NBA Draft: James Young predicted John Calipari would stay with Kentucky

Lakers pre-draft workout at Toyota Sports Center Wednesday June 4, 2014. James Young, Kentucky.      Photo By  Robert Casillas / Daily Breeze

Lakers pre-draft workout at Toyota Sports Center Wednesday June 4, 2014. James Young, Kentucky. Photo By Robert Casillas / Daily Breeze

The most important game of his life would soon begin.

With that, Kentucky freshman guard James Young attempted to block out all the noise surrounding him so he could properly focus for the Wildcats’ national championship game against Connecticut. Easier said than done perhaps considering famed Kentucky alum Rex Chapman tweeted that Wildcats coach John Calipari will soon coach the Lakers.

But well before Calipari and Kentucky agreed to a seven-year, $52.5 million contract extension on Thursday, Young sounded highly skeptical Calipari would leave Big Blue Nation for any program, even the Lakers.

“I feel like he would stay there,” Young said after his pre-draft workout with the Lakers on Wednesday. “He’s doing great there, doing great things for the program.”

Indeed he has.

Calipari just completed up his fifth season at Kentucky, where he also won a national title in 2012 and guided the program. He has also embraced the NBA’s so-called “one and done rule” that allows college basketball players to play professional after one season, bringing in heralded recruiting classes with the intention to prepare them quickly for the NBA.

Still, wouldn’t such news that Calipari would leave disturb his players before playing a national championship game they eventually lost?

“We tried not to pay attention to it much and focus on the game,” Young said. “He didn’t say anything about it.”

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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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