What feels just like a few days ago–because it was–UCLA Bruins coach Ben Howland was talking honestly about Shabazz Muhammad likely bouncing from the program early. All Bill Walton‘s least favorite man said was he expected Muhammad to declare early entry for the NBA Draft to capitalize on what is surely a high draft stock. Somehow, through the world of hyperbole, Howland created a stir where people slammed him for his honesty.
Well, what happens in the wonderful world of hyperbole–a person has to apologize for doing nothing wrong. Here is Howland backtracking on what would otherwise be classified as honest statements:
“I’m sorry that I even — I’m sometimes too honest because it would have been better to have answered that question differently the other day because I’ve never discussed it with Shabazz. It’s just kind of obvious when a kid is a lottery pick that they’re going to be going to the NBA in this day and age.”
To give Howland some credit, this wasn’t a self-serving idea that popped in his head. Here is more Uncle Ben:
“It’s incumbent upon me as the coach here that if a kid is a top-10 pick to encourage him to do the right thing for him and his family. In my opinion, if someone is a lottery pick, he should go to the NBA.”
Howland did talk about the disadvantage college players have when deciding whether or not to go pro:
“It’s all set up for [the NBA] and we have no control. It would be great if we could have more of a dialogue because I think it would be better overall for the culture of basketball and ultimately for their league if they stay for more than one year once they attended college.”
And probably Howland’s line of the night–after unnecessarily apologizing again:
“I got home Saturday night and it’s on ESPN every four seconds: ‘Howland says. And you have to look at my ugly face there on the tube. I apologize.”
You know who this is a big story to–nobody, well at least nobody with brain. Whatever group of people got upset because Howland assumed Muhammad would declare for the draft is insane. We crush coaches for not being honest, but when Howland has an honest moment we go bonkers on the guy.
Good for you, Internet.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports and LOVES the Internet. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone