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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Money money money money….mooooonnnneeyyy

Thanks to KSR reader Brian Clark for the topic idea.

2 days ago, if you asked me how I thought the John Calipari era would end at Kentucky, I would have responded very confidently that it would have been him taking an NBA job.  Today, I say it will likely be due to his retirement.  Doesn’t mean there are not jobs that Cal wouldn’t take in the NBA, or that NCAA “issues” won’t happen, but I think the odds are now that Cal will stay here.  And the reason is simple: MONEY.  Simply put, Calipari is now making more money coaching less games than an average NBA coach does.  Admittedly, Cal is coaching nearly year round when you consider recruiting, but it isn’t as if NBA coaches just don’t do anything in the offseason.  They are also out scouting draft prospects, among other things.  So, just how different is the money between Cal and NBA coaches.  Well, when comparing Cal’s pay in 2 years (when his contract beefs up) to what NBA coaches made this year, you get this list:

Phil Jackson (LA Lakers): 12.0 mil
Greg Popovich (San Antonio): 6.0 mil
Mike D’Antoni (New York): 6.0 mil
John Calipari (Kentucky): 5.65 mil
Doc Rivers (Boston): 5.5 mil
Nate McMillan (Portland): 5.0 mil
Rick Carlilse (Dallas): 4.5 mil
George Karl (Denver): 4.5 mil
Flip Saunders (Washington): 4.5 mil
Avery Johnson (New Jersey): 4.0 mil
Stan Van Gundy (Orlando): 4.0 mil
Tom Thibodeau (Chicago): 2.0 mil
Alvin Gentry (Phoenix): 2.0 mil
Paul Westphal (Sacramento): 1.5 mil
Scott Brooks (Oklahoma City): 1.5 mil
Larry Drew (Atlanta): 1.3 mil

3 coaches who’s salaries are easily found made more money this season than Cal will make in the very near future.  That’s all.  And 2 of those coaches won a combined 14 NBA titles.  So it’s not like Calipari could get that much money right out of Kentucky.  And then you look at D’Antoni and the fact the Knicks are considering that to be a huge mistake.  So one of the jobs that Calipari might actually look at probably would not give that kind of money again to a coach with little NBA success. 

Look at Tom Thibodeau.  I think he is the perfect barometer.  He went to a high profile job in Chicago and was only paid 2 million dollars this year.  The salaries of NBA coaches, especially ones without any real success in the league, is going DOWN.  As much as coaches would never admit it, a HUGE part of their decision is money.  If the LA Clippers offered Caliapri 10 million dollars a year to coach them, you better damn well recognize he would consider it.  Obviously, that is silly and would never happen.  In fact, the main point is, I don’t think ANY NBA team would pay Cal as much money as he is going to make at Kentucky to take their job. 

Article written by Bryan the Intern

23 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Money money money money….mooooonnnneeyyy



  1. Winston
    9:08 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    While NBA teams may not pay Cal that much money to coach their teams….can we rule out Al Davis throwing a ridiculous contract at Cal?



  2. UK02
    9:35 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    John Clay’s take on this is probably right: if Calipari leaves, money will have nothing to do with it. Remember that Memphis was willing to match UK’s financial offer two years ago, but he came here anyway. The challenge and/or prestige are very significant factors.



  3. Jones Returns
    9:39 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    Great article!



  4. PatPattersonISWalkingThruThatDoor
    9:39 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    Is that number on Phil correct? I thought there was a big deal last summer about the Lakers not wanting to pay 5M/yr on him anymore.



  5. Mike D'Antoni
    9:42 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    Can you say….overpaid?



  6. DoubleZeroMostel
    9:47 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    4, it’s correct, but since he’s retired now, it’s a moot point. But yes, Buss did want to reduce Phil’s pay IF he was going to continue to coach, which he obviously declined to do.



  7. Grammar King
    9:53 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    I know I can’t REALLY say what I would do, considering I have no idea what it would be like to have a choice of whether to take a job that pays $3 million or $5 million, but at some point doesn’t it just become a decision about where you want to be and what sort of team you want to be coaching? I mean, sure Cal would listen to an offer of $10 million a year to coach again in the NBA, but at some point isn’t just about BEING the highest paid coach, and not about actually making money?



  8. 101blue
    10:01 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    The per game pay rate for Cal is better than any of the NBA coaches on that list including Phil Jackson.

    Boo Yaa!!!!



  9. UKMan98
    10:25 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    the coaching salary per year may not come into play, but if someone offers him coaching duties with GM duties, he may take it. Its not always about money, but i dont see Cal going to a crappy team in the NBA. it would have to be a legitimate team before he considers it.



  10. Sam Salt
    10:34 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    Agree with #5….. OVERPAID! His ego is over the top now. This just feeds it like a bad virus.



  11. stevie
    10:41 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    #5 & 10, who cares if D’Antoni is overpaid,
    or that he has an inflated ego?



  12. JPhelps
    10:55 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    Just realized I posted this in the wrong thread… BTI, this seems like a stance you might agree with!

    You guys can feel free to respectfully disagree, I’m ecstatic UK signed Calipari for the full 8 years and do agree with Bob Ryan that we could win 3 championships in the 8 years…

    That said, I’ve been receiving arguments from Ohio State fans (since I live in Cincinnati) that Cal will bolt for the NBA the first chance he gets… LUDICROUS I KNOW… But I’m going to point out my reasoning for why I think he won’t, and it may surprise you…

    I don’t think Cal’s offense translates to the NBA. Teams are athletic, their big, and what Cal is able to expose in college he can’t expose in the NBA. What has been our main calling card in the 2 years he’s been here? Besides the wins… Our teams are BIG… HUGE… 6′7″ on both wings, 6′3″ and 6′4″ point guards, we’re long and athletic and quick. Name me an NBA team who doesn’t have long, athletic, quick ball players on their team. You can’t… The good ones, and the bad ones all draft that way. They are drafting from the cream of the crop in college, and the dominant players in college are all the big players. Cal can’t overpower NBA teams with size and quickness because they are all quick. So his slashing one on one offense isn’t near as effective on teams who have defensive players who are just as quick and athletic. Miami is the only job I think he’d consider leaving for, for the right money because they have the wings required to dominate the NBA the way he dominates college. And after this year, I don’t think Spoelstra is going anywhere for as cheap as they got him. Plus, he’s Riley’s puppet and I don’t know if Riley will relinquish the control Cal requires. So, maybe not…

    That’s why I think Cal wasn’t a success in the NBA (well that and the fact that his team sucked). Kerry Kittles when drafted was the ideal player in the ‘College Cal’ offense, but he just couldn’t perform. That said, I encourage disagreement with me. I love learning people’s opinion of it. I’ve just held this opinion for a while now and it seems to hold up.

    All that said, couldn’t be happier we signed him! Go Cats!!!



  13. Jay Schiedler's Mullet
    10:58 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    No way he leaves to just coach…I agree with 9….show him the money…with GM duties…who knows? Big feather turning around a poor team.



  14. Aziz
    11:06 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    I used the CNN’s Cost of Living calculator for shiggles in case Cal decided to go to NYC, here’s what he would be looking at (that how much for milk?!?!):

    $5,650,000 in Lexington, KY
    Comparable salary in
    New York (Manhattan), NY
    $13,175,215

    If you move from Lexington, KY to New York (Manhattan), NY….
    Groceries will cost: 77%more
    Housing will cost: 336%more
    Utilities will cost: 81%more
    Transportation will cost: 23%more
    Healthcare will cost: 39%more



  15. john4uk
    11:36 am June 28, 2011 Permalink

    Can’t understand why people are so concerned with Cals salary.It seems as if the bloggers on KSR are obsessed with it.

    You guys need to get a life.



  16. EyewearMan
    12:03 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    This is not correct. If UK wins NCAA Championship this upcoming season, Cal will be paid $4.65M. Next year (12/13) it would goto $5.65M but only if they win the TITLE. Guaranteed Compensation is $3.8M this coming year, and $4.8M next.



  17. AcworthGACAT
    12:04 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    I could be wrong, but wasn’t there an article that came out a few months ago that showed Ricky P. getting paid somewhere around 6 million per year…I could be wrong.

    Pay Coach Cal his money!!!!



  18. Checks Pool Room
    12:24 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    #8 GOOD POINT!!!



  19. Bryan the Intern
    12:31 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    15) Feel free to leave the site.



  20. Bicycle Seat Sniffer
    2:20 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    Cal did claim that he took a pay cut to come to UK. Memphis (FedEx) offered him more to stay.



  21. CAUKFAN
    3:41 pm June 28, 2011 Permalink

    I don’t really care what it takes to keep him happy, Cal is good for Kentucky.



  22. JPhelps
    10:18 am June 29, 2011 Permalink

    Interesting takes…



  23. Tokyo Satchel
    5:31 am June 30, 2011 Permalink

    Cal, in my opinion, is a great recruiter/salesman/PR/Face of the program etc. He is also a terrific motivator. He gets these big HS egos to give up something in order to improve the team which, in turn, propels the “Kentucky Effect”.

    He is not, in my opinion, that much above average as an in game coach. He has his moments and he has been outcoached on several occasions. These “facts”, at least as I see it anyways, lead me to believe he has been priced out of the NBA. He gets the best talent in college ball becuse he can sell the next step. What can he sell to over-hyped, over-paid egos in the NBA? He’s got no dream to sell them. He’s where he is most effective now.