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Calipari says he's 'happy' at UK amid NBA rumors

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By midday Tuesday, Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari was rumored to be one of the top candidates to fill the Chicago Bulls' vacant coaching job. By the end of the day, UK was doing its best to keep Calipari at the school "until he retires."

Let's start with where this all started. At the beginning of the day, former Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro was fired by the Bulls, paving the way for rumors of the top candidates to fill the position. Multiple outlets reported that Calipari's name was on the list.

The rumors appeared to be squashed Tuesday afternoon when Calipari told ESPN's Andy Katz that he had no interest in the position, but the rumors picked up steam in the evening when Adrian Wojnarowski  of Yahoo! Sports reported that Calipari is "intrigured" by the Bulls' position and would be willing to listen to a "pitch from management."

Chicago is thought to be one of the most desirable jobs this offseason because the Bulls' nucleus of young talent - including Derrick Rose, who played under Calipari at Memphis - and ability to make a run at some of the offseason's premier free agents, including Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Calipari friend LeBron James.

So does Calipari have one foot outside the door after just one successful, albeit wild season in Lexington?

"Throughout my career I've been mentioned for other jobs," Calipari said in his tweet. "Now that I'm here (you) won't hear about other colleges because I've got the best job. Every year you will hear my name mentioned for NBA jobs because I coached in the league before. I'm very happy at Kentucky."

Calipari doesn't come out and say that he's not interested in the job and has long been considered a prime candidate to eventually return to the NBA after one up-and-down stint with the New Jersey Nets in the late 1990s.

However, the move back to the NBA appears highly unlikely in the near future given the vote of confidence UK Athletics Mitch Barnhart released Tuesday night. In the statement, Barnhart said UK is in discussions on a possible contract extension that could keep Calipari at Kentucky for the remainder of his career.

"I'm extremely proud of what Coach Calipari has done in just one year as the leader of our men's basketball program," Barnhart said in the statement. "Cal has brought Kentucky men's basketball back to its rightful place of national prominence and I'm excited about our future. We have begun initial discussions on restructuring his contract so that he's the coach at Kentucky until he retires."

As a blogger, I'm expected to give some type of an opinion. As an employee of the athletics department, I can't always provide every single bit of information. Having said that, what do I think?

I think you're going to hear these rumors every year. Success, coaching vacancies and rumors all go hand-in-hand. The more Calipari wins, the more you're going to hear about his candidacy for other jobs. It's only natural. In a way, Kentucky fans should feel comfortable because the more Calipari is rumored for other jobs, the higher likelihood the UK program is doing well and winning.

But what about the chance that Calipari leaves? This has absolutely no factual evidence attached to it, but if I'm a betting man - which I'm not - I believe we're going through this same process again next year.

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