Bill Self Rumors
Bill Self knows having an NBA team in Kansas City might not be the best thing for nearby college programs — at least from a ticket-sales perspective. And yet, the KU basketball coach seems fully on board with the idea of the Toronto Raptors potentially putting down temporary roots in Kansas City, if indeed they needed to relocate.
Last week, Self, entering his 18th year as KU’s coach, was asked what he thought of that initiative. “I would say this place is obviously a hotbed for basketball,” Self responded. “This place obviously loves their ball. And you go back historically to all the NCAA tournaments and the NCAA being here that was held in Municipal Auditorium and those sorts of things. I think that would be a big sell because we’ve shown that we love ball historically.”
And Self also believes a successful run as a temporary home could put Kansas City on the shortlist to get an NBA team. “I saw firsthand, and we all did, what happened with the Hornets,” Self said. “When Katrina hit New Orleans and they relocated to Oklahoma City, you saw how that market rallied around that team to make them basically an automatic to get a franchise if anything else was going to transpire. And then of course the Sonics moved there. I can see [KC] doing the same thing. I think people would rally around it.”
CBS Sports college basketball experts Gary Parrish, Matt Norlander, Kyle Boone and David Cobb weighed in on who could be the next college coach to move to the pros, and Parrish made the biggest splash. “The next college coach to jump to the NBA could obviously be Villanova’s Jay Wright, who is reportedly a candidate right now for the 76ers job,” Parrish wrote. “Will it be offered to him? I’m not sure. And would he take it if offered? Again, I’m not sure. But, for these purposes, for one reason or another, I’m going to assume Wright stays at Villanova. So my guess for the next college coach to move to the NBA is … Kansas’ Bill Self.
Self: I loved coaching them. I didn’t like some of the stuff that we dealt with from time to time, but I loved coaching them. Marcus Morris: Coach Self, we’ve never seen eye to eye on nothing. Zero. But man, what he did for me and my brother was special. He taught us the definition of hard work. He was a father figure to us. He was on us very hard, and I really couldn’t understand why. But when I left here and I went to the real world and I got to the NBA, everything he instilled to us I use it today.
By the end of their three-year careers (of course they left school together) they’d become a part of KU lore. Most was for good: Marcus won Big 12 player of the year, and the twins’ “Family Over Everything” mentality defined that era. Some was not: They got into two on-campus fights with members of the football team, and Markieff was arrested as a freshman for allegedly firing an airsoft gun out of his dorm window and hitting a woman in the arm. There’s a lot to unpack, so let’s start at the beginning … Bill Self, head coach: The thing about it is they were so lazy. Kurtis Townsend, assistant coach: So lazy. Tyrel Reed, guard: Very lazy. Brennan Bechard, guard: They were probably the two laziest guys I’ve been around.