Lorenzo Mata tweets in support of Howland

Former UCLA center Lorenzo Mata, a three-time Final Four veteran, took to Twitter to opine on the Sports Illustrated piece. Here is his feed.

1) Whoever the Snitch is talking bad about UCLA Bball and Ben Howland really must have no life… Coach Howland is a great coach and even

2) Better person, if it wasn’t for him I would not b the person I am today. He’s a Winner and he knows how to WIN

3) The players don’t have the winners mentality and are not mentally tough and they choose to party instead of winning, they’re not serious

4) If you are at UCLA basketball and want to WIN then be serious and take care of responsibilities, set ur priorities straight!!! SACRIFICE!!!

5) Be smart with decisions you make, Coach Howland can only do so much to help, its up to the players to sacrifice time and effort to WIN

6) UCLA Basketball has to be represented and respected highly… these kids have no heart and no will to win and to sacrifice for the TEAM.

7) I guarantee its not Coach Ben Howlands life, its the fact the the players don’t take it serious and rather go out and be selfish

8) They all complain about losing but how do you want to win if you don’t sacrifice like we did and do whatever it takes to WIN? We sacrificed

9) and put everything aside because we wanted to be successful 3 final fours in a row was cuz we wanted it and we sacrificed and listened to

10) Coach Ben Howland and he made us Winners and better persons in life. Thanks coach and I know UCLA bball will be at the top soon again

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  • Anonymous

    True Bruin! Wish he was still around!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been in executive management for many years. The very number one job of a manager, at any level, is to get the right people. Period. Once the right people are on board then the number two job is to mentor them properly and clear the obstacles so they can succeed.

    Ben Howland lost sight of job one: Getting the right people.

    It’s ultimately on his shoulders.

  • Semi-Pro


    I guess you don’t remember all the pressure Howland and the UCLA basketball program was getting from 2006-2008 to “land the major recruits” after those Final Four runs with “sub-par players”.

    People shouted from the rooftops that UCLA would have won them if not for the lack of talent on the roster, and that Ben Howland couldn’t recruit top caliber players. So Howland went after national-consensus talented players. People like YOU asked him to change!

  • Trublubruin

    Well said Lorenzo!! These are my sentiments exactly. Lorenzo Mata Real is not the best player to ever don the UCLA uniform and he’ll never be a hall of famer, but he will always be my all-time favorite Bruin. The kid has HEART and CHARACTER and he is absolutely right about the current state of UCLA Basketball.

  • Anonymous

    No matter what your level of experience is, if you have an agenda, your message won’t mean squat. Mata was a tough player with heart, he supports CBH, I’ll trust him any time over dictator-like regime-change specialists who claim to represent the nation of Bruins on their website. As Foster tweeted, Kareem dropped acid while at UCLA, let’s not go overboard about experimental drug use by individual young athletes.

  • foreverbruin

    As a former manager for a UCLA team (not going to say which team or when), I can comment on the manager situation. Although I do not know which manager the article was referring to or the circumstances, of course, but in my sport and my coach, as a manager, we were in the “gray” area of being in between a player and a staff member. It is not an exact rulebook of how to act, but I think, there are boundaries that are clear and who knows what that specific manager may have done. Why is this important? Well, in many ways, I was the liaison to my coach and while I went out and participated in the social activities with my teammates (whom remain my close friends), it was also expected that I conduct myself differently because my job was to help the coaching take care athletes (and help the athletes themselves, of course) and NOT provide more work for them to take care of me, per se. If myself or the other managers were having trouble academically or got in trouble some other way (ie. alcohol, which was never an issue, just using an example) then that would be problematic. Who knows if this manager was helping or hurting the team.

    Of course, I am not defending Howland’s actions that were described in the article, or which engaged me the most, or his termination of one manager. Being a manager is often a thankless job and maybe Howland was as fault–but that part of the story about the manager is just not “complete” enough for me.

    Overall, I’m definitely disappointed in what occurred but also not devastated, either. Again, I am not excusing Howland for his actions in anyway, and have undoubtedly lost some respect for him. Yet, the pressure to win is great and the players who caused trouble are mostly off the team and was a lot less worse than I was expecting considering the hype, in my opinion.

  • Anonymous

    I could not disaree more about 2006-2008. Ucla was loaded with nba talent, and no, Howland was not the sole reason for developing it. Westbrook was very talented and flew under the radar. He has always been a freakish athlete too. Basically just landed on Howland’s lap. Luc was also not highly recruited, but a freakish athlete. Farmar was elite. Love was a once in 15-20 years type of talent for ucla. Afflalo just below elite. Collison also top 100. Even Hollins was a great athlete. The next recruiting classes were not as good, no matter what rivals/scout said. Everyone raved about Howland doing more with less. Not true. He didn’t do enough with what he had. I agree Florida teams were better, but ucla didn’t even put up a fight. Ucla was better than Memphis in the talent game. Luc, Love, Collison, Westbrook. What are they doing in the nba? Memphis had Rose and CDR, but not as much talent.

  • BruinPain

    CBH didn’t change. He’s the same coach who turned around Northern Arizona, Pitt, and took UCLA to three straight Final Fours. He’s the same coach who was named Coach of the the Year. He has a slew of players in the NBA who say that they appreciate the defensive hard nosed teaching that CBH gave them more now than they did when they were teenagers. What UCLA had was a version of “Recruits Gone Wild.” This was a combination of over hyped players who are away from home form a pack mentality with no sense of personal responsibility and their personal drug and alcohol abuse. By the time CBH began to realize the gravity of the problem what was he to do, kick 3/4 of the team off of the team? Stanback was just looking for more playing time. Gordon was part of the problem. He was a druggy and a prima dona not a victim. That’s why he left. Bobo was a 350 pound addict or drunk not interested in BB. Carlino had a stage father. The player I’m surprised we ever recruited and showed poor judgement was Nelson who was a drunk who wrapped his car around a tree or pole in HS. One look at the guy and you can see he’s not all there. He looks like the guy in “Full Metal Jacket.” Nelson is Howland’s cross to bear. It looks like JA has worked through his problems. Thing is what does a high profile program like UCLA do when you realize that the majority of your recruits come from the Island of Misfit Toys? The last couple years of recruits and the incoming class look to be solid young men. So we had a bad bad blip and we already jettisoned the flotsom and jetsom so let’s move on instead of storming the castle with torches blazing like Murshad’s crowd and whatever agenda that hack at SI had.

  • The Monopoly Is Over Here

    Looks like a bunch of baby bears got their heads in the sand. Just another day in the life of a guttie I guess. Nothing to see here…..

  • The Craw

    Hey, TMIOH: Why don’t you go back to crapping your pants over the idea that Mora may be the football coach that leads UCLA past sc?
    Our basketball team at its very worst is still infinitely better that yours at their best.
    Stick to what you know…which is nothing.

  • cv

    “snitch”? very telling indeed sounds like a gang banger from south gate

  • BSKB

    TMIOH, funny, I guess USC fans have a blind spot for their scandals involving players named OJ. Or did you totally forget that your school has been hammered for actual NCAA violations in basketball just a few years ago?

  • Reformed Droog

    I’m sorry, did someone say something about Ben Howland? I can’t stop thinking about that photo of LMR in Maui…

  • Varrioso

    Oh, Droog, I typically love your witticisms, I do declare, but any photo of good ol’ Mata in Maui adds up to much ado about nothing.

    Lorenzo Mata had a ton of heart, and I agree with the former player’s assessment of the situation.

  • Anonymous