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Calipari won't 'dignify' Lakers rumors

Calipari Talks Title Game Loss

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Kentucky coach John Calipari refused to "dignify that stuff" when he was asked after Monday night's championship game about his rumored interest in coaching the Los Angeles Lakers.

The rumors were floated by former Kentucky star Rex Chapman on Twitter shortly before the Wildcat's 60-54 loss to Connecticut at AT&T Stadium. He called Calipari's departure a "done deal."

"The Lakers have a basketball coach," Calipari said, referring to coach Mike D'Antoni, whose team is fighting to stay out of last place in the Western Conference.

"Kentucky has a basketball coach," Calipari added. "I have the best job in the country."

The Lakers have also denied having any conversations with Calipari, who spent two forgettable years coaching the New Jersey Nets before he was fired 20 games into his third season.

He also served as an assistant under Larry Brown with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart told a small group of reporters Monday night that he had heard about the tweet from Chapman, who played for the Wildcats from 1986-88 and later in the NBA. But Barnhart said that he had "no real reaction."

"I've been in this thing long enough, not a lot sort of fazes me in terms of that sort of stuff," Barnhart said. "You go day-to-day with people and you trust what they do. I've been with Cal five years now. I think I know him fairly well, and if there's anything I need to be concerned about, we'd have those conversations. And we haven't had those conversations."

Barnhart said that Calipari has been focused solely on the NCAA tournament.

Kentucky guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison, two of several Wildcats who will soon decide on their own futures in the NBA, said they had not heard about the Lakers rumors.

"We don't let that affect us," Andrew Harrison said. "People are always going to have rumors about this team and people are always saying stuff, but it doesn't really affect us."

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trhtrue April 08 2014 at 1:37 AM

cal. have ur next team at the free line each day , like larry bird did 100 free one till they made a 100 0f them, they worked so hard 2 win the game, n they gave it away with no one in front of just open basket, the big blue national needs u 2 make all of them, if u look at the games u lost this yr only 2 games n the big one would b UK, come on men u not boys any more. uk fan 4 70 yrs this one readly makes me want 2 come up say why did u not under stand what this game is all about. its taking the net home with u.

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David April 08 2014 at 9:09 AM

Funny at how fans don't say the same about Rick Pitino. He left UK after plainly stating that he wasn't going anywhere...that $50mil. didn't mean anything to him. Next week....GONE. He left UK in quite a quandrie. UK fans are some of the most dedicated fans in the Country. And we will not tolerate cheating, academic shortcomings, nor player misbehavior. Nothing makes me happier than when UK beats U of L and Rick. He deserted us. Plus he was another fan of the one and done. Everyone wants to take shortcuts to everything. Everyone these days is driven by that almighty dollar. You can't force kids to stay in school. I'm not a fan of the NBA and I ,personally, would love to see rules in place to stop the one and done. Get your education first, then go play pro ball if you want.

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3 replies
indflask April 08 2014 at 9:32 AM

I'm not a UK fan, but not a hater either. What is all of this talk about coach Cal cheating? In what way? How could he possibly cheat? There is an army of people in that athletic department to ensure compliance.

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2 replies
jwemrw indflask April 08 2014 at 10:06 AM

Say what? Which planet do you live on? "coach Cal" as you call him, has left every previous college coaching job in a probationary status for cheating. UK does it better than most; and, "coach Cal" just ain't been caught at KY yet. The operative word is "yet". How many of "coach Cal's" student athletes have earned a degree at UK since "coach Cal" got off the turnip truck in Lexington?

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Duffer indflask April 08 2014 at 2:11 PM

Coach Cal has an overall Graduation rate of 31% by his players. Marcus Camby was paid 10k to play there under 'Coach Cal's' Reign. Derrick Rose's SAT scores were fraudulent at Memphis under Coach Cal's reign.
I used to love UK basketball , now...no way. UK fans forget how Pitino brought the program back from ashes. I understand the loyalty to your team but the total denial that Coach Cal has never done anything wrong is just turning a blind eye. If the rumors are true about him going to Lakers UK fans be ready for NCAA Sanctions next year. This is what he has done at UMass and Memphis, left when the heat was coming. Jon Chaney had it right when he attacked him in the A-10 Press Conference for being a cheat. This guy is this Era's Larry Brown. Very Sad for UK.

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1 reply
Duffer Duffer April 08 2014 at 2:12 PM

I should state Camby was at UMass with 'Coach Cal'.

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forgator April 08 2014 at 9:15 AM

He will get out of Lexington before the NCAA gets him.

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Jennie April 08 2014 at 8:16 AM

Quote " I have the best job in the country" same thing he said when he was at Memphis after they lost to Kansas in 2008 National Championship. Memphis was his home he said. Then the Derrick Rose scandal tore the city of Memphis apart. He got out of the kitchen before the heat! Every time Cal loses it is justice for city of Memphis.

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thinksolutions April 08 2014 at 2:48 PM

Why would you want to coach millionaires who dont give a crap - when you cna be a millionaire and coach want a be millionaires - I mean really it a no brainer

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halmark April 08 2014 at 10:37 AM

Hey, Skretta...you're supposed to be a professional. Take a look at the word "Wildcats" in your second paragraph. Ever hear of how to present a plural possessive? It should have been Wildcats'. One other thing: in your first paragraph, you said, "...when he was asked..." A professional caliber writer would have written it, "...when asked..."

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gbrussell3845 April 08 2014 at 11:23 AM

We[BBN] need to keep our talented players in school,getting a top-notch education and using their God-given talents to work on the sports arenas. I have watched several excellent players warm the benches of UK games. Wasted talents. If players want to go NBA, let them follow KOBIE & LEBRON, do not put anxiety in the hearts of LOYAKL fans by going one & done. Thank you for listening to a loyal UK fan since 1954. God bless the BBN.

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mbillings2 April 08 2014 at 12:13 PM

Concerning "one and done", if you go to college to learn and prepare for a career then leaving after a year for a multimillion dollar NBA contract makes great sense. If you consider college to be an opportunity to gain a well balanced education then leaving after one year doesn't make sense. However in making up your mind, consider all of the well rounded Liberal Arts majors who are now living back home with there parents after getting their degrees.

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mivogo April 08 2014 at 12:32 PM

The only problem will be that Calipari won't be able to grab the top five picks in the draft for the Lakers. It doesn't work that way in the pros, John--and neither will you.

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1 reply
davedoe12 mivogo April 08 2014 at 2:11 PM

Even if the Lakers get the top 5 picks in the draft, they are going NOWHERE for several years. While I like Kobe, he should retire!

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