John Calapari is interested in the Bulls job

Per Adrian Wojnarowski:

Kentucky coach John Calipari is intrigued with the Chicago Bulls' coaching job and would be willing to listen to a pitch from management, NBA and NCAA sources told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday.

Sources say the combination of roster talent, tradition and market make Chicago one of the few NBA jobs that could pry Calipari out of Kentucky. The Bulls have been hesitant to pay the $4 million-$5 million annual packages it would take to lure high-profile coaches like Calipari.

Bulls general manager Gar Forman fired coach Vinny Del Negro on Monday night.

Calipari could be an intriguing candidate on several levels for the Bulls. He coached Bulls star point guard, Derrick Rose, at the University of Memphis, and his strong ties with the powerful agency, CAA, could give the organization leverage in free agency this summer.

Calipari is close with Cleveland's LeBron James, and shares representation with two of the Bulls' top free-agent targets - Miami's Dwyane Wade and Toronto's Chris Bosh.

Sources say Calipari "hasn't connected" with Kentucky's athletic administration in his first year on the job, and that could contribute to his willingness to rekindle a long-standing goal of realizing NBA success.

First, let me say this, I have no faith that Calapari would be a good coach in the NBA. 

Now let me add this, there have been rumors floating around that if Calapari were to coach an NBA team that this team would have a very good chance of landing LeBron James. 

I didn't think much of the dribble drive motion offense in college when scouting Derrick Rose, nor do I think it used Rose's strengths particularly well.   However, if Calapari's agency connections are able to lure a stud free agent to Chicago, then I'm more than willing to live with him for the next few years.

Most of coaching in the NBA is having great talent, and if we Calapari gets us that talent then I'll be happy to sign him up.   If he's not coming as a package deal with one of the big three then I'll pass.

I'd imagine Bulls management feels the same way.  Too bad they won't know if he'll influence the free agents or not until after they've hired him.


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  • This rumor is kinda old now. He shot it down. Now Kentucky is going to redo his contract.

  • No thank you. This guy shouldnt even be allowed to coach in the NCAA. He cheats to win and when he gets caught he doesnt get punished but the team does and he justs goes elsewhere. The guy is scum.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    I don't mean to be cynical but I think 85-90% of college coaches cheat in some way and the one's who get caught, while they get off too easily punishment wise, they get to much shame lumped upon them when, at least to me, it seems everyone is doing it

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Why aren't we talking more about Byron Scott? I mean his already shown interest in this team, and that man is coming in with a nice rep already... Didn't everyone whinge that VDN didn't have enough experience??

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Coach Cal? I don't think so. The guy is a scum bag. Guys like him (along with USC Trojans football coach Lane Kiffin) are always interviewing for the next job which should make any fan base cautious and sick. Be careful what you wish for. I can't say that he can't coach, because he knows talent, is well connected and gets production out of them on the court. But his resume has a clear dark side to it, too. He's left a residue of slime in his wake.

    After the conflicting rumors started about his interest UK began negotiations to restructure his contract to keep him there until he retires! WTF?! He just signed an 8-yr contract a year ago! He's 51 yrs old, the highest paid coach in college basketball, hasn't won anything for you or anyone else (not that they'd get to keep it if he did), recruited a stellar class and then pushed them out the door to the NBA and all of a sudden you want to lock him up for life? I guess that first contract wasn't enough, huh? He's a slimeball that's mastered the Art of Leverage and Intimidation. He can visit Derrick and the rest of the team but I don't want him coaching them.

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    It's not the coaching ability they sign for life, but the recruiting part. If you're not sure why someone is on a job, just follow the money. He gets paid alot, b/c he has connections all over the place with the big guys and so he gets the big players to play for him.

    I agree with a lot of others if he brings a big free agent with him I'd take him in a second. If not... go another direction. And I can imagine that allthough it isn't July 1. the big three know where they go before that. They just can't say it. Remember last year? Rumors floating before July 1. that the Pistons offered BG a contract? He got almost exactly the rumored contract.

    Rumors are floating that Bosh already talked to Heat bosses and it is pretty sure he goes to Miami. Let's see what happens...

  • In reply to rodman:

    Isn't that tampering?

  • In reply to boogernights:

    As long as nobody is so stupid to put anything on paper, what evidence is there gonna be. Kevin McHale and Joe Smith putting it on paper was the stupidest thing ever. But it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

  • In reply to boogernights:

    If the guy is so connected and can land us some top free agents why not fire our front office and put Calipari in as GM? Like what was said he was given the big $ by Kentucky because he brings in the big name prospects into the college program he's not that great of a coach. I don't exactly have a lot of confidence in Paxson & Forman in our front office and Reinbarf as President but I think our management needs a colen cleanse! ;-)

  • In reply to boogernights:

    Calipari was just leveraging this job to gain a lifetime contract from UK. Which he's about to get. Don't get all hot and bothered.

  • In reply to boogernights:

    1. Why is Coach Cal a slimebag? We don't know anything about his personal life and just because he recruited high profile kids for his school programs and they ran into trouble...should we assume he is a bad person. This is an entirely different topic but when you get relatively poor super talented kids such as OJ Mayo, Rose, Reggie Bush into college athletics, they will be attracted to material things from agents and others. That will not make a difference for coaching in the NBA. We don't need saints but we need people who will connect and coach well. I don't think Cal can coach so well in the NBA anyhow. His Kentucky was almost a pro team and got beat by WVU.
    2. BTW, I agree if LeBron comes to the Bulls for Cal,,,then we should hire him. Maybe the Bulls should wait until Cleveland is eliminated and check with LeBron. He might be so upset with Mike Brown and Danny Ferry that he might agree to that.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:


  • In reply to boogernights:

    You have to think about it...he is probably trying to get a better contract at Kentucky but he probably is also interested in coaching the Bulls.

    He shares the same representation as Wade and Bosh...PLUS he is good friends with LeBron. Coach Cal actually had LeBron call John Wall and Demarcus Cousins to help recruit those guys to Kentucky. If coach Cal can bring you in a top have to think about it!

  • In reply to boogernights:

    Calipari has been denounced for cheating at two programs. Is the NCAA a corrupt and hypocritical money making machine? Sure. But how many guys have to have two Final Four appearances abolished because they were cheating. And Derrick and the schooll were really left hanging in the wind. You heard no comment from slimy, get out of twon Calimari. If you excuse that, then there's still him blaming the team for the Finals loss to Kansas.

    When asked why he didn't call a timeout(to foul and the three point lead wins it) as all coaches would do, and tell his players to foul setting up how the out of bounds play would transpire, he says, "No, they knew they were supposed to foul." Talk about phony throwing your players under the bus when obviously you screwed up/gagged. I know the Bulls as stupid as they have been with coaching hires, would not hire Calimari(I know it's Calipari).

  • In reply to rodman:

    My guess is that the Bulls don't hire a coach until after July 1st.

    I think that they want to give the free agents a strong voice in the matter and use it as a recruiting tool.

    If Calipari brings any of the top 3 guys in with his connections then by all means hire him. How is this any less slimy than Pat Riley intimating that he might coach again if certain free agents ask.

    The guy has been a massive winner in college, didn't get the job done in the pros, but never had the talent that the Bulls could have after this summer. He certainly cannot be anywhere near as bad a Del Bimbo. At least Calipari has some charisma, even if he does have that east coast hustler air about him.

  • In reply to rodman:

    Another rumor out there is that Bosh is headed to the Lakers for Bynum. Bosh was at the Lakes game last night, too, which helped add fuel to that speculation.

  • In reply to rodman:

    Another thing on the coaching search, I just watched Jeff Van Gundy on Chicago Tribune Live. It seems like a very opportune time for him to appear on that show.

    While they started of course(K.C. Johnson a.k.a company ho) on the statements Van Gundy made while broadcasting a Bulls game that a V.P./G.M.(Pax) should never come into a coaches office off the heat of a game/tough loss and that Bulls management should have backed-up Vinny/affirmed he was the team's coach during the 'fire'storm around his firing rumors in December.

    After putting K.C. in his place, Van Gundy was extremely respectful and complimentary of the Bulls organization. He said Derrick Rose probably could be the No.1 guy on a championship team, and gave Jo his props. He stated his best guy for the Bulls would probably be the big they so desperately need(Bosh).

    I know since Van Gundy is my guy, it's easy to read into things in a flattering way both to him and his interest on coaching the Bulls. That said, I have no doubts from that interview that nobody including Van Gundy or the reporters thought his comments, offered as announcers these days always do during games, held any grudge or disrespect to the Bulls going forward.

    I also have no doubts if the Bulls went to Jeff Van Gundy now along with interviewing maybe one other candidate not to look to desperate/in the bag, that he very likely would have an interest in the job. Even K.C. after being 'corrected' by Jeff, said Van Gundy is an 'amazing' and top tier NBA coach. He then went on to say he thought the Bulls would hire Lawrence Frank.

    I don't know about you, but Van Gundy looks refreshed and just has an amazing energy and presence. Whatever critiques of his offensive conservatism, sullen demeanor, the dude can flat otu coach, and give young players tangible roles to improve upon and grow with.

    This is the guy. Not Mo, players have a good laugh with/their buddy, Not Lawrence wallflower Frank. What we need is an unChicago choice. Not a mediocre 'acceptable' candidate. We need an eliote guy who will push the team, and at the least impressively and entertainignly at least Compete for a championship. And the coach does matter. You take away Tex Winter and Phil and Michael gets maybe three rings max.

  • In reply to rodman:

    I don't think Calipari wants anything to do with the NBA unless he's coaching a roster of outstanding talents. He seems like a guy that is more comfortable staying in college and being a superstar coach

    The only way Cal comes to the league is if he's given a great team from the start. I don't really think that's possible. His stock is not good enough to get that type of job. Or maybe if he gets hit with another string of NCAA violations and just can't get another college gig for a stretch of time.

  • In reply to rodman:

    Rose,Noah,Deng....Draft Pick in a pretty decent draft plus MAX money to spend....Calapari deff. would think about coming here. Thats enough talent for him. Plus, i bet our drafts would be great because he knows his talent.

  • In reply to rodman:

    Calapari's connections alone makes him a interesting candidaite.

  • In reply to rodman:

    well calipari's strengths as a college coach are recruiting big name talent. except for FA this summer, there is no other way he's beneficial. his offense is honestly terrible. i'd rather take a chance on byron scott or sam mitchell.

  • In reply to rodman:

    I think its down to Doc Rivers, Byron Scott or Calapari.

  • What about the quote from Twitter:


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

  • I think it's very unrealistic to expect both that the Bulls would pay the required amount for Calipari and that if they did, Lebron would follow. Like Doug, I think very little of him as a coach.

  • This made me vomit a little bit in my mouth.

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