John Calipari has basically accomplished everything a coach can do in college basketball. He’s positively transformed all three programs he’s been involved with and was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He also finally won that elusive NCAA Title back in 2012.
But Calipari’s run in the NBA was not quite as successful. He left UMass for the New Jersey Nets in 1996, and coached the team for two full seasons before being fired after a 3-17 start to the 1998-99 campaign.
Even though Cal’s original run with the Nets was a failure, it’s been rumored that the team wants to bring the current Kentucky coach back on board to replace the recently fired Lionel Hollins; they also appear to be willing to make him team president.
However, if the Nets are going to lure Calipari away from Big Blue Nation, they are going to have to pay up, as his asking price is an insane 10 years, $120 million, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Calipari’s desire to get back in the NBA has been well documented for some time now, and he’s been linked to the Kings, as well as the Pelicans and Cavaliers openings in recent years. But, as Wojnarowski notes, he turned down an $80 million deal from Cleveland, and he told Sacramento that he wouldn’t listen for less than $11 million per year. Coach Cal is comfortable staying at Kentucky until a team is willing to give him a significant pay raise.