I’m just a man typing on a computer telling you to stop with the ‘John Calipari is leaving for the NBA’ rumors. Stop with the ‘he can reconnect with player x.’
You know why he can reconnect with that player? Because nearly every single one of his former players is on an NBA team. Twelve different NBA teams are represented from his former players, so whenever a job opens up it’s likely you’ll hear he can reconnect with someone.
The main reason him leaving for the NBA won’t happen? The recent extension he signed at Kentucky. He’ll now make $7 million per year through the 2021-22 season and that total doesn’t include the longevity bonus in the contract that is worth $1.6 million starting July 1.
The goal of the longevity bonus is to keep Calipari at Kentucky as he has no true buyout with his current contract. The bonus hits each year after the NBA Draft and NBA Finals, so in theory he’ll have to make a decision before he knows what the future team looks like.
Let’s not forget the power he has at Kentucky compared to what he’ll have in the NBA. He’s at the absolute best program in the country, acting as the GM as he picks and chooses what players and assistant coaches he wants. He doesn’t have to deal with battling the general manager or team owner/president like he would in the NBA.
There’s also the factor of success. It’s rare that a new coach at the NBA level is walking into an ideal situation. The one outlier being Billy Donovan getting to coach Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Most of the time a new coach is taking the roster of the New York Knicks or Detroit Pistons. The only chance of a quality team firing their coach is the Chicago Bulls (although Fred Hoiberg is a better fit there) and possibly the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He’s likely to go down as the most successful Kentucky head coach in school history, even if he doesn’t win another title. His teams are constantly in the Final Four and his personality meshes with the Kentucky fanaticism just fine.
So, please. Stop with the Calipari to the NBA rumors. We saw that book before.