Angry White Dude: Is This Really Happening in Memphis?
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Is Memphis really considering firing Tubby Smith and replacing him with Penny Hardaway?
Did anyone see this coming?
Gotta admit, I sure did, but not like this.
I have never been a Tubby fan as a coach.
As a man in the community,dude's unbelievable. He's a man of great character. However, as a coach, he might be one of the most overrated of all time.
When he was The Man at UK, the program was about as middle-of-the-road as it could be.
You know what great coaches do?
They rise to the very top of their profession, and they stay there.
Coach K, Izzo, Williams, Coach Cal, Geno Auriemma, Pat Summit, Adolph Rupp, John Wooden.
Do you agree?
It's cool he appeared in that tribute to Wooden, but what has Coach Smith done beides moving around more than almost anyone you can recall.
Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Texas Tech, and Memphis.
The fact that Memphis is considering firing him because he can't land the big recruit should come has no surprise to anyone.
He couldn't recruit while at Kentucky. I think the arrest rate went up there, too, for the players during his tenure. The GPA and the winning percentage went down.
The big surprise is that the Tigers might replace Smith with Penny Hardaway, a man who has zero coaching experience at this level.
Hardaway, who played for the Tigers from 1991 to1993 before becoming a four-time NBA All-Star, currently coaches East High School in Memphis and runs the Team Penny AAU program on the Nike EYBL circuit.
What a pedigree that is, right?
Here's the catch.
Hardaway coaches three ESPN 60 players:
- No 1 junior James Wiseman at East, as well as
- Five-star junior Chandler Lawson (No 26);
- Five-star junior DJ Jeffries (No 17) also plays for Team Penny.
If Smith stays at Memphis, those players will never enroll there. The university shot-callers think Hardaway will bring these players with him if he's hired.
I am impressed that Memphis has the stones to even consider firing Tubby. Kentucky would've never done that.
The best thing Coach Smith ever did for UK -- besides winning a title with Rick's players -- was to quit and go to that basketball powerhouse, Minnesota!
I always knew coach Smith would be fired or quit wherever he went. In reality, that's what most average coaches do. I just think that to be fired and replaced with a dude who's a high school and AAU coach with no coaching experience in college is about as ridiculous as it gets.
OK, that's more ridiculous, but not by much.
Don't worry about Coach Smith. If he's canned, he gets a golden handshake of around $9million and probably another coaching job at his seventh school. When he gets fired there or quits, school administrators can always say what a fine man he is.
You really can't make this stuff up. Is this really happening in Memphis?