Wall believes Calipari will stay at UK

Updated: May 21, 2010, 8:17 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Many have speculated that John Calipari would leave the University of Kentucky after just one season if offered an NBA head-coaching job.

John Wall doesn't think so.

The former Wildcat believes that his college coach is staying put in Lexington.

"Coach Cal is a guy that a lot of people want," Wall said Friday afternoon at the NBA draft combine. "A lot of people want him to coach for their teams and things like that, so it is what it is. His dream was to coach at University of Kentucky and he had the opportunity. I feel like he's going to stay there strongly. I feel like being there for one year, he got a good recruiting class this year and a talented recruiting class next year, I see no reason why he would leave. I feel strongly that he's going to stay."

It was rumored earlier in the week that Calipari may be part of a package deal with LeBron James to come to Chicago once the NBA free-agency period starts on July 1. The Bulls denied that any such deal was floated, but it doesn't change Wall's opinion either way. He believes Calipari would stay at Kentucky even if the team that lands James offered him its head-coaching position.

"I think so," Wall said. "Coach Cal is a guy that -- people thought that if New Jersey got the pick they would offer Coach Cal the job and he would have went where I went. Like I said, he's at his dream school and that's the University of Kentucky. He's happy where he's at; he would like to have another chance at the NBA, but he probably wouldn't want to leave the University of Kentucky that soon."

Wall had high praise for his former coach.

"A father figure," he said. "He's just like a father. He takes care of us like we're his sons. He's going to push you to make sure he gets the best out of you. He's preparing you for the next level and he does a great job of it."

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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