The annual John Calipari-to-the-NBA rumors flared up this week when a report on CBSSports.com suggested the Kentucky head coach’s association with Creative Artists Agency, which maintains many business relationships with the New York Knicks organization, could lead to the struggling franchise inquiring about his interest.
“I don’t pay any attention to it,” Calipari said Friday during one of his weekly press conferences. “The job I have to do here to develop these kids and get them right is all-encompassing, so I’m not… my focus is here, and I don’t get into all of that, rumors and innuendo.
“That won’t be the last one that’s out there. I just don’t deal with it.”
The Knicks are 3-8 early this season under the direction of head coach Mike Woodson, and many have long suspected that Calipari may want another shot at leading an NBA team after a disappointing tenure with the New Jersey Nets from 1996-99.
Asked if he ever wants to coach in the pro ranks again, Calipari said: “I’m good where I am.”
The UK boss said he’s reading a new book about purpose that helps put the question in context.
“The purpose here is real clear to me,” he said. “I’m getting someone’s child, and my job is to develop them in all areas, not just on the basketball court – to prepare them for reaching their dreams, and when they reach their dreams, they become successful and understand the bigger picture.
"John Wall gave a million (dollars) back to charity; DeMarcus Cousins gave a million to charity when they signed contracts. And you see it here. That’s where my focus is. This is what I’m doing.”
Calipari's current contract at Kentucky pays him $5.2 million annually. An incentive clause would raise that figure to $6.2 million if he's still with the Wildcats on July 1, 2015. Among football and men's basketball coaches at public universities, only Alabama's Nick Saban ($5.3M) and Mack Brown of Texas ($5.3M) are paid more.