"I am not negotiating with anybody," Calipari said via social media. "My total focus is on this team and winning the next game."
Check out his full comments:
You may have heard me say this before: I absolutely have the best coaching job in sports and I plan on being at Kentucky for a long time.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) January 11, 2016
I am not negotiating with ANYBODY. My total focus is on this team and winning the next game.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) January 11, 2016
Calipari is responding to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
According to Wojnaroski, Calipari is asking for a massive 10-year, $120 million contract to coach the Brooklyn Nets or Sacramento Kings.
To this point, Calipari has not silenced the rumors but might have an opportunity to speak on the subject during today’s SEC conference call. Calipari is scheduled to speak on the call at 10:35 a.m.
Here’s an excerpt:
Yormark is pushing Prokhorov to reach back to the Nets’ Jersey roots, dust off a failed ’90s experiment and sell it as something sparkling and new. Twenty years ago, the Nets stunned everyone with a five-year, $15 million contract for the UMass coach. For Calipari to consider the Nets – and, yes, the Sacramento Kings, too – league sources tell Yahoo Sports that the teams have been informed of his asking price: 10 years, $120 million.
When Calipari spoke with minority ownership in Sacramento last spring, he told them that it would take an offer of $11 million-plus a year to get his attention, league sources said. Calipari turned down a 10-year, $80 million-plus offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, because he wouldn’t leave Kentucky with only an incremental raise on what is now an $8 million to $9 million annual package on campus.
Cleveland’s offer has become a baseline for Calipari’s contractual demands: He wants the 10 years and now the $12 million a year that Phil Jackson makes to run the Knicks.
Calipari’s sell will be this: As his old Kentucky stars – DeMarcus Cousins (2018), John Wall (2019) – become free agents, he’ll have the Nets positioned to sign them. His former players have largely kept excellent relationships with him, but there are those close to them who say that most of his ex-stars remain reluctant to committing to 82 games a year of Cal’s abrasive style. It wore out players fast in the 1990s in New Jersey, and Calipari would need to bring a different disposition to the NBA and prove that he’s willing to treat NBA players like men, not teenagers.