Thursday, May 20, 2004

Rick Pitino: Pud

Well, two college-related posts in as many days, but with the draft coming up and all you should probably expect more. Between that and the playoffs, I don't think I've talked about the Bulls in weeks. Just to fill you in, they aint doing much.

So on to Pitino. I've been meaning to get to this since I read Yoni's post at Collegeball. He's been reporting on some of the early entries going into the draft, so check it out if you to be one of the 16 people in the country who knows these prospects. The early-entrant that caught my eye was JuCo swingman Donta Smith, but it wasn't because he entered, it was Pitino's reaction to it:

"It could be one of the five worst moves I've ever seen," Pitino said, "If it's the right decision, I'll tell a player I have no problem with it. This one I totally disagree with. Somebody is giving him advice who doesn't know anything about the game of basketball. When young people listen to the wrong people, they almost always make poor decisions. This was very poor judgment, He never called and discussed it with me. I couldn't be more upset with the player, and I'm very, very disappointed with the (junior-college) coach. That's as poor a leadership from the coach as I've ever seen. It's disappointing for (Smith), because he had a bright future ahead of him if he'd made the right decision."

Wow coach, that's ice cold. I understand that this may not be the best idea for the kid, as Smith is projected by  to go in the middle of the second round. But I seem to remember someone else who made a bad decision in going to the Pros. And what really bothers me-as you can see by the fancy bold text above- is Pitino's tone. Slick Rick fails to realize that this is Smith's choice, not his. A bad choice? maybe, but this is his career and his life we're talking about. Try and show him some support or at least respect by toning down the supposed 'outrage'.

Oh wait, maybe it isn't Smith's career that Pitino's worried about, but instead his Louisville squad? After all, Sebastian Telfair was another recruit who jumped to the draft instead of playing for Rick. So along with Telfair, now a touted JuCo transfer like Smith isn't going to Louisville, getting Pitino another big season to retain his standing as the big man on campus? More wins, more pub from ass-kissers, perhaps another bonus? No, that couldn't be what Pitino's upset about at all...

I'm sure Rick and Dick and others will be among the 'I told you so' crowd if Donta Smith gets selected in the second round. It means no guaranteed contract, and an immense uphill battle to establish yourself in the league. They will have the point that Smith's draft status could've risen after a year with Pitino. But you know what? At least Smith wouldn't have to spend a year of his life playing for someone who obviously couldn't care less about him.

Note: If you want to read more of my ramblings on the NCAA, check out this post from 2 months ago.

Good money if you can get it

The Golden State Warriors (why isn't it the Golden State 'Golden Eagles'?), in their neverending quest to ruin the franchise, fired a good (some say great) coach in Eric Mussleman, and are rumored to replace him with Stanford coach Mike Montgomery. Andy Katz says what we're all thinking:

 If Montgomery takes the Warriors job, he would be trying to change a recent trend of college coaches -- namely Tim Floyd, Lon Kruger, John Calipari and Rick Pitino -- who left prominent Division I jobs and failed in the NBA.

Well they all have something else in common, they found work after failure and are rich rich men.  I have respect for Montgomery for leaving something he obviously was comfortable in (he was at Stanford for 18 seasons) to try his craft at the ultimate level. Although some would say that being an NBA and NCAA coach are two completely different jobs. Has the NBA culture moved so far away from college ball to the point where a college coach can no longer be effective in the league? Recent history says yes, but for the sake of Warriors fans I hope Montgomery can buck the trend.

And on the other side of the coin, the way the NBA coaching carousel has been revolving lately it shouldn't be long before Mussleman gets another job.



Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The Drama Continues...

Two game 7s coming can't get much better than this to be honest.

For Tonight's Kings/Wolves game 7, check out how much this game really means for two superstars at the crossroads.

Stuff like this gets me amped for the NBA playoffs over the NCAA tourney. In the Tourney you don't have 7 games to build up rivalry almost to the point of hatred (and wild forearms). While we all know that KG's 'war' comments weren't in the best taste, his point remains: these games have more emotion and spirit invested in them than possibly any other in sports.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

I'm Out

I'm happy to announce to my readers (who don't know this already), that in addition to being able to call me a Bulls fan, a basketball enthusiast, and of course, blogger extraordinaire...

You can now call me a college graduate.

So this is just a warning that posting may be light this coming week as I re-settle in back at home.

Although I'm unemployed so I imagine there will be plenty to read soon enough :)