John Calipari shoots down report saying he contacted the Knicks about replacing Phil Jackson

John CalipariJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesJohn Calipari said he is going to be at Kentucky for a long time.

John Calipari has denied an ESPN report that he reached out to the New York Knicks through intermediaries to express his interest in the role of president of operations.

The Kentucky coach had been in Egypt coaching Team USA in the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup, and took to Twitter to deny the rumours.

He went on to express frustrations that he had to handle these types of stories while halfway across the world, and then logged off to go see the pyramids with his team.

On Friday morning, Calipari would reiterate his denial, telling ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” that he had no knowledge of a call of inquiry to the Knicks. “There is no one on my behalf who called the Knicks,” Calipari said. “There might be a college coach who inquired, but it wasn’t me. I called my wife and asked, “Was it you?”

Calipari has been the coach at Kentucky since 2009, and has led the Wildcats to four Final Four appearances and a national title in 2012. In March, the university reportedly extended Calipari’s contract another two years through the 2023-24 season, with Coach Cal set to make $US8 million a year.

The Knicks, who fired Phil Jackson as team president on Wednesday, were reported not to be interested in Calipari for the position either, and will continue their search for a new leader elsewhere. Pistons Hall of Famer and current president of the Knicks WNBA sister team the New York Liberty Isiah Thomas has been another name rumoured as a potential candidate for the role, but he has also expressed a clear disinterest in the job.

While being president of the Knicks is clearly a desirable position on paper, the role currently comes with a lot of baggage. Jackson, billed as a potential saviour that could turn the franchise around, turned into a pariah of New York sports fans. His first year with the team produced the worst regular season record in franchise history, and Jackson failed to reach the playoffs during his tenure with the team. Whoever ends up taking the gig will be leading a massive rebuild.

The search is still ongoing, but for now we can be fairly certain that John Calipari is not a part of the Knicks future.

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