I can't say AA's decision was a surprise to me.
Honestly my heart was with MIM, however my head had told me not to hold out hope. I was pretty sure after last off-season when AA decided to test the NBA waters, that he would be gone after this season. Sure his spontaneous and heart felt comments after the Final-4 gave me some modicum of hope, but when I read this am that the announcement was going to come today, I thought for sure he would be gone.
AA has had a wonderful year.
He is a consensus All American.
He is the Pac-10 POY.
He led the team to a second straight Pac-10 championship and Final-4. He had a great game against an awesome KU team in the Elite Eight.
And he is on track to get his degree from UCLA (IIRC) by the end of this season.
Sure some of us think that he could have come back for one more season and improve his NBA draft stock playing with K-Love, but honestly I am not sure how much more his game would develop.
I just cannot be selfish and be disappointed over AA's decision. It would be inconsiderate on my part to hold out even a shred of grudge or disappointment over his decision to leave us.
Am I sad? Sure I am. I am going to miss him dearly.
One thing matters to me more than anything in this world: LOYALTY.
AA chose to become a Bruin and sign up as Coach Howland's first signee in the darkest hour in the history of UCLA basketball. And in three years with his tireless hardwork, dedication, leadership, and an indomitable Bruin spirit, he has reestablished UCLA once again as one of the elite programs in this country. Under Coach Howland he has brought back UCLA to its highest point since the days of Coach Wooden.
So how can I be upset with AA?
He is a legend in my book.
I wish him nothing but luck. And I am going to root for him, very hard, to not only become a first round draft pick, but to have a productive career in the NBA.
I hope you will join me in that spirit in wishing AA well.
We are going to miss you Arron.
Good luck and thank you for what you have done for the greatest basketball program of all time.