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John Calipari on NBA: “I don’t need it to get a pay raise or any of that stuff. I’m good where I am.”


Kentucky coach John Calipari again has told ESPN’s Andy Katz that he’s in “no hurry” to leave UK even though he admitted that he did talk to NBA teams.

Calipari coached the New Jersey Nets from 1996-1999 after he got Massachusetts to the Final Four in 1996 before he was fired. He spent time with Philadelphia as an assistant coach before going to Memphis and then Kentucky.

“You’re changing your profession is what you’re doing,” Calipari said. “I’m not 35 anymore. In the NBA, it’s going to be something different that moves you, not what you do for families. It’s a different deal. It’s a totally different profession. I’ve gone through it once. I think they fired me if I remember right. It was a great experience. But it was a different profession.

“I believe that I have the best job in the country. I’m not out there looking for another job. It’s not what I want. Do I talk to NBA teams? I always do. I will talk to NBA teams based on the fact my players are trying to be drafted. But I’m not out looking for a job. I’m not encouraging anybody to call me. I don’t need it to get a pay raise or any of that stuff. I’m good where I am.”

He also said he was “really, really with what we’ve got going at Kentucky” with a top freshman class to go with seven returning players off last year’s team that reached the national title game.



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  1. King Ghidora

    Could this be the “I’m not going to go anywhere” speech coaches give right before they leave? BTW I posted in this thread earlier Larry but the post is gone. Could it be something is flaky today?

    1. larryvaught

      nothing flaky that I know of except me

      1. King Ghidora

        Hmm… It could well be me I guess. I haven’t had brain lock in a day or so. I’m due. :)

  2. King Ghidora

    I meant maybe the software is flaky today. Nothing about the people on your end. Just wanted to make that clear.

  3. Larry T Clemons

    No way anybody would leave the opportunity to Coach These Players for the next few Years ! ” Would You ? “

  4. King Ghidora

    If someone offered me $20 million a year for 5 years I think I probably would. UK could attract about any coach with a lineup like they have coming in too. Might even get Billy D. to finally come back to Lexington. But I’m certainly happy with the way things are. I just get jumpy when coaches talk too much about staying where they are. That’s usually what happens when they’re getting ready to leave. Sure hope it doesn’t happen that way.

  5. Larry Pup

    I believe the Coach until he proves otherwise. However he did admit he has talked to NBA teams, so what? I hope John Calipari stays at UK for many more yrs to come, then rides off the scene into retirement a happy man having coached UK to many more championships. He is one of a kind.

  6. Bob

    Ha guys does anyone remember Rick Pinto and what 102 million dollar contract . He said and i quote he made an mistake leaving Kentucky. Coach Cal has already been there and done that . I think coach Cal will finish his career at UK and will hold many records . I have one concern and that is his age he’ll retire and dump this stress .I believe he has personal goals he wants to accomplish and at that point he’ll walk away .This man is an well rounded person and someone whom impresses the hell out of me as an human .On top of this he has Big Blue kicking ass

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Nick Saban, just got 55 Million….But, I truly Believe as Bob said Coach Cal has more Personal Goals, that are not tied to Money. And a majority of those goals Can Be Reached At Kentucky !

      1. King Ghidora

        I don’t really think he’s planning on leaving. I just start to wonder when they deny that they might. He has goals and he is achieving them at UK I believe. He does seem to care more about people than he does money but I’m sure he likes the money too. Nothing wrong with that. There wouldn’t be anything wrong with him leaving either if that’s what he wanted. Just as long as he doesn’t come back to college and coach Duke or something.

        Still the kind of money Pitino got would turn anyone’s head. That’s a lot of money and it can set your family up for generations to come. Most people care about things like that. At some point it becomes hard to even spend all your money (not me BTW – not by a long shot) because there are only so many things a person can buy before it gets to be old hat. But providing for a great life for your children and grandchildren and beyond is something would like to be able to do. I think Cal has enough money for his lifetime and then some. He could sell indulgences like Al Gore does and make all kinds of money if he really wanted to. But he’s trying to help others reach their dreams. That makes him a good person IMO. And I really think that’s what he is. But I wouldn’t hold it against him if he took the Lakers job even if he is following on the heels of a hero of my youth. I grew up near Marshall and their team was on tv a lot in those days. I watched Mike D’Antoni play there and his older brother, Dan.

        But I don’t think Cal is going anywhere. I really think it means something to him to help young people develop as humans and to teach them to give something back. I’ve really been impressed with the fund raisers and the visiting of sick kids under the radar under his watch. It’s the kind of thing Rupp did and to me he still sets the standard of what a great coach should be. And Cal is the closest thing I’ve seen to Rupp since Rupp retired. I would love to see Cal coach another 20 years to be honest. I’d even be happy if he wasn’t winning like he is now. As long as he truly helps people and doesn’t make the UK coaching job into a family “get rich quick” operation like some coaches I won’t mention have done.

  7. Sarah White

    I feel as if money is really no longer the issue with him – it is more about pride of what he is doing and the love of Big Blue Nation. He has a big ego (thank goodness), and I think he would rather be a winner than a loser with a bigger income.

    1. King Ghidora

      I think it really matters to him to help the players develop and achieve their dreams. I don’t think it’s an act at all.

  8. Bob

    Guys i personally would never want Billy D back in Lexington .He is the one that will wind up coaching in the NBA .There’s something about Blue when you add Orange makes me want to throw up .USF is my local team .I do not know of anyone whom could replace coach Cal he’s the total package and i do not think he is money driven . However when coach Cal retires i would like to see Travis Ford come home and coach UK .

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