According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, another candidate has emerged by expressing interest of their own: John Calipari.
The Knicks parted ways with former president Phil Jackson earlier this week. Get the app and get the game.
Knicks general manager Steve Mills is handling the club’s day-to-day operations.
Last fall, Calipari said he had no plans to leave Kentucky while his son Brad, a freshman member of the team at the time, was still enrolled in school.
Of course, this is not the first time Calipari has been linked to an National Basketball Association gig. New York’s focus over the next few weeks will be on free agency, and not on a replacement for Jackson, league sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
As Begley points out, there’s a pattern of Kentucky answering speculation with a resounding oomph. Kentucky signed Calipari to a two-year contract extension back in March, which has him under contract with the university through 2024.
So is this another round of posturing by Calipari?
His interest in the Knicks come as somewhat of a surprise, as he has a pretty cushy job coaching the Wildcats. Jackson rankled the team’s star, Kristaps Porzingis, and then floated his name in trade rumors prior to this year’s draft.
NY has been linked to Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri and Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti.
ESPN reported in 2014 that the Cleveland Cavaliers offered Calipari a 10-year contract worth almost $80 million to be coach and team president.
Calipari has earned a reputation as the most prolific recruiter in all of college basketball. There’s likely no incentive for him to leave unless the situation is flawless. Possibly. But, according to Begley, they need to be interested first.