- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Calipari not going to ‘dignify’ Lakers rumors

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Kentucky coach John Calipari refused to “dignify that stuff” when he was asked after Monday night’s championship game about his rumored interest in coaching the Los Angeles Lakers.

The rumors were floated by former Kentucky star Rex Chapman on Twitter shortly before the Wildcat’s 60-54 loss to Connecticut at AT&T; Stadium. He called Calipari’s departure a “done deal.”

“The Lakers have a basketball coach,” Calipari said, referring to coach Mike D’Antoni, whose team is fighting to stay out of last place in the Western Conference.

“Kentucky has a basketball coach,” Calipari added. “I have the best job in the country.”

The Lakers have also denied having any conversations with Calipari, who spent two forgettable years coaching the New Jersey Nets before he was fired 20 games into his third season.

He also served as an assistant under Larry Brown with the Philadelphia 76ers.

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NCAA finalists illustrate many ways to make a run

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Kentucky reached the brink of an NCAA title with five freshman starters, including the cool right hand of Aaron Harrison and his decisive 3-pointers in three straight games.

Connecticut got to Monday night’s championship game behind a pair of starters with Final Four experience, and a strong dose of defense.

Wisconsin and Florida rode rosters heavy on upperclassmen to the final weekend, and the Badgers were in position to beat the young Wildcats thanks to their 3-point shooting after 7-foot stalwart Frank Kaminsky was shut down.

Bottom line: There are plenty of ways to make a run in the NCAA tournament. And there will be another batch of potential “one and dones” in the nation’s elite programs no matter how many in the current crop jump to the NBA.

“There’s a lot of different ways to play this game and there’s a lot of different ways to teach it and coach it and play it,” said Kentucky’s John Calipari, the one-and-done king who says the term is too negative and redubbed it “succeed and proceed” during Final Four weekend. “My whole thing is I’m coaching the hand that’s dealt.”

Calipari’s hand has a lot of aces, and he’s facing the annual question of how many will still be there after the NBA draft. Julius Randle, playing for the title in the Dallas area he calls home, seems the most likely to make the jump.

Story Continues →