University of Kansas

Kansas coach Bill Self again downplays interest in NBA

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self Star file photo

Kansas coach Bill Self has a pretty blunt way of describing his program’s 25-10 record last season: “It sucked,” Self said on Monday, in an interview with ESPN..Self was partially joking, of course, but his dissatisfaction with all the losing was part of a longer answer downplaying his interest in an NBA head coaching job. Yep, it’s that time of year. In what has become an offseason tradition, Self on Monday offered his latest rebuttal of any NBA speculation involving his name.

“I think I’ve got a better situation than a lot of the franchises in the league,” Self said in an interview with Andy Katz. “People may think that’s hard to believe, but they haven’t been here or know what’s gone on here. Very content where I am.”

If this sounds familiar, Self offered a similar sentiment last month in Lawrence.

“There’s nothing about me and the NBA. Zero,” Self said. “Anybody that would waste any time on talk radio talking about that … surely there’s some Royals games or something like that going on that other people can talk about.”

To this point, Self has said he’s not fielding any calls from NBA teams — though he has always stopped short of totally ruling the NBA out.

Self, who has led Kansas to 10 straight Big 12 titles and two Final Fours in 11 seasons, is entering another season with a rebuilt roster after losing Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid to the NBA. But the Jayhawks should be poised to be in the preseason top five again after adding another top recruiting class and returning key players such as junior forward Perry Ellis and sophomore guard Wayne Selden Jr.

In 11 seasons at KU, Self is 325-69 overall and 173-36 in the Big 12. In an NBA season that features 82 games, Self is not sure how he would cope with the possibility of losing more than 20 or 30 games in a season.

“It would be hard,’’ Self said. “From an ego standpoint, we all are used to winning and we like to win. We went 25-10 this year and it sucked. I say that jokingly. We haven’t lost 10 games in one season in 14 or 15 years (at Tulsa in 1999), something like that, since my second year at Tulsa or maybe longer than that. Can you imagine losing 50 or 60 games in a year?

“I’m not saying never, but certainly this is a pretty good situation.”