Rex Chapman: John Calipari is going to coach Lakers
Former Kentucky star and NBA player Rex Chapman created some major waves on the college and pro basketball scene when he tweeted prior to Monday’s National Championship Game that current Wildcats coach John Calipari would be taking the Los Angeles Lakers coaching job.
— Rex Chapman (@rexchapman) April 7, 2014
The feeling has long been that Mike D’Antoni, fairly or unfairly, would not be back as Lakers head coach next season following this year’s disaster. The rumor received more credibility when another report said Kobe Bryant did not want to play for D’Antoni.
As you could imagine, the Lakers have denied the rumor.
“I spoke to [General Manager] Mitch Kupchak and he said the rumor is untrue,” Lakers spokesman John Black said via the Los Angeles Times. “Mike D’Antoni is our coach. There have been no conversations about any specific names for any replacement.”
D’Antoni is currently employed by the team, so what would you expect them to say? Yeah, we’re firing Mike and hiring John? Of course they were going to deny it.
The question is would Calipari actually leave Kentucky for the Lakers? Cal is only 55 and still has plenty of years left in him. His run with the Nets did not go the way he wanted — he was fired during his third season — so maybe he would want to prove he can coach at the highest level. Plus, let’s be real here, it’s not like he has huge ties to Kentucky; this is only his fifth season there and he’s already won one title and been to two championship games and three Final Fours. Maybe he felt more inclined to leave after all the fans started crushing him amid the shaky season at Kentucky this year.