The UCLA Bruins made a surprising decision when they hired Steve Alford to be their main man in charge of everything hoops related. The move to hire Alford, as the coach, is debatable. Although, the deal has long been sealed and now the Bruin faithful have to hope the athletic department knew what they were doing. Alford’s hire, however, may not be the biggest move that happened during UCLA’s postseason.
No one was shocked with Shabazz Muhammad announcing he was turning pro. In fact, more people seemed to be relieved that he was leaving rather than upset that he didn’t stay for another season. I don’t know if people held him responsible for the Bruins less than thrilling end to their season or if they just didn’t like him in general, but there was very little public outcry over his decision.
Muhammad’s college basketball career was nothing short of complex. He was suspended; fans took to the cause with “free Shabazz” shirts, then something about a man-purse stirred up some more mini-controversies around the talented freshman. His one-year with the program proved to never have a single dull moment.
Then there was the growing perception that Muhammad was a me-first player. That he wasn’t happy with UCLA just winning — it was that he had to be the reason that they won. Making many starting to ponder if his talent was worth all the headaches that he brought to the program. Well, if you have to ponder that kind of question then it probably is not worth it.
Now that his college basketball career has gone the way of the dinosaurs, UCLA fans, coaches, alum and the like can all move past the Muhammad era. Whether you liked it or not, I guess that is up to you. But I need to know — how does it feel to be Shabazz-less?
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone