Add another check mark to the ledger detailing why I love Jim Boeheim. While Coach K sniveled and sidestepped questions about the legality of Isiah Thomas having one foot in the NCAA and one in the NBA, The Per’fesser pulled no punches.
“If it‚Äôs good one place, then it‚Äôs good anywhere. You throw all that out there, and it wouldn‚Äôt be good. It doesn‚Äôt make much sense to me. I just don‚Äôt think it‚Äôs a good thing.”
Jimmy was speaking during practices for the U.S. national team which is preparing for the FIBA World Championships. As Boeheim lashed at Zeke, Coach K (who is heading the Americans) predictably offered no opinion besides he would not do that.
“Saying Thomas is his friend, Krzyzewski stopped short of saying the arrangement was unseemly, but made it clear that it wasn’t something he’d do.”
But Boeheim was steady in his criticism.
“You would maybe understand it if it was a guy that was retired and had tremendous success in the NBA and won something — anything. And somebody said, ‘Well, why don‚Äôt you just give us your sense of things.’ I could see that. But I can’t see this.”
As is normally the case (expect pining for a 96-team tourney), The Per’fesser is spot on. How an NCAA head coach could also be a salaried employee of an NBA team is beyond comprehension. The NCAA feigns indignity at any and all suggestions of professional and/or paid alliances. Well, how about if a head coach is a front-office member of the NBA? Conflict of interest, much?
Interesting then that Coach K has been tongue-bathed by the national media, back-rubbed by the voters, honored with rose petals tossed at his feet on Selection Sundays. While this season, Jim Boeheim was staggeringly honored for the first time – despite a gazillion wins, three Final Fours, a National Championship and 187 20-win seasons – as national coach of the year.
Boeheim has won enough games, has his Hall of Fame plaque gilded, his legacy so strongly embedded he can take swipes at anything he chooses. But Jim has always been opinionated as well, making his final years at Syracuse as entertaining as hell. While Coach K plays politics, Boeheim speaks his mind. He can say whatever he wants. And yet again, he’s right.