player Rex Chapman
tweeted that John Calipari was a "done deal" to coach the Lakers. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, Texas -- To believe a former program star's tweet shortly before tipoff Monday, John Calipari was coaching his final game on the Kentucky sideline before bolting to the Los Angeles Lakers.
To believe Calipari, he won't need change of address forms anytime soon.
"The Lakers have a coach," Calipari said after a 60-54 loss to Connecticut in the national title game. "Kentucky has a basketball coach. I got the best job in the country. I'm not going to even dignify that stuff."
It was former Wildcats star Rex Chapman who stirred the pot not long before the proceedings began at AT&T Stadium. "Was messin' 'round on Sat nite re: Cal," Chapman wrote. "But word is - win or lose 2nite - it's a #DoneDeal ...Cal 2 La-La-Land 2 coach Mamba's Lakers. #NoBS"
The Lakers reportedly denied any contact with Calipari. Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart sounded unconcerned after the game.
"Cal's been great, he's been a great ambassador for this program and he cares a lot about Kentucky," Barnhart said in the locker room Monday night. "So clearly we love how he represents what we do. He looks great in blue. You live day to day with people and you trust what they do. For five years now, I think I know him fairly well. If there was anything I need to be concerned with, he and I have had conversations, and in those conversations he's been very, very focused on this tournament. His total focus this season, especially this last month and a half, has been to get the team to a spot where we could compete for something like this. I think he's done a marvelous job doing that."