John Calipari reportedly open to jumping back into the NBA: 'He may have maxed out at Kentucky'
Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari has been the subject of rumors and reports of him returning to the NBA on a regular basis since he became the Wildcats’ coach. Now that talk is ramping up again as the number of NBA vacancies seemingly grows by the day.
A Yahoo Sports report from Ben Rohrbach and Vincent Goodwill put Calipari on a list of NBA coaching candidates to watch, and called Calipari’s mention, “a bit of a surprise here, but multiple sources tell Yahoo Sports Calipari would be open to jumping back into the NBA. He had a taste in the late 90s, taking over the then-New Jersey Nets following a stint at UMass that didn’t go particularly well. But the changing dynamics at Kentucky, along with the massive expectations from the fan base and alumni, could have him looking for a second bite.”
The report also suggested that “He may have maxed out at Kentucky,” a high-ranking executive told Yahoo Sports.
“College basketball is a sinking ship,” another executive told Yahoo Sports. “He is much different than his first go-round but that ego is hard to tame.”
Calipari is 62, so if he wants to make a move back to the NBA, it’s likely it’ll have to be soon. He’s coached many of today’s stars and has been outwardly supportive through the years, letting it be known Kentucky is a pro factory.
Calipari is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career, and by far the worst of his UK tenure. The Cats went 9-16 last season. Yet he still has a .785 winning percentage at UK, and during his tenure in Lexington, he leads all coaches in NCAA Tournament wins (31), Final Fours (four), Elite Eights (seven) and Sweet 16s (eight).