LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Lakers announced today that they have hired Kentucky coach John Calipari as their next head basketball coach. Current Laker Coach Mike D’Antonio will coach the remaining four games this season.
A formal introduction for Calipari is set for this Friday before the game in Los Angeles against the Warriors. Calipari says he is excited to take over the organization and has already begun making moves to set the team for next season.
“I am really excited for a chance to coach again in the NBA, I have grown a lot as a coach since my last job here,” Calipari said in a brief interview. “I want to make this a successful era in Laker basketball. To do that I have been on the phone all morning with GMs across the league. I have successfully traded all of the existing players except Jodie Meeks for first round picks in the upcoming draft. I wish Kobe the best of luck next year with the Milwaukee Bucks, but it is time for a new era.”
The Lakers, who own the 6th highest lottery percentage pick, have reportedly traded players and future draft picks for the remaining top seven picks with the highest lottery percentage.
Calipari says he will use the picks to draft the Kentucky players leaving for the NBA in this draft. He hopes to fill out the team by picking up former players, such as Patrick Patterson, in free agency.
“I felt like this year’s Kentucky team really started to play well together in the tournament. I am excited to see what they can accomplish with another year together,” Calipari said. “After the season they sat down with me and we decided as a group to make this move. I think we can build upon our success this year and my players can get paid doing it. Well, officially anyway.”
Calipari says he appreciated his time at Kentucky and apologizes for the scholarship losses the school will face over the next 4 seasons.