John Calipari Denied That He Expressed Interest In Replacing Phil Jackson

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One of the names tied to the opening to job opening for the New York Knicks‘ presidency is Kentucky coach John Calipari. Well, saying he’s tied to the job is a bit of an overstatement — according to a report by ESPN’s Ian Begley, Calipari had some people reach out to the Knicks and express interest in the vacancy. The team was reportedly not interested in Calapari “at the moment.”

Word of this report made its way back to Calipari, who was not happy that Begley reported this, either because it did not happen or because he didn’t want word to leak out. Either way, Calipari went on the offensive.

Calipari proceeded to mention that he actually woke up to this news because he’s busy overseas in Egypt with USA Basketball’s Under-19 squad.

As for why he isn’t interested in leaving for a job with the Knicks, Calipari said he’s content with where he’s at, both with USA Basketball and the Wildcats.

These reports always seemed a little odd, if only because the Knicks seem to have an idea of what they want to do and Calipari has a pretty cushy gig at Kentucky. Even if he wants to eventually make it back to the NBA — a rumor that seems to regularly pop up this time of year — being interested in a job that would require a rebuild and a lot of patience doesn’t make much sense for someone who coaches a perennial national title contender and makes $8 million a year.

Plus he’s a smart guy and you’d assume he realizes that the Knicks wouldn’t want a person who has no front office experience running the show, at least not until they exhaust all other options. Calipari telling his associates to tell the Knicks he is interested in taking over for Jackson is funny, but it sounds like this one is debunked.