Don’t count out John Calipari to the New York Knicks

New York Knicks, John Calipari

The New York Knicks will be attached to a lot of big-name coaches this offseason. The names that appear most frequently in the rumor mill include Tom Thibodeau, Mark Jackson, and Jeff Van Gundy. One name to keep an eye on is Kentucky coach John Calipari.

Calipari’s name has floated around the Knicks’ coaching job before. Although he has previously denied a desire to leave Kentucky for the Knicks, things could get interesting this summer once the offseason is in full swing.

There are plenty of ties to the Knicks’ front office.

The most notable connection to Calipari the Knicks have is with their new president, Leon Rose. Upon Rose being hired by the Knicks, Calipari said:

 “Let me tell you about him: I’ve known him (Rose) for 25 years, dear friend. In a rough-and-tumble business — really, that business he was in was a sport, too, like body-to-body contact, it is — and I’ve never heard in 25 years anybody say a bad word about Leon Rose. Not one. In a rough-and-tumble sport that he’s in. He’s a gatherer. He’s a culture-builder.”

Calipari’s words are telling of the trust he has with Rose. It extends beyond Leon Rose too. One of Rose’s close partners William “Worldwide” Wesley, has helped recruit talent to Kentucky in the past. While Wesley isn’t an official Knicks staff member, he will still be intimately involved with the team.

Calipari has had tremendous success at Kentucky and has turned it into a factory for NBA talent. The league is filled with his former players.

The New York Knicks aren’t just in the midst of a probable coaching change, they’re in the process of a complete franchise overhaul. It trickles down from president to general manager, to player development and scouting, to coaching and philosophy.

Many would question why Calipari would leave his cushy job at Kentucky. Calipari may want one more shot at the NBA. One thing is for certain, he would bring a big culture change to the Knicks’ franchise. His connections with NBA talent and close relationship to the Knicks’ new front office will certainly make him a name to watch in the near future.