Originally published July 14, 2014 at 06:42p.m., updated July 14, 2014 at 09:08p.m.

Bill Self talked with Cavs about vacancy

Kansas head coach Bill Self smiles and gives a pat to Andrew Wiggins after pulling him from the game late in the second half on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self smiles and gives a pat to Andrew Wiggins after pulling him from the game late in the second half on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari wasn’t the only major-college mentor to speak to the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers about their recent head-coaching opening.

Kansas University’s Bill Self said Monday he did speak in general terms with the Cavs’ front office about the job, which was filled by David Blatt on June 20.

“I talked to the Cavaliers a lot through this whole draft process concerning Andrew (Wiggins) and Joel (Embiid) and other things,” Self told the Journal-World. “We visited about the job. At no point in time was there any serious discussion about anything. We visited in general but no serious discussions about it or anything like that.”

Asked how many pro teams had contacted him in the past, 12th-year KU coach Self told the J-W: “Not many. This one wasn’t a serious deal because the bottom line is, I made it very clear where I was, and it was just an information-gathering deal.”

ESPN reported in early June that the Cavs offered Kentucky’s Calipari $80 million for 10 years. The Cavs reportedly were also interested in Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Florida’s Billy Donovan and interviewed both Alvin Gentry and Tyronn Lue.

The job was open and filled before phenom LeBron James decided to leave the Miami Heat for the Cavs and before KU’s Wiggins was selected No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft.

Wedding day approaches: There’s a big day coming up in the Self family. Bill’s daughter, Lauren, will marry Hayden Browning on Aug. 16 in Kansas City.

Lauren Self graduated from KU with a degree in elementary education and now works for the Christian ministry Young Life in Richardson, Texas. Hayden graduated from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio with a degree in Christian education and now works as a music pastor at Canyon Creek Baptist Church in Richardson, Texas.

“I’m as fired up as a dad can be giving away his daughter, but, yeah, I’m fired up. We think the world of Hayden,” Self said of him and his wife, Cindy.

Brown’s program takes big hit: SMU coach Larry Brown’s program suffered a huge loss Monday when 6-5 guard Emmanuel Mudiay announced plans to play pro ball overseas. He’s’s No. 2 prospect in the recruiting Class of 2014.

“Emmanuel Mudiay has decided to pursue professional basketball opportunities,” former KU coach Brown said in a statement as reported by USA Today. “This is not an academic issue, since he has been admitted to SMU, but rather a hardship issue. After talking to Emmanuel, I know he really wants to alleviate some of the challenges his family faces and recognizes that he has an opportunity to help them now. While I believe that college is the best way to prepare for life and the NBA, Emmanuel’s situation is unique. We were excited about having him at SMU, but we understand this decision and wish him the best.”

Mudiay’s statement as reported by the Dallas Morning News: “I was excited about going to SMU and playing college basketball for coach Brown and his staff and preparing for the NBA ... But I was tired of seeing my mom struggle. And after sitting down with my coach, coach Brown and my family, we decided that the best way for me to provide for my mom was to forgo college and pursue professional basketball opportunities. I am grateful for coach’s guidance and coach Brown’s support. I am grateful for Prime Prep and coach (Ray) Forsett for making me into the player that I am today. This is in no shape or form because of the NCAA or any eligibility issues.”


Richard Ballard 8 years, 2 months ago

Bill. When the NBA talks to you in the future?

Just Say No!


Richard Ballard

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 2 months ago

When you get enough of these topics and discussions about information gathering deals, you start to think it is only a matter of time until Self goes to the NBA. I hope I am wrong, but there seems to be some smoke to cause a fire.

Robert Brock 8 years, 2 months ago

I think you are right. But if he leaves, KU will attract a top coach and the tradition of excellence will continue.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 2 months ago

Blatt looks like the real deal. I think Stevens success will help college coaches determine if they can make the transition work going to the NBA. It's such a different animal than college ball. The track record is not positive with coaches who do not have NBA coaching experience.

Alex Wishart 8 years, 2 months ago

This is all about leverage on a future contract.

Joe Ross 8 years, 2 months ago

As a person, I realize Bill Self has both the right and the obligation to seek out the best situation for him and his family. As a fan, I hate this. Coach said he has no interest in the NBA and wants to stay at Kansas. So why even talk to them at all if that's the case? Kansas fans have heard the emphatic "I'm STAYIN'" remark before...

What thou doest, do quickly.

Jay Beakum 8 years, 2 months ago

Wait, wait, wait. He never said he had no interest in the NBA. He’s hinted all along that while he’s happy at KU, nothing is ever out of the question. I hate it too, but it’s nothing like Roy’s deal.

It’s gonna be San Antonio as soon as Pop retires. Sad but true.

Joseph Leon 8 years, 2 months ago

He likes to follow tough acts. He showed up Roy. Can he show up Pop?

Joe Ross 8 years, 2 months ago

“There’s nothing about me and the NBA. Zero." --Coach Self

Rodney Crain 8 years, 2 months ago

Said this before you do not want to follow the legend, you want to be the 2nd guy to follow the legend. Also the quickest way to lose a friend is to work for them.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 2 months ago

Self must have been informed by the Cavs they were after James. Coaching this Cavs team would be a prime opportunity for any coach, perhaps the best situation that could become available. I'm very appreciative Self chooses to remain at Kansas.

Jay Beakum 8 years, 2 months ago

To be fair, everybody in the world knew the Cavs were after James for the last 2 or 3 years. They put feelers out to a lot more coaches than we’ve heard about. Maybe all of them, because yes of course, it’s like landing in the Finals. Hell I’m surprised Phil Jackson didn’t quit the Knicks to go coach ‘em.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 2 months ago

Yes we all knew that but my bet would be that the Cavs had great networking that James wanted to return. All through June, NBA Finals, the word all around CLE (daycare center where his kids attended, his barber shop, all kinds of HS friends...) was James would return. Coaching this CLE team for the next 5-7 years would be a tough thing to turn down.

Cal reportedly was offered the job (7 years, $60MM) but accepted the KY extension (7 years, $52MM) instead. After reading the yahoo article (, Calipari must be kicking himself.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 2 months ago

Maybe Lauren's big day is a nice backdrop on the whole coaching story. Not many dad's get to live the life Coach and his family have, while coaching your son.

Robert Brock 8 years, 2 months ago

Meanwhile, there is a job available with the Lakers. But the time isn't right. The Jayhawks will be fun and interesting to coach this year. The Lakers will suck.

Jay Beakum 8 years, 2 months ago

I’m bummed for Larry. SMU was gonna be a force this year. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a top recruit bail out overseas a month before school starts. 8 more months and he’d be with an agent living the good life, and he’d still have all that prep time with one of the best coaches in history. Sad deal.

DaNeille Dani Davis 8 years, 2 months ago

I don't understand why a successful, legendary college coach would want to leave for the NBA anyways. Who would want to coach a bunch of overpaid, egotistical, uncoachable because they think they are so great, big headed idiots? How many NBA coaches can you name? Not many cause no one cares. How many college coaches can you name? Most of them!

Glen Miller 8 years, 2 months ago

Mark my words..... If Danny Manning does well at Wake, he'll be the next KU coach. Self will take the Spurs job in a few years after his son graduates and Pop retires. Then that opens the door for Danny Manning to come coach at KU for a solid 15-20 years as long as he recruits and wins. I'd like to hang on to Bill as long as possible, but it seems to me that he's kind of letting us fans know not to count on that happening for too much longer. I don't recall this much talk about other jobs and such until the last few years. I may be wrong, but I can see him posturing for a job and trying to let us down easy in the process.

John Fitzgerald 8 years, 2 months ago

I agree 100% and we have to respect the guy for that.

Erich Hill 8 years, 2 months ago

Why does everyone think it's going to be the Spurs? My money is on OKC after Scott Brooks gets fired following another early round exit from the playoffs. I would much rather coach Durant and Westbrook for the next 10 years than have to rebuild the Spurs, even though Kwahi Leonard is the real deal, he's no Tim Duncan.

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