John Calipari has repeatedly said he plans on staying at Kentucky. However, he apparently could be lured to the NBA — for the right price.
Calipari’s name has been floated for NBA head coach vacancies countless times, and after the Brooklyn Nets fired head coach Lionel Hollins over the weekend, Calipari’s name resurfaced.
Yahoo! Sports reported early Monday morning that Nets CEO Brett Yormark is urging Brooklyn owner Mikhail Prokhorov to make a push for Calipari, who’s been the head coach at the University of Kentucky since 2009.
To get Calipari to leave the college ranks and jump to the NBA — which he did in 1996 after leaving UMass to join the then-New Jersey Nets — it would cost an astronomical price. League sources told Yahoo! Sports that Calipari would be looking for a 10-year contract worth $120 million.
That would be a pretty nice raise for Calipari, who’s already one of the highest-paid coaches in college sports. Calipari signed a reported seven-year, $52.5 million contract with UK in June 2014. Calipari then signed a one-year extension in May of 2015 that would keep him with the Wildcats through the 2022 season.
If Prokhorov has proved anything during his time with Brooklyn, it’s that he’s not afraid to spend money, and he certainly likes to make a splash. Calipari’s first NBA stint wasn’t too successful, though. Hired as both head coach and executive vice president of basketball operations, Calipari led the Nets to a 72-112 record before he was fired after a 3-17 start to the 1999 season.
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