Friday, Oct. 24, 2008 | 9:49 a.m.
We would have been so good, if we had been able to continue, it would have been frightening.
I am reminded of that often in my travels. At the recent Monday Night Football game I went to in San Diego, against Brett Favre and the Jets, Bill Walton’s kid who plays for the Lakers, Luke, comes up to me and sits down next to me.
He introduces himself and says, “Coach, I loved your teams.” He said he dreamed of playing for the Rebels.
It would have been a dynasty.
Jason Kidd alone would have put us over the top. Shawn Kemp definitely wanted to come. Jason Kidd was coming, too. Jalen Rose said he was coming, but I don’t know if we would have gotten him.
Everywhere I go, people come up to me and say they wanted to come. Jason Williams, the college player of the year when he was at Duke, told me he had wanted to come since the eighth grade.
His wall at home, he told me, was plastered with UNLV stuff. He was the No. 2 player picked in the NBA draft.
It was unbelievable. We would have ruined college basketball.
Then there’s that other kid who went to Kansas, Jacque Vaughn. He’s still playing in the pros. I knew all the coaches in Pasadena, Calif. They were practically in my hip pocket. He played at Muir High, where Stacey Augmon played.
We would have gotten him, but we probably wouldn’t have had room for him with Jason Kidd.
If we didn’t make the Final Four, it would have been an upset. Nobody can say you’re going to the Final Four. It just takes one loss. But we had the guys who wanted to come.
I’ve talked about this, but we had Ed O’Bannon and Shon Tarver, signed, sealed and delivered. Ed wound up being the player of the year at UCLA.
It was absolutely incredible. If our own university hadn’t turned on us, we would have gotten those guys. We had to release Ed and Shon, because there was no way they’d come without us being here.
Tim Grgurich, my assistant coach, was putting on those camps, and all those kids and coaches loved going to them. My deal would have been to coach a couple more years then let Grg take over.
I just wanted to travel with the team, sit behind the bench and just have fun, and watch Grg sweat a while.
I couldn’t believe the reception I got at the Alabama football game against Ole Miss last weekend in Tuscaloosa, Ala. What a great time. People treated me great.
I was in this big box suite, and it seemed like everyone in there was a Rebels basketball fan. They all came up to me.
The son of Paul “Bear” Bryant’s favorite player, a quarterback named Pat Trammell who sadly died at 28 in 1968, said he just admired the Rebels and loved them.
The Bear’s son, who has the same name, said all the banks in America but his are going broke. His is prospering. He came in the suite and had a picture taken with me.
The Hall of Fame question came up in Alabama, but I think if it was gonna happen it would have happened by now. I don’t think it will happen.
Guys like John Thompson tell me all the time that it’s a crime I’m not in there. Eddie Sutton says the same thing. But it doesn’t make any difference. I don’t hink it’ll happen, so I don’t pay attention to it.
I don’t know about my legacy. That’s for others to determine. Obviously, it would be nice if it happens. It would be good for my family and grandkids, but if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen.
I don’t expect it to.
I did get a call about doing a reality TV show the other day, and it sounds like it’s developing into something. It’ll be shot in Vegas in December. I’m not sure what it’s going to be about. It’ll have something to do with basketball.
It sounds like it will happen. Something about guys who didn’t make the NBA who can still play. I’ll work them out and they’re going to make up a summer league team.
I don’t know any more details.
I am in Fresno right now trying to find some advertisers for my radio show, so I better get back on the phone.
Keep those questions coming, and next time I promise I’ll address the amoeba defense, one of the best defensive teams of all time and what exactly happened to one of boxing champion George Foreman’s title belts.