Leon Rose’s reach has its limits.

Despite John Calipari’s longtime friendship with the agent expected to be named new Knicks team president, the Kentucky coach batted away the latest rumor of his return to the NBA, stating Friday that he won’t be leaving his longtime position in Lexington.

Under the CAA umbrella, Calipari formed close relationships with Rose and his associate, William Wesley, who reportedly will also take a front office role with the Knicks.

“Because I’m so close [with Rose], I’d help him in any way I could. … It just wouldn’t be to coach,” Calipari said at a Kentucky press conference.

When rumors swirled in April that Calipari could take over at UCLA, he signed a 10-year, $86 million extension with Kentucky, where he’s coached since 2009.

Calipari hasn’t been an NBA head coach since 1999 — when he was fired in the midst of his third season with the Nets — and hasn’t worked in the pros since 2000, when he worked as an assistant with the 76ers.

In the past two decades, Calipari has built a reputation as the country’s best recruiter, landing some of the nation’s best players through his relationship with Wesley, then often directing them to Rose once they turn pro. Former Kentucky stars Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are all represented by Rose.

“Let me say this: First of all, I haven’t talked to Leon, so I don’t know if it’s done, if he’s doing it. I have no idea But let me tell you about [Rose], I’ve known for 25 years, a dear friend,” Calipari said. “I’ve never in 25 years heard anyone say a bad word about Leon Rose. In a rough-and-tumble business, I’ve never heard in 25 years anybody say a bad word about Leon Rose. Not one.

“He’s a gatherer, he’s a culture builder. I understand why [the Knicks] would do it, if they do that.”


Leading scorer Marcus Morris Sr. was traded. RJ Barrett wasn’t ready to start after missing nine games due to a sprained right ankle. Still, Kevin Knox came off the bench — then provided more evidence why.

Knox’s disastrous second season hit a new low in Thursday’s win over the Magic, when he went 0-for-5 from the field and posted his first scoreless effort since Nov. 25, 2018, but interim coach Mike Miller said the 20-year-old should see more playing time with Morris’ departure.

Knox is averaging 7.0 points in 18.6 minutes while shooting 36.7 percent from the field and struggling defensively.

“There’s gonna be opportunity for those minutes,” Miller said. “Kevin has played well. We were very, very pleased with the road trip that we had. We felt he was really good and really efficient. We need him to continue to build and continue to grow. Obviously, there’s more minutes, so he’ll have opportunities to expand.”