Brad Stevens made the jump this year. John Calipari has been rumored for NBA jobs that come up. NBA teams are always looking to the college ranks to see if there is coaching talent they can call up.
What about Bill Self?
The current Kansas coach will be in the spotlight this season with Andrew Wiggins on his squad. He’s helped the Jayhawks basketball tradition thrive wining nine Big 12 championships and one national title (2008).
When Self was asked by the Oklahoman about jumping to the NBA, he wouldn’t shut that door (via CollegeBasketballTalk).
“It hasn’t really tempted me because I haven’t had that many people talk to me about it,” Self said. “But at some point and time, sure, I think it would (tempt me). It would be great to be able to match wits with the best athletes in the world, but I’m certainly happy where I’m at.
“I’m not saying I never would (coach in the NBA) but I’m locked in.”
Self has a lucrative 10-year deal he’s not jumping out of anytime soon, one where he makes $3.9 million a year and gets bonuses the longer he stays put.
However, if Scott Brooks were ever out in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma native Self’s name would certainly come up as a replacement. But again, that would be down the line — if Brooks were forced out in the next couple years the Thunder would be looking for an experienced coach to get a Kevin Durant led team over the hump.
But after this Thunder era? Never rule anything out.
“When you’re talking about coaches at any level the best ones are able to adapt and adjust,” said Thunder general manager Sam Presti…. “Certainly Bill has shown the ability to do that. Fortunately for him he has a great situation at Kansas. I’m sure that’s the only thing he’s focused on right now.”
Self’s high-low motion offense would fit better in the NBA (with the right personnel) than a lot of college systems. He would certainly have to adapt and adjust that.
But in the end the NBA and college have one key similarity — you can’t win without talent. A great coach can lift up talented players and put them in positions to perform better, but talent wins. Self can recruit talent to Kansas, the NBA makes stockpiling talent much more difficult.