Monday, March 13, 2006

A blind man ain't got no business at a circus

Temple basketball coach John Chaney announced today he is retiring after his team's season ends. Sure, he had periods of craziness. He did threaten to rough up John Calipari and he put in a player to intentionally hurt a St. Joseph's player. But when you look past the his episodes of going over the edge, what I appreciate about Chaney is that he always spoke his mind and not what sounded nice. It was an original mind, which is something today's sideline suits seem to lack.

He also gave us this press conference excerpt. I didn't bleep out the cursing, in case you're at work...

"We play game after game. We hold a team to 50-something, and we get 40-something. So we go back in the dressing room and I say, 'All right, men, we've got to play more defense.' We hold a team to 49, and we get 48. We go back to the dressing room and say, 'We've got to play some more defense.' There ain't that fucking much fucking defense in the whole fucking world! You've got to put the goddamn ball in the goddamn basket. That's something you have to understand. And we've got a team that can't shoot.

You can run around all day and set up all kinds of out-of-bounds plays, all kinds of patterns for David, but the other team knows what I know! I learned that a long time ago. I don't have to tell you a lot of stories. But I'll tell you one.

We had two guys one year when we had Nate Blackwell and Tim Perry. And we were playing Rhode Island. And I say, 'Timeout.' We're leading by six with a few minutes to play. I say, 'Get the ball into Timmy.' Well, the other team knows. They play Timmy, they play Nate.

And here's Ramon Rivas standing there wide open underneath the basket. They give him the ball. And he throws it up against the backboard five times and gets five offensive rebounds. So I say, 'Time the fuck out. Come over here. I don't want you to give the ball to anybody. I'd rather you shoot a bad shot or Timmy shoot a bad shot than to give it to Ramon.'

He goes back out there and he's crying. So help me God, Nate was crying. And he sees Timmy's covered and he's covered. But here's that shit-eating grin on Ramon Rivas. And he gives it to him. Before he could shoot it, I say, 'Timeout.'

So I bring them over to the huddle. Ramon is trying to get in the huddle. And I'm standing like this to keep him out of the fucking huddle. '(To Blackwell) What the fuck did I tell you? Don't you motherfuckin' give him the ball. Don't you do it.' So now they go back out on the floor.

And here's Ramon coming up to me, because he couldn't hear what I was saying. And he says, 'Coachie, coachie, what do you want me to do?' I said, 'Come here. Don't help me no motherfuckin' more. Sit the fuck down.' There's a reason why a guy's open. You know what I'm saying? He's always going to be open if he can't shoot. Here's Nate: 'He was open.' There's a reason. They leave him open.

This is a very simple game. It's not a hard game. Jim Maloney, my old, dear friend who passed away, said, 'Don't ever, ever, in your life pass up a shooter.' It's easy to teach a shooter how to play defense. But you can't go recruit defensive players and try to teach them to shoot. Nineteen, 20 years old, it's over.

You know in the old days they had records. There were hit songs on one side, and then the other side didn't have any hit songs, there wasn't anybody dancing. The guy said, 'Why ain't y'all dancing?' The record done flipped over.

When a guy reaches 19, 20 years old, it's over. You can't teach him how to shoot. I get letters from fathers: 'He can vertical jump 50 million fathoms, whatever. But you can teach him how to shoot. You're a legend.' I said, 'Give him to my enemy. I don't give a shit how good he can jump. Send him to my enemy.' It's bullshit.

You figure we shoot 60-something shots and St. Joe's shoots 43. Against Villanova we shot 70 shots. They shot 43. We shot almost twice as many shots. And then we end up with four turnovers, five turnovers. We lead the nation in low turnovers every year. I never lost games where I had five turnovers, four turnovers, in a heated game, and get twice as many shots as the other guy.

A blind man ain't got no business at a circus. And that's what I have, three blind mice, maybe 10 of them. How many guys do I got? Twelve of them.

No more questions, guys. And don't put the curse words in there. Write about the toilet down there in the dressing room. Fordham's got goddamn money. Why don't they build a new arena? We've got to throw them the hell out of the league! Take the money and run.

That's a sin, man. You go down there. That's where they ought to put you guys. I want y'all to come in that door down there. They got shit on the floor that's been there. I bet you there's rodents in that room. And all the students have stuff that's laying there soaking wet.

And then we've got a policeman who says, 'Coach, I'm going to check the back door to see if it's locked.' I said, 'For what? What the hell do you want to check the back door for?' The policeman is down there, sitting down there, guarding what?"

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