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Originally published September 28, 2011 at 12:00a.m., updated September 28, 2011 at 12:56a.m.

Beyond the Phog’ excerpt: J.R. Giddens on leaving KU

"Beyond the Phog" book.

"Beyond the Phog" book.

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"Beyond the Phog" book.

The following is an excerpt from "Beyond the Phog - Untold Stories from Kansas Basketball's Most Dominant Decade." Compiled by Jason King of Yahoo! Sports and Lawrence Journal-World sportswriter Jesse Newell, the 400-page book includes interviews with 40 players and coaches from the most successful era in Jayhawks history. "Beyond the Phog" will be available in stores Friday. For more information on ordering the book or upcoming book signings, check out kubook.net.

In J.R. Giddens' words ...

DREAMS DASHED?

Any thoughts I had about leaving (school early) for the NBA ended when I got stabbed. After that I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. If anything, I was trying to figure out if I was ever going to play basketball again.

I think that’s why they made me leave Kansas. The doctor said I would walk with a limp for the rest of my life. He said I was going to come back 50% and I wasn't going to be able to play basketball anymore.

I’m not saying Kansas threw me out like a battery. But they get McDonald’s All-Americans every day. They weren’t going to let me stay around campus and be Moulaye Niang.

Micah Downs was coming in. Bill Self used to always tell me, “Micah is coming in and he's better than you.” He would just say little stuff like that and I was like, “Dang, man, you’re not even for me, are you?” I wanted to stay at Kansas but I felt like they just pushed me out the door, especially after getting stabbed. I was like, “I'm sitting here worrying if I'm ever play basketball again and you guys are over here talking to me in an inappropriate manner? I'm 19 years old. You guys are supposed to my college coaches. Instead, at the first sign of trouble, you guys are turning your back on me?” I felt like it was everyone from the coaching staff to the people up there in the offices. As a 19-year-old who was immature and didn’t understand life, I took that really hard. I left the office in tears when I knew I was leaving.

I remember that day really well. I walked out of there on crutches, crying. I’d been interrogated for about seven hours for three days straight. Then those guys did that to me? A few weeks before that, I had to move out of my dorm at the Towers. I was staying with Josi Lima, my girlfriend at the time who played volleyball. Bill Self was telling my teammates not to have any contact with me. Darnell Jackson and Jeremy Case were two of my best friends, and they weren’t even allowed to talk to me. Aaron Miles was done playing so he came over. He was the only person who came and saw me. I was like, “Dang, I’m 30 feet from where I used to stay and you guys can’t even come over here and see me?” I’m stabbed and laid up and don’t even know if I’m going to play basketball again. That was very kind of Kansas basketball and Bill Self, to tell people to stay away from me like I was a team cancer.

• A previous version of this excerpt was updated.

Comments

KEITHMILES05 2 years, 6 months ago

The book is filled with some pretty startling revelations all the way from Sherron hating Carl Henry to CJ Giles and his bad upbringing to Langford getting a girl pregnant and she getting an abortion to Roy very much Al Bohl as Bohl wanted to emphasize football more and Roy hating him for it. A very much tell all book.

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notorioushawk 2 years, 6 months ago

I am in awe at all of the backlash for the writing/releasing of this portion of the book. In this age of media being used as an outlet to spin different situations, and the widespread problems going on nationwide in the NCAA, complete transparency is a good think IMO. Sure, the immediate response can be a fear that JR getting the boot could cast a shadow on KU, but in the long term, I think it is a good thing. It shows that as a university, KU will give you ample opportunity to learn from mistakes (see previously mentioned wally world incident and any number of other player incidents in past years). However, if you become a repeat offender or "cancer" to the team or university, you are gone.

As it has been stated multiple times during this discussion, there are certainly multiple sides to every story. All indications are that JR was the instigator in the stabbing incident. Regardless, he had no business putting himself in the situation to begin with.

JR will, in my mind, always be one of the biggest busts in the history of Jayhawk basketball. He came in with loads of potential and even more room for growth, but squandered it away by not being a team player in so many ways. This excerpt just reaffirms my beliefs that we were better off without him. I'll use the same line I had following his departure from the program. Good riddens to Giddens. Thanks for nothing, except for making us realize the kind of self-centered waste of talent you were/are.

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wileykufan 2 years, 6 months ago

I suppose the fact that JR was at a bar (after curfew mind you) that Self has specifically told him to stay away from had nothing to do with this situation.

Or the fact that everyone thought JR was going to be brought up on felony assault charges

Or the fact that when he came here he was told to keep his nose clean since he had robbed a wal-mart before he signed his LOI.

But JR is right - it's all Self's fault - GMAFB

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Lebowski 2 years, 6 months ago

If JR didn't act like a juvenile idiot every time he made a trey and exerted ANY effort whatsoever playing defense.... I'd have a heart.

But him talking about the "first sign of trouble".... Self had to bite the bullet on him. I agree... good riddance.

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jumpinjayhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

The kid still hasnt grown up. He still blames others for his own actions and takes no responsibility for what he did. He will probably always think it was Bill Self and KU that abandoned him, but the truth is J.R. abandoned himself and he abandoned KU. The thing you do not understand J.R. is that Bill was forcing you to grow up and become a man, its apparently clear, you're still a boy.

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REHawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Someone out there is inclined to compare Thomas Robinson's bar infraction to that of J R Giddens...and is tossing around the word IDIOTS? Wow!

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DocBean 2 years, 6 months ago

What's with all the typos, is that really how it's written in the book?

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ku_foaf 2 years, 6 months ago

When we were at a game in Waco, we went down on the floor afterwards and the KU players. were there. My wife, who had some rough characters at her HS, commented that Giddens seemed like a thug and she had a bad feeling about him. It was only a few months later that he got into the fight.

My nephews were students at the time, and said everyone on campus believed Giddens was an instigator. It was also believed that Giles had hit the guy in the head with a brick, hence little tolerance when he was in more trouble.

Moule stayed on campus because he was not involved in criminal activity and enjoyed respect.

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Randy Maxwell 2 years, 6 months ago

You idiots chastise Giddens for his bar fight but give Robinson a complete pass

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kcjayhawk15 2 years, 6 months ago

A lot of amazing banter regarding this story! I agree with Newell's decision to include J.R.'s interview as it offers a very realistic view of collegiate athletics and how ultimately, many players are cast to the wayside following questionable (in this case, many) decisions and underperformance. J.R. Giddens was in immensely talented individual and following Roy's departure, still chose to come to Kansas and play for Bill Self. I remember seeing him play against Michigan State and was extremely excited about his athleticism and raw talent. He had a successful freshman campaign, but as a sophomore, struggled on the court dealing with high expectations and an increased expectancy of his overall contribution. He was a low impact player with a reluctancy to do anything other than throw up countless outside shots. He was a disappointment as a player. I don't view Coach Self's comments regarding Micah Downs superiority as demeaning, but rather as motivation for Giddens to improve his play. There have been countless players at Kansas that haven't been blatantly outstanding or led the team in statistical categories, but b/c of their outstanding character and hard work, ended up being major contributors to the program and to college basketball ( i.e. Christian Moody, Greg Gurley, Tyrel Reed just to name a few.) But when you combine Giddens' inability to contribute with his offcourt antics, I not only do not blame Coach Self's actions, but rather fully support them! It sounds obvious to say, but the coaches deal with the players and all their problems on a constant basis. As fans, we only hear of a minute percentage of what actually goes on. Suffice to say, no one knows more about Giddens and all of his drama then Coach Self. I regret Giddens not working out, as well as the negative notoriety he brought to the program, but ultimately things worked out as they should have. As many have already pointed out, without his departure, Self would not have landed Brandon Rush, whose importance to the program was clearly immeasurable. RCJH!

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REHawk 2 years, 6 months ago

I am glad that King and Newell chose to do this interview and include J R in their book. And I do not view this inclusion as a slam at Self or the university. It shows another of the many facets of bigtime university athletics, the strife which occasionally rears its head in all programs everywhere. I think Bill Self has done a masterful job at running his portion of the Jayhawk show. No need for him to stoop to the level of explaining or commenting on the article or the long past situation. Regardless of his personal interaction with members of his roster, he was under the gun to maintain a clean program, free from the nightmare of negative media focus. After the Giddens and Giles meltdowns, the baskeball staff has really been placed in the position of heavyhanded guardianship over the reputation of the program. Woe to those who shake up the tranquility which has existed since Tyshawn's last venture into mayhem!

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Jaminrawk 2 years, 6 months ago

It would have been nice for him to explain WHY he was stabbed and what he was doing at Moon Bar that night. Instead he's throwing Self under the bus because he's still bitter. It's no revelation that Giddens had been in Self's doghouse for many, many things before he was stabbed for getting into it with someone at place he shouldn't have been at. Pretty sure all of those guys that came back for the Legends of the Phog have a VERY different opinion of Bill Self.

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jhawkrulz 2 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if he was invited to the "Legends" game?

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REHawk 2 years, 6 months ago

HA! Over 120 comments re this article. LJW has chosen to print a book excerpt which has touched a vein with the Jayhawk faithful and other posters. Even the national sports press has picked up on the Giddens thing. And did I just read that today (or tomorrow, by European timeline) J R has parted ways by mutual agreement with yet another team? He has come a long way and clocked many dollars since the spring of his sophomore year in Lawrence. But the old adage re spots on a leopard might still apply. Bill Self is one tough nut who is not about to be cracked by the occasional miscreant in his program. All coaches eventually must deal with athletes who become poison to their dreams for peaceful winning traditions. Young "immature" J R is fortunate that he didn't pick up his practice jersey from the team laundry and find a skull and crossbones with a big red slash stenciled on the front and backside. Fortunate for J R, he was able to relocate and pursue his own dreams in his own inimitable manner, quite a distance from the subsequent teams which BIll Self was amassing and building at Kansas. There is a heck of a lot more to team chemistry and winning Div. I hoops than the potential ingredient of a hard headed McDonald's All American whose offcourt fiascos drag down everyone with whom he associates. I wonder what Josi Lima now thinks when she reads her name tossed out so bluntly by her former boyfriend. And I wonder if Giddens had kept his nose clean in offcourt situations whether Bill Self and staff could ever have coached him into the steady focus and greatness which his early promise seemed to portend. It would appear that he still does not get it.

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Ok, knowing only half the story with JR's 6 year-old comments...I will speculate on why Self did what it is portrayed he did: He may have been trying to motivate JR about some incoming kid being 'better'. Then JR jacks up trey misses and helps get us bounced out of the tourney. Definitely not going to sit well with Self, who was new, and in a battle of wills vs. Roys leftover players. Eventhough Giddens a McDAA, and eventhough JR a fellow Oklahoman--Self likely chose to make a horrible example of him. JR's stupidity in allowing himself to be involved in an altercation not only threatened KU's status, but also was a direct challenge to embattled newbie Bill Self, trying to forge a team with his ideals. Not to mention JR's altercation put JR in serious jeopardy regarding his own life and the ability to ball at a high level...

And interestingly, JR Giddens was of a "high enough profile" player, that making a horrible example out of him would a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y get everybody's attention. CJ Gile was dumb enough to be the 2nd horrible example. And this has been Self's Ship ever since.

You could almost speculate further that what Self felt forced to do 6yrs ago with Giddens, helped shape his coaching persona ever since then. He is notoriously tough on players, including what RussRob went through, and Chalmers. He teased Rush mercilessly about his deformed arm, until Rush obsessed with "going left" (all this from the Sherron excerpt). Of course, we dont know if everyone in the gym saw Self with a big grin as he was saying it, so it looked jokingly-said...still, to call attention to a physical deformity (joking or not) is a serious calculated move. It either works or it backfires. Self has proven pretty keen on reading his player's personalities and grinding his will into them in his own custom ways for each of them.

Tyrel Reed recently said it took him quite awhile to understand Self and his ways and what he wanted Reed to do.

All this is understood by me as a coach doing what he thinks it takes to get guys to do his will. So, give me Bill Self any day. Its all as it should be. People like Self are also usually hard on themselves (most competetive types are), and Im sure he is finetuning what he thinks the "elite8issue" is as well. Its his baby. We along for the ride...

RCJH

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thebcman 2 years, 6 months ago

Dude, you Were the team cancer.

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westernkshawk 2 years, 6 months ago

My thoughts exactly. Why does ANYBODY give credibility to this crap by posting it on a KU website!! I would expect it from an outsider but not one of our own!! Shame on you LJW!!

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BABBOY 2 years, 6 months ago

I am KSU guy. I love picking on Ku. But, Giddens is full of crap.

This is an example of writers drumming up BS and trying to make a name for themselves..

Not surprising from Jason King who is an internet hack. He is a great example of why Internet reporters suck. But, surprising is Newell who is supposed to be Ku guy and must be desparate for attention as well.....

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Paul Mitten 2 years, 6 months ago

So Jayhawk faithful, why is it that we automatically forgive Paul Pierce for getting stabbed? Just because he's a better basketball player?

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CaramelMacchMan 2 years, 6 months ago

You(JR) are telling me McDonald's all American makes one mistake and Bill Self kicks you out the door? Usually its the other way around.. If you are McDonald's all American, schools will let you go with multiple mistakes..

I mean why would Bill Self want to get rid of an all American player who just hit a 3 pointer to tie GeTech in elite eight in NCAA tournament.

JR must have done something. There is gatta be something else. Something needs to come out after this book.

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kranny 2 years, 6 months ago

Being an educator for 20+ years I can say without a doubt that there is his story, their story, and the real story. There's always 2 sides. Giddens arrived on campus already having been in trouble for a Walmart shoplifting scandal. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4179/is_20030108/ai_n11792199/. In addition to this and the stabbing incident where witnesses say he was one of the instigators, he was also suspended from the New Mexico bball team for a few games. If coach Self was to lower himself to actually give his own account of the "Gidden" years, I'm sure there would be many skeletons. For Giddens to pass himself off as a 'Victim" is being less than honorable. He made his bed and he had to sleep in it.

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theend 2 years, 6 months ago

Well JR.....there are reasons for any and all things that happen in our lives. Thus....there is a reason you were stabbed. From what I heard.....you were being a tough guy thug wannabe....and what's more.......the man who stabbed you was in obvious fear for his life. He reacted with a knife to protect himself.

I wasn't there.....so I can't say for sure. But I would say you are pretty darn lucky to just get stabbed in the leg. An incident like that could have easily ended much worse.

How sad you don't take the responsibility and realize you caused most of this. It wasn't just dumb luck or coincidence you were stabbed, buddy. I don't blame Self at all if that is the way he treated you....though I doubt all of it is true.

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kanubal2 2 years, 6 months ago

Out of all the players I was able to come in contact with while going to KU...Giddens by far had the biggest head...I honestly don't know when he went to class because he was always chasing tail outside Wescoe Hall...Every weekend you could find him drunk at Abe and Jakes making a fool out of himself with other members of the football...disregarding the stabbing...I have no sympathy for the guy

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Dickless Head 2 years, 6 months ago

First, this is only one side of the story...J.R's. I guarantee there is a whole different story that would come from Coach Self if he was asked and was able to answer fully, which he wouldn't.

If all of the above was true, I would be extremely disappointed in the staff at KU for handling the situation like this.

But honestly, I don't believe it. You look at the body of work of Coach Self, and how former players and colleagues have spoken of him over the last 10 years, and this story is completely inconsistent with all of that. If we had heard stories like this from other players over the years, I may be more inclined to believe it. But we haven't, and I don't.

Probably not a good idea to publish this since it's the unconfirmed story of a troubled young man that may have an axe to grind against KU.

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kusportsdotcom 2 years, 6 months ago

The crappiest part of this story being published is that national writers across the country pick up on it...

http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/26283066/32338781

We don't need this sort of publicity, just because some spoiled, stabbed kid wants to tell why he couldn't hack it at KU.

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mdwinkler19 2 years, 6 months ago

very simple...when you have a kid that is hanging around with the wrong people getting stabbed...that is not someone you want your high quality team to hang out with. If you want to be a loser you hang out with them. Giddeons was not a personal of moral character...I am saddened with some recent players making bad choices as well.

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Dirk Andrews 2 years, 6 months ago

What good coach wouldn't tell his players to stay away from a problem like J.R.? Self was trying to motivate the guy, and he took it like a diva.

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kusportsdotcom 2 years, 6 months ago

so, are you not allowed to say "effing", or "tool bag" LJW?

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Scott Oswalt 2 years, 6 months ago

I actually took a class with J.R. He was cocky and condescending. One day, he expected me to give him answers to the test we were taking. I just laughed and shook my head. I should've said, "Make more 3's and throw down a couple vicious dunks and we'll talk."

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Ed Brown 2 years, 6 months ago

Wah...wah...wah. It sure reminds me of Kerwin Bell who had a great football future until he either shoplifted something or beat up on his girlfriend and was booted off of the team. I remember him walking around the campus wearing vests without shirts underneath talking smack to anyone. JR was given ample rope to hang himself and he managed to still have significant rope left when it happened...over...and...over...and...over...

He just doesn't really understand why he got booted off of so many teams because of his behavior and attitude.

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jgkojak 2 years, 6 months ago

Ouch.

It'd be good to have a rebuttal from someone in the know.

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jaybate 2 years, 6 months ago

No one is without ugly sides and episodes.

Self comes off pretty badly here.

Self has always appeared to me a me-first survivor type. From his early ducking of the press after losses, to his cooly calculated distancing and positioning of himself in every controversy, it is clear that he has a keen sense of self-preservation.

Once he is safe, he will save as many as he can and honor trusts and debts.

But for players that do not honor the trust, or do not doing what is asked, all bets are off.

But if you threaten him and his ship, at a time he is vulnerable, he seems the type that will cut you loose in the middle of an ocean and think next.

Excellence of the kind Self has attained does not come from being an angel.

Or a devil.

Just a very, very, very tough customer.

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lstarter 2 years, 6 months ago

Ok, so yes JR Giddens has got a bad rep from KU fans. I myself have always felt he was a complete waste of time and an idiot but I now recognize that these are 17 to 21 year old kids! Being at that age I thought I had some sort of mature qualities but I look back now and know that wasn't the case. I couldnt imagine what kind of person I could have been living in Lawrence with all the fame because lets be honest basketball players of Lawrence are treated like royalty. Young kids make mistakes and then move on and to some people's complete and UDDER disbelief they make more mistakes. Move on. Just sad that he perceived his exit the way he did. Rock Chalk.

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Lindsey Buscher 2 years, 6 months ago

I'm vomiting dizzy after reading all the spin from the KU faithful.

Bottom line is this: that is just one side of the story and our perspective is our own reality. That story is simply JR's reality. No point with the person attacks or trying to rationalize it.

I think the unfortunate part is that now HCBS will probably have to make some sort of statement. Maybe, maybe not, but it is unfortunate because I think he really tries to keep a lid on what goes on inside the locker room and in his office, he has always seemed VERY conscientious about PR control.

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squawkhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Wow! can't get over all the negative comments for one of our own. For better or worse he was KU BB. Doesn't paint a good pic of HCBS or the staff.

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Paul Mitten 2 years, 6 months ago

I thought this was a good read. It confirms pretty much what I know about Coach Self. He'll have your back as long as you're with the team, but dude is ruthless when you're not going with the program because your feelings are secondary to the success of the team. That's what a great coach who handles big-time talent should be.

I don't know where people are reading that Giddens is still bitter and blaming KU. It's just a retrospective look into how he felt when he was 19. He said, "As a 19-year-old who was immature and didn’t understand life, I took that really hard. I left the office in tears when I knew I was leaving." Read between the lines. The guy understands the big picture now, that Kansas cut him off because they had to, and that's how life works, only that as a 19 year old, he couldn't understand that because, in his own very words, he was "immature" and only thinking about himself.

He was a hotshot at 18, wasn't going anywhere with his life, made a terrible mistake at 19, and then after that, continued to make his share of mistakes, like a lot of young people do. In his senior year, though, he turned his life and basketball career around, had great success on the court, and got selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. Now I see that he's no longer in the League, but he was a first rounder, meaning he got his 7-figure contract, and he started a game in the NBA for the Celtics. That doesn't sound like a bad life to me.

Everyone judging him on his life, what have you done in your life that makes you so high and mighty? The things people are saying on here...

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 6 months ago

I was at the Georgia Tech/ Elite Eight game in St.Louis in JR's first year.

I'll always wonder what would have happened to Gidden's career at Kansas if he had made that last second shot at the end of regulation that would have put us in the Final Four.

Sometimes sports is just a matter of inches [Jo Jo White's sneaker, Fisk's Home Run, Norwood's field goal attempt, Bartman, Starr's quarterback sneak, Denkinger's call, Mike Eruzione's slap shot, Chaistan's kick, etc. etc.]

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Eride 2 years, 6 months ago

You were treated as a team cancer because you were a team cancer.

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wayne1953 2 years, 6 months ago

JR Giddens was a loser when he arrived here, was during his time here, and apparently always will be. so full of himself, he refused to listen to wise counsel and squandered an opportunity to play for one of the premier programs and coaches in the NCAA Div 1. why he was even included in the book is anybodys guess, but he got an opportunity to slam KU and Self so he did. Hope he remains in whatever remote country he is playing in if he is even still playing.

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gchawk 2 years, 6 months ago

J.R..... Once I was in a parade and everyone was out of step except me, so I know exactly how you feel !!

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IrishDaddy 2 years, 6 months ago

So much for ONCE A JAYHALK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL.

NO CLASS at all, treating a kid this way:

. Bill Self used to always tell me, “Micah is coming in and he's better than you.” He would just say little stuff like that and I was like, “Dang, man, you’re not even for me, are you?”

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southwindjay 2 years, 6 months ago

This tells us a lot more about JR than anything else. A complete class-less cry baby. And luckily we have a great coach that won't acknowledge or respond to his blubbering.

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Redlandsjhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

"At the first sign of trouble you guys turned your backs on me." First Sign??? Excuse me, isn't your memory being a little selective JR? First sign...priceless

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Bob Reinsch 2 years, 6 months ago

FIRST sign of trouble? Please.

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REHawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Unbelievable that the NBA would have selected Giddens in the first round over second round selection Mario Chalmers who had retained focus and steady development for his 3 years in Lawrence, and had just starred in a national championship contest. So much for NBA evaluation of collegiate focus and character! Bill Self had brought in Brandon Rush to replace Giddens at the 3 position. Not a bad switch....

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kushaw 2 years, 6 months ago

I was never much of a Giddens fan, but I also think he's getting a bad rap. Sure, some of his past mistakes like the Walmart incident and stabbing certainly fall on him, but I also think kids make mistakes and are sometimes in the wrong place at the wrong time (Thomas Robinson example).

With that said, I think Giddens was in a bad situation to start. It's never easy having to deal with a coaching change and Giddens had to do with it two high profile coaches in Williams and Self. Yes, I know Langford, Miles, and Simien had to deal with it as well, but it's never easy when you're that age and you're getting pushed out the door by the head coach and staff as described above.

Look, I love Coach Self, KU, and the staff, but the unfortunate part of amateur college athltetics is things like Giddens described in reference to Coach Self and the staff do happen. I hate it and will never understand it ( I do understand it because it's a cut and dry business-Winning is the only thing in order to keep your job), but sometimes when negative things happen at that age.....they keep spiraling and you think there is nobody on your side. I have sympathy in that regards to Giddens because on a small scale I can relate.

I will say this, after Giddens benching and attitude adjustment at New Mexico by Alford........Giddens did turn into a better player, teammate, and person. Some would say that was his turning point in his career and life. Not a Giddens fans, but I understand his struggles and I respect him for it.

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iamakufan 2 years, 6 months ago

I think he was forced to leave because of repeated offenses and his attitude, not because of this one incident. You break the rules, you pay the price.

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Krohnutz 2 years, 6 months ago

In here are all the answers:

"Dang, man, you’re not even for me, are you?”

No, he was for the team.

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REHawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Here is another thought regarding J R's reference to the support of Aaron Miles. Aaron was obviously one of those steady focused players who was a coach's delight; never a media nightmare. However, Miles and Giddens were Roy's recruits, guys whose talents did not perhaps mesh completely with the design BIll Self envisioned for his future dynasty. I seem to recall that Self and staff were disposed to cutting Giddens' playing time, but were encouraged by Aaron and Keith and other starters to keep J R on the floor. By the time the knifing incident came down, Bill Self had done enough tooth gnashing over the plight of Giddens. The prospect of another two years with his dragging down the program was probably costing the coaching staff loss of sleep. In essence, J R's departure offered the kid a fresh start out west; and eventually led to his NBA contract. Kansas hoops could breathe a sigh of relief and get on track to maintain a winning league record.

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MartyrMangino 2 years, 6 months ago

I hate that people try to make a buck by going through our dirty laundry. Anybody who was at the Legends of the Phog game understands that the reason we are who we are is because we are a team and a family. That's not what family do. Glorified paparazzi. Shame.

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REHawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Giddens had two years in Lawrence to prove his worth to the league dynasty that Bill Self and the athletic dept. were building. His offcourt actions far more than offset the weak contributions he offered on the court. No doubt, a highly talented and gifted free spirit whose character issues eventually led to his dismissal. From the university chancellor to the athletic director and right on down the line, the athletic dept. was under the wire to clean up and sweep away such distractions. No surprise that J R underwent benching for a spell at New Mexico.
He and Giles and Downes were gifted ball players who were offered the opportunity to play for one of the most prestigious programs and coaching staffs in the land. They blew it. Immaturity? BAH! Steadiness of character and determined focus came up short.

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Clarence Haynes 2 years, 6 months ago

" was staying with Josi Lima, my girlfriend at the time who played volleyball"

Hope that he learned some Portuguese or got a trip to Brazil!

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Beate Williams 2 years, 6 months ago

Haters will hate. I definitely think if Self said those things he: 1) was being sarcastic, or 2) he was trying to get the kid to accept a challenge. I find it amazing that people can be so critical of JR for doing the things he was doing at 19, yet when Simien indicated all the things he was doing at 18, 19 and 20 no one talked about what a low life he was. Simien's life went a different direction than JR's but I think Simien's home situation was much different than JR's and they are two different individuals. I think everyone, JR and KU were much better as a result of his leaving and I think his experience in New Mexico is probably what eventually got him to the league. His comments regarding being shunned could have been the easiest way to make the break, not one of hatred or total disregard for him as a person. I think, even though Miles was no longer playing, if Self wanted the kid to be totally isolated he would have passed that along to all individuals associated with the program and he did not.
I agree with an earlier post, it appears this is designed to get the reader interested in buying the book; we absolutely do not know how it has been edited.

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milwaukeeJAYHAWK 2 years, 6 months ago

Why even interview Giddens? Who cares? The guy was a jerk.

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d_park 2 years, 6 months ago

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Jayhawkfanalum 2 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations, Jesse. Your WikiLeaks-like assortment of former Jayhawks talking trash paints a dark streak across our program (can you say “recruiting albatross” Jesse?), but wins you 15 minutes of fame, ala Julian Assange. This latest offering—the one sided blathering of a bitter ex-player a few knife thrusts short of Antisocial Personality Disorder—is both egregious rumor mongering and blatant self promotion. All hail the newly self-appointed TMZ/National Enquirer of Lawrence! I’m wondering though, do guys like you or Julian Assange ever interrupt your random vomiting of scintillating disclosures with the dull question: “Why?” This series is shaping up as reality TV at its worst. They put that schlock on TV because it’s cheap to produce. You’ll get readers/site clicks with this kind mean-spirited eye candy, but don’t mistake it for journalism or writing.

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Joe Joseph 2 years, 6 months ago

I think most people would agree that people deserve a second chance. JR Giddens got his. As well as a third and fourth.

Strike one - Attempting to steal $4000 worth of electronics from Wal Mart. Strike two - Getting in a knife fight outside the Moon Bar. Strike three - Getting suspended from New Mexico for being a D of a teammate.

Giddens clearly borrows trouble and I can't say I feel any bit sorry for him.

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gongs4ku 2 years, 6 months ago

His getting into trouble as a 19 year old, or his "wasting his talent," don't negatively affect my view of J.R. I remember what it was like to be that young. However, his inability, years after the fact, to take responsibility for mistakes he made reflects pretty poorly on his character.

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jbrownjib 2 years, 6 months ago

Funny thing is that JR was suspended in his first playing season with New Mexico for not being a good teammate. Maybe that had something to do with his situation at KU as well.

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nuleafjhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Giddens was, in my opinion, in second place as the biggest disappointment and biggest waste of God given talent that KU has ever seen.

He shouldn't feel badly about being second in those two categories, because he was definitely first in the bad attitude, crybaby department.

I suppose anything is possible, but I don't see Coach Self saying what Giddens reported that he said. He could have been "on" him, or being sarcastic or whatever, but Self doesn't strike me as being the kind of man that just kicks you when you're down for no reason.

J.R. Giddens means nothing to me - I haven't lost a second of sleep since he left and I won't, but I hope he gets his act together and grows up.

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bradynsdad 2 years, 6 months ago

Did I miss the part of the story where he explains that he got stabbed because he was helping an old couple getting robbed? I mean he was always such an outstanding role model I don't know why he wouldn't tell people when he got STABBED that he was performing a heroic deed.

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KULA 2 years, 6 months ago

Nice to hear some dissenting opinions from the general consensus of the "can do no wrong" assessment of the program and coaches. Kinda like life, huh? It's not always black and white.

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matlockhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Waaa, waaa, waaa. Does he think that anyone familiar with the program is going to buy into any of that? He couldn't dribble, pass, play d, or (for that matter) shoot threes consistently. Not a coachable commodity.

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manginorh00lz 2 years, 6 months ago

This was obviously edited. The question is, though, why were so many grammatical errors left in place when so many others were edited out?

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Michael Auchard 2 years, 6 months ago

Abre los ojos.

Anyone who doesn't think KU players live crazy, dirty lifestyles on the side is insane.

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Alohahawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Normally, I try to give a person the benefit of the doubt. J.R.Gibbens, er... I mean J.R.Giddens, lost my support before he even stepped foot on the court during a game (see Walmart escapade). Then, his court performances never equaled the hoopla surrounding his recruitment.

Perhaps it was because Coach Williams recruited him, but Giddens never seemed to fit Self's system. I always wondered what KU would have accomplished if he hadn't played. (Case in point his performance in his final game for KU. Our inside game was our strength but he kept hogging shots with his 3's, till we lost the game.) As pointed out above, his love of the three and failure to drive to the bucket, especially with his leaping ability, left a lot to be desired. IMHO, and not because I advocate violence, the stabbing was a blessing in disguise.

And as I mentioned in a post about a week or two ago, when you point a finger, three fingers point back to the one doing the pointing.

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SaltLakeHawk 2 years, 6 months ago

It's interesting to me that KU is letting this stuff get published. There's no conceivable way that a story like this could reflect well on KU.

And Giddens sounds like he's still his same old d-bag self.

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hawkfan4life 2 years, 6 months ago

I went to school with Giddens, and stayed a few rooms away from him in the towers. I always thought he got a bad rap here. He is a very self-confident guy, no doubt. That rubbed some folks the wrong way. He was always really chill and cool with me. Definitely not the villian that he was made out to be.

His story is one that makes me know for certain that all things happen for a reason. His tragedy in Lawrence turned into ultimate triumph for him. Lots of success followed for him at New Mexico, and Doc Rivers saw potential in him when we thought he had been counted out. Went on to play professionally in the league and overseas. A bad situation made good. He fulfilled his dream of playing for pay and made the millions that we all dream of.

We seemed to be okay after he left too!! So, all in all, it actually worked out well for everybody in the end. And, it's all water under the bridge now. Quiet as it's kept, JR still has friends in, and ties to Lawrence. He pops into town every so often. He doesn't hate us like this excerpt makes it seem...this reads like a story that the book really could have done without.

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rocksolid 2 years, 6 months ago

Anybody ever witness JR's tirades and talk down to people, he made Mangino look like a saint. MOO stuck around and finished school with a degree. Was good to see him at The Legends of the Phog game.

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jksport 2 years, 6 months ago

Exit JR and Welcome Brandon Rush. Rest is history!

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texashawk10 2 years, 6 months ago

Maybe the reason the staff at KU wasn't willing to stand behind Giddens was because all he did was shoot 3's every time he touched the ball and shot 33% his sophomore year. Maybe if Giddens was more willing to use his athletic abiltiy to drive to the basket and share the ball more, KU would've done more for Giddens after he was stabbed. He was one of the most athletically gifted players I ever saw step foot on Naismith Court, and I remember the announcers throughout the year (didn't matter which crew) wondering why in the world Giddens didn't have more FT attempts, but he completely squandered his athleticism his sophomore season and only attempted 25 FT's the entire season. If Giddens had been more aggressive his entire sophomore season, KU probably wins 3 or 4 of the games they lost that year including Bucknell and who knows what would've happened that year. JR Giddens may have been one the most athletically gifted players I've ever seen in a KU uniform, but he is also the biggest waste of talent I've ever seen as well.

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Ferd Magellan 2 years, 6 months ago

What an idiot. Does he know how many kids have been honored their scholarships after breaking major rules and laws? You obviously did something bad enough to lose any hope of staying in Lawrence.

Giddens and Giles are must be related.

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Eurekahwk 2 years, 6 months ago

Color us all disappointed. I thought he could have been really good, and I wanted to see him succeed at Kansas. But when you're under aged and getting a free ride through school, the bar shouldn't even be in your vocabulary. He's lucky he got a chance at all. Some coaches would have rescinded his scholly after the Wally World incident.

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jayhawkdon 2 years, 6 months ago

People who blame someone else for their problems are worthless. Take responsibility for your own actions.

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kusportsdotcom 2 years, 6 months ago

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Gavin Fritton 2 years, 6 months ago

Just a thought JR, but maybe you could have not gotten in a fight or gotten stabbed? Perhaps taken some responsibility for your actions? Even after your little escapade at Wal-Mart, KU gave you a chance and a home and now you're accusing KU of tossing you like a dead battery? Stay classy.

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Jhawk59 2 years, 6 months ago

Good riddance. Low-blow to Niang too.

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