Blog Entry

Calipari reportedly 'interested' in Bulls opening

Posted on: May 4, 2010 7:47 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2010 10:00 pm

John Calipari Tweeted on Tuesday that he's "very happy at Kentucky" in an obvious response to a Yahoo! Sports report suggesting he would "be willing to listen to a pitch" from the Chicago Bulls about the franchise's head coaching vacancy.

"Throughout my career I've been mentioned for other jobs; now that I'm here you won't hear about other colleges because I've got the best job," Calipari said. "Every year you will hear my name mentioned for NBA jobs because I coached in the league before. I'm very happy at Kentucky."

Multiple sources close to Calipari have repeatedly told that Calipari's goal is to someday coach LeBron James, and one source has even said Calipari would "absolutely leave Kentucky, 100 percent, tomorrow" if that opportunity presented itself. Clearly, there's no way to know at this moment where James will play next season or whether he'll need a new coach because he'll become a free agent this summer. But nobody close to Calipari who has spoken with has ever disputed or downplayed Calipari's interest in returning to the NBA to coach James, whom Calipari has often referred to as his "friend."

Coaching Derrick Rose with the Bulls might be the next best option.

That's why the report makes sense -- though it's unclear if the Bulls are interested in Calipari.

Either way, Calipari is half-right with his Tweet. This will indeed happen every year, but it won't happen because he "coached in the league before." The reason this will happen every year is because he does nothing to squash the rumors, and he has a history of publicly stating his affection for his current job while maneuvering to try to get another job. Most recently, he did it at Memphis.

"I love Memphis," Calipari said in March 2009. "I want to be here."

Calipari left Memphis for Kentucky less than a week after delivering that quote.

UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart released a statement late Tuesday designed to calm things. It read: "I'm extremely proud of what Coach Calipari has done in just one year as the leader of our men's basketball program. Cal has brought Kentucky men's basketball back to its rightful place of national prominence and I'm excited about our future. We have begun initial discussions on restructuring his contract so that he's the coach at Kentucky until he retires."

The problem with that statement is that there's no contract that can ensure Calipari retires at UK.

He doesn't operate like that.

Truth is, Calipari will be at UK for the same amount of time he was at Memphis, and it has nothing to do with years. He stayed at Memphis until he was offered a better job, and that's also how long he'll stay at Kentucky, until the day he's offered a better job. The good news for UK fans, of course, is that there aren't many better jobs than Kentucky, and Calipari would never leave for another college job. But, as I wrote back in January, coaching LeBron is absolutely a better job, and coaching Rose, Joakim Noah and some top-shelf free agent might be a better job, too.

Will Calipari ever have either opportunity?

Who knows?

But a restructured contract won't ensure he retires at Kentucky.

Of that, I'm certain.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: May 6, 2010 10:55 am

Calipari reportedly 'interested' in Bulls opening

I'm not talking about words, I'm talking about actions. What people do is more telling than what they say. Words can be deceiving, but actions tell the tale. Calipari's actions tell me he cares only about Calipari. And speaking of tired, please come up with better excuse than "it's human nature".

And learn to read. My comment did not say that Calipari says he's great, my comment was that I could not understand why people (read as OTHER people) are so impressed with a guy who has never once won a championship on any level even though he has had elite #1 seed teams on numerous occasions that were favored to win - you fool.

Since: Dec 21, 2009
Posted on: May 5, 2010 9:39 pm

Calipari reportedly 'interested' in Bulls opening

when have u heard cal speak about how great he is? that is such an empty comment backed by no truth and clearly stated by a hater. all coaches are self serving you fool. its human nature. and the probation comments are tired and unoriginal.

Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: May 5, 2010 2:57 pm

Calipari reportedly 'interested' in Bulls opening

Coach Cal has been successful only if you define success as being the #1 (i.e. heavily favored) seed in the NCAA tourny on multiple occassions and never winning a championship with any of his highly favored, highly touted teams of elite atheletes.

When really good coaches like Coach K, Izzo, Donovan have talent they win championships. Coach Cal not only doesn't win championships but he eventually moves on after the violations are found leaving you to deal with the NCAA investigations in his wake. Prostitute is right! By the way, his stint in the NBA was embarrasing, so I just don't see why people are so in love with this guy.

Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: May 5, 2010 2:51 pm

Calipari reportedly 'interested' in Bulls opening


Ooster, not only would you have given him money and forgot about it, your girlfriend would be pregnant with his baby, but you'd think it was yours!

One thing you get with mercenaries like Calipari is absolutely no loyalty. The man is a straight up liar who says anything to anyone to promote his best interests. This is not unique to Calipari he just takes the sleaze and lying part to a new level. This is in part why he's such a great recruiter because he is really good at telling people what they want to hear and making them believe it and he is able to screw them over with absolutely no remorse when a better opportunity comes along. Ask U Mass or Memphis.

Regarding the Bulls job, Calipari may or may not take that job, but rest assured he will take another job and soon. The shelf life of a guy who is only interested in himself and who regularly lies as part of his day to day professional life is very short. Calipari will leave UK the minute a better offer comes along or when he gets caught for the violations he's certain to commit if his track record is any indication (and I think it is). Either way the shelf life of "coach Cal" at UK is about as long as the commitment the players he recruits make to UK - that is not very long.

Since: Apr 3, 2009
Posted on: May 5, 2010 2:27 pm

Calipari reportedly 'interested' in Bulls opening

As a huge Bulls fan I would just like to say Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo



Since: Jan 27, 2009
Posted on: May 5, 2010 2:24 pm

Calipari reportedly 'interested' in Bulls opening

The NBA doesn't frown as much on paying players.  In fact it smiles on it.  My belief therefore is that Calipari takes the first train out of dodge this time ahead of the scrutiny that is certain to follow.  He won't have a reason to be scrutinized in the NBA.

Since: May 4, 2007
Posted on: May 5, 2010 2:03 pm

Calipari reportedly 'interested' in Bulls opening

Brent, I'm not sure you got what I was saying... I don't think I was disagreeing with you that much.  I pretty much stated that I expect him to leave at some point.  I don't know if it will be this year or 3, 7, 10 years however many years down the road, but at some point he will be gone.  Whether it's from wanting the next big thing or more money, it'll happen.  I'm just saying most people who would be the same way...and it's the reason I get infuriated at people getting mad at Cal or any coach for looking elsewhere.  I understand your heartstrings want a good coach to stay at your team forever, but the fact is they need change just as much as we may want change in our own jobs.  More money certainly doesn't hurt either. 

This isn't just for Cal... it's for Brian Kelly, Pitino, Spurrier, Saban... everyone is entitled to look for a better job and if we were in their position, I doubt we'd do much different. 

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: May 5, 2010 1:45 pm

Calipari reportedly 'interested' in Bulls opening

Being a diehard UK fan, I'll be the first to say, I won't be shocked the day that he leaves.  If he leaves today for the NBA or in 20 years in retirement, I won't be surprised either way.

My guess is that it will be somewhere in the middle.  He'll hang around 5-7 years, win a title or two and then move on to NBA.

Now, a lot of things could change that.  If he is as thrilled about the opportunity to coach Lebron as the "reports" say, then maybe he leaves sooner, as Lebron is obviously in the prime of his career.  That will only last a few more years.  And, this next contract Lebron signs will be the biggie.  This will decide where he spends the meat of his career.  He is also friends with Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin.  I dont' know that that means will see Calipari as the Steelers offensive coordinator anytime soon.

But, I am intrigued by this discussion everytime it comes up with a coach.

What I would ask the Gary Parrish's of the world and the average fans of the world is what exactly are the John Calipari's and Nick Saban's of the world supposed to do when these talks come up?

Parrish says that Calipari "hasn't done anything to squash that rumor." 

Gary, what does that mean exactly???  I always hear people say this, but I don't exactly know what it means.

If a coach said yes, I'm interested, we would tear him up for being a job hopper and not being loyal.  If he says no, i'm not, but he leaves, he's a liar and a scoundrel.

Gary, I have a question for you, and be honest.  If your boss walked in today and said, "hey, we hear ESPN is trying to get you, are you leaving?"  Would you say "hey, boss, I'm happy where I'm at" or would you say "Oh yeah, I am thinking it over, I may have to bail."

And, keep in mind that even if you answered the second option (which I would probably not believe anyway), it's a LOT LOT different in the high profile world of coaching.

What if Nick Saban, with three games left in the season, had said "oh yeah, I'll definitely entertain Alabama's offers.  I love college football."  What would the dolphins had done/said?  What would the fans have done?  What would the folks in your profession had done Gary?"

It's a no-win situation for the coaches.  And, on top of all that, everyone who criticizes them are hypocrites.  Nobody who quits a job (with rare, rare exceptions) breathes a word of it to their boss until the day they're sliding the two-week notice across his / her desk.  And, god forbid, he / she doesn't support you "doing better" for your family, or you walk away grumbling "damn that *&)*(&)_& for not undertstanding."

So, again, as I've said many, many times..........all you people who criticize these coaches and athletes for jumping ship for money, fame, dream job, better place to live, better future movement, etc....... should look in the mirror.


Since: Feb 6, 2008
Posted on: May 5, 2010 1:39 pm

Calipari reportedly 'interested' in Bulls opening

Cat, I realize that you speak from a position of how great KY is and how much money they can throw at Cal but you are not looking at Cal from a non-biased view point.  I like Cal, I think he is a very good coach that prepares his players for the next level.  I am a Memphis fan and have been in the position you are in right now, hearing every year that he is being courting by this team or that team.  I knew each year that it could be his last because what drives Cal is not money.  Money may play a part in his decisions but it is not the primary part.  Cal is looking for not only challenge but also the moniker (for lack of a better word) of being the the best basketball coach ever. 

He had the perfect setup at Memphis.  He made millions a year, he got top talent every year, he put a few respectable teams on his schedule every year and would then oblitirate the conference and have a guaranteed slot in the tourney.  But he let Memphis when the right opportunity and challenge presented itself.  He will do it again.  There is one challenge he has yet to overcome....being a winning NBA coach.  If the opportunity presents itself he will go.  It may not be this year or even next but he will go.  He can't help it.  He wants the challenge, he is always one step ahead of the NCAA with his recruiting, and at some point he will have to leave.  Look at his history; Camby at UMASS, Williams at Memphis, Rose at Memphis.  You can hide your eyes and say he nothing about any of these issues but CAl is a cool calculated customer and he will leave KY just like he left UMass and Memphis without a coach and facing NCAA recruiting violations.  He can't change his spots and that is who he is and how he operates he is just good enough at it to not get himself dirty.

Good luck!

Since: May 4, 2007
Posted on: May 5, 2010 1:33 pm

Calipari reportedly 'interested' in Bulls opening

And one more contradiction I'm tired of seeing (TigerMan2400, I'm looking at you)... all before last season started it was "this team is too young".  "They'll never make the Final 4".  "They need experience".  "They have no one to shoot the 3". 

Now all of those people were right.  UK looked young and experienced in their loss to WVU.  When their defense in the first half held WVU to 0 2-pt FGs yet they were still down because WVU was on fire from 3, UK looked rattled.  They had 30-something 3 point attempts and only 4 went in...with the vast majority of those 3's being WIDE open thanks to the 1-3-1 zone being played. 

So if they lost for pretty much all of the reasons people SAID they would lose for at the beginning of the season, why now is it the guy can't coach the most talented group of players ever assembled?  Why is it now all of those reasons stated earlier in the year (that came true) are suddenly either forgotten or looked over?  People need to make up their mind.  You can't have it both ways... unless of course you don't like the guy.  In which case, it's perfectly OK to overlook everything previously stated and just continually hate on everything he does. 

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