Rex Chapman believes John Calipari will coach Kentucky next season

Within a 24-hour span, former Kentucky star Rex Chapman penned Wildcats John Calipari replacing Mike D’Antoni as the coach of the Lakers as a “done deal” toward suddenly predicting otherwise.

“I’d still say Kentucky,” Chapman said Tuesday on The Dan Patrick Show. “Who knows. That’s what I know and hope. I don’t know.”

But that did not stop Chapman from sharing in 140 characters about Calipari’s coaching future shortly before Kentucky’s 60-54 loss Monday to Connecticut in the NCAA men’s basketball championship game.

The Lakers immediately refuted the rumor, calling it “untrue” before adding they have not talked to any candidates to replace D’Antoni. Although the Lakers won’t decide his coaching future until the season ends, they are actually leaning toward retaining D’Antoni for next season. The Lakers are mindful of a few variables. D’Antoni has inherited an injury-laden roster with players that lacked significant roles on other teams. The Lakers would owe him $4 million regardless of whether he returns or not. They also worry about making a coaching change would only enhance the team’s instability after having four coaches within the past five years.

“I treat Twitter like I’m talking to my friend. I’m not a journalist and ever pretend to be,” Chapman said. “I interact with people. I’m not going to refrain from giving information I hear just because it might upset some people.”

That included Calipari, who said he wouldn’t “dignify a response.

“Whether it’s trying to ink a deal at UK, I don’t know,” Chapman said. “But there obviously is something to it.”

It’s not affecting me. I think it’s hilarious. After a game, people want to place blame somewhere anywhere. It was a tough game, we lost, it was a great runa nd we move on. Dealing wth John Calipair rumors is something Kentyucky people have to deal with all the time, every day, every year, this time of year.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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