Well, not exactly. Although Texas men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes wasn’t very clear on the distinction.
In a recent ESPN magazine article, Barnes said that he’d rather see his players be successful in their future careers (like the NBA) than to win NCAA championships.
“We would love to win a national championship, but we’re not obsessed with it because we’re obsessed with these guys trying to live their NBA dream. What’s happened to Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge, T.J. Ford — I’d give up a national title for all of our guys to be able to live their dream.” – Rick Barnes
When one sits back and thinks about it, that makes sense. The problem in this instance was that Barnes’ comments were taken out of context, and they made a lot of Barnes-doubters jump all over the current coach for his lack of desire to be successful in the here-and-now.
But, not to worry, many pundits have come to Barnes’ rescue, including Austin American-Statesman reporter Kirk Bohls and ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas. Even Texas’ Big 12 conference foe – the Jayhawk Nation – has come to Barnes’ defense…kind of. And, they make a good point about Barnes taking some media relations training from Texas head football coach Mack Brown.
What are your thoughts? Was Barnes out of line with his comments? Or, is he spot-on in terms of “sacrificing” at the collegiate level and wanting his players to have a successful future career at the next level?