10:15pm: Calipari has vehemently denied the report over Twitter, saying that he intends to be the coach at Kentucky for a long time.
6:01pm: Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari has reached out through intermediaries to express an interest in the Knicks’ presidency, Ian Begley of ESPN tweets.
The report is corroborated by ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk who adds, in his own tweet, that Calipari has been interested in a return to the NBA but only for the “right job.”
New York, of course, has been seeking a a replacement at the top level ever since the franchise parted ways with Phil Jackson yesterday. Already linked to the franchise have been Isiah Thomas, Masai Ujiri, David Griffin and Sam Presti.
While Calipari has seen action in the NBA before, it seems like a lifetime ago that he patrolled the sidelines for the Nets and 76ers. From 1996-1998, he managed a 72-112 record as the head coach in New Jersey.
Calipari’s NBA Debut: The 1996-97 New Jersey Nets (26-56)
The entirety of Calipari’s previous professional stint, then, came before he evolved into the college game’s most vaunted recruiter, a characteristic that makes him far more appealing than any Xs and Os experience.
Having an asset like Calipari involved with the franchise could be a boon for the Knicks, considering the sheer amount of players he has either coached or recruited over his years with Kentucky and Memphis.
Suffice it to say, all Begley’s tweet suggests is that Calipari has expressed an interest in the position and there’s no guarantee that the interest is mutual at this point in time.