipari.
“Do I think they’ve spoken directly to Cal? No,” a source told the Daily News. “Do I think he knows they’re very interested? Definitely.”
New York head coach Mike D’Antoni resigned in mid-March and has since been replaced by interim coach Mike Woodson. The Knicks are 9-3 under Woodson and currently hold the 8th-seed in the Eastern Conference.
As one would expect, considering Calipari is hot on the recruiting trail for blue-chip prospects Nerlens Noel, Shabazz Muhammad, and Anthony Bennett, the Kentucky coach wanted to close the door on any speculation, so as to dismiss any notion of coaching instability in Lexington.
“Kentucky is the best job in basketball coaching,” said Calipari. “Why would I leave? We just won the national title. We’re chasing UCLA.”
Had Calipari mentioned anything about the Knicks, how ironic a situation could that have created?
If a prospect like Muhammad saw Calipari’s future as uncertain, that would make Ben Howland look like a solid rock at UCLA, just months after his job security was called into question, following a less-than-flattering Sports Illustrated story on his program.
Trust this, though: Calipari will keep fishing for prospects in the spring signing period and, if all stays the same and he remains in Lexington, the Wildcats could have another No. 1 recruiting class on their hands in 2012.