John Calipari an Option for the Knicks?
Money matters to (John) Calipari – matters a lot – and rest assured that Calipari will get Kentucky to push past his $5 million a season salary. How far does UK go, though? Six million? Seven? Kentucky doesn’t lose bidding wars, but it would lose this one.
And for the monolith of a program that he’s constructed in Lexington – an assembly line of recruiting and player development – Calipari understands that the nature of big-time recruiting leaves him vulnerable to investigation and scandal. No one has ever popped Calipari on the big one, but you never know. For $40 million over five years with New York, Calipari will sleep better in the NBA, and he knows it.
The circumstances are aligned for Calipari to make a move: the validation of an NCAA title, a suspect relationship with his athletic director and his ability to leverage a monumental contract out of the Knicks. Calipari is a great salesman, and he’ll sell owner James Dolan on his ability to get the most out of Carmelo Anthony, to keep the Garden sold out and get the Knicks winning in the postseason again. Dolan can’t sell results as an owner, so he’s always selling a new savior. Now, Calipari is no longer the failed ex-Nets coach, but the national champion Kentucky Wildcats coach.