10 reasons why Bill Self is not leaving Kansas for the Houston Rockets


ESPN’s Marc Stein sent a jolt through the Kansas University basketball world on Wednesday when he Tweeted that the Houston Rockets are “intrigued” by the idea of Bill Self as their next head coach.

As many have mentioned on Twitter already, just because the Rockets are intrigued by Self does not mean Self is intrigued by the Rockets’ opening. What’s more, Stein has a long list of names on the Rockets “wish list” and most of them are guys with NBA experience, which the Rockets seem to value in their search.

Sure, it’s possible that Self could one day explore the idea of coaching in the NBA. Many believe that it’ll happen eventually in San Antonio, where his good buddy R.C. Buford runs the team. And even Self has talked about what a special situation Oklahoma City is, in his home state, with a couple of world-class talents like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. But those jobs are not available at the moment and I just can’t imagine Houston being the situation that makes Self jump.

So, without further ado... 10 reasons why Bill Self is not leaving Kansas for the Houston Rockets:

1. Josh Jackson – There’s no way Self worked as hard as he did to land Jackson to say goodbye before he ever gets the chance to coach him. Especially not in exchange for the roster the Rockets have.

2. Big 12 title streak still in tact – We all know that it’s March success that gets remembered, but this Big 12 title streak is a big deal and there’s no reason to think it’s going to end any time soon. It’s not like he’ll stay to see it through the 27 in a row (or will he?) but I think passing UCLA and putting that kind of stamp on the history books is meaningful.

3. Have you seen James Harden “play defense” – Enough said. The guy is an amazing offensive talent, but he has no interest in playing defense — or even faking it — and I can’t imagine Self or anyone else getting through to him and changing that. And we all know how Self feels about players who don't play D.

4. More hardware, please – I’ve always thought (and heard) that winning a second national championship means a lot to Self. And until he gets one, I can’t see him going anywhere. There have been a lot of college coaches who have won one title. A lucky run, a hot streak or one strong recruiting class or player can deliver the trophy. But the coaches who have won multiple NCAA titles put themselves in elite company and I believe Self wants to be and belongs in that group. Add to that the fact that KU is positioned to be right there again at the end of the 2016-17 season and it’s easy to see him sticking around.

5. Tyler Self – It’s not as if Self’s son still being on the roster would prevent the coach from taking an amazing opportunity elsewhere. But it is a factor and this is not an amazing opportunity. Tyler has come this far and I can’t imagine Self choosing to bail during his son’s final season on the team.

6. Dwight Howard has to be a factor – Self loves big guys, but I don’t think he would love Howard. The Houston center has been a big time problem everywhere he’s been for the past several years and, even though he possesses all the talent and physical skill in the world, there’s just something missing there and I can’t imagine adding the Howard headache to your daily duties would be something anyone who already has a great job would want to take on.

7. Seniors matter – Much the same way Roy Williams had a hard time saying goodbye to Kirk Hinrich and Nick Collison the first time he was offered the job at North Carolina, I think it would be tough for Self to say goodbye to guys like Frank Mason and Landen Lucas. Those two might not be as talented as Hinrich and Collison, but Self has been through a lot with both of them and respects them so much. Ditching them would be tough to do.

8. Money – I’m not sure what the Rockets could or even would offer to pay Self, but you can bet Kansas would do everything in its power to get close to that number to keep him around. So don’t think that this decision — if and when it ever happens — will be about money.

9. Big fish, little pond – Self likes being the man and as long as Kansas is winning he always will be the man in Lawrence, not to mention college basketball. Moving to Houston puts him in the position of having to compete — in a much bigger market — with the likes of the up-and-coming Houston Astros and the Houston Texans. Sure, Houston will support a winner in any and every sport, but those two programs are in great shape right now and definitely steal some of the thunder from the Rockets on an annual basis. There’s nothing stealing Self’s thunder in Lawrence and it just keeps rumbling louder and louder year after year.

10. Because he’s the friggin head coach at Kansas – Year after year, people love to discuss Self heading to the NBA. And it may happen some day. But it also may not. Self has a great gig, is king of the world in Kansas and has this thing rolling. Besides, just last year he talked about how he thought the program was on the verge of turning a corner for landing a ton of big time recruits. Why would anyone leave a situation like that?


Brett McCabe 6 years, 3 months ago

To answer question 3, the answer is "No".

To the Stein tweet, I could see Shaka making the jump more than Self. In fact, he'd be a fool not to go if offered. He'll always play second chair at Texas. Plus, I don't see Smart having developed a real love for burnt orange in a single season.

He probably also knows that, once you get in the NBA and you are halfway competent, you get recycled around for 25 years and collect millions in the process. It's a league full of underachieving numbskulls and dimwits, so there is always a new opportunity.

Matt's list is pretty all-encompassing. At the end of the day, if Self ever leaves for the NBA, it will likely be because he's unhappy or bored.

Craig Alexander 6 years, 3 months ago

I'm willing to bet the times we should be the most scared will be in a few years if Pop retires or if the OKC job comes open again after Self has won number 2.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

Brett - 'Splain to everyone again how if half the teams in a league have losing records that the league is garbage and it's braintrusts are bozos...

Brett McCabe 6 years, 3 months ago

Was it too complicated for you the first time? You certainly seem to be as obsessed with me as you once were with Joe. I was a little hurt when you quit paying attention to me but now I feel better.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

That's no explanation....but if you feel better, that's all that counts..right?

I really liked (laughed out loud) at your assertion that if half the teams lose half their games the league is crap.

You realize that by definition, half the teams HAVE to lose at least half their games, don't you? A pro league, a kids soccer league, everything... including the best basketball league in the world.

Maybe you live in some liberal fantasy where everyone gets a participation trophy?Or wins are confiscated from high achieving teams and re-distributed to failing teams? May 5 is Karl Marx birthday...celebrating a bit too hard/early?

Of all your comically clueless comments, that one was one of the best (worst)...for now. I'm sure there are more gems on the way..

Brett McCabe 6 years, 3 months ago

Drinking already? Don't mix the pharma with the alcohol EMAW. But because all you are is a really stupid pile of steaming crap, I will explain it -using small words: if your job is to win, and you lose repeatedly, then you are bad at your job. No excuses. You just aren't as good at what you do as others who do the same thing. Also, looking forward to when you get to meet Madam President.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

Even for you, that made no sense. Adding in the insults and that stupid EMAW comment make you look even worse....

It's fun watching you humiliate yourself.

Brett McCabe 6 years, 3 months ago

It's because you aren't very bright, EMAW.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

A question. Did you give this 2 thumbs up yourself, once through your Brett ID and once through one of your others..OR are there people as stupid as you that don't realize half the teams in a league pretty much have to have losing records, by definition?

Kinda like Hillary. Simple choice. Stupid or dishonest. Which is it? Both?

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

Rockets next coach will either be Mike D'Antoni who interviewed yesterday, Jeff Van Gundy who still lives in Houston, or Frank Vogel who just got fired by the Pacers this morning.

Shaun Battles 6 years, 3 months ago

Just for kicks, look at all the fun Billy Donovan is having in OKC. He looks like a little kid trying to fit in. Is he superior with his x's and o's? I'd say no. As an NBA coach, he's just trying to keep everyone on board and moving in the same direction. This is of no fault to him. It's a different game.

Bill knows you stick with your passion. Coaching college basketball at Kansas has to be one of the best jobs in the world.

I like the NBA, but the college game is the pinnacle of the sport in my opinion. This is why Bill Self will stay.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

Self would want enormous security/commitment and either autonomy or a team that has an existing management group that shares his vision. That's the Spurs. No other team offers what I believe would entice Coach Self out of Lawrence.

The current Rockets roster is a dumpster fire of lazy and entitled players with bad contracts. Self isn't going to work for Daryl Morey.

Steve Williams 6 years, 3 months ago

been saying it for years,, when Pop goes,, Bill goes to SA. His relationship with Buford, proximity to home.. and curiously this year when asked which NBA player he would want to coach the answer was Kwahi Leanord

Steve Macy 6 years, 3 months ago

Like allergy season, every spring another Self leaving rumor

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

Matt, your #6 is a non factor because Dwight Howard isn't going to be a Rocket next year. He's opting out of his deal and will probably either be in Atlanta or Orlando next year.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

Will either of them give him more than $ 22.5M?

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

Atlanta is his hometown so he might go there for less. Orlando might actually give him a max deal even though he's nowhere near worth it.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

Could be..... Teams will do anything to win.

Pius Waldman 6 years, 3 months ago

It appears to me that leaving for Houston might not be high on Selfs list. So maybe Stein is just throwing this out. But folks remember when the coach at KU left we always gained a great replacement. So we will be happy with either decision.

Mike Greer 6 years, 3 months ago

This is not a slam on coach Williams, and I don't think winning the tourney is the be all end all, but he didn't win any National Championships at KU, like his predecessor and his replacement. But not all coaches have the same skills, and KU has been fortunate to go from coach Brown to coach Williams, and to coach Self. Don't be so sure that the next coach is going to be as successful as any of these three have been at KU. You don't have to look very far to see teams take a tumble with a coaching change. KU took a reasonable gamble with coach Williams and it worked out fairly well, it was less of a gamble with coach Self, and that has worked out very well also. But that next hire is an unknown and even with KU being one of the best places to coach in college ball, you don't know if it's going to be a positive or not.

Rick Link 6 years, 3 months ago

You might throw in that he just got McCarthy Hall finished. He has been working to add that to his toolkit for a while. We appreciate you, coach Self!

Dirk Medema 6 years, 3 months ago

And from the recent article, the food service at the new addition - the rules building. He's excited about what that allows us to offer recruits.

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