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Lionel Hollins is not watching NCAA Tournament with you

Mar 21, 2013, 2:36 PM EDT

Lionel Hollins AP

Every year the NCAA Tournament brings out the NBA snobbery of some people — they pick apart the flaws and execution errors of the college teams, laugh at the mockery that is the “amateur” system the NCAA enforces, and generally act above it all.

Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins is one of those guys.

He’s not watching the tournament — and his son plays on the Minnesota team that faces UCLA in the first round Friday. (Call me a snob, but to me the round of 64 is still the first round, the play-in games I have no use for.)

Hollins was asked if he was going to watch his son play and the Star-Tribune caught his response:

“I’m not,” he said. “I don’t watch him play.”

Because? “I don’t like college basketball,” he said.

He’s not kidding — he said he went to his son’s high school games and hated it (not his son, the level of play). When pressed a little he elaborated.

“It’s hard to watch college basketball … There’s not a lot of playing,” he said. “The pro game, with the 24-second clock, moving up and down the court, you get at least 100 possessions every game.

“In college, especially in the Big Ten … I watched Wisconsin and Minnesota play down the stretch and I couldn’t take it. They just hold the ball and hold the ball, and try to get a shot with 10 seconds on the clock.

To be fair, the NBA only averaged 94.7 possessions in 48 minutes. College games that drops closer to 70 (depends on the team).

I’m not snob guy — I like college basketball. I have Long Beach State season tickets (three straight years Big West regular season champs, thank you very much). I love the energy and passion the players go with most nights. Please, please don’t try to argue college is better basketball — if you think college teams play better as a team, you don’t know the game or don’t watch enough NBA. The picks that are set in college are weak, the mental mistakes far more numerous (and not as quickly exploited) and teams do take their time trying to pick a hole in the defense. But that doesn’t make it hard for me to watch.

I’m a basketball junkie — college, NBA, I watch it all. I love them both for what they are, not pick them apart for what they are not. Why can’t we just all get along?

  1. trbowman - Mar 21, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    “(Call me a snob, but to me the round of 64 is still the first round, the play-in games I have no use for.)”

    Hear hear.

    You know that guy that pays zero attention to college basketball until the March Madness? That’s me. Yet I’ve still had plenty of success with my brackets over the years despite having minimal CBB knowledge. Yay me, I suppose.

  2. phx1311 - Mar 21, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    I agree with coach, but I’m sure he sneaks a peek every once in a while during this time.

  3. nbascreed - Mar 21, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Dear Coach Hollins,

    IT’S YOUR SON! Don’t be so egotistical and myopic. I say again, it’s your son.

  4. pacific123ocean - Mar 21, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Come on now, support your son! It’s not about the brand of basketball being played…he is your only son…show him you care!

    • ahollins05 - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:21 AM

      He actually has 3 sons. So it’s cool. Lol

  5. pacific123ocean - Mar 21, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    This is written as if Hollins made this statement recently…..I just clicked on the link, and the article is over 2 years old. WOW!

  6. xLith - Mar 21, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    I get annoyed watching college sports too. Lack of execution and bonehead mistakes is annoying. I understand it happens in the pros but man it can be on a whole other level of bad in college.

  7. michaeljordanseviltwin - Mar 21, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Kurt, let’s not assume that many of your readers watch NCAA basketball at all. I sure as heck don’t. I can’t stand it. Only thing I’m willing to admit is that the NCAA Tournament is really exciting; although I’d never want to see the pros play that sort of one-game playoff.

    Bill Simmons had an exciting idea where NBA playoff seeds 1-6 would be guaranteed by record and the 7th and 8th seeds would be determined by a one game playoff at the end of the season between all teams in a conference. That way the Bobcats could suddenly get hot (yeah right, haha) and make the playoffs. The first and second seeds always win in the first round anyway and certainly a 7 or 8 seed will never win a championship… so why not try it? That might reduce tanking too.

  8. scoregasmic - Mar 21, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    College basketball > NBA basketball by miles…everyone actually plays defense in college

    • dko83 - Mar 22, 2013 at 10:59 PM

      Correct, sir.

  9. dko83 - Mar 22, 2013 at 3:52 AM

    Only in his dreams can he get his team to play defense like Pitino gets his Cards to play it.

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