Ah, the NBA. Only in that league does Billy Knight get to be a GM, Donald Sterling gets to keep owning a team, Vinny Del Negro gets multiple jobs as a head coach, and a pissy Deron Williams gets to run off a legend like Jerry Sloan before being traded anyway.
Incompetence is a league-wide tradition.
Which is why the Detroit Pistons possibly hiring the man we’ve dubbed Assholeface as their next coach seems to be met with so little surprise or indignation. After all, the guy is a respected NBA assistant and has worked for Gregg Popovich and Scott Skiles on fairly successful teams.
Never mind the fact that the entire reason he’s an NBA assistant is because he’s not allowed back in college basketball unless some school has a show-cause waiver or whatever they hell they do. Sampson made a sh*t-show of his final two college jobs, at Oklahoma then most notably at Indiana, where he was fired (technically he resigned, but we all know the truth) for violating NCAA rules (again) in just his second season at the university.
In the aftermath, his players (under interim coach Dan Dakich) submarined a promising season and then all but two walk-ons left the team. Some transferred but several were kicked off for various academic and drug-related offenses. I thinkwe all know that stuff was going on while Assholeface was still the head coach, but it was kept under wraps.
Oh and to top it all off, Sampsonhas never once expressed remorse for completely screwing over both Oklahoma and Indiana. Not once.
But yes, Assholeface might pull a reverse-Pitino and actually end up with an NBA job because he is literally unemployable at the college level. Makes him a perfect pro coach. He probably illegally texted or called some of the guys on his future team. At least they’ll have a prior relationship, right?
I’m trying to summon the proper rage an Indiana alum should have toward Assholeface getting an NBA job. But I honestly feel cold, cold and cynical. This really is the way it works in professional sports and, to some extent, the world.
If Jim Tressel is somehow the head coach of the Los Angeles Jaguars/Chargers/Vikings in a couple of years, I think more people will understand where IU fans and alumni are coming from.
After all, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum think they can be President of the United States and are being treated like legitimate candidates by the press. Elliott Spitzer got to pay $15,000 for prostitutes, resign as governor of New York, and ended up a paid political analyst for CNN. Hell, Representative Anthony Weiner just tweeted his dick and lied about it. We don’t even know what cushy job he’s going to get when he eventually resigns (and no, the Tiger Woods “I’m going to rehab!” thing doesn’t work), but we know it’s out there.
None of those guys is in the Hall of Fame for backing into a job they probably didn’t deserve (George W. Bush, Tim Floyd at UTEP and Kevin McHale with the Rockets are in the 2011 class), and neither is Kelvin Sampson, mostly because he doesn’t have the job yet. In fact, the 2011-2012 Pistons might be worse than the 2010-2011 Cavaliers, but that’s only a little comforting. It’s still an NBA job.
It hasn’t been THAT long since the Malice at the Palace. Wouldn’t the still image-conscious Pistons want to hire a guy who doesn’t have a checkered past? Seems like getting to be an NBA assistant is enough of a redemption story for Assholeface. Trying to get any further is just greedy. Hopefully the universe (or just Joe Dumars) takes care of this one for us.