Some rumors are so dumb that you can’t begin to understand how they even got started. Rumors like “The Jets are trying to sign Peyton Manning” or “The Jets are trying to sign Tim Tebow” or “The Knicks are trying to sign John Calipari.” All absurd, of course, except that one of those three proved to be true.
Which means, unfortunately, that we can’t discount the Calipari rumors even though the coach of the national champion Kentucky Wildcats just finished the first year of an 8-year deal worth $36.5 million. (He could pocket $5.65 million more by reaching “incentives” over the next three years.)
Is there anything else in that contract? Let’s see…
Starting this summer, he will be eligible for an extra $1 million a
year in the form of a “retention” bonus – no, I don’t know what that
means either, that’s a new one to me. I assume it means that if they
don’t fire him, he’s gets an extra mil – for six of the remaining seven
years on his contract.
“I’ve always said,” he told the press when responding to the Knicks
rumors, “I have more money than I can spend, than my children can spend.
It’s not about that.”
I’m not questioning Calapari’s integrity on the money issue, but lots
of coaches have said things like that and then taken the money anyway.
In many cases, I believe, not because they wanted the money so much as
the prestige and even challenge of a job that pays that much.
I don’t know about the prestige, but God knows there would be one
hell of a challenge to coaching the Knicks, so I would not be shocked to
see the Knicks offer something that tops all that Kentucky bluegrass
green. But if Calipari wants to hedge his bets, I’d suggest he wait and
see which NBA team ends up drafting all those Kentucky freshmen he
recruited and coached.