The Daily Coach Donovan Update, April 4th

Ah yes, the national championship has been claimed and it's been brought to Gainesville once again.  So that means it's time to put a 100% effort into celebrating, right?  The answer is no, and you know why? Because the University of Kentucky basketball program said so.

We all knew that Billy Donovan was going to be in the middle of speculation ever since Tubby Smith bolted off to Minnesota, and UK (among others) has done their best not to disappoint.

There has been so much put into trying and analyze the psyche of Billy Donovan up to this point. Why is he dodging questions?  Why doesn't he just come out and say he's staying?  These are all questions that have been disected, analyzed and analyzed again up until this point.

But what's funny is that Coach Donovan has denied that he has even discussed the possibility of him taking the vacancy at UK thus far.  There has to be an underlying meaning to all this, though. No doubt.  I'm probably just being dim-witted by actually believing what he is saying.

"I'm not being coy or moving around questions," Donovan said as reporters from the Bluegrass State dogged him on the Kentucky question. "I haven't spoken to anybody and my intentions are to speak to the University of Florida. I'm happy there. I like the school and the athletic department has been very supportive."

It's just sounds to me like Coach Donovan is a guy who is trying to keep his stance in contract negotiations strong with the University of Florida.  While I do believe that he will be looking at the Kentucky job in the next several days (why wouldn't he?), I'm not going to go out and say that there has been any contact between the two parties thus far.  Why?  Well because Donovan says there hasn't been.

The lure of Kentucky is strong.  It's one of the best jobs out there, and Billy Donovan would be foolish not to even consider his options.  However I do agree with Billy Donovan on one thing, that it's time to step back and appreciate what has just occured with the Gators basketball program:  Back-to-back national championships.

"It's amazing how we fast-forward to the future," Donovan said. "Everyone talked about repeating as soon as we won and then we do and we're onto the next thing. At what point do we live life in the moment and enjoy it?"

"On Sunday, I had two hours of media and all I answered were questions about repeating, history and the significance of beating Ohio State and all of a sudden that's forgotten in 24 hours? I'm going to enjoy this."


Do your thing, coach.  Do your thing.

But Kentucky hasn't been the only basketball team in the midst of the speculation.  The professional ranks of basketball may be calling Donovan's name as well, including the Miami Heat.

The Heat's own Pat Riley has stated that he is not looking towards Billy Donovan as a potential head coach of the defending NBA champions.

"He and I are just basically colleagues and exchange ideas," said Riley, who holds the dual role of team president. "He knows a lot of the staff here and they talk, but there isn't anything to it."

Riley instead reiterated, albeit somewhat mildly, that his eventual successor would come from his current staff.

"I think that's the way it should be," said Riley, the former University of Kentucky star. "Now, the one thing with me will probably have to do with the makeup of the team. Will these players be the kind of players that these men want to coach or will coach or can coach?"


While the reports are stating that the Heat are not one of the basketball teams interested in the current Gators' head coach, another NBA team seems pretty set on trying to lure Coach Donovan in:  The Memphis Grizzlies.
Florida coach Billy Donovan has given no indication of what his next move might be, other than to say he's happy at Florida.

But WKYT Sports has learned that the Memphis Grizzlies are prepared to offer Donovan a $5.5 million dollar deal to coach the NBA team. Donovan, however, is not expected to accept the offer.


Perhaps the Grizz felt Coach Donovan's connections to Mike Miller would give them a chance?  I must say that this report came out of absolutely nowhere.

Such is the life of a two-time national champion head basketball coach.  These kind of rumors, true or not, come with the territory of leading teams to the top.  It's fully expected.  It's just time to step back, celebrate, and if anything happens in the next week or so, well, so be it.  It takes nothing away from where the Gators stand right now in college basketball.

It's great to be a Florida Gator!

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