Posted March 4th, 2007 by Matt
Filed under: Basketball

Rick Barnes

Bill Simmons has a huge man crush on Kevin Durant, but has some pretty harsh words for how [tag]Rick Barnes[/tag] is handling his super-star freshman. In his latest Page 2 article on, Simmons absolutely rips into Rick Barnes, calling for his retirement and labeling his coaching unconscionable. Here is one of the funniest lines from his rant:

Do they have plays in their playbook called “Durant stands frozen 25 feet from the basket while other guys dribble aimlessly” and “half-assed pick-and-roll that leads to nothing” and “Durant posts up while the point guards stare him down, then reverse the ball the other way?”

I have to admit, lately I have been saying something along the same lines. Durant needs to get the ball more. Actually, Durant has to WANT the ball more. But I think this will come in time. Durant is still young and growing into a leader.

I actually think Barnes is doing a good job handling all of the youth he has on the floor. I mean, Texas is 22-8 so far on the season and was 1 game away from winning the tough Big 12. I would say he is doing an alright job. Ease up Bill.

You can read the whole rant after the jump.

It’s no secret that Texas has become my favorite college hoops team; my man-crush on Durant has reached the point that I should probably remain at least 100 yards away from him at all times. So I finally fall for a college hoops team, and just my luck … they have a crappy coach! It’s like my destiny in life to root for poorly coached basketball teams. The way Rick Barnes butchers this team on a game-to-game basis is unconscionable. Seriously, did you SEE Wednesday night’s game? What was your favorite bad coaching moment? Acie Law being repeatedly allowed to shoot game-tying threes from his favorite spots on the floor? Durant going 4-5 straight possessions in OT without touching the ball? D.J. Augustin being allowed to recklessly drive to the hoop again and again when he’s playing with the most unstoppable college scorer in 40 years?

I asked this question a few weeks ago, and I’m asking it again now: How can you not run more plays for Kevin Durant? Post him up and he has 27 different ways to score. Curl him off picks and he makes 15-footers like they’re layups. Spread the floor out, let him handle the ball at the top of the key and he can pull up and swish 25-footers over anyone. THE GUY IS A SURE THING!!!!!!!! Why are they giving him a degree of difficulty? Do they have plays in their playbook called “Durant stands frozen 25 feet from the basket while other guys dribble aimlessly” and “half-assed pick-and-roll that leads to nothing” and “Durant posts up while the point guards stare him down, then reverse the ball the other way?”

I can’t handle it. Watching Texas screw up the Durant Era is like watching a guy spend three straight hours buying drinks and working it with a girl who already announced, “Sure, I’ll sleep with you.” In other words, WHY ARE YOU MAKING THIS HARD????? Seriously, I feel like Barnes should resign. He’s overmatched. He’s Dubya-esque. It’s a disgrace. They’re going to get bounced from the NCAA Tournament this month solely because Barnes has no idea how to get Durant the ball … and even worse, doesn’t seem to feel any pressing need to get Durant the ball. And since Durant is a good teammate, and he’s not one of those guys who would scream at a teammate, “Look, get out of my way and give me the f—ing ball,” we get to watch him stand around in close games while opposing coaches think to themselves, “Phew, I’m glad Rick Barnes is over there.”


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  1. reply to  #1

    Robert L.

    OK, who the hell is Bill Simmons? Rick Barnes is an outstanding coach, getting more from a 4-freshmen, 1-sophomore starting lineup than most any coach can. Does Simmons (whoever he is) understand anything about college basketball? That’s a rhetorical question….of course he doesn’t.

  2. reply to  #2


    I agree with you Robert, this young team has done amazing things and Barnes has to get a lot of credit for that. That said, a lot of the things Simmons says I’ve been saying myself watching the games lately.

    I love our team and the way they play but they need to work a little harder on occasion to get Durant the basketball.

  3. reply to  #3


    Rick Barnes did a terrible job with this team. UT had 4 freshman and a sophomore on the team. Big deal. That’s all everybody but Florida and the mid-majors have. Kansas is all freshmen and sophs. UNC same thing. USC had nothing but freshmen and sophs. Tim Floyd undressed Rick Barnes. UT was a Final Four team this year and didn’t make it to the Sweet 16. This team underachieved.

  4. reply to  #4


    Actually Bryan, Texas was the youngest team in the tourney. And all the guys off the bench are young too.

    USC started 2 juniors, a senior, and a 21-year old freshman. The other starter was a freshman but hadn’t been a starter most of the year.

    Kansas starts a 3 sophomores and 2 juniors.

    North Carolina starts a senior, a sophomore, and 3 freshmen. They’re the youngest of the teams you mentioned and Texas is much younger than UNC.

    Might want to get your facts straight next time.

  5. reply to  #5


    Bill, you’re an idiot. Show me another coach in college basketball that has had the success that Rick Barnes has given Texas over the last 7 years. That’s right, you can’t find one. You sound just like a North Carolina Tarheel fan. Coach Barnes took a very young team, and made a contender out of them. Yeah, they did not win it all, but when all is said and done, neither will 63 other teams.

  6. reply to  #6


    Hey Bryan, did you say underachievers? What the heck are you smokin. We were not even ranked in the preseason polls.

  7. […] Original post by Matt […]

  8. reply to  #8


    Um, for all the people who are saying ‘who the hell is Bill Simmons?’ you must not have heard of a somewhat known website that a few people check out called ESPN.COM!!! The guy has a HUGE army of readers and he makes some excellent points in this article. I have watched about 10-12 of Durants games and i cannot agree more with him. Rick is not a very good game manager, but an excellent recruiter. For the guy that says 22-8 with this team is a good job? are you watching your games? you have the best player in the nation by far! and a etraorinarily talented, although somewhat erratic point gaurd. They should have went deep into the tourney.

  9. reply to  #9


    Couldn’t disagree more with Simmons. Barnes is a great coach but my argument extends to the point that I believe Simmons has a problem personally with me. I pull for the Carolina Panthers…he rips them a new one. I pull for the NY Yankees…he rips them a new one. I start pulling for Texas…he rips them a new one. Fine, Bill, I give up. My favorite people in the world are Michael Vick, the Boston Red Sox and the Taliban!

  10. […] Durant is probably half right: He does know yelling and screaming and stuff, so we’ll take his word for it. But the kid played for Rick “Let’s use Durant as a decoy” Barnes in college, so maybe great-coach-knowing isn’t really his forte. […]

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