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No surprise that John Calipari to Lakers rumors have started again despite coach’s denial


It didn’t take long for the speculation — and informed, anonymous sources — to link Kentucky coach John Calipari with the vacant Los Angeles Lakers coaching job.

You might remember that former Wildcat Rex Chapman created a stir the night of the national championship game when he tweeted that it was a “done deal” what Calipari was leaving to coach the Lakers. Both Yahoo and ESPN reported that the Lakers were intrigued by Calipari and intended to gauge his interst.

Mike Bresnahan, the Lakers beat writer for the LA Times, tweeted this Thursday: “Lakers will interview George Karl, Jeff Van Gundy, Byron Scott and Rambis for coaching vacancy. Also, as reported earlier, Calipari + Ollie.”

Never mind that Calipari is scheduled to have hip surgery Friday and again expressed Thursday that he had no interest in the job. He makes more money at UK, will have more McDonald’s All-Americans on his roster next year than the Lakers will and has to know he has a great chance to win his second national championship next season.

But just get ready for a lot of Calipari-Lakers rumors in the weeks ahead until the Lakers finally hire a new coach even though he’s already done all he can with this message on Twitter Thursday to stop those stories:

“Before it starts, I’m totally committed to helping this group of young men reach their dreams. I wouldn’t & couldn’t leave this group!” Calipari posted on Twitter.

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  1. Larry pup

    It is just people, I believe, who are trying to slow down this UK train Calipari is the engineer of. So, they start rumors. I believe the Coach, so end of story to me. By the way, praying for you Coach on the hip surgery.

    1. Scott

      This, combined with their inability and/or unwillingness to accept the fact that he already has the best job in his entire profession.

      1. King Ghidora

        I think he does too Scott but maybe he thinks the Lakers is a better position. After all they have been among the best of the NBA since they moved to LA. And yes I remember them playing in Minneapolis. Dang I’m old. :) They have 16 championships there. The Celtics have 17 which explains a lot about why Pitino left for that city. But LA has far more appearances in the finals than the Celtics. Coaches like to climb that mountain as much as anyone and some could easily see the Lakers at the top of that hill above even the Cats. Personally I think 8 titles among 300 teams or so is more impressive than 16 titles in a relatively small league especially in the old days when there were far fewer teams.

        1. Larry Pup

          King….. the UK job is like an Independent Baptist Preacher who has the Pastorate of a Church hitting on all eight cylinders for the King of Glory. That Pastor would have to take a step down status wise to be the President of the United States as far a position and a calling. That is how I perceive the UK job. It is Calipari’s calling until he lays the mantel down. He is a perfect fit. I don’t think he would lie to the BBN. I may be wrong.

          1. Larry Pup

            As far as a position and a calling I should say

          2. King Ghidora

            I think he’s smart enough to realize he’s a perfect fit at UK but he could be a square peg trying to fit a round hole in the NBA. It’s a whole different skill set and I think lots of coaches are figuring that out. After Pitino bombed and Donovan half stepped I think a lot of coaches got to thinking about the deal. We haven’t seen too many big time college coaches go the pros lately. Very few of them have actually done well when they did head for the NBA.

  2. Barry

    This will be a good time for Coach to have the surgery. It will be harder to fuel rumors while he is off the recruiting trail with his recovery. I hope all goes well with that Coach.

    1. Larry Pup

      as far as a position and a calling, I should say.

      1. Larry Pup

        Not intended for you comment.

      2. Anonymous

        I too hope Coach heals quickly and gets back quickly on his feet. Hip surgery is no picnic.

  3. King Ghidora

    This sort of thing is inevitable for a UK coach. It’s funny how no one speculates that K is going to the pros. Maybe they realize no NBA team would want him.

    The fact that coaches deny these rumors, right up to the point where they actually take the jobs they denied interest in, drives the whole mess. Cal denied he was leaving Memphis until he did. He took his recruits with him to Lexington too. But before he left he said, “I want to be here. “This is where I want to coach, and my name will be tied to every job that’s open, and our fans I think have gotten used to it.” It was only a few days later he took the UK job bringing Wall and Cousins with him along with Darnell Dodson. Never say never. These guys have to say they will stay put if they expect to win. It’s a system that stinks IMO but it’s the one we have. But I really can’t imagine him walking away from a team like the one coming in. I really believe they will have a better team than the Lakers even if Kobe does make a comeback. He’s getting old and he’s getting injured often. UK will be loaded for bear. I think they should have held on to D’Antoni at LA personally. It wasn’t his fault the team was hampered by injuries. You have to put talent on the floor and that’s more the job of the GM than the coach. LA chased off a lot of top notch talent to make Kobe happy and now they’re paying for it.

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