Calipari: 'I will be coaching at Kentucky next year'

Speculation abounds after LeBron's early exit

May 15, 2010 

John Calipari wants Kentucky fans to settle down and enjoy the summer. The UK men's basketball coach repeated Friday that he's not going anywhere.

His athletic director, Mitch Barnhart, says Calipari is not leaving UK. But the speculation continues that Calipari will leave Kentucky after one season and jump to the NBA.

Calipari sent a message on Twitter on Friday morning that said, "I want to address this with the Big Blue Nation one last time, I will be coaching at Kentucky next year. Now let's finish what we started!"

He added that, "I've said many times that I've got the best job in the country. Still the speculation runs wild and I can't stop that."

The speculation centers around Calipari's friendship with LeBron James and gained additional heat Thursday night when James' Cleveland Cavaliers were eliminated from the NBA playoffs.

James becomes a free agent this summer and can now focus all his energies on determining for which team he will plot his future.

The coach's name has been linked to both James and to the Chicago Bulls, who are led by former Calipari player Derrick Rose.

On his Facebook page last week, Calipari addressed a report that said he had shown interest in the Chicago job.

"Every year you will hear my name mentioned for NBA jobs because I coached in the league before," Calipari posted. "I'm very happy at Kentucky."

That statement coincided with an announcement from Barnhart saying UK was working on a contract extension for the coach. Barnhart reiterated Thursday that he thinks Calipari wants to be here.

"I'm very confident he's going to be our head coach next year," Barnhart said after a UK Athletics Association Board of Directors meeting. "... and I feel very confident good times are ahead."

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