After being asked for his thoughts about the flattering comparison during Thursday’s press conference in Chicago ahead of Virginia’s Sweet 16 game against Iowa State on Friday, Bennett looked like a man who would much rather discuss the difficult matchup that the Cyclones’ Georges Niang presents his team, or maybe his favorite scene in “Ocean’s Thirteen.”
“I hear you’re the Anderson Cooper of journalism,” Bennett joked after hearing the question. “I didn’t read the article. I don’t know. Someone sent me a text and was messing with me and said they’re about to puke when they saw the article. It was our tennis coach actually, Brian Boland; he’s always twisting the knife. I didn’t read it. I’m not interested in reading it really.”
Tony Bennett is a huge Boyz II Men fan
Virginia’s Anthony Gill, Malcolm Brogdon and London Perrantes didn’t read the ode to their coach either.
“I don’t have a comment on that one,” Gill said during the Virginia players’s availability on Thursday. “I’ll let Malcolm handle it.”
“I don’t have a comment either, I didn’t see any article,” Brogdon laughed, deflecting the question to Perrantes.
“I did not read that article either, so I think AG should handle this one,” Perrantes said, giving Gill, who had already responded that he had no comment, another opportunity to weigh in.
“Thank you,” Gill said, finally putting an end to the discussion.
Later in the press conference, a reporter asked Gill, “If there was someone who was going to be compared to George Clooney in this tournament, would it be Coach Bennett?” This time, the senior forward let his guard down.
For Virginia’s senior class, bonds come due
“I’m not sure,” Gill said. “I would say if someone was going to play my life in a movie, if that’s what you were asking me, I would pretty much go with Denzel Washington, Will Smith and any other mainstream actor that girls love. That’s probably who would play me in a film.”
That’s a good answer.
As uncomfortable as Bennett appeared answering questions about his looks before one of the biggest games of his coaching career, ESPN college basketball analyst Seth Greenberg told Vogue.com that the Cavaliers coach is “comfortable in his own skin.”
“Jay Wright isn’t going to be happy,” Greenberg said. “He thinks he is the George Clooney of college basketball.”
Bennett would likely be happy to concede the title to Wright, or at least trade it for something the Villanova coach already has: a spot in this year’s Elite Eight.