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Report: John Calipari was ‘deep in discussions’ with Cavs before Kentucky extension

John CalipariJohn Calipari already tried coaching in the NBA once, and it didn’t go well. After winning the Naismith College Coach of the Year Award in 1996, Calipari went on to compile a record of 72-112 in less than three seasons with the New Jersey Nets. According to one report, he was fairly close to giving the NBA another shot last week.

Adrian Wojnarowski and Brett Dawson of Yahoo Sports claim Calipari was “deep in discussions” with the Cleveland Cavaliers before he finalized a contract extension with Kentucky last week. He had even reportedly outlined the terms of a potential agreement with the Cavs that would be worth $60 million-plus over seven years and make him president of basketball operations as well as head coach.

Calipari, who signed a seven-year, $52 million extension with the Wildcats, was offered more than $8 million per season from Cavs owner Dan Gilbert. That would have placed him among the highest-paid coaches in the league. Calipari was said to be “intrigued” by the offer, but there is some speculation that he may have been concerned over how he would mesh with a hands-on owner like Gilbert.

Had Kentucky defeated UConn and won a national championship in April, it probably would have been easier to lure Calipari away. Now that the Harrison twins are returning to Lexington for their sophomore seasons and the Wildcats are easily the No. 1 team in the country heading into next season, Calipari probably wants to stick around. It’s a shame he’ll have to settle for only $7 million-plus per season.

John Calipari’s daughter Erin got engaged

Erin-Calipari-Cody-Siciliano

John Calipari picked up a new recruit this week, but this time he didn’t land another basketball player. Calipari will soon have a son-in-law, as his daughter Erin got engaged on Wednesday.

As many of you know, Calipari’s daughters are very supportive of him and seem to have a close relationship with their dad. Erin and Megan defended Coach Cal after Kentucky’s loss to UConn last month with a series of heartwarming tweets. They also fully buy into the Wildcats’ rivalries by despising teams like Louisville.

This Cody Siciliano cat is one lucky dude. He’s marrying into a power family.

Photo: Twitter/Erin Calipari

John Calipari goes on Colbert Report and things get funny (Video)

John CalipariJohn Calipari is apparently famous enough to the point that Stephen Colbert had him on his Comedy Central show, which is saying a lot.

Cal is a pretty serious dude, and Colbert obviously has a unique, funny style of humor, so watching them interact was pretty amusing. And it says a lot about how big time Calipari is that Colbert had him on to promote his new book.

The interview was very light and enjoyable. Colbert had some great lines, of course, but the best part was seeing the dynamic of serious Cal trying to keep it light while Colbert was running funny circles around him.

H/T Eye on College Basketball

Tucker Max paid $25,000 to hang out with John Calipari

Tucker-Max-John-Calipari

A lot of people feel that John Calipari is an insufferable jerk who thinks way too highly of himself. Award-winning author Tucker Max, who has chronicled his raunchy sexual encounters with women through his best-selling book and popular website, openly admits that he is a narcissist who thinks too highly of himself. Together, they make the perfect pair.

According to Deadspin, Max participated in a silent auction last September at the John Calipari Fantasy Basketball Experience. Everything from three days of instruction from Calipari to playing ball at the UK facilities was offered. One person who attended the camp told Deadspin Max bid $25,000 for a night with Calipari that included a private jet to the Bulls-Bobcats game on Wednesday night.

“Me and @UKCoachCalipari on our way to see the Bobcats and Bulls tonight,” Max wrote on Twitter. “He travels in style pic.”

Calipari’s wife would have probably preferred if someone else was the highest bidder.

John Calipari says ‘tweak’ he made was having Andrew Harrison pass more

John Calipari KentuckyThe Kentucky Wildcats were a completely different team once the NCAA Tournament began. After a season of disappointing results and tumbling in the national rankings, Kentucky knocked off some of the best teams in the tourney field en route to a National Championship appearance. So what changed?

When reporters asked how the Wildcats were able to make such a deep run, John Calipari credited a minor “tweak” he made in the team’s approach. That apparently involved freshman guard Andrew Harrison. Calipari elaborated on Monday.

“I was trying to make the game easier for Andrew,” Calipari told CBS This Morning, via The Dagger’s Jeff Eisenberg. “I got tapes of Deron Williams, who averaged nine assists throughout his career in the NBA. We had a game where he had 11 assists and I showed Andrew and I said, ‘Look at this. Let’s watch. Would you have passed or shot?’ He said, ‘I would have shot.’ ‘Would you have passed or shot?’ Well, Deron was throwing balls to everybody.”

The only regret Calipari had was not making the change sooner.

“And so I said, ‘Monday, you will not shoot one basketball. You will pass,” he explained. “We’re going to run less plays. You will create shots. We will chart. We’re not telling our team.’ He comes in and has 26 assist attempts. Twenty-six assists that Monday. I’m mad the whole practice because it’s changed my team. Why didn’t I do it earlier? And then I apologized to him, I apologized to the team and I said, ‘I messed this up, make me look good now.’”

It obviously worked. Kentucky probably wasn’t going to beat UConn in the National Championship game regardless given the way Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright were playing. Guard play almost always carries a team in the postseason. By realizing that, Calipari was able to defy the odds.

Rex Chapman clarifies John Calipari to Lakers comment

John CalipariFormer Kentucky star Rex Chapman set the internet on fire Monday night when he tweeted prior to the national championship game that John Calipari will be leaving the Wildcats after the season to coach the Los Angeles Lakers. Calipari is linked to NBA coaching rumors every year, but this is by far the most high-profile job he has been associated with.

Chapman went on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Tuesday to elaborate on his tweet. He did a lot of chuckling.

“I treat Twitter like I’m talking to my friends,” Chapman said. “I’m not a journalist and never pretend to be. I interact with people. I’m not going to refrain from giving information I hear just because it might upset some people.”

Chapman said he did not say Calipari to the Lakers was a “done deal” but instead that he was told it’s a done deal. If there’s a difference between those two things, I don’t understand it. He also went on to say that he heard from one source that Calipari is leaving Kentucky for LA win or lose and from another that the Lakers reached out and “of course Calipari has to listen.”

When Patrick asked Chapman if he believes Calipari is going to leave the Wildcats, he seemed to start backpedaling a bit.

“I believe that John is very savvy when it comes to these things,” Chapman said. “I would hope he’s not going to leave. He deals with this every year. Whether it’s to (get his next deal at Kentucky), I don’t know. There obviously is something to it. Come on.”

The interview had backpedal city written all over it. In one breath Chapman was saying he thinks Calipari will ultimately remain at Kentucky. But after Patrick reminded him several times that his tweet said “done deal,” Chapman confirmed that he heard from two “reliable sources” that Calipari to the Lakers is a done deal. Does that make any sense?

If Chapman’s sources are so reliable, why does he still think Calipari is going to stay at Kentucky? Something doesn’t add up, and my gut tells me that something is Chapman feeling stupid because he sent a tweet he shouldn’t have. The full interview is below:

John Calipari’s daughter Megan sends sweet tweet about dad after loss

Megan Calipari

John Calipari may be feeling down about his team losing in the championship game to UConn, but at least he has his family to pick him up.

Shortly after Kentucky lost 60-54 to UConn, Cal’s daughter Megan sent these nice tweets:

We figure she meant “couldn’t” be more proud of the team, because she followed up with this:

How sweet was that? That would easily make any father feel instantly better.

Things took a humorous turn when John’s other daughter, Erin, responded to her sister with this tweet:

Erin always has had a sharp edge. She also sent this to Rex Chapman after the former Kentucky player started a frenzy by tweeting that Calipari was headed to the Lakers:

As soon as those rumors pop up, Erin and Megan are the ones who hear it from the fans the most. We don’t envy being in their position. At least they’re both supportive of their father no matter what happens.