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John Calipari Apparently Turned Down A 10-Year Deal From An NBA Team

Since John Calipari turned Kentucky into a powerhouse, the NBA rumors have followed him every year. He's been linked to a slew of jobs but never left Lexington.

As is often the case with rumors, a lot of them have been unfounded. However, there was one franchise that legitimately made at least some headway with Coach Cal.

In a newly-released GQ profile, Calipari touched on the subject of the NBA. He confirmed that he was offered a 10-year deal by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014.

The contract would have been worth nearly $80 million, plus total control of everything. It was before the Cavs brought LeBron back, but that is still an enticing offer.

In the last few years, Calipari has been attached to just about every open NBA coaching job, including the Los Angeles Lakers, the New York Knicks, the Sacramento Kings, and the New Orleans Pelicans. But the big one, for him, was the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 2014, he was offered a 10-year, nearly $80 million contract (plus full control of basketball operations) for a team that, one month later, signed LeBron James, the best basketball player on earth.

Did he regret not taking that job?

“The Cleveland thing was real,” Calipari told me. “And if I had done that, I probably would have been fired like the guy [David Blatt] that was there. … LeBron wasn’t on the team at that point, and I hope it would have been the same decision. But the opportunity to coach one of the great players of all time would be appealing.”

If you're a UK fan and you're worried now, relax. Just a few paragraphs later, Calipari said he "doesn't even think" about the NBA now.

Right now, his sights have to be set on Davidson, Kentucky's first-round opponent in the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky is a No. 5 seed and the (Davidson) Wildcats are the dreaded No. 12.

Davidson is looked at by some as a trendy upset pick, but if Kentucky wins as expected, Calipari's squad could make real noise in a region where the No. 1 seed (Virginia) just lost one of its best players to injury.