Kentucky coach John Calipari expressed interest in the New York Knicks’ vacant presidency, ESPN’s Ian Begley reports.
Calipari reportedly reached out to the team “through intermediaries” and would “presumably” want to coach the team as well, according to Begley. He denied the report on Twitter.
The Knicks parted ways with Phil Jackson on Wednesday, leaving the top front office job open. General manager Steve Mills has been handling basketball operations.
"There is no one on my behalf who called the Knicks," Calipari said on ESPN's Mike & Mike radio show on Friday. "There might be a college coach who inquired, but it wasn't me. I called my wife and asked, "Was it you?"
"In my mind, I've got the best job in the country," Calipari added. "I just can't see that there's anything out there that I'd want to leave for."
Calipari, 58, last worked in the NBA as an assistant with the 76ers in 2000. He coached the Nets from 1996–1999 and went 72–112, making the playoffs once. In recent years he has frequently been tied to vacant coaching jobs around the league.
Kentucky has produced a wealth of high-level NBA talent during Calipari’s tenure, and his connections to those players and others in free agency would likely be a large part of his appeal.
The Knicks went 31–51 last season, with Jackson’s departure at least temporarily quelling a frustrating off-season of storylines including Kristaps Porzingis’s displeasure with management and Carmelo Anthony’s ongoing trade saga.