Is John Calipari heading from the Bluegrass State to Hollywood?
Former Kentucky basketball star Rex Chapman tweeted Monday that Calipari, the Wildcats’ coach, would be the Los Angeles Lakers’ next coach.
The Lakers moved quickly to deny the report, which came shortly before Kentucky took on Connecticut in the national championship game at Arlington, Texas.
The Los Angeles Times quoted Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak saying the “rumor is untrue.”
Calipari is finishing his fifth season at Kentucky, and he led the Wildcats to the 2012 national title. He previously guided Massachusetts and Memphis to the Final Four, though both of those appearances were later erased due to NCAA violations.
Calipari does have NBA experience, as he coached the New Jersey Nets from 1996-97 until he was fired early in the 1998-99 season. He posted a .391 winning percentage with the Nets, a far cry from his .763 mark in college ball, including an .807 success rate at Kentucky.
Mike D’Antoni remains the Lakers’ coach, though the team is concluding one of the worst seasons in franchise history, prompting whispers about his job security.
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