John Calipari just finished the 2014 season one win shy of the national title, but rumors say the Kentucky coach is already planning his move up to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Word came out shortly before the 2014 NCAA title game that Calipari was almost assuredly headed to Los Angeles to take over the helm of the sinking Lakers. The John Calipari rumor came from former NBA veteran and onetime Kentucky Wildcat Rex Chapman, who tweeted about it just before Monday’s game.
While it’s not clear if there is any backing to the rumor, Calipari would seem ready for a jump back to the NBA. Within the past few years at Kentucky he has led a large group of one-and-done players who jumped straight to the NBA after their freshman year. Also during that time Calipari brought two teams to the national championship game, including a win in 2012 and a surprise with this year’s No. 8 squad.
At the same time, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni is reportedly on the hot seat and sources say Kobe Bryant is pushing for him to be gone this offseason.
John Calipari didn’t address the rumors after the game, but instead lamented about his team’s missed chances against UConn.
“We had our chances to win,” Calipari said. “We’re missing shots, we’re missing free throws. We just didn’t have enough.”
The Lakers took the John Calipari rumor quite seriously. Within two hours of Chapman’s tweet, the team refuted the report, saying they had no interest in stealing him from the Kentucky Wildcats.
— Rex Chapman (@rexchapman) April 7, 2014
Lakers are refuting Calipari to Lakers story put out by Rex Chapman before NCAA tip: GM Mitch Kupchak says “rumor is untrue”
— Chris Dufresne (@DufresneLATimes) April 8, 2014
But a denial from the Lakers means little, as they would deny the report whether they’re looking at Calipari or not.
If the rumor about John Calipari going to the Los Angeles Lakers does turn out to be true, maybe Wildcat fans can call him a five-and-done.