Lefty Driesell earned plenty of attention by telling reporters last week that the floor at Comcast Center should not be named after Gary Williams. Then he was the subject of a John Feinstein column, with Feinstein arguing that the fault for this controversy really likes with the Maryland administration.
And Driesell also appeared on ESPN 980 Friday to revisit his complaints, leading to many awesome quotes, some about the court-naming, and some about other stuff.
The court naming: “I personally have nothing against Gary, he’s done a good job at Maryland, I like Gary. But I don’t think anybody’s name should be on the court at the University of Maryland, and I say that because I think it’s kind of a slap in the face at my players....When you put a coach’s name on the court, that’s saying that his players are the best and the ones that built the program. I never scored a basket and neither did Gary, but those players right there of mine and his, that’s who you’re honoring. And he’s had great players too, but I’m just opposed to putting somebody’s name on the court.”
Putting Maryland on the map: “When you turn on the TV from now on, you’re gonna see Gary Williams’s name, so everybody’s gonna think well Gary Williams’s players are the ones that put Maryland on the map. You know, Maryland was on the map before Gary got there. Now, he’s had nice teams and I love his players and I like Gary, but I don’t think his name should be on the court.”
Lefty’s name being on the Georgia State court: “Yeah, it sure is. Well, you know, they never had a successful program before I got there. Never. And I was only there five years. I didn’t ask them to put my name on the court. And I’m not sure that’s right. The coach that’s there now, suppose he wins more games than I did? Then he’s not gonna be recognized.”
Mark Turgeon’s future: “I think Mark Turgeon’s gonna win a couple of national championships. I coached against him when I was at Georgia State. He can coach and he can recruit, he played on a national championship team, he was an assistant on a national championship team under Larry Brown, who Buck Williams told me is the best pro coach he ever had, and he was under Roy Williams. So I mean, the guy is gonna do well, man. Suppose he wins a couple national championships? The Maryland court should be the Comcast court, and honor Gary some other way. He made a lot of money anyway.”
How Gary should be honored: “Well, I don’t know. You know, he got banners up there for winning the national championship. Maybe like the Orioles do, put a statue out back. But I’m telling you, when somebody’s name goes on that court, think of the millions and millions of people that are gonna see it. Every time they’re on TV, there’s gonna be millions of people, every time them or the women play in there. I mean, Brenda Frese won a national championship.”
Maryland’s future: “Look, I have nothing against Gary, he’s a good coach, he’s done a good job at Maryland.. Putting someone’s name on the court, you’ve got to double-think that, in my opinion. Now, I don’t want my name on the court. I don’t think my name deserves to be there. I mean, Maryland’s a big-time basketball school, and they’re gonna win some more national championships.”
Lefty’s future: “If somebody offered me $2 million to coach next year, I’d do it in a heartbeat. When I left Maryland, I was making $80,000 a year. These guys making $2 million, I’d come back any time. Get me a job....I’m gonna write a book pretty soon I hope if I don’t get too senile.”
Remodeling: “I’ve got a house that I own on 5th street NE, and I’ve got to get some work done on it. I rent out now. That was my uncle’s house. So I’ve got to come up there. I’ve got to put a new bathroom in the basement. So I’ve got to come up and look at it and make sure my contractors are doing me right.”