Once Kansas head basketball Bill Self took the podium at the Big 12 Media Day, he didn’t hold back.
As the countdown to college basketball ticks away, one player that everyone thinks will impact the college basketball landscape is Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins, a guard from Ontario, Canada, played at Huntington Prep (W. Va.) last season and graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, where he was compared to Kansas greats Wilt Chamberlain and Danny Manning.
There is a lot of hype behind Wiggins, and the kid hasn’t played a game of basketball yet. Yes, it is easy to say that Wiggins will meet his expectations, but when you haven’t played one game of college basketball ball, people are setting themselves up for disappointment.
Self said Wiggins is the most humble kid around, but he doesn’t want people to get too caught up into the hype, which may already be too late. There were reports coming out that Wiggins had been offered $180 million from Nike and ADIDAS, but it may have been a hoax. Still, the hype has reached extremes.
“When you’re the cover of SI and they’re comparing you to Chamberlain and Manning, and in Chamberlain’s first game he went for 52 and 31, that’s not going to happen,” Self said. “He could go for 20 and 10 and disappoint everybody. Wiggins has not asked for any of this and it’s really unfair.”
In recent weeks and months, Wiggins has been compared to LeBron James and Kevin Durant, which are great players to be compared to. However, Durant made a name for himself with the Texas Longhorns and James’ games were being broadcasted on ESPN.
The media loves to attach their name onto someone who they deem a star (Tim Tebow, Johnny Manziel), but then they want to turn right back around and smash them when they are declining. Why can’t the media just let someone play and better themselves? Self himself asked for people to give him slack, but do you think anyone is actually listening? No.
If Self, who should know Wiggins better than fans and the media, knows that players who are hyped up too much have tended to crash and burn. Hopefully, Wiggins doesn’t buy into his hype and focuses solely on helping his basketball team win games while also raising his stock.