Stop the madness: Kevin Ollie staying at UConn
Kevin Ollie’s name has been swirling around NBA head coaching opportunities ever since he took the #7 seed Huskies through an incredible March Madness run that resulted in a National Championship. No one saw that run coming, heck the Huskies needed to win the Big East Tournament just to make the field of 68. No doubt, that was one of the greatest tournament runs of all-time, led by point guard Kemba Walker, and of course head coach Kevin Ollie.
Yes, the hype of Ollie is justified, the man knows basketball after spending 13 years in the NBA, playing for multiple franchises. He has proven he knows what it takes to win games, and motivate his players to put in the work necessary to become champions.
Kevin Durant is a supporter of Ollie, so it is not a shock to hear Ollie’s name come up in the Thunder’s sudden coaching vacancy. However, I am a believer that Ollie should stay at his alma-mater, UConn and build a legacy similar to his predecessor Jim Calhoun. Calhoun won 874 games for the Huskies, owning a win percentage of 72%. The man is a legend at Connecticut and despite health issues, had a great tenure during his 26-year career at the school.
Ollie has released a statement on his name popping up for coaching vacancies:
“As I have said many times, I am proud and honored to be the head basketball coach at the University of Connecticut and I have no plans to pursue other opportunities,” Ollie said. “We are already excited about next season and I am looking forward to preparing our team to be the best we can be on the court, in the classroom and in our community.”
We have seen countless coaches go back on their word, but I believe Ollie. At 42 years-old, Ollie is just beginning his coaching career, why leave a place that you have job security to jump to the NBA that sees coaches fired after one season? He is not making chump-change at UConn, his current contract pays him $3 million per season that runs through 2019. It’s not worth it, especially with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook hitting free agency in the coming years. I would not want to coach a Thunder team that could potentially lose Durant and Westbrook.
What do you think? Will Kevin Ollie jump to the NBA? Let me know in the comments below…
Dan Schalk is the founder of MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @ffsportstalk