Kentucky’s John Calipari Says He Would Take An NBA Job If It Meant He Could Coach LeBron James

John Calipari has been firm in his stance on leaving Kentucky for the NBA: It’s not happening this season.

In the future, though? That’s a possibility, as long as the NBA team he would be coaching is the team that LeBron James plays for. Calipari spoke of his NBA prospects in an interview Wednesday morning. 

In the interview, Calipari said it would be crazy for him to pass on the opportunity to coach the world’s greatest player.

“Are you kidding me?” the University of Kentucky coach said “Have a chance to coach the best player in the world? Yes, I would love to coach him. But what’s happened is our careers are criss-crossing without crossing.

“I’m not in a position where I would leave Kentucky right now. I’m not sure whether this is his last contract, or his next-to-last contract. But I would tell you if I had a chance to, I would absolutely.”

Calipari and James have never discussed the possibility, though

“You’d have a chance to say, ‘I coached here, I coached here and I coached Derrick Rose and I coached LeBron James,” said Calipari, who has been linked to other NBA openings. “Are you kidding me? To know he’s all about championship. He’s all about family. He will defer. He will give up money. He’ll do whatever he has to.

“Yes, I would love to coach him. But early in his career I said maybe that would happen happen some day, but as we both get older it doesn’t appear that it will happen. But he and I have never discussed it.”



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Andrew Holleran is an editor at College Spun.