Kareem interested in coaching UCLA

Last night, Jimmy Kimmel asked former UCLA great and Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was asked about the job opening at his alma mater. Skip to around 1:50 in the above clip to watch.

“I certainly would be interested in coaching the team,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “It would be great to have an opportunity to restore the program to what it was. Not in terms necessarily of winning, but having the guys learn, get their degrees, and learn about how to play the game of basketball. I think that’s really important. UCLA is still putting out fine scholars, but the basketball program has suffered a little bit.”

Recently fired head coach Ben Howland said in his final press conference that every player who stayed with him for four years graduated with a degree. Abdul-Jabbar’s chances at the job are also close to zero.

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  • Marc

    Yeah. About zero chance. He is reported to not have great people skills.

  • Marc

    Jack, I’m pestering, I know. LOL

    You have a great opportunity in front of you in a day or two. Gregg Marshall will be in L.A. where he has his Wichita State Shockers in the Sweet Sixteen.

    Perhaps you could get a press pass and get yourself in position to be the guy to ask him what he thinks of the UCLA job.

    Also, why is it, do you think, that people are not high on this guy?

  • Mark

    Please stop it, Kareem.

    If you want to be a coach, then dedicate yourself to the profession and be serious about it. Be an assistant. Then find a head-coaching job at a smaller school. Rack up the wins.

    Then express interest.

    • Lifelong Bruin Fan

      You must have Kareem mistaken for Joe Blow playing pick-up ball at the park.

      Kareem is the greatest college basketball player ever and in my opinion the greatest basketball player ever, period. That type of resume gives you instant credibility. There are many examples of former players who have gone straight into head coaching positions without any previous experience. Some names that come to mind off the top of my head include Larry Bird, Doc Rivers, Larry Brown, and Mark Jackson. Heck Bill Russell and Lenny Wilkens were both head coaches as players.

      Granted, I would like to see Kareem surround himself with proven assistants, but if Kareem is serious I think UCLA should listen. As MCB posted earlier Kareem may have more integrity than would be ideal as a college basketball coach, but considering he is the player most responsible for the UCLA dynasty, I think he deserves consideration. FYI I witnessed regrettably the nadir of UCLA basketball under two former players as head coach (Larry Farmer and Walt Hazzard), but I think it would be different under Kareem because for starters he would be able to recruit the best big men hands down, and as anybody knowledgeable in basketball knows, the game is still primarily won and lost in the paint (analogous to the line of scrimmage in football). We have not been able to recruit the best big man in high school basketball since Bill Walton. Changing this with Kareem at the helm could dramatically improve our fortunes. Imagine if the likes of Anthony Davis and Nerlen Noels came to Westwood one after another? It would make playing the game a lot easier for the rest of the team.

      Kareem is a very bright man who is more than capable of doing a stellar job as UCLA head coach, and on top of this he wants to return to Westwood because of his love for the university. I say at least talk to him and see where it leads.

  • Leo

    Kareem as an assistant would be pretty cool. Instant respect. Although, I’d love to see him get a head gig somewhere (not necessarily here first), just to see if he can do it. I think he can.

    • Bruwins

      Why shouldn’t he be head coach at UCLA? He has ample of experiences as assistant coach. In 2002, he was the head coach of Oklahoma Storms of USBL and took them to the league championship. However, I have to agree with other poster, personalities wise, he may not be a good fit for these college youngsters.

  • And you thought Howland and Marc were/are jerks

  • MCB

    It kills me to say this, but I think Kareem has too much integrity to succeed in today’s college coaching environment.

    • I just got off the floor from laughing. Come on! You telling me Lew never got anything from Papa Sam? ROFLMAO

      • MCB

        You are beneath my contempt.

  • Bru-Crew_UCLA

    Jabbar, Walton Co-Head coaches. RM, BD, CD,TE all as assistant coaches and we rattle off 10 regular season and Pac 12 Tourney titles and 8 National Champions……..We pave BRUIN walk in hand crafted 24k gold and free hooked on phonics CD’s, dictionary & thesaurus apps for those of us who can’t understand Walton’s barely interpretable, yet highly entertaining jibber jabber.

    Free sky hook classes, bonfires with complimentary weenies to roast and flash mob harlem shake contest every 1st Thursday of the month. Yeah, I can go for that. LOL!!!!!!

  • After the chairs empty, Lew will be the only one standing. Laughable.