And sooner, rather than later. Vaunted KU basketball coach Bill Self is not long for this world – that being Lawrence – says sports handicapper Craig Glazer of Stanford & Sons.
“It just makes sense, he’s pretty much done all he can do there in college basketball,” Glazer says. “We all know his marriage is in trouble and probably won’t survive. And he just has that NBA persona. He’s great with the media. He’s an attractive person. And KU probably has more players in the NBA than anybody else in college basketball.
“Bill has a knack of getting all these one-and-done, 18 year-olds who go on to the NBA and get drafted in the first round. He’s become almost a professional, college coach. He’s the king of one-and-done players like Andrew Wiggins. The McDonald’s All Americans want to play for Bill Self because he’s proven that his teams are very good and they get lots of national attention.
“All the media want is for Bill Self to be a No. 1 seed, but his team’s are kind of a poor man’s UCLA – from when UCLA was great – minus all the championships. Bill Self’s a great coach but I don’t think he can keep doing what he’s doing. He’s taking it easy this year; I get the feeling he’s satisfied. Like his college coaching resume is complete and he wants to win one more national championship before he goes to the NBA.”
Recruiting future NBA rookies that stay at KU just one year is a ton of work and can’t be much fun. It’s almost like coaching an NBA all-rookie team – a different one every year.
“Bill’s already an NBA coach, he gets all these kids and they have a brief relationship and then they move on,” Glazer says. “Why not move to the NBA? At least if you get a LeBron James you’ve got him for a while. You know, Bill has one, maybe two more years at KU, then he goes on to the NBA and makes $7 million or $8 million a year – probably as a single guy – and he gets to live another life.”
“You mean, he loves doing those Salty Iguana commercials and eating there for free?” Glazer quips. “The people who say he’ll never leave Lawrence are wrong, I think he’s ready to move on. This guy’s looking for brights lights and a big city. And I think Bill Self will probably become the highest paid coach ever to come out of college. He may make $10 million a year. He’s the perfect NBA coach.”
One reason some locals say Self may bail; to escape living in a fish bowl.
“He can’t do anything there without people looking at him,” Glazer says. “And he certainly can’t have an affair without people knowing about it. I’m sure Bill’s looking forward to moving on. He’s looking forward to not flying in a twin engine Cessna. He’s a small town guy who wants to get a taste of the Big Apple before he dies.
“I’ll tell you what he doesn’t want to do. He doesn’t want to go to the NBA at age 57 or 58 – that’s too late. KU might get one more year – maybe two – but next year could be it.”
Leaving KU basketball exactly where?
“It’s always scary,” Glazer says. “I mean, they’re going to have their pick of coaches because it’s KU. But Bill’s the best coach KU’s ever had and they’ve had some great coaches. But Bill Self has paid his dues.”