By: Anthony Bertacchi

Every year around this time an NBA team or two will fire their head coach because they didn’t live up to expectations. The owner wanted a playoff run, but the team is clearly not making the playoffs. Now he’s fed up with the lack of winning and wants to bring in a new voice to make the team better.

Then, like clockwork, one coach’s name is brought up every time, John Calipari. John Calipari is the whack-a-mole coach that always gets brought up, no matter what NBA team is looking. Before LeBron James came back to Cleveland he was, allegedly, offered the job. He turned it down. A handful of times Calipari’s name has been thrown out there for the Sacramento Kings and now, with the Brooklyn Nets looking for a coach, Calipari’s name is out there again.

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According Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Calipari is looking for a contract in the range of $12 million a year. More specifically, a 10 year, $120 million contract. To put that number into perspective, Greg Popovich makes $11 million a year and Doc Rivers makes $10 million. Between those two coaches they have six NBA Championships and eight trips to the NBA Finals. If you wanted a more appropriate comparison for a coach leaving a college program look at Billy Donovan. Donovan won two national championships at the University of Florida and only makes $6 million a year.

To Calipari’s credit his response has stayed pretty consistent over the years. His response goes something like, “I have an amazing job with the University of Kentucky. I can’t see myself working anywhere else and I don’t know where these reports come from.” Below is his response on twitter this morning.

 

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Last year, when the reports of him possibly coming to the Kings, he said the same thing. However, last year’s team was undefeated until the Final Four. Clearly he was happy where he was at and didn’t want to go anywhere. As of January 11th his Wildcats are 12-3 with losses to UCLA, Ohio State and LSU. All three of those teams have six losses and aren’t guaranteed to make the NCAA Tournament. Maybe this is the year he finally comes back to the NBA for this first time since he coached the New Jersey Nets from 1996-1999.

Maybe this is just Calipari throwing out a high number to see if he can get anywhere near it. Maybe Calipari is really only looking for about $9 million a year and this is his way of getting what he wants at a “discount.” Either way, don’t expect this to be the last time you hear Calipari’s name in 2016.

 

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