Kurt Helin

Kevin Ollie

Report: UConn coach Kevin Ollie telling people he will not leave for Thunder job


It’s a little hard to take what a college hoops coach says about not leaving at face value. It’s an industry seemingly built on telling recruits you’ll be there for them for four years, that they are joining your family, only to bolt if you can find an upgrade.

But more and more it seems UConn coach Kevin Ollie is serious about staying at his university and not going after the Oklahoma City Thunder job.

Not long after Scott Brooks was fired Ollie’s name was linked to the job — the Thunder had been after him for almost a year — but he denied he wanted it. Still the reports and rumors would not go away, in part because Kevin Durant (who played a season with Ollie) expressed such strong admiration of him.

Thursday there was this from ESPN’s Andy Katz.

UConn men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie has told those close to him on campus that he is staying at the school despite the current vacancy with the Oklahoma City Thunder, sources told ESPN’s Andy Katz on Thursday.

Thursday Ollie also put this on Facebook, which implies he is staying but does not say it directly.

Everybody has their sources but this is the only Source I need.. #FamilyFirstAlways #UConnLuv

A photo posted by Kevin Ollie (@coachkevinollie) on

If the Thunder, as rumored, do reach out to Florida head coach Billy Donovan, Ollie will walk away not wanting to be seen as the second choice.

Ollie and Donovan both may make very good NBA head coaches. However, if the goal is to elevate the Thunder to elite status — like when the Bulls replaced Doug Collins with Phil Jackson back in the Jordan era — is going with a first year college coach the answer? I think there may be better NBA guys who will be available if the Thunder are patient.

PBT Extra: Wizards’ backcourt owning matchup with Toronto

NBA Play-offs. Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors
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John Wall and Bradley Beal make up one of the best backcourts in the NBA.

Even if they don’t always play like it. Or get used in some odd ways at times by Randy Whittman.

Those two have stepped up and owned the backcourt battle in the first round of the NBA playoffs, outplaying Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. That’s not the only reason the Wizards are up 2-0 having won both games in Toronto, but it’s part of it.

Jenna Corrado asks if the Raptors guards can turn it around in this latest PBT Extra. The problem is the Raptors’ guards are not much defensively, much like he entire Raptors’ roster. And that is what has them in real trouble against the Wizards.

Quote of the Day: Draymond Green compares himself to Al Gore

New Orleans Pelicans v Golden State Warriors - Game Two

“Al Gore won the popular vote and didn’t get elected president, so I’m not going to sit here and kill myself over not winning Defensive Player of the Year.”

— Golden State’s Draymond Green, on coming in second in Defensive Player of the Year voting, despite having more first place votes than the winner, Kawhi Leonard. Via Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com.

Green was put first on 45 DPOY ballots, Leonard was first on 37. The difference was Green was completely left off 42 ballots (you can see who did that here). I would love to hear the explanation from voters who left Green completely off — Ernie Johnson could do that on TNT tonight. Marc Stein of ESPN thought Andrew Bogut was more influential for Golden State than Green. There are a number of quality candidates, but to me it would be hard to leave Green all the way off.

If Green is going to follow in the footsteps of Gore, next up would be making an environmental documentary. He might want to wait until after the playoffs to do that.

Chris Andersen’s new skull tattoo is a little disturbing, even for him

Chris Andersen

I am not one to be put off by someone’s choice of body art and manipulation. Heck, I live in Long Beach, CA, about as inked a city as you will find in the nation.

But the Birdman Chris Andersen’s new skull tattoo — skulls and the words “give me war” —made me do a double take.

I appreciate Andersen’s dedication to being a canvas for the artform, and that he was running out of places on his body that could get covered with more ink. But damn.

I would love to see Pat Riley’s reaction.

It’s just the Birdman being the Birdman.

PBT Extra: Can Pelicans find efficient second scorer next to Anthony Davis?

Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut

Golden State has Draymond Green, the guy likely to win (and my pick for) Defensive Player of the Year. His versatility and strength allows him to guard effectively positions one through four.

He’s done a good job on Anthony Davis through two games — Davis has 18 points on 18 shots when Green is on him. Anyone else and Davis eats their lunch.

Warriors’ fans in the Bay Area, if you are a Comcast subscriber you can watch a free live stream of Thursday night’s Game 3 between the Pelicans and Warriors, just follow this link.

The Pelicans have been game in their first round series against heavily favorited Golden State, and the Warriors had to work for their wins. In this PBT Extra I suggest to Jenna Corrado if the Pelicans are going to steal a game at home in this series, they are going to need to get Davis some help — someone else to put up efficient points. Eric Gordon has put up more than 19 points a game this series, and he’s hit his threes, but he’s been turnover prone and inefficient.

With Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday banged up, I’m not sure who it will be. The Warriors have done a good job limiting Ryan Anderson. But the Pelicans need someone else to step up. Because we know at some point Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson will.