There’s virtually nothing left for Bill Self to prove at the collegiate level.
Already a Hall of Fame coach, Self has guided Kansas to 14 consecutive Big 12 regular-season titles, eight Big 12 Tournament championships, and a national championship. This doesn’t include Self’s numerous individual accolades.
At what point, if ever, will Self decide it’s time for a new challenge?
If that time does come, Self will be a prime candidate to make the jump to the NBA, as detailed by Rivals’ Corey Evans.
“Talk of Bill Self going to the San Antonio Spurs has persisted over the past few years,” Evans wrote. “Whether Self is the ultimate hire to replace Gregg Popovich is up for debate, but Self’s background with Spurs GM RC Buford (they spent time together at Oklahoma State and Kansas), only adds fuel to the fire that Self could be the next head coach of the Spurs if the job opened up.”
“Self’s string of success since taking over in Lawrence has been nothing short of stupendous, as he has won 14 straight Big 12 titles. That reflects his coaching acumen, player development skills and ability to morph as the game and industry has constantly changed. He is a much-respected coach throughout the business, and he has done pretty much everything that can be done at the college level. Could the NBA be next?”
The flip side to Self potentially dashing for the NBA is the uncertainty that awaits. Succesful franchises aren’t often in the market for a new coach, and would walking away from a basketball empire and seemingly unshakeable job security be worth the risk of manning a lower tier NBA team?
Besides, Self would largely be tasked with doing so without handpicking some of the top talent available, as he’s often able to do at Kansas. Given his success with this model, Self’s name will continue to come up in NBA rumor mills when coaching vacancies arise, but it seems likely that the situation — such as the Spurs — would have to be ideal for Self to depart from Kansas.