The Cold Six Hundred
The cheerleaders yell.
The dipshits cheer.
Everything in ball is downside up.
Basketball pencil necks see the genius not doing this or that.
Basketball fans see a coach doing the impossible–winning with guys like he used to win with at Tulsa some seasons and other seasons putting together talented bunches of perimeter guys and whatever the cat dragged in in the paint.
They see that a nice guy finishes first. Wins rings. Cracks wise. Strings 12 titles. Does it the right way. Makes guys go to class. Builds the Assists Foundation. Stays married. Raises kids. Wins with guys no one thinks can win. Wears a suit. Stays humble. Cracks back. But leaves the wood on good terms.
But over this time when the genius was defying all the odds from ORU to Tulsa to Champaign-Urbana to the building where amazing things happen, the rest of college basketball was getting down on its belly and crawling like komodo dragons injected with effing meth.
While this guy was winning 83% of the time and racking up a cold six hundred wins, college basketball was taking a trip down.
Down through the media-gaming complex shaping what the suckers thought and bet.
Down through the petroshoeco-agency complex trafficking in child ballers and making them leans to this brand and that brand, hyping them into Top 100s and then forcing them to turn pro before they were ready, so the leaches that had been sucking on them since seventh grade could release the blood tourniquets and let the biggest rush of all–the rush of red hot blood stained NBA money flow from the player drafted, signed and sent to the d-league; that flows into the veined wallets and bank accounts of the leaches.
This guy that the dipshits love to love; this guy that walks over the shit like Jesus walking over the top of a Superfund sight in a wetland where the tasered and wrist bound bodies are sunk in concrete ; this effing guys is just too amazing for words.
He finds a way through.
He gets used some times, but not really USED!
He gets made some times, but not really MADE!
How KU got lucky enough to find him, when it could just as easily have found Travis Ford, or Frank Haith, or Bzzzzzzzz Bzzzzzzzzdelik, is beyond me.
How many bullets has this guy had to dodge already even at goody two shoes KU?
Early in his tenure, a buncha effin’ glans heads over at the Williams Fund and KUAD were running a ticket scalping scam running into the millions of bones.
Drug dealers have preyed on the team from just a few rows behind the bench.
The kinds of guys that the Pete Bondurants and Wayne Tedrows and Ward Littells have to make disappear in ways we don’t even want to think about surface every now and again thinking they can score some green by speed balling some shit up the arm of one of our players, or hustling one of our coaches. Its not a jungle out there. Its a fucking James Ellroy novel out there. If James Ellroy has any more great books in him, someday he will write a trilogy about the underbelly of sports.
And some how Bill Self–the genius–keeps finding a way around and over the shit that passes for bottom feeding scum suckers in sports.
Some how he keeps graduating guys that grew up in hoods counting bullets fired around dark corners and waiting for the clips to eject, before walking the last block home to the projects from practice.
Somehow he keeps finding enough good parents and enough good kids to patch together winners that go to class. Somehow he finds kids with enough want to to sleep in the streets and somehow turn their lives around and contribute to 30 win seasons and conference titles and number one seeds.
Somehow he keeps dodging the graspy maneuvering of private oligarchs trying to use him, and the players, and the athletic department, as the backdoors into the university with the billion bone budget in a red state that keeps net importing federal revenues, and keeps electing guys that say they want less gubmint subsidy but never deliver.
Somehow he raises his own kids, and keeps talking to persons out on Mass Street and making people believe that the midwest is not dead and persons making $10M per year can kick back and chase a bacon scramble with coffee in a restaurant and sign an autograph with a smile.
Yea, underneath, it isn’t all as smooth and easy as he makes it seem. No doubt he’s got an ugly side and a wrong side of bed side.
He ain’t no angel.
But he ain’t no devil.
And he’s an angel flying over a stinking swamp of college basketball.
Some how he has built something that works and lasts in a world where every other coach seems a flash in the pan. He’s making players believe in teams in the middle of a country a Federal Reserve chairman that isn’t even sure whether America is still a republic or not. He is making them believe it is smart to be smart and loyal to your school in the midst of wikileaking and fake news about fake news and s elections stolen, then stolen back, then stolen, then stolen back…
Some how Bill Self has racked up a cold six hundred…the right way.
Note: the above was an affectionate but pale stylistic homage to the maestro of murder and malfeasance, and one time best crime writer in Prairie Village, James Ellroy. Buy his books and read the real thing, but prepare to bathe afterwards.
@jaybate-1.0 Well said. We are lucky to have him.
- And what has he seen along the way? Good friends suffer and crack under the pressure. Billy Gillispie. Sean Sutton. Heck, even Eddie Sutton. How did Larry Brown’s tenure end at SMU? Ignominously. What is happening to Roy? Is he protected by the industry? Or allowed to survive in place, as a living link to bygone era, thus somehow soothing those thinking good ole college ball is dead or sunk. What would Calipari really say behind closed doors? What would SelfhimBill say if he had a no holds barred conversation?
Waaaaaay too much food for my thoughts … at least for just one sitting .
@jaybate-1.0 PHOF !
Self closing in on 400 wins at Kansas as well. Now only 7 short of that mark. Could get it either at Oklahoma (if KU does not lose between now and then, or home against Oklahoma State. Certainly should be over 400 before the end of January if the current performances hold.
@jaybate-1.0 Good work man.
My thoughts on 600 for Coach Self. Roy got 600 faster but he couldnt win a title at KU. Coach Self, if he keeps going another 10 years, should break 1K wins. Should. Plus add another Title or two.
When the day comes for Coach Self to move on, be it retirement or another team( not likely ) , or the Pros, I wont be mad. I’ll be proud of him.
I wont be mad. I’ll be proud of him.
Coach Williams had the big advantage of starting his career at a big program; Coach Self, on the other hand had to so some time at Oral Roberts and Tulsa where wins are harder to come by.
When you look at both coaches while at KU, Coach Williams has a 418-101 (.805) record in 15 years while Coach Self is 393–84 (.824) in his 14th year. KU has 22 games left in the regular season, potentially 3 in the Conference Tournament and hopefully 6 in the NCAA so it is very likely that he will get to 418 wins ins his 14th year, or 1 full year earlier than Coach Williams.
@jaybate-1.0 if I had to point to just one post to explain why I love Kansas Basketball it would be this one. You absolutely crushed it.
If we have a mathematician, what would his percentage be if we could throw out his first year at ORU?
I love how coach self says he should win here. He’s very lucky to coach here, everything is in in place to be successful here.
No mathematician needed, simple arithmetic…
1993–94 Oral Roberts 6–21 1994–95 Oral Roberts 10–17 1995–96 Oral Roberts 18–9 1996–97 Oral Roberts 21–7
Oral Roberts - 4 years, 55–54 (.505)
His record at Oral Roberts improved every year and in the 4th year ORU made it to the NIT.
Tulsa - 3 years, 74–27 (.733)
Illinois - 3 years, 78–24 (.765)
KU - 13+ years, 393–84 (.824)
Record minus entire Oral Roberts tenure:
Wins = 74 + 78 + 393 = 545
Losses = 27 + 24 + 84 = 135
Total games = 545 + 135 = 680
Winning percentage = 545 / 680 = .801
Thx. That means something coming from the guy that keeps the phase space up and running. Rock Chalk!