Yesterday, Yahoo! college hoops reporter Jason King (along with Lawrence Journal-World reporter Jesse Newell) announced that he would soon be releasing his book, "Beyond the Phog," a tell-all look into the last decade of Kansas basketball as told by the program's notable players and coaches. Just to tease us, the Journal-World published an excerpt, and it is really quite enjoyable.
The moral of this story? Former Kansas guard Mario Chalmers wanted to play for Team USA in the Pam Am Games in 2007. Villanova coach Jay Wright was the head coach for the Pam Am Games team. When it came time to choose his backcourt, Wright went with his own player, Scottie Reynolds, and cut both Chalmers and fellow guard Sherron Collins. According to Chalmers, Reynolds had "clearly been the worst player at the entire camp."
That might be subjective, and no one ever did their most reflective thinking after being cut from a team, but it almost doesn't matter if Chalmers is right or wrong. What comes next is hilarious:
So when it came to the Villanova game, Coach Self called Sherron and me into his office and said, “How do you feel about this Villanova game?” I said, “Coach, this is personal to me. I don’t like Jay Wright.” He was like, “I understand that, but keep it out of the media.” So when the media asked if it was a personal game, we’d say, “No, it’s not personal. It’s just another game.” But during the game we were talking all kinds of s--- to Jay Wright. We’d run by him and tell him, “Sit your a-- down! We got this!” Another time we said to him, “This is what you get for cutting us. We’re about to dog you!” Anytime we were throwing the ball in from the sideline, when he was standing up trying to call a play, we’d tell him to shut his mouth and sit down. There was one play where I threw a lob to Shady on an inbounds pass and he dunked over Scottie Reynolds. Right before I threw it I looked at Jay Wright and said, “Watch this!” That game was definitely personal for Sherron and me.
This is probably not the best way to handle your basketball-related grievances. Yelling at the opposing coach while you're bludgeoning his team in the NCAA tournament -- that game was 72-57, by the way -- makes you seem petty and dumb. Be the bigger person, right? Show how much better you are than the player he picked without screaming in the coach's ear about it on every sideline out of bounds play. Sheesh.
Of course, I say that, but really I'd be lying if I didn't thoroughly laugh at this quote. That's swagger, folks. Sometimes a team needs a chip on its shoulder. You wouldn't think the buzzsaw that was the 2008 Jayhawks would need that sort of motivation. But hey, whatever works.