The Washington Post

John Calipari says he won’t jump to NBA after winning NCAA title

John Calipari says he isn’t going to return to coaching in the NBA. (Jeff Gross / Getty Images)

“Kentucky is the best job in basketball coaching,” Calipari said, via ESPN. “Why would I leave? We just won the national title. We're chasing UCLA.”

Kentucky beat Kansas on Monday night for its eighth national title, three shy of UCLA’s record. Calipari, who coached the New Jersey Nets for three seasons before being fired in 1999, said he has not been contacted by any NBA team, but his name has been mentioned as a possibility for the New York Knicks.

“All of those teams know I'm not doing anything,” Calipari said. “I'm not changing. I'm going to continue to see my friends who coach in the NBA and see my former players who play in the NBA. I'm going to continue to go to games.”

Calipari is 102-14 in three seasons at Kentucky has taken to the Wildcats to two Final Fours. He says he isn’t interested in the money — he signed an eight-year deal worth $36.5 million last year — and he’s already coaching NBA-caliber talent. Of course, coaches say these things all the time, often tearfully, and then the moving van arrives. In fact, Calipari said something like this about Memphis in 2009. Still, why would he leave?

“No one is stealing our joy,” Calipari said. “I've made statements that I've got the best job in basketball and I'm not going to change my lifestyle. I'm not leaving.”

Follow us: @CindyBoren | @MattBrooksWP

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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.


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