Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Jay Bilas needs two ethics classes

“Guess who’s back? Back again.” Jay Bilas is back for another round of Tommy Amaker-defending Michigan-bashing. This time, though, his story has changed a bit and it’s likely because of two factors; 1). He must have realized that his Bill Martin-bashing doesn’t carry any weight if he actually supports John Beilein which he clearly did three weeks ago when he said, “I think that John Beilein will do a great job, with time” and 2). Bilas can’t exactly continue his assault on Martin because the Michigan AD sent 99.9% of Michigan-supporters into a state of euphoria by hiring Rich Rodriguez. So, “it’s Back to the lab again yo” for a new angle. Bilas must be hard-up for ammunition because his new “angle” directly contradicts his “Beilein will do a great job, with time” claim. Here is his latest gem:

"Beilein makes his players sound so stupid and clueless that it is insulting. First, and I say this as a guy who thinks that basketball is far more complicated than most seem to understand, to refer to your own basketball understanding as 'wisdom' seems a bit much. Knowledge, yes. Wisdom, take a pill. Even John Wooden wouldn't refer to his own knowledge as 'wisdom.' Second, if your system is so complicated that you need to refer to recruited athletes and students admitted to the University of Michigan as the basketball equivalent of toddlers, maybe you should simplify things so you can compete favorably with Harvard, Central Michigan or Western Kentucky."

Bilas—no doubt putting to use that prestigious Duke-degree—deduced that he can’t exactly put heat on Martin for the way he has run the basketball program if he supports his new coach. Thus, we have Bilas taking Beilein to task for “appropriate use of synonyms” and “well-conceived analogies.” Bilas actually attempts to grill Beilein for using the word “wisdom” instead of “knowledge.” Any thesaurus will tell you that wisdom and knowledge are synonyms. Just to help out Bilas here, I will provide the definition. “Synonym: two words that can be interchanged in a context are said to be synonymous relative to that context.” Even if we pretend that synonyms don’t exist, what part of a 54-year old basketball coach with 876 basketball games under his belt providing wisdom to 19-year olds is unreasonable? I can’t believe that Bilas had so little faith in ESPN’s readership that he thought he could get by with that kind of garbage without being called out.

Bilas then attempts to rail Beilein for making a poignant analogy that was clearly designed to do two things; 1). Take pressure off of his young basketball team and; 2). Provide realistic expectations for a program undergoing an X’s and O’s overhaul. Only an idiot—or someone trying way too hard to defend a former teammate—would take Beilein’s use of the word “toddler” as an insult.

Bilas goes on to take a dig at Beilein for losing to Harvard and Western Kentucky. But, hold on a second. Bilas made his previous, “Beilein will do a great job, with time,” comment two weeks after Michigan had lost to both Harvard and Western Kentucky. Clearly, a person who thinks those losses were such a bad thing wouldn’t then suggest two weeks after said losses that the coach “will do a great job” without the slightest bit of criticism directed his way. And, if you do think the coach will do a “great job”, then those two losses aren’t a big deal. Apparently Bilas isn’t willing to give Beilein the time that he himself said Beilein would need.

Bilas is all over the map and its equal parts pathetic and annoying. ESPN might want to get a hold of this situation because it doesn’t look good when the lead-announcer of the Michigan/Indiana game—Brent Musberger—throws it back to Bilas in the ESPN studio for unbiased analysis of the same Michigan program that he can’t stop taking unprovoked shots at. In other news, Jay Bilas and Tommy Amaker are friends.


Anonymous said...

Jay Bilas is a jackass. He is all about Duke and so is ESPN. Duke is not what they used to be IMO. Still an elite prgram but not as deserving of the title of "best college BB prgram." Of course, Vitale is far worse and cannot even qualify as a talking "head." Regardless of his friendship with Amaker, he should understand that Amaker never got his teams into the tournament and nver really threatened for a Big 10 title. It is ridiculous for him to assert that Amaker was not given enough time or a fair shot. I do enjoy you pointing out the absurdity of journalists and television personalities week to week, Particularly the Jim McCarty stuff. Very funny....

Jake said...


I'm actually going to have a short post on Carty tomorrow. This time, though, there won't be any criticism.

Take care!


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