Some More Possible Successors For Bill Self

  • Possible Successor for Bill Self If Recruiting Were Paramount: Herbert Hainer, current adidas CEO

    Possible Successor for Bill Self If KU Were to Hire Phil Knight as Chancellor, Mark Parker as Vice Chancellor and George Raveling as AD: Stumpy Miller.

    Possible Successor for Bill Self If a Botched Clone Were Sought: Vlad Matta

    Possible Successor for Bill Self If Coaching Players that Take Joy Rides with Heat Were Part of the Job Description: Bruce “Palladin” Pearl

    Possible Successor for Bill Self If an Interim Head Coach Were Needed: Bruce “Interim” Weber

    Possible Successor for Bill Self If Man Breasts Were Part of the Job Description: Bob Huggins

    Possible Successor for Bill Self If Woman Breasts Were Part of the Job Description: Heidi Klum

    Possible Successor for Bill Self If Finding a Coach Facing Allegations of Verbally Abusing Players and Who Was Not Reportedly Recruiting Right Now Were Job Criteria: Doug Woijik

    Possible Successor for Bill Self If Experience as Sideline Cheese Cake Were Part of the Description: Erin Andrews

    Possible Successor for Bill Self If a Ford Not a Lincoln Were Sought: Travis Ford

    Possible Successor for Bill Self If Cell Phone Addiction Were a Hiring Criterion: Kelvin Sampson/Frank Haith (tie)

    Possible Successor for Bill Self If KU Only Had $1.4M a year in Salary and Wanted to Hire a Coach that Had Not Yet Coached in D1, But Had Been Hired by a School Full of Sudafed Cracking Bone Heads that Passed on Hiring Bill Self: Kim English

    Possible Successor for Bill Self If KU Wanted Someone That Would Do a Motion Play After Playing Ringers (While Not Knowing About It) and Losing to KU in a National Final: John Calipari

    (Note: All fiction and/or satire. No malice.)

  • Billy Donovan? Or how about the new darling: Brad Stevens (after he gets shuffled out of the Celtics)? DManning scenario? And is the book closed on Billy Clyde Gillispie?

  • @ralster

    Donovan is an interesting case of how my assessment of a coach can change for the better and how one can be proven wrong.

    I had a very negative opinion of Pitino at one time. And under the heuristic that fruit never falls far from the tree, which when distilled comes unpleasantly close to guilt by association, I had some serious doubts about Donovan early on from a character stand point. Anyone from Kentucky that doesn’t leave quickly has always been suspect to me. But I digress.

    Anyway, Donovan began coaching some very good basketball at Florida, then he won a ring with players that did the unthinkable and passed on the bucks to try to win another–and did. His ring team players interesting combination of flamboyance and business like approach to the game made me highly respect Donovan as a coach. But I still hand wrung about his ethics some. But then turned down the pros, after accepting, and then he stepped up to the plate and hired Norm Roberts with the scarlet letter the wrong way types in Gotham had hung on Roberts, and it made me a believer in Donovan’s character. No one else in the country stepped up for Roberts at that time. Self would have had to throw someone overboard to hire him at that moment. But there were a lot of other right way types that passed. Donovan did the right thing at the right time and so I and the game owe him big time. Since, I am a big fan of his. I pull for him whenever KU’s interest is not at stake and I frankly wish Roberts had left Joel Embiid for Donovan as a thank you for what Donovan did for the game. But that’s not how good deeds are often repaid. Still, I think the coaching profession and the game of basketball owe Donovan a debt of gratitude for his hiring Roberts, when Roberts was such a hot potato. The chilling intimidation that would have resulted had no one hired Roberts would have really hurt the right way persons in the game. In short, while my list above was all about joking around, to get serious, I would be honored to have Billy Donovan come to KU and be our coach, if Bill Self ever left, though I doubt he would leave Florida. He is their greatest coach. What is best for the game is for Donovan to stay at Florida and build it into one of the right way fortresses in the deep south. The field house should one day be named for him. When KU couldn’t get it done this past season, I was rooting hard for him to get a third and enter the pantheon of great coaches. I hope he gets four or five before he is done, whenever KU is not in the Finals. I hope I live long enough to see a bronze statue of Donovan out in front of their arena. He truly deserves it for the way he has conducted himself. He has been good for basketball and that is my highest praise for any coach.

    As long as I am admitting misreads, here is one more admission of getting it wrong about someone. For a long time Rick Pitino seemed to me a poster boy for what was wrong with coaching. But I think I was harboring some prejudice against him for some of my impressions of Providence, and some of my parochial skepticism (often justified) of eastern basketball ethics. I fortunately don’t harbor prejudice for paisans. I take each Italian-American one at a time, as I do Caucasian Americans and African-Americans and every other kind of American. I acknowledge everyone ethnic networks to some degree. I acknowledge every ethnic group has its organized crime organizations. I still call him Slick Rick, because he is slick. I doubt even he would deny that is his style. And when he took over UK to “clean it up,” having been hired by Bob Hemenway, if I recall correctly, and then suddenly turning up a ring team with a sudden suspicious concentration of recruiting success, I got down on him. Then when he bolted for the pros, my inclination was to think: well, the guy is just another gunslinger making a motion play for the bones, and doing a motion play to get away from the rules he had perhaps broken. He would hardly have been the first. And I have to say I was not feeling to bad about how rotten things went for him with the Celtics.

    But as the years have passed, it has become apparent that Pitino was a broom brought in to take lumps in an incredibly dysfunctional organization (at that time), and Rick still managed to get some of the right guys slotted in despite never getting an iota of credit for being the broom.

    And Pitino did not run around crying about how tough life was. And when he has made mistakes, he has walked his talk that he gives to players about admitting them and fixing them. When he got into the imbroglio with the woman, it looked pretty bad for him, and I began to think, well, he was a weasel again. But a court of law found otherwise and I trust 12 Americans when the are not obviously acting with bias in their judgements, and I didn’t notice any in this case. And from what little I can tell, what ever he did wrong, he has finally tried to deal with it openly, and take his medicine, and continue to try to be a coach and a mentor to his players. In any case, I am not big on smearing men and women for their sexual peccadilloes with consenting adults and so, while it concerned me, I really cannot hold it against him in the end. Personal life is personal life, so long as one is not committing crimes in it. I am dedicated to the proposition that if our public figures were held to the standard of let him without sin cast the first stone, there would be no attempts to smear public figures with peccadilloes with consenting adults. And perhaps there would instead actually be more persons coming forward with crimes that need justice. But these are just my musings in this moment. But back to Rick.

    I had my doubts about Rick Pitino. But then not too long ago something occurred to me: what if Rick Pitino left UK as soon as he did, not just because of the bones, but because he got inside UK and discovered it was too corrupt for him? What if he got inside it and realized that there was no way for him to control the boosterism there? What if he did not want to have to live with NOT KNOWING what was going on behind his back? What if he went to Louisivlle, not just because it was the best offer he had coming off hard luck with the Celts, but because he genuinely did want to go back to the state of Kentucky and prove that he could do it the right way and win a ring there? What if his disciple, Bill Donovan stayed at Florida and didn’t go back to UK, after Billy Gillispie got hung on a line, because Donvan knew there was no way to control the boosterism at UK?

    I know, I know, maybe everything is hunky dory in Lexington and there is no out of control boosterism there anymore. And I know these are a lot of speculative what-ifs, and maybe these guys are weasels, not just occasionally flawed human beings. But for me the record of their actions, and their owning their mistakes, and not making them again, and so on, makes me line them up on the right way side of the line, at least from remote vantage point as a fan.

    And so I want to applaud Rick Pitino and Billy Donovan who seem to have done it the right way at Louisville and Florida. But I want to reserve the right to call Rick “Slick Rick,” because, well, he is. And there is room on the right way team for a few slicks, if they are trying to do it the right way.

    Rock Chalk!!!

  • @jaybate 1.0 Perfect take on Donovan and Pitino. I was down on Donovan until he showed he could duplicate a top 10 team with more than 1 set of guys. Agree on the whole Norm Roberts point. Roberts is about to prove that solid, meticulous professionalism as a position coach (bigs) can still create ‘billselfBigs’ in this post-Danny era. It must also be recanted that Bill Self was producing billselfBigs before Danny ever arrived at KU. Self devised his post-play system long before Danny, and then married that need to recruiting a certain ‘type’ of bigman (versatile, athletic).

    So, your thoughts on Brad Stevens and Gillispie?

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