One of the things that fans of the UCLA Bruins hated about Steve Alford was his seeming unwillingness to learn about the traditions of UCLA basketball and the program’s history.
But, despite that, you would think that after coaching in Westwood for more than five seasons, Alford would have developed a better sense of UCLA’s history during his time on campus.
Well, it appears that Alford couldn’t even be bothered to flip through one of the media guides that were put out for the program that he was supposed to be leading.
In an appearance earlier this week on Fox Sports 1’s Speak for Yourself, Alford was asked what the most important element UCLA should be looking for in its next head coach.
Now, I thought about giving Jason Whitlock a pass, but this has got to be one of the stupidest questions an interviewer has ever asked. Alford couldn’t win at UCLA. That’s why he was fired. So, why the heck would you ask the guy that couldn’t figure out how to win in Westwood what UCLA should be looking for?
But, Alford took the bait and actually tried to answer Whitlock’s question.
Well, you know what they say about asking stupid questions and Alford complied by giving an equally stupid answer. He responded by saying this:
To try to get that right fit. One of the things they haven’t done is gone to a former player. So, maybe that’s a better fit that can really understand UCLA and understand the climate...understands the pros and the cons. I don’t see a Coach Calipari coming this way just because of what he’s got going on at Kentucky and he has everything in line. Lot of things going on there that aren’t done that way at UCLA. So, you kind of need to know the UCLA way and the UC system. It is a little bit different than the other places I’ve been. So, maybe finding somebody who has a better understanding of what all that’s about is going to be a good fit for them moving forward.
What an idiot.
If he had so much as made an attempt to learn the history of UCLA basketball, he would know that Gary Cunningham, Larry Farmer and Walt Hazzard are all former players who have coached at UCLA since John Wooden retired.
But, that’s not the only reason Alford is an idiot.
A good coach needs to be able to adapt. So, even if things are done differently at UCLA and in the UC system, a good coach should be able to adapt to how things are done. It’s sort of like how when a good coach who’s running a zone defense sees his team getting beaten by corner threes switches to man-to-man defense quickly to stop the corner three threat or how a good coach can, you know, actually teach defense.
There’s really only one big surprise in this interview and that’s the fact that Alford didn’t say anything about there being “unrealistic expectations” at UCLA. Although, at the same time, his reference to “the UCLA way” could be a veiled way of him say that.
Anyway, here is video of Alford’s interview:
"One thing they haven't done is gone to a former player so maybe that's a better fit... I don't see a Coach Calipari coming just because of what he's got going on at Kentucky... You've got to know the UCLA way."— Speak For Yourself (@SFY) March 25, 2019
Steve Alford on who the next coach should be for UCLA pic.twitter.com/IwAD24U8oj
What are your thoughts about Alford’s comments? Sound off in the comments below.