HOUSTON — Raise your hand if you saw Mark Ingram’s most recent interview for the open UAB men’s basketball coaching position coming. It’s safe to say no one did. Ingram interviewed the veteran guard before Jason Terry before his Houston Rocket team faced the Chicago Bulls in the Toyota Center Thursday afternoon. The news left many befuddled and confused, including myself.
Jason Terry has zero coaching experience. None. Zilch. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a player jump from the NBA to college immediately though. Most notably, Clyde Drexler took the helms at his alma mater, the University of Houston, immediately after ending his career with the Houston Rockets. Drexler led the Cougars to an abysmal 19-37 record and resigned after just two seasons. I know this isn’t exactly the best example to endorse Jason Terry.
As odd as the interview may seem, there are some pieces to the puzzle that could make hiring Jason Terry appear less than absurd. As reported by ESPN, Terry has family connections in Birmingham. I’ll admit that’s not a terribly convincing reason to hire Jason Terry either. Once I had a chance to let the news sink in I began to wonder, who would he hire as assistants? This is where things get interesting.
In the Modern Era of the NBA (80-81 to present), only 18 players have won both an NCAA championship and an NBA championship. Jason Terry is one of them. He won his ring later in his Mavericks career with Rick Carlisle at the helm. Terry also played for the Dallas Mavericks under coach Avery Johnson – who you might have heard of. Terry and point guard Mike Bibby led the Arizona Wildcats to an NCAA championship in 1997 during the end of the Lute Olsen era. The duo have both gone on to have long, successful NBA careers with Terry’s still continuing on. Whatever happened to Mike Bibby? Let’s find out.
After retiring from the NBA in 2012, Mike Bibby returned to his alma mater, Shadow Mountain High School to be their head varsity basketball coach. Bibby’s son, Michael Bibby is a senior on the squad and has garnered offers from Gonzaga, Memphis, and Oregon. Mike Bibby recently told The Arizona Republic that he will remain at Shadow Mountain after his son graduates. What if Jason Terry was to bring on Bibby to be a part of his UAB staff? You’d have to imagine Terry and Bibby would get some recruits’ attention. Here is what Bibby told The Arizona Republic when asked about coaching in college.
I’d like to eventually move onto bigger and better things. I don’t know when that will be. We’ll have to wait and see. I definitely would like to move up in the ranks. Maybe go to college. Maybe the NBA some day.
I’ve gone out on a limb here, I know. My point is, let’s not discount Jason Terry’s ability to put together a plan that could seriously impress Mark Ingram. With the right assistants, Terry as a coach could give UAB a serious edge in recruiting. It’s possible Bibby and his son could even be a package deal.
There’s no doubt Jason Terry would be a splash hire. The question is, would he sink or swim?