Calipari getting NBA offers

Published 1:01 am Friday, May 14, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart hears the reports that NBA teams are pursuing John Calipari.

He’s fine with it. In a way Barnhart views it as a compliment for the remarkable job Calipari has done reviving the Wildcats.

“I think that any time you’ve got a coach of his quality, there’s going to be conversations about that,” Barnhart said Thursday.

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Yet Barnhart isn’t worried about Calipari bolting for the pros.

“I’m very confident he’s going to be our coach next year,” he said. “He’s made comments to me that he wants to be here a long time.”

Calipari led the Wildcats to a 35-3 record in his first year of an eight-year contract that averages just under $4 million annually.

Barnhart and Calipari are already in talks about a restructured deal that could have the 51-year-old Calipari on the Kentucky sidelines well into his 60s. Barnhart said the focus is on extending Calipari’s contract, not fattening up his salary, already the highest in the country.