John Calipari says he's not looking to leave Kentucky


John Calipari is seeking $12 million a year to be both the president and coach of a team, Yahoo! Sports reports.Harry How/Getty Images

John Calipari is seeking $12 million a year to be both the president and coach of a team, Yahoo! Sports reports.

Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov says he already has a “big list of potential candidates” to lead his 10-27 basketball team, and didn’t swat away reports linking the Nets to Kentucky coach John Calipari.

“Coach Cal is a great coach, but we won’t be discussing today any name, because it’s the first day of our like-new approach,” Prokhorov said Monday. “We are not in any hurry, and we put a lot of names on the list. As soon as we are ready, as soon as deal is fixed, you will be the first to know.”

Calipari, meanwhile, insisted on Monday that he’s not looking to leave Kentucky for the NBA or anywhere else.

ISOLA: CALIPARI COULD HIT POWERBALL WITH NETS

“I am not negotiating with ANYBODY,” Calipari wrote on Twitter. “My total focus is on this team and winning the next game.”

The Nets cleaned house over the weekend, firing head coach Lionel Hollins and reassigning GM Billy King.

“I take full responsibility for the state of the team, and I think Billy King did his best,” Prokhorov said Monday at Barclays Center.

“We did our best to reach a championship, and I think with some luck our results might have been more promising,” the Russian billionaire said in a question-and-answer session that went on for about 20 minutes. “I’ll do my best to make it a championship team.”

Prokhorov, who recently consolidated his ownership of the team and the Barclays Center, said he preferred to keep the two jobs separate rather than combine them into one position. Yahoo! Sports reported that Calipari is seeking a 10-year deal, $120 million to be team president and coach of any NBA team. Calipari, 56, made $6.3 million as Kentucky’s coach last season.

Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is once again looking for a new head coach following a weekend purge of Lionel Hollins and GM Billy King.Jason DeCrow/AP

Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is once again looking for a new head coach following a weekend purge of Lionel Hollins and GM Billy King.

The Nets’ abysmal record has led to record low attendance, and a string of injuries hasn’t helped either. The future is cloudy at best after King traded away future draft picks to the Boston Celtics.

While Prokhorov lauded the state-of-the-art Barclays Center and a nearby training facility that will open later this year, he acknowledged that New York was a “different animal” that put extra pressure on coaches.

“We need bigger leadership, for me that is the most important lesson,” said Prokhorov. “I mean the GM and the coach, and of course the players.”

Prokhorov became an NBA owner in 2010, when his firm, Onexim Sports and Entertainment, bought 80 percent of the team and 45 percent of the Barclays Center. Last month Onexim bought out the remaining shares from Forest City Enterprises.

“From time to time, people came to us and gave us bids, I think it’s not bad to receive bids from the market. I’m just a businessman. If anybody else has a desire to tell me bid, he is welcome.”



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