John Calipari is widely acknowledged as the best basketball coach in the country. But will Calipari ever return to the pros? For NBA teams interested in hiring Calipari, they have been told his asking price is a minimum of 10 years and $120 million, according to several sources.
Through Calipari’s hands-on coaching style, the likes of Anthony Davis, John Wall and Karl-Anthony Towns were drafted No 1 overall in the NBA Draft and went on to become superstars.
Calipari, who served as Executive VP and head coach of the New Jersey Nets between 1996 and 1999, currently earns approximately $9 million per season at Kentucky and wouldn’t leave the job for just an incremental raise. During the 1999–2000 season, Calipari served as assistant coach to Philadelphia 76ers coach Larry Brown before moving on to his next gig at University of Memphis.
In 2014, Calipari reportedly turned down a 10-year $80 million-plus offer from Cleveland Cavaliers. There were also reports linking him with Sacramento Kings. Again, Calipari wasn’t willing to come on board for less than $11 million per season.
Phil Jackson, the New York Knicks President, is currently earning $12 million per season. It appears like Calipari isn’t settling for anything lesser than what the Zen Master is earning.
Rumors began to swirl around after Brooklyn Nets fired coach Lionel Collins on Sunday. Calipari took to Twitter to shoot them down. “I am not negotiating with ANYBODY. My total focus is on this team (Kentucky Wildcats) and winning the next game.”
“You may have heard me say this before: I absolutely have the best coaching job in sports and I plan on being at Kentucky for a long time,” John Calipari tweeted earlier today.