Even with John Calipari thousands of miles away, his name still managed its way into the headlines on Thursday.
ESPN reported that the Kentucky coach reached out through intermediaries to express interest in the Knicks presidency, which recently became open after Phil Jackson and the Knicks agreed to part ways.
Calipari woke up at 5 a.m. in Egypt and tweeted out that the report was false and that no one had reached out.
On Friday morning, he called into ESPN’s Mike & Mike to further put down the idea that he would leave Kentucky to run the Knicks.
“Well my phone blew up at 4:45 here and I had to tweet out, which is great about social media is that you can cut stuff when it’s not true. But there’s no one on my behalf who inquired about the Knicks,” Calipari said. “I called my wife and I said, ‘Is it you?’ No. And I called my son and he hasn’t called me back so maybe my son had. It’s funny I’m in Egypt and I get thrown into stuff when I’m not even in the country.”
This isn’t the first time Calipari has been linked to an NBA job, as he’s been a rumored candidate in the past and was the head coach of the New Jersey Nets from 1996-99.
Calipari did add that he has a relationship with NBA owners and general managers. But he says that’s mostly to try and help his kids get drafted.
“I don’t think every year but there have been times when it happens. Because of what happens every year when I’m in that green room trying to help my kids drafted. I like to have relationships with those owners and GMs and presidents so on draft night I can pick up the phone on draft night and say, ‘Hey what are you thinking about my guy?'”
Calipari ended the interview by calling Kentucky the best job in the country. Despite having to replace three lottery picks, as well as a handful of other contributors, the Wildcats bring in the No. 1 recruiting class in the country and figure to once again be a national championship contender.
“In my mind I’ve got the best job in the country,” Calipari said. “I just can’t see anything out there that I would want to leave for.”