Saturday, April 2, 2011

Why Kruger Left Vegas, Comment from Theus

Here's my take on why Kruger left, some of this has been validated by Kruger's words, some hasn't but makes sense:

 X 154 = $15.4 Mil

1. Its all about the money

Don't ever fool yourselves, when it comes down to it, most every major decision in this world has to do with money. People can't get enough of the stuff. It was never about Kruger being potentially 'poor' should a contract extension from UNLV be slightly less than what he is currently making ($1.1 Million / Yr). He would be less rich. Who among us could walk away from a boat load of money for seven years? Kruger said that money was a factor that played a part in his decision. If someone really had some cash you could probably get him to coach in China or somewhere else overseas, and he'd justify it by saying something like, 'well, Barb and I have always wanted to travel'. To quote the brilliant Ricky Bobby, "thank you for all the races that I've won and the $21.2 million dollars, WOO, love that money!"

If you got 5 minutes, watch this:

2. Oklahoma is OK

Everyone knows Kruger is a midwest guy. His associations are deep in Kansas, especially with Kansas State. His staff is full of Kansas Stater's too. His connection to UNLV and Nevada is not any longer than 'we hired him to coach the Rebels seven years ago'. So, unless he made some connection beyond that, his decision to stay or leave UNLV would be grounded in business. The same could be said for his stint at Illinois and Florida, Hawks and Knicks. Granted, surely Kruger has built friendships and respect among his Las Vegas associates and players - otherwise he would not have lasted long and would not have been successful. I assume Kruger ideally would want to retire in the midwest where he has long time friends and family, and a 7 year contract brings him up to the traditional retirement age.

3. First to Five

I think Coach Kruger wants to separate himself from the pack, and become the first coach to take five different teams to the NCAA tournament. Kansas State, Florida, Illinois, UNLV, and now Oklahoma. He already shares company with Eddie Sutton, Rick Pitino, Tubby Smith, John Belein, Gene Bartow, Jim Harrick, Tom Penders, Lefty Driesell, and now Steve Lavin. Clearly, Kruger is still young enough to do it, and doing so would definitely solidify his place in the basketball hall of fame, so why not?

Only caveat to doing so, is that the tournament is expanding its field, and at some point may be as large as 96 teams in the future. Soon, it will be easier to bring 4-5 teams to a tournament that includes nearly more than 1/4th of all the NCAA D-1 teams. So that statistic, bring 5 teams to the tournament will be slightly less impressive. Nonetheless, you would have to be a great coach to achieve that feat - and a traveler.

Early quote from Reggie Theus on UNLV job

Bellingham Herald - Theus is interested, but doesn't yet know what his chances are. Interviewed after Miami Heat put the smackdown on the Timberwolves.

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