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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / February 20.
  • John Calipari says Anthony Davis wants to win an NBA title, Cal’s not interested in coaching the Lakers

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    John Calipari says Anthony Davis’s desire to win an NBA championship is fueling his demand for a trade.

    And if Davis is dealt to the Lakers, the Kentucky coach isn’t interested in the coaching job.

    “He wants to win and I don’t know all the particulars,” Calipari said on ESPN’s “Get Up!” the morning after he watched Class of 2019 Kentucky commit Kahlil Whitney play a big game in New Jersey.

    “All I know is he loves New Orleans. He loves the city, loves his team and all that. But all these guys get to the point where winning becomes more important than anything else. And so whether it’s him or guys want to move to a team where they have more of a chance to win.

    “I think in the NBA every player knows at the end of their career they’re going to be evaluated did you win a chip? And so Anthony’s no different than any of the other guys in that league.”

    On Monday, ESPN reported that Davis is turning down a five-year, $240-million supermax contract from the Pelicans in order to compete for an NBA championship. The Lakers and LeBron James would seem to offer that possibility, and they are seen as the Vegas favorites to land Davis, who may or may not be dealt by the Feb. 7 trade deadline.

    The Celtics also have a slew of assets but cannot trade for Davis until July 1 because of the Kyrie Irving Rule.

    Meantime, Calipari, who has consistently been linked to NBA openings during his tenure at Kentucky, said he’s happy at Kentucky and isn’t interested in coaching Davis with the Lakers.

    “I’m at Kentucky having a ball preparing young people for the rest of their life,” he said. “It’s a different job than coaching in the NBA. I think Luke [Walton] is doing outstanding work. I’ve watched him coach, I’ve watched his demeanor. I’ve watched his adjustments. He’s coaching a young team in that league and that league is unforgiving now. In that league you’re not playing Popcorn State next week, you’re playing a professional team. Even the teams that are struggling have terrific players.

    “So I think Luke’s doing a terrific job. I dont’ know what’s happening with Anthony. He and I haven’t talked about it.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.