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That Bill Self Is A Real Sweetheart

J.R. Giddens (Boston Celtics) Pictures, Images and Photos

We love Yahoo’s Jason King around here.  He was the man who brought you the John Wall profile two years ago and the tale of DeAndre Liggins during last season’s Final Four run.  King has a new book out called “Beyond The Phog”, which is billed as “an unprecedented glimpse” into the KU basketball program.  As a part of the marketing, King released an excerpt today from former Jayhawk and Boston Celtic JR Giddens. 

Shortly after his disappointing sophomore season ended, the former McDonald’s All-American was stabbed at a campus bar after a fight broke out.  He later transferred to New Mexico, where he was named as an honorable mention All-American as a senior before being drafted late in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft.  That’s all fine and dandy, but what’s interesting about King’s excerpt is how Giddens ended up leaving KU.

Says Giddens:

Any thoughts I had about leaving (school early) for the NBA ended when I got stabbed. After that I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. If anything, I was trying to figure out if I was ever going to play basketball again.

I think that’s why they made me leave Kansas. The doctor said I would walk with a limp for the rest of my life. He said I was going to come back 50% and I wasn’t going to be able to play basketball anymore.

I’m not saying Kansas threw me out like a battery. But they get McDonald’s All-Americans every day. They weren’t going to let me stay around campus and be Moulaye Niang.

Micah Downs was coming in. Bill Self used to always tell me, “Micah is coming in and he’s better than you.” He would just say little stuff like that and I was like, “Dang, man, you’re not even for me, are you?” I wanted to stay at Kansas but I felt like they just pushed me out the door, especially after getting stabbed. I was like, “I’m sitting here worrying if I’m ever play basketball again and you guys are over here talking to me in an inappropriate manner? I’m 19 years old. You guys are supposed to my college coaches. Instead, at the first sign of trouble, you guys are turning your back on me?” I felt like it was everyone from the coaching staff to the people up there in the offices. As a 19-year-old who was immature and didn’t understand life, I took that really hard. I left the office in tears when I knew I was leaving.

I remember that day really well. I walked out of there on crutches, crying. I’d been interrogated for about seven hours for three days straight. Then those guys did that to me? A few weeks before that, I had to move out of my dorm at the Towers. I and was staying with Josi Lima, my girlfriend at the time who played volleyball. Bill Self was telling my teammates not to have any contact with me. Darnell Jackson and Jeremy Case were two of my best friends, and they weren’t even allowed to talk to me. Aaron Miles was done playing so he came over. He was the only person who came and saw me. I was like, “Dang, I’m 30 feet from where I used to stay and you guys can’t even come over here and see me?” I’m stabbed and laid up and don’t even know if I’m going to play basketball again. That was very kind of Kansas basketball and Bill Self, to tell people to stay away from me like I was a team cancer.

Kansas is apparently not one of those “players first” programs.

Article written by Thomas Beisner

42 Comments for That Bill Self Is A Real Sweetheart

  1. fat jesus
    12:05 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink


  2. coolio
    12:09 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    That makes me sick

    12:10 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Now lets see if espn or any other big head media even talks about this story….doubt it!

  4. bluesince66
    12:11 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    This should really help their recruiting.

  5. BCO
    12:12 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Sounds like you made an excellent choice, Perry. If I was recruiting against Kansas this would be the first thing I show them.

  6. Andy
    12:14 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    There are 3 sides to every story. 1)Giddens 2)Self 3)The Truth

  7. uk3k
    12:18 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    i guess perry ellis didnt read the book.

  8. DocPepper62
    12:18 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Makes Bill Self sound like a real POS coach. Throw your player under the bus
    and then back over him a couple of times. Glad the kid landed on his feet again.

  9. Marcus L. Owens
    12:20 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Micah Downs left too.

  10. Jimtown Catfan
    12:23 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Who cares…. Its Kansas

  11. John
    12:24 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    THIS CANT BE!!!!! Cal is the devil. Pitino and Self are SAINTS!!!!!……………………………

  12. BCO
    12:24 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    I cant wait to lay the smack down on Kansas on Nov 5th. I hope we run them out of the Garden…

  13. Kidnut
    12:25 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Seriously…people read a little excerpt and immediately draw conclusions? This is one side of the story, it may be true but at least hear the other side before making sweeping statements.

  14. I just threw up
    12:25 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Bill self is a prick

  15. Jrob
    12:25 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    It’s no wonder Billy Gillispie use to work for this jackass…appears the two are one in the same.

  16. Rocco
    12:26 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    When Cal is our coach, we must take every opportunity to knock others whenever we’re giving the chance, right? Am I right?

  17. cman
    12:40 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    That makes Coach Cal look even better to the recruites who want a home away from home. Cal will bench a player (i.e. Liggins) but will not throw him under the bus. A true father figure is Cal but BILL is for his SELF!

  18. Kwildcat
    12:44 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Eat that college recruits and fans, Kansas thinks their s&!t don’t stank!!!!!! Great piece.

  19. golden ticket
    12:50 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Sweeping judgments? What would you infer from that excerpt?

  20. Andy S
    12:56 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    they are who we thought they were! At least all players got a degree in backstabbing with a minor in Dick hEAD

  21. Miss Illaney
    1:05 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    I’m saying Kansas threw you out like a recycled battery to a recycled state (New Mexico) where you recycled yourself. The M.D.’s did a good job motivating, as did Bill Self. Thank him like the teacher you most hated. He lit a ‘far’ under yo ash.

  22. pioneer
    1:26 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Micah Downs…. really? That was Bill Self’s motivating tactics? How is Micah doing these days anyways? I am sure Mark Few is way cooler than Bill Self!

  23. Lee
    1:33 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Not players first?? Look at the way they embrace Josh Selby.

  24. jeb
    1:41 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    This sounds harsh, but I’m willing to bet that Self remembers it differently, and that the truth lay somewhere between the two stories. I doubt Self was as cruel as he sounds, and I doubt Giddens is as innocent as he makes himself out to be. Lets also not overlook that the 19 year old was stabbed at a bar. There’s a lot more to this story than that excerpt implies.

  25. UKGoBigBlue
    1:43 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    This isn’t breaking news, this happens at the majority of colleges & defiantly in the Pros. Players are nothing but a commodity; you’re only as good as what have you done for me lately. Why do you think scholarships go from year to year.

  26. Josh
    2:11 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Num 16 u are right no doubt protect our coach

  27. Greg Ostertag
    2:11 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    When I played for Bill he would not even let me call home and talk to my parents. He told me they were not good for me anymore and he knows best.

  28. Danny Manning
    2:25 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Dude I called your cell to check on you. Went straight to voicemail. Call me back.

  29. Larry
    2:34 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    How is this any different than Cal telling AJ Stewart to look for another opportunity to play somewhere else. Like others have said, two sides to every story and in this case it seems like it worked out well for the player so I don’t have much sympathy for him. He happens to be living his dream.

  30. Hunter1249
    2:47 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    29. I understand what your saying. But I doubt he told the other guys no contact with AJ. Oh and by the way AJ got in trouble and kicked off Texas State’s team as well. Truth is probably in the middle, but that is still harsh by Kansas staff as well.

  31. D.O.
    2:58 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    A players first coach will get you drafted in the first round with a bum knee just by saying “look who he’s playing behind.”

  32. Ihateukfans
    2:59 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Life is tough
    Man who knew
    Oh why did someone find it necessary to stab him
    In the first place unless it was jack the ripper most plp don’t do that without cause

  33. Rock Chalk
    3:01 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    This quote goes to show everyone how bad of a person JR really is. Don’t take one of dozens of athletes who’ve been coached by Self over the years at KU and prior, represent the vast majority who praise him and credit him on their growth on and off the court. In a college hoops world of one and done pre-Madonnas every coach is going to get a player like JR once in a while who will say this sort of b.s. I’d love to hear some of the current and past players from KU weigh in on this comment.

    I am a KU fan and certainly do not like UK, but college basketball as a whole is better for every time honored program like both of ours. Don’t let one idiot represent the group as a whole for any program.

    And just because I can’t resist talking a bit of trash while here… Where did James E. Naismith choose to bring his beloved sport? That’d be Kansas. I challenge any of you to tell me a greater figure in the game for any program. By the way, Adolf Rupp is from KS. So is Dean Smith. Just saying…

  34. catcrawler
    3:04 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    So I guess we can partly blame Self for Clyde’s horrible treatment of players??????
    Or maybe Giddens just WASN’T TOUGH ENOUGH to convince Self that he’d rehab completely.

  35. Matt in Franklin
    3:15 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Dang, man…I mean, dang…man…

  36. MikeinLexington
    3:38 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    wow. #29, AJ Stewart hadnt been stabbed and wasnt dedicated like apparently this kid proved later on. Sorry, KU fans but dont point at the kid, he OBVIOUSLY rehabbed himself and proved his willingness to work hard after that, to be drafted. First Ive heard of someone disliking Self though.

  37. K'p
    3:45 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    I love how all the Kentucky fans believe this is the truth. 1st sign of trouble? more like 10th. the kid was a cancer and Self gave him more chances than he actually deserved. Giddens ego just wont let himself see that

  38. Rock Chalk
    3:49 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Oh, JR does say in his quote that he was 19 years old at the time he was in a BAR fight. Hmm, why are you in a bar at 19? If any of you want to read some more, positive, exerpts from Beyond the Phog, check out some of the other stories here:

    There are some quite different perspectives than JR’s, his is also listed among the articles.

  39. BILLYG
    4:11 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    I larnt from the best, Bill Self

  40. HipsterCat
    5:04 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    Do the math. If Billy Gillispie and Bill Self are best friends, what do you think that means?

  41. cornbreadmafiacook
    6:11 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    they’ve seen each other’s man parts?

  42. Martin
    8:16 pm September 28, 2011 Permalink

    I can’t quiet make out what you you’ve typed 33 because of the gleam of those 7 national championship trophies UK displays.