The Cleveland Cavaliers had a hard time finding a head coach before LeBron James decided to come back to town, butt hey definitely put themselves out there with offers.
One of the more insane offers they put out was to Kentucky head coach John Calpari as it was reported that the team offered him a deal as high as $80 million per season. Calipari refused the offer, but many thought he had made a mistake when LeBron decided he wanted to come back.
According to the Courier-Journal.com, Calipari would have rejected the Cavaliers no matter what LeBron James decided to do.
“No. No. I don’t think so. Because he and I have a great relationship, but it’s not based on me coaching him,” Calipari said. “We’ve got a relationship. I’ve known him for years and years. We’ve always been friends. But it was never based on that. I’ve said that. I’ve had a chance to coach Derrick Rose, John Wall and DeMarcus (Cousins), Anthony Davis and Michael (Kidd-Gilchrist). And I’m leaving names off, but I’ve coached some of the best players in basketball, and it is a thrill. There’s nothing better than that. Especially when those guys are all good guys.
“Well, LeBron is also that kind of player and that kind of person. But again, leaving guys who made decisions based on what’s right for their career was something I couldn’t have gotten by anyway.”
It’s an interesting notion that Cal would have rejected the Cavaliers even if LeBron had already come back or given his commitment to do so. It’s not that he would have been able to coach the player he always dreamed of coaching, but he’s leaving $80 million on the table and that kind of cash to coach LeBron James is easy money in anyone’s book.