The NCAA Tournament field is set. The favorite is Kentucky. My best first-round game to watch is SMU-UCLA, Larry Brown’s present against Larry Brown’s past. My favorite player is D’Angelo Russell of Ohio State. My old team, the Manhattan Jaspers, have a chance to earn a head-on collision with John Calipari’s SuperTeam. The best point guard not named Emmanuel Mudiay is … I’ll get to that. I promise: It’s here in this column, which runs a little long. My apologies, but I’ve got a lot
I once heard the statement in coaching, “if you are a great coach but a weak recruiter, you will get fired. But if you are a great recruiter and even a fair coach, you will survive.” Obviously, the goal is to be both. But it does explain the importance in college basketball of getting the best players. Ever since I started coaching, I have always been compared to John Calipari more than any other coach. I guess it’s because I made
H.G. Wells once said, “success is to be measured not by wealth, power, or fame, but by the ratio of what a man is, and what he can be.” Well, I know this to be true. The late Dean Smith was a giant of a man, a giant of a coach and lived a life that can be called unparalleled because he meant so much to so many. He built and sustained a legacy and a fraternity of players and coaches that
As a young college coach, I had the great fortune to meet and become extremely close to one of the most powerful figures in basketball, sneaker kingpin Sonny Vaccaro. Like many coaches, Sonny gave me my first adidas sneaker contract. But it was a story Sonny once shared with me as a young high school coach working his Nike All-American camp that has stayed with me for over 25 years. The story still resonates with me today as I reflect on
I have 1,000 stories about coach Mike Krzyzewski, one for each of his 1,000 wins, but I promise to only tell a few of them. I was a Division 1 coach for 18 years and won 200 games, and winning 1,000 games at the highest level of college basketball is an accomplishment that can only be summed up as unthinkable, unimaginable and something coaches, including myself, can only dream of. I have always felt that the best coaches are the ones who can
I am going to tell you a couple of stories about the players that changed teams in today’s Rajon Rondo trade, but allow me to get right to the heart of matters first: Rondo is one of those rare players, a la Jason Kidd, who can totally dominate a game without taking a shot or scoring a point. If you don’t think the Dallas Mavericks just became instant championship contenders, I respectfully disagree with you. This move puts them over the top.
Have you been watching the Knicks and Lakers this season? Yes, it’s hard. Two of the NBA’s biggest spenders in the league’s two biggest markets are playing awful basketball, and it doesn’t look like either one has the personnel or the sense of purpose to turn things around. Both teams will miss the playoffs and land in the draft lottery, again. There’s good news for the Knicks. They were somehow smart enough to keep their first-round pick and should have a chance
If you are not moving forward, then you are going backward. And if you stand still, you will get run over. Those are two of my “Gonzoisms.” We are one month into the NBA season, and in my opinion the Cleveland Cavaliers need to take some risks and make a move or they will not get where they are trying to get. You want to win a championship in that town for the first time in any sport since 1964? You