It’s safe to debate the credibility of the rumor, but Kansas coach Bill Self has carefully dismissed the idea he’s headed to the NBA.
It’s been a difficult season for the Kansas Jayhawks, under the microscope of the FBI investigation engulfing college basketball and seeing their streak of Big 12 regular season titles come to an end. Bill Self has never been a serious candidate to make the jump to the NBA, but that didn’t stop sports handicapper Brandon Lang from saying he has it “on good authority” that Self will be the next coach of the Chicago Bulls.
Aside from the Bulls’ apparent commitment to Jim Boylen as the head coach beyond the end of this season, Lang is obviously not a news breaker so his assertion has to be taken with some grain of salt. Nevertheless, it’s dangerous to say never to anything for anyone in any job, and that’s most obviously public among coaches in major sports.
On Monday, as the No. 4 seed Jayhawks prepare to play No. 13 seed Northeastern in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday afternoon, Self told Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star he’s not bailing on Kansas at this delicate time. He was also careful with his words regarding the rumor attaching him to the Bulls.
The Bulls thing is as far-fetched …” “I don’t know where that came from. I’ve never talked to anybody from the Bulls about any employment opportunities. They have a coach and I’m not a candidate for that position and will not be.
The past tells us coaches, particularly those at the college level, aren’t going to be forthright about their future job prospects while they are employed and there are any games left to play in a season. Self said he has never talked to anyone from the Bulls about a job. While that may technically be true, that doesn’t mean his agent hasn’t.
If Lang winds up being right, the doubters of his credibility as a reporter can eat some crow. But Self is doing what he has to do right now by roundly dismissing the notion he’s even considering leaving Kansas. And he has chosen his words carefully enough to avoid scrutiny, with no declarations that can be referred back to down the road as far less than the truth.