Rumors be gone: Calipari says he's "rooted" to UK

06/01/2015 05:15 PM

DESTIN, Fla. — In what has become an annual tradition at the University of Kentucky, rumors returned to swirl around John Calipari all last season, like a rubber ducky stuck in a perpetually draining bath tub.

Whispers grew even louder after UK lost its quest for perfection to Wisconsin in the Final Four, reaching a fervor when the New Orleans Pelicans’ head coaching job became available during the off-season.

It was the perfect opportunity for Cal finally to leave Lexington and rejoin his former players Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans in the NBA.

That was it. The Internet declared Calipari was a lock to bolt — and we all know that the you can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true.

But alas, as always, nothing happened, except for UK extending Calipari’s current contract through the 2022 season and giving him a nice pay raise to an average of $8 million a year — more than double what New Orleans reportedly could have offered.

Calipari addressed the recent run of coaching rumors during last week’s SEC spring meetings, telling The Cats’ Pause that his choice to stay at Kentucky has to do with a lot more than just the money.

  • “It took me 20 years to get the job,” said Calipari. “For me to leave something like this, you’re going to have to uproot me. That’s how I feel. My wife laughs about it. People are going nuts. They haven’t figure this out?
  • “One thing that happened last year when I talked to [an NBA] owner was basically, ‘How are we going to leverage what we’re doing to make a difference with people — whether it be in the community, the city, or the state? Because to win a championship or just make you money — for me personally — that doesn’t move my boat.’
  • “Here [at Kentucky], you’re talking about generational things you can do. You can help. As hard as this job is — and it’s hard because there is turnover and change and some doubt — but not only are we going to make it work; We’re going to make it work for these kids.”

KSTV discussed Calipari’s comments on Monday’s show, explaining how his commitment to teaching and helping young players will keep him in Lexington for a long, long time.


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