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Bye, Bye Billy!

I applaud Orlando for releasing Billy Donovan from his contract, because it was a smart move to let go of a coach that didn’t want to be there. I cheer the Magic for making Donovan sign a contract prohibiting him from coaching in the NBA for the next five years.
I would’ve made it for 20 years!
How he handled the entire situation was a joke, and totally indicative of the sheltered euphoria in which college coaches dwell. They have extremely bloated egos, they are excessively admired and praised (by irritants such as Dick Vitale) and are totally oblivious to how the real world works.
He really had the audacity to sign the deal, then expect to about-face and get to walk away. How arrogant. So what he was sad and remorseful. Be a man and deal with the consequences of your decisions.
This is why college coaches don’t make it in the NBA until they get a grip on the idea that the NBA is a free market system and the players are in the highest deman, not a dictatorship in which the coach is emperor.
Much like a spoiled athlete, of which the NBA has many, Donovan did not need to get his way, just like disgruntled players shouldn’t get to gripe their way into a buyout and sign into a better situation. Instead, Donovan should’ve had to pay a steeper price for his flakiness. He should’ve had to reimburse the 200-plus people who bought season tickets based on his arrival out of his own pocket, along with the five-year ban. And I would’ve made him meet face-to-face with the Magic players and tell them why he’s toying with their livelihood.
It really burns me when these college coaches step out of the matrix that is NCAA basketball and expect the rest of the world to bow down. Donovan’s a great coach, but let’s be real — he landed one great recruiting class and rode it to two national championships. He hasn’t yet earned the credibility to have free reign in the basketball world. The world stops for Coach K, Jim Calhoun, Lute Olsen.
Not for Donovan.

Marcus Thompson

  • EJ

    I totally agree, Marcus. What’s the difference between Donovan’s situation and a kid wanting to return to school after declaring for the draft and hiring an agent? How can what he did be allowed? The NCAA and NBA has so many sanctions on it’s players and not enough on ADs and coaches. Banning him from the NBA for 5 years is pointless! He didn’t want to coach there anyway. He should be banned from coaching for 5 years. It’s harsh, but at what point do you draw the line?

  • zgreat

    You can’t ban someone from coaching college and pro for 5 years. If you did that, coaches wouldn’t change their minds, but they might start doing things like purposely trying to get fired.

    It’s kind of ironic how a lot of our society preaches happiness is more important then money, yet when Donovan decides that ultimately he’d be happier at Florida, the press is all over him.

  • Andrew Rosenblum

    Billy Donovan — the NBA’s equivalent of a runaway bride.