Thursday, August 8, 2013

Self clarifies comments on NBA coaching possibility

Kansas head coach Bill Self questions an errant pass by the Jayhawks during the first half of the CBE Classic, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas head coach Bill Self questions an errant pass by the Jayhawks during the first half of the CBE Classic, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.


Kansas University coach Bill Self clarified his stance on the possibility of coaching in the NBA a day after earlier comments made national news and even the front page of

“I only said, ‘Sure, I’d be open to it,’” Self told Reid Forgrave of on Tuesday. “That was something taken way out of context.”

Self explained that there was a reason he never ruled out taking another job.

“In my situation, I made a mistake before when I was coaching at Illinois,” Self said. “When I first got the job, I made a mistake. I said I was in it for the long haul, and I totally meant it, but I only stayed three years. I learned from then that you don’t really say anything directly. Because you never know. But anybody who knows me knows I’m totally locked in where I’m at.”

On Monday, in an interview with The Oklahoman, Self said this about the NBA: “It hasn’t really tempted me because I haven’t had that many people talk to me about it. But at some point and time, sure, I think it would (tempt me). It would be great to be able to match wits with the best athletes in the world, but I’m certainly happy where I’m at.”

Self reiterated to Forgrave that he wasn’t actively looking for another job.

“Nobody has flirted with me,” Self said. “It’s not like I’m on everybody’s wish list or anything like that. I really don’t know what it would take. But it would have to be awfully good though. Even a so-called better job — I don’t know what job would be better than the one I have right now.”

‘Big Monday’ dates set

The KU men’s basketball team will make four appearances on ESPN’s Big Monday in 2014, tying for the highest number in the conference with Oklahoma State.

KU will be a part of the first two Big Mondays, traveling to Iowa State on Jan. 13 and playing host to Baylor on Jan. 20. All games are scheduled for 8 p.m. CT.

The Jayhawks also will be at Kansas State on Feb. 10 before playing host to Oklahoma on Feb. 24.

Since the start of the Big 12, KU is 49-16 all-time on ESPN’s Big Monday (27-1 at home, 22-15 on the road), which includes a 30-8 record under Self. KU also has won 20 straight ESPN Big Monday games in Allen Fieldhouse, which includes a 16-0 mark under Self.

Turner cuts list

Myles Turner, a 6-11 senior center from Trinity High in Euless, Texas, narrowed his list from 26 schools to eight on Wednesday, reports: KU, Kentucky, Duke, Louisville, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Texas and Arizona. He’s ranked sixth nationally.


Hurinfan 9 years, 1 month ago

It's sad that coach had to clarify his statements. His original statements weren't that hard to decipher. I'm sure everyone for KU knew exactly what he meant and said because it wasn't confusing at all and he's said similar things before. This is just a classic case of writers/journalists hearing snippets and running away with nothing because they have nothing better to write during the off-season.

Larry Smith 9 years, 1 month ago

If you think that the media members were the only ones making assumptions, you obviously didn't read the comments here.

NJHAWK 9 years, 1 month ago

Don't forget the coaching staffs across the nation. They are going to use it in recruiting.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 1 month ago

It's a typically media move to sensationalize these things, to blow them way out of proportion. Sometimes I look at a headline, then read the article and wonder how on earth they got that headline out of that story. There was a time, well before my time, when the media reported facts. Now they report and adapt to whatever sells.

LAJayhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, and what really stinks is that when it becomes front page news on ESPN, it then becomes a pretty big recruiting tool against him. Anyone who doesn't think opposing coaches aren't going to toss that at potential recruits is completely naive. It's a shame, because, while it was a political answer, it's no different than what he's said a hundred times before. Plus, it really would have to be a ridiculous offer, because of the huge risk factor in jumping to the NBA. Aside from having one of the best jobs in the country, he also happens to be unbelievably secure in his current position. All of that goes out the window the minute he rides up Troy's bucket.....

dw3c 9 years, 1 month ago

Yep, nothing to see here. Only the 30th time he's made comments like this in the last 5 yrs. Fantastic job on reporting the previous 29 times national media.

KULA 9 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like somebody got on Bill to "clarify" his statements.

klineisanazi 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't know anybody associated with KU that would "get on" Self about this or anything.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like a pretty sly way to get a big raise. You are my hero Bill !

ParisHawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Hey, I'm open to the NBA too!

(Somebody tell my boss...)

jhox 9 years, 1 month ago

Big raise, and an open invitation for NBA job offers.

Andy Godwin 9 years, 1 month ago

Bill would have taken a pay cut to go to Boston. Stevens' deal with Boston is less than Self's current package. Bill is very well paid at KU. The move to the NBA, which I can't imagine he would do well coaching those prima donnas, would be for ego and not solely money.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 1 month ago

Well said. Still the temptation of the NBA is something neither one of us has to contemplate.

David Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

Which is a better option: Dealing with player contracts/salary/trades and the NBA salary cap (or) constant recruiting and signing high school players? How about 82+ games (or) 30-35 games? Which side of the basketball fence is greener, the NBA or College basketball?

My thought is if you are a successful college coach at a blue-blood program, you are in a better position than any NBA coach. Arguments??

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Could NOT agree more. I could make this a jaybate length post with my feelings about the NBA, but I'll try to keep it short. I've never understood why any successful (or unsuccessful, for that matter) college coach would want to coach in the NBA. I know that a college position, especially at some of the "blue blood" institutions can be stressful, but the NBA just seems like a terrible job. NBA coaches don't mentor anyone or teach anyone, and I believe in Coach Self's own words he said he would like to "match wits" with the NBA players? HUH? Play a game of chess with them. It would be more like match wills with them. Many NBA players aren't really that coachable.

Hawk8086 9 years, 1 month ago

I agree. However, talented driven people strive to perform at the highest level of their profession. In Self's profession, that is the NBA. Some have flirted (Izzo, K) and not made the jump. But, regardless of how it appears to us, coaching in the NBA is appealing to a top notch college coach. See Brad Stevens. As I posted earlier, I thought Self's comments were fairly innocuous, anyway. He has made similar comments many times. There is always a chance a successful college coach will be lured to the NBA. Self's comments don't make it any more likely in the near future than it was before the article was published.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

You make good points Hawk8086. I realize that I'm in the minority, but I personally don't think the NBA has the highest level of coaching. Pay, yes. Recognition, yes. Stress, yes.

It's all up to the individual as to what is the highest level of anything. I personally think that K-12 teachers are more valuable and actually teach more than college professors. They have more willing subjects!

It's like the " one and done " thing. I know I'll never win the argument, but it doesn't keep me from thinking that way.

Joe Baker 9 years, 1 month ago

No clarification is necessary, next...

Luca Rossi 9 years, 1 month ago

Sounds to me like its not so much clarifying for those associated with KU but more for recruilts.

KemDooKU 9 years, 1 month ago

If BS decides to go to the NBA then it's his choice. We replaced Larry with Roy and then Roy with Bill - although Bill would be a tough act to follow because replacing him is like Duke replacing coach K but there is a good track record the last 25-30 years.

Bill Pitcher 9 years, 1 month ago

It's sad HCBS had to clarify his statement because he normally does make statements that are so blindingly ambiguous or let the press waltz him around the bozo pole. It's clear now: he likes his job until a better offer comes along.

rockchalk_dpu 9 years, 1 month ago

You forgot to mention that at this point, he doesn't see a better offer than the one he currently has. He likes where he is at, he thinks its a top job at any level, so its hard to make a move to a job that would be perceived to be better.

Robert Brock 9 years, 1 month ago

Coach Self may regret making those statements; top recruits are going to hear our opponents talk about CS leaving for the bright lights soon.

texashawk10 9 years, 1 month ago

A lot of recruits are turned off by a recruiting pitch when it involves bashing other programs instead of building up their own program.

Cameron Schienebeck 9 years, 1 month ago

Just another example of ESPN writing a headline to get clicks. Reading the headline it sounded like Coach Self had one foot out the door. Then when you actually read or listen to the interview it was no where near the extreme they made it out to be.

andy acosta 9 years, 1 month ago

I think what many people forget to do is put themselves in the shoes of these coaches. As much as I love coach Self and believe that he is the ultimate ambassador for KU, why isn't he allowed to dream like the best players in the world? Go to a playground tonight and ask any kid what they want to be when they grow up. I would strongly say that if they have aspirations to play basketball, they don't see their ceiling ending after college basketball. Just like a player that wants to compete at the highest level, why cant a coach strive to reach the pinnacle of their career?

Tony Bandle 9 years, 1 month ago


1] Deaing with the egos of players making 10 times the money you're making.

2] Dealing with the ego of owners who think they are 10 times smarter than you.

3] Never spending more than two days in any town....for SIX MONTHS!!

4] Playing over twice as many regular season games than a college team winning a NC.

5] Playing a full regular season and still having half the league make the playoffs.

6] Finding time to practice and maybe coach....once in awhile.

7] Eliminating whatevwer cache you have built up over your college career and starting over with huge expectation pressures.

8] Watching the sport you love morph into a combnation of NFL Football and WWE Professional Wrestling.i

9] In college, you know the refs are the pros you know they are incompetent but always wonder if they are crooked as well.

10] David Stern is still the power behind the throne.

11] Wonder why Coach K, Bobby, Uncle Roy, Lute, Izzo, St. John of UCLA and a bunch of other great college coaches never made the jump.

Yep, sounds like the life of an NBA coach is everything anyone could dream of..... a nightmare!!

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Great list !

However, I believe #9 could apply to either place.

Tim Orel 9 years, 1 month ago

I'd add to #11 with the coaches who have returned to the college level - Rick Pitino foremost among them (and there are many others). The grass isn't necessarily greener.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 1 month ago

Good point..Calipari is another as are Tim Floyd, Lonnie Kruger, Leonard Hamilton, Reggie Theus among many others. Might as well pencil in Brad Stevens within the next three years!!

CougIsLJW 9 years, 1 month ago

"8] Watching the sport you love morph into a combnation of NFL Football and WWE Professional Wrestling."

WWE would be embarrassed by the comparison.

Steve Yeakel 9 years, 1 month ago

Bill, I love you and would never trade you for anyone. I love you enough to be honest with you and tell you the truth - your original and clarifying comments were a mistake Bill, you have just made a very tough job twice as tough for your loyal, hardworking recruiters, and you will lose some top recruits because of this, as opposing recruiters will make sure that recruits understand that they cannot trust you to be there for sure. I would not trade you for anyone, but it us a little sad that you have the best dream job possible but still do not fully realize it. You have made that dream job tougher for you, your recruiters, the players, and fans, with your unwise comments.

Lash 9 years, 1 month ago

steveyea the media stretched Self's statements to make headlines. Some would like nothing better than slow KU's dominance. At one time coaches went to the NBA for much larger paychecks than were in college ball. Self's at KU as long as Tylers playing. We just need to hope Tyler doesn't declare early for the draft.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 1 month ago

LOL....we need Tyler to redshirt this in 14-15...take a medical redshirt in in 16-17...then apply for team manager/assistant position.


Cindy tell Bill " I'm not moving and neither are you!!!

TexiCaliHawk 9 years, 1 month ago

For those who are 'blinded' by their love for HCBS, I have news for you -- he is (like all of us) a 'human being'. That said, I believe that even though he has a contract at KU that will pay him more than most of us can even count, it is 'human nature' to want to feel loved. He even used the term, "flirted with" so this just proves my point.

Now, do I think he 'will' leave for the NBA anytime soon? No, I don't as I do believe he knows he's in the middle of a pretty incredible run at KU that is actually about to get even more exciting when you consider our incoming recruits and 'short-list' prospects in the pipeline for the future.

However, given the fact that he made similar comments after the Stevens move to two separate news sources (as media savvy as he is, he had to know it would be picked up nationally as a result of his stature), leads me to believe he is sending out feelers to let folks know that he would indeed be interested in working at the 'next level' at some point (he said as much in both interviews).

Will it hamper recruiting? I'm not sure, but what I do know is there are several ways to send out 'feelers' of his (future) interest in the NBA without doing so publicly and running even the slightest risk of upsetting his 'current' school administration, alumni, fan base and future recruits.

The only reason to do so is a 'human' one . . . HUBRIS -- Bill, you are indeed human, but I thought you were more media savvy than this? I would advise you to say to anyone who asks going forward that you are quite happy where you are and excited about the future prospects of this incredible, Tradition-rich program -- and let the 'future' take care of itself in its own time . . .

Joe Baker 9 years, 1 month ago

Damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't - You can't please everyone. He could've said anything during this media frenzy and people will always find a way to twist words.

I'm disappointed many on this board are doubting his "loyalty." I'm not even thinking of the trolls either.

TexiCaliHawk 9 years, 1 month ago

No he's not -- as a mature, media trained/savvy leader in the public eye, HE gets to 'control' the interview and respond in an appropriate manner. Nobody can 'twist' things he doesn't say; however, when he leaves the door open with specific statements like this (not once, but twice) it says he didn't learn from the first time and still wants some 'love' despite the benefits of his current position.

You can be 'disappointed' all you want -- it doesn't make you 'right' . . . just as 'human' as the rest of us (including Bill).

mikehawk 9 years, 1 month ago

On one hand almost any college coach in the country would make a similar statement given the questions presented. Not boxing himself in like he did at Illinois is smart. Remember Roy and Larry Brown? On the other hand, will this be used against him in recruiting? Yes. Are we going to lose recruits over this? Doubtful in the same way we don't stop recruiting OAD's because they likely will only be with us one year.

This is a business. I'm happy with my job and have no plans to leave. Would I listen to other offers? Would you? If you are any good, or think you are any good, you will. If you are stuck in a rut and don't have the nads to consider and take risks, no one is likely pursuing you anyway.

Enjoy the moment and each day Coach is with us. It will probably be a long time. Most of us thought life was over when Roy left. It wasn't. If I've learned anything in this life, everyone is replaceable.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 1 month ago

On an unrelated note, a kid narrows his list from 26 schools to 8? I know the recruits get many more schools after them, but he really had 26 schools on his list like he might attend one of them? Sounds like he might have some trouble making his decision!

9 years, 1 month ago

He most recently said before this latest cut that he doesn’t expect to commit until next spring, so he should have time to make another cut or two.

Although Turner will soon cut his list and set some more visits, don't expect an early commitment. For now, the plan is to wait until the Spring to make a decision.

"I'm actually not going to sign this fall," said Turner. "I'm probably going to wait for the Spring and just get my high school season out of the way and deal with everything after that."

brooksmd 9 years, 1 month ago

Reading the Rivals report almost sounds like KU is sitting on top of the pile. He's looking for a NBA "bigs" factory and wants to improve his strength (Hudy). Not to mention he's been following KU for years.

Joe Baker 9 years, 1 month ago

All those doubting Self's recruiting position at this time are a little late. Many were doubting him prior to Wiggins. Also, IF other programs are throwing negative comments about Self to recruits, then maybe it's more about the recruits than Self's ability to recruit them. I'm glad Wigs ignored all the recruiting hype and followed his heart.

Relax, trust Self to recruit. KU will be fine. There are recruits waiting to see which of our top recruits are drafted. Most of the top recruits like Self and his coaches. Calm down and enjoy the season. We will see more top recruits coming to KU.

Jeff Soisson 9 years, 1 month ago

I have no concerns that Bill will leave, he is a few big 12 conference titles away from passing John Wooden (I think three he would pass him). No one will ever accomplish this again.

As others have said on this site, Larry Brown would have told him what he gains and loses going to the NBA. Larry came back to college, these guys are teachers and they want to change people's lives, not just win.

Bill has more money than he can ever spend, it's about wins, conference championships and national championships. I think Bill really wants KU to be the winningest program in history, that is what he wants before he retires.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 1 month ago

Self is a rare coach who has the reputation nationally of getting the most out of his players. My son and I talked about this last night. ESPN's Jay Bilas explained that he doesn't think of Self simply as one of the best college basketball coaches but as one of the best coaches in all of sports. To think that organizations such as the Lakers and Celtics wouldn't be interested, ask yourself this question: if you owned an NBA team, and, godwilling you might one day, would you rather have Brad Stevens or Bill Self?

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 1 month ago

Also, what we have rolling here is gold. Move ahead 20-25 years, when Self's career is ending or has ended, ask him what his most memorable years were, and that will be his tenure at KU. I think Larry Brown would say the same, and even with 2 NCs at NC, I'll bet that Roy would count his KU years among his finest.

Michael Pannacciulli 9 years, 1 month ago

Nothing new I can add here it seems. These flippant comments will hoprfully pass and be forgotten soon and not be used as weapons against himself.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 1 month ago

  1. Never give up a layup when a hard block (foul) can be administered.

Kirk 9 years, 1 month ago

Most the guys we're recruiting are only looking to stay in college for one season anyway, so I don't see any issue with Bill saying he might want to tap that S in the NBA.

Alan Braun 9 years, 1 month ago

Self has no doubt been getting calls from NBA teams every spring for years now. Anyone who doesn't think so has rocks in their heads. Obviously he hasn't gotten an offer he wants yet, most likely for the reasons so eloquently laid out by others. I'm not very worried.

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