On Thursday afternoon, the New York Knicks reportedly began “finalizing plans” to hire high-profile NBA agent Leon Rose and William Wesley – otherwise known as World Wide Wes – on as front office professionals, with the former expected to be named president of basketball operations and the latter coming in as a consultant.
Almost immediately, basketball fans connected the dots with John Calipari and his potential interest in joining the franchise, as the Kentucky head coach has been close friends with both Rose and Wesley for decades now.
With the Knicks needing a head coach, many thought it could be a potential match for Calipari to join the newest front office officials in New York.
When asked about his interest in the job opening on Friday afternoon, the Kentucky head coach first praised Rose for earning the position before ultimately shutting down rumors of his potential involvement.
“Let me say this, first of all, I haven’t talked to Leon. I don’t know if it’s done, if he’s doing it, I have no idea,” Calipari told the media this afternoon. “But let me tell you about him. I’ve known him for 25 years, dear friend. He was in a rough-and-tumble business [as an NBA agent]. Really, in that business, it was a sport too. Like, it was body-to-body contact. It is. I have never heard anyone, in 25 years, say a bad word about Leon Rose. Not one. In a rough-and-tumble sport that he’s in, he’s a gatherer, he’s a culture builder. I understand why they would do it if they do that.”
He’d be willing to help Rose however he can, but he won’t entertain the possibility of becoming the next head coach of the Knicks.
“Because I’m so close with him, I would help him in any way I could being a resource,” Calipari said of Rose. “You want to call me about college players, my own players, I’m here. It just wouldn’t be to coach.“