While the Bruins are focused on the game, Gators have more than a game on their minds. The Donovan to Kentucky coaching speculation is turning into a total circus. Now to add fuel to the fire reporters are throwing around Donovan’s name not only around the Kentucky job, but also around high profile NBA job openings. Yesterday ESPN’s Andy Katz (who doesn’t have a great track record in these kinds of stories considering how he kept insisting Howland would stay in Pittsburgh … lol) came on that network’s "Mike & Mike" show and indicated that the Miami Heats may be going after Donovan too:
(Andy) Katz believes Donovan is a possible candidate to replace Heat head coach Pat Riley.
"The reason there's a lot of talk about the Heat is (Donovan) did spend a lot of time with Pat Riley in the off season after winning the title," Katz said on ESPN Radio.
The Heat, though, are a much better club than the likes of the Nets (at the time), Bulls (at the time) and Celtics (they still stink -- which could be Pitino's fault somewhat...).
Also today was an interesting rumor stating that Coach Donovan had already signed a seven year, 3.5 million dollar deal to coach the 'Cats -- an announcement was going to be on its way following the end of the Gators' tournament run, based on what a Lexington area news-station website was saying. Unfortunately it looks as if the link is down due to the sheer volume of clicks it was taking.
So what do you believe here? None of us (well, maybe some) know Coach Donovan personally and do not know what he is thinking about right now other than his focus on coaching the Gators in the Final Four. I know we would all like to think we do, but we don't. On that same note we'd all like to think we know what's best for him and his family; But once again, we don't.
All in all, I just wish people would stop talking about Billy Donovan and his possible coaching gigs elsewhere until after the Final Four. But hey, unsubstantiated rumors and knee-jerk reactions are a ton of fun!
Does Billy have the ego required to desire and master the Kentucky job? I think so, but I don't know for sure. If he does, he will find the Kentucky job very hard to resist, just as his mentor, Rick Pitino did.
Plus, it isn't like he is going into something he has no idea about. He knows what Lexington is like, and what the pros and cons of living under the microscope here are. Been there, done that - not as head man, but you can bet he saw everything he needed to see.
Besides, unlike Tubby Smith, Billy Donovan would be the first ever coach at UK to have won a national championship before he got here. That in itself would likely see him through any unforeseen downturns. What are fans going to say, it's easier to win a national championship at Florida?
Add to that the fact that next year will be a major rebuilding effort at Florida, in all likelihood. The entire starting five less Green and their first sub off the bench will be leaving either by graduation or a probable entry into the NBA draft. The cupboard isn't exactly bare, by any means, but it isn't likely that his winning streak against UK is going to continue much past March of this year.
Keeping an eye on this is going to be fun.
Thank God over on our end our players and coaches have nothing but a game to focus on.