You sly dog. - Mitchell Layton
Is this strictly Maryland-related? Nope. But Gary Williams embodies the athletic department, to a large extent, and we've reached the dredges of winter when football's over, recruiting is in hibernation, and basketball is yet to ramp up. We need something to talk about before 5:00.
[John Feinstein, who wrote an article saying Gary should coach the Wizards last week]: "Gary's the source. Well, really, I'm the source, because I started it by asking the question. It's not like Gary called me up and said 'Hey, I'd like the Wizards job, why don't you write a column.' As we often do, we were discussing basketball, and the subject of the Wizards came up and how bad they are. And Gary was talking about the team. I said 'Hey, would you take the job?' He said yes. I was surprised... He just said, yes."
"All right, enough [messing] around, would you coach this team if asked?" Czaban finally asked.
"Heh," Williams said, approximately. ... "[T]here's a long way to go before there should be any speculation about who's going to be the next coach or whatever. But I coached in high school and I coached in college, and in an ideal situation, you look at it, sure. I mean, you can never say that you wouldn't look at it. But I'm not in a position to say anything or to make any call, because like I said, you haven't seen the real Wizards team yet."
I don't know about you guys, but it's kind of starting to sound to me like Gary Williams wants the Wizards job.
This is so rife with problems that I kind of want to see it happen just to see how things fall into place. For starters, Gary's 67. He's recharged his batteries a bit but would still comfortably be the oldest coach in the league, with only Rick Adelman (66) within a couple years of him. Does he have the stamina for an 82-game season at this point in his career? (Of course, though, Jerry Sloan would've had him by a couple years.)
And then there's the problem with personalities. In one sense, Gary would love coaching in the pros, because it means no recruiting. But he'd also not be dealing with the gritty gym rats he preferred, instead working with more entitled (and talented) professionals. That may not go over perfectly.
To top it all off, I'm not sure if Gary's quite the same as a coach as he used to be. But that's probably a discussion for another day. Point is, unless you're Popovich or Phil or someone like that, the NBA's more about, as the inimitable Dan Hawkins would say, Jimmies and Joes than it is Xs and Os. You could stick Red Auerbach on that bench and there'd still be a good chance the Wiz wouldn't have the roster to compete.
One thing's for sure, though: it'd get some people to games. I'd probably go to one and I live in Indiana. And hey, if they fire Randy Wittman and are just looking for an interim coach to finish out the season and get them into next year still half-alive with some modicum of fan interest, the worries about Gary's stamina and long-term fit probably aren't that serious. The Wiz don't have much else going for them. Let's at least have some fun with it.
So where do you fall? Yay or nay?