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The Donovan Circus Keeps Getting Bigger

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:

UK's basketball program has more prestige than those three schools, but Barnhart could be up against the deep pockets of the NBA's Miami Heat- if Donovan is the coach he's going after.

(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.
HT to Swamp Ball. Gator fans are getting weary about all these distractions around Donovan and want all these speculations to go away:
I seriously doubt we see Billy D in the NBA anytime soon, but that is just my humble opinion. Donovan could be thinking about making the jump, despite seeing what happened to other successful college coaches when they threw their hats into the professional head-coaching arena; Guys like John Calipari, Tim Floyd and, of course, Billy's mentor Rick Pitino.

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!
The folks who are certainly having lot of fun over this are Kentucky fans. Here is Kentucky blogger Truzenzuzex from A Sea of Blue making the case for Donovan to Kentucky:
Billy Donovan will be passing up the kind of stage that almost every big-time coach craves, along with all the trappings of being the highest profile, highest paid coach in America in any sport. Maybe he is happy with less. At Florida, no matter how well he does, he will have less of everything when compared to what he would have at Kentucky.

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.
Again I am surprised none of the reporters based in Southern California hasn’t pursued this storyline yet. This is clearly becoming a huge distraction for the Gators basketball program.

Thank God over on our end our players and coaches have nothing but a game to focus on.