With another marquee NBA job vacant, John Calipari’s name has reportedly been linked to it.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN, the Kentucky head coach has reached out to the New York Knicks “through intermediaries” and has expressed interest in the vacant presidency job after the franchise mutually cut ties with Phil Jackson earlier this week.
Days before free agency is set to begin, Begley reports that the Knicks do not have any interest in Calipari at the moment.
Presumably, Calipari would not only want control over the team but would be the head coach as well.
Calipari is under contract with Kentucky through the 2024 season. He signed a two-year extension in March, making $7.75 million this season and $8 million the next year.
The Hall of Fame coach had been linked to previous vacancies in the past, most notably in 2014 with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He reportedly had deep talks with the franchise but eventually signed a seven-year extension to remain at Kentucky. It was later reported by various outlets that Cleveland had offered him a 10-year deal ranging from $60-80 million.
Calipari had a brief tenure in the NBA prior, spending two-plus seasons with the New Jersey Nets before being fired during the 1998-99 season.
You’d expect if Calipari would make the jump, it’d be to a franchise that has the pieces to win right away, instead of stepping into a shaky situation, like the one in New York, thus avoiding another failed stint in the association.
Either way, we’ve continued the streak of summers that Calipari has been linked to NBA vacancies.
UPDATE: Calipari has responded, reiterating that he is the head coach of the University of Kentucky. He’s currently in Egypt with USA Basketball U19 team, where two of his future Wildcats, Hamido Diallo and P.J. Washington, started in this afternoon’s exhibition win over France.