|Boy, they sure do give out a lot of trophies for "Worst Coach Ever".|
Yesterday, news broke that VCU coach and media darling, Shaka Smart, had turned down the head coaching job offer at Illinois. “Locally” (which pretty much means "within our comment section"), this comes on the heels of Mr. Ace’s rant against Brad Stevens for not “striking while the iron’s hot”. Now some of you are going to just come out and grill Shaka for not making the leap to the power conference. And you may have a point about this being a bitch move considering that he is from Illinois (I think but that might not be true actually).
Seriously, you have to be a real fucking toolshed to fuck up the Illinois job like Bruce Weber did. It is a basketball school first which is not often the case in the Big Ten. You have great access to the fertile recruiting hotbed of Chicago. The Chief Illiniwek little chant thing that they do every thirty seconds somehow avoids being annoying. It’s a great gig and should be a destination job!
Yet I agree with Shaka turning them down. There will be better openings. He has a great thing going on now. He owns the biggest and swingingest dick in all of the CAA. Hell, VCU pays him 1.2 million per year. Bruce Weber’s salary this year was 1.3 million. He’s young enough. He doesn’t need to leap at the paycheck at a tough rebuilding job (yet).
I get where he is likely coming from. That VCU program is his and he built it. He IS that school and Smart's not ready to turn his back on them yet. While VCU will never be confused with Kentucky or Duke, there is still a certain level of tremendous pride that comes with that. It’s sort of how I feel about this blog. It isn’t the best, or the worst, or the sexiest, or the rapiest, but it is home and it is something that I created and I am proud of it. And I like that. Basically, Shaka Smart, Brad Stevens, and I are brothers. That’s what I’m trying to say. So if you think about it that way, it makes sense why these young hot shot coaches don’t just jump schlong first at the first AD that calls them about their opening. There will be a time when ESPN calls me up and asks me to be their head writer for ESPN: Central Ohio (HA!), but right now I’m just fine where I’m at. I respect loyalty. I DEFINE LOYALTY!
Did you know that Illinois is one of three Big Ten schools never to have a minority head coach in football or basketball? I like to think that when this fact comes up, they reference Bobby Williams and Brian Ellerbe.
Thoughts on Shaka (and others in his position) staying put and telling Illinois to fuck off? How about the games tonight? Who do you like? I like all of the favorites actually. I think the Buckeyes win by double digits.