If the Arizona Wildcats are ever in the market for a new head coach, you can all but rule out Steve Kerr as a candidate.
Yes, he’s an Arizona alumnus and has coached two NBA-championship teams, but the problem is, well, he has no interest in coaching at the collegiate level.
And Kerr’s stance was only strengthened after an FBI investigation recently shed light on a bribery scheme involving several schools.
“I don’t immerse myself in that stuff. The NBA is very pure,” he said. “We don’t want to make apologies or concessions about what we’re doing. We’re just playing basketball. It’s a business. And the NCAA obviously has lots of things to figure out on many levels who they are and what they’re doing.”
Kerr’s stance is understandable, even if the NCAA wasn’t riddled with corruption. Being a college coach requires an endless amount of time and effort on the recruiting trail, along with the actual coaching aspects of the job.
In the NBA, head coaches are mainly focused on game-planning and the 15 guys on their roster. Not to mention Kerr is at the helm of one of the best teams in NBA history and has battled health issues.
Fellow UA grad Luke Walton has a similar stance as Kerr, but for a different reason.
Walton, currently the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach, mentioned he prefers coaching in the NBA because of the increased amount time he can spend with players — in other words, there are no NCAA hour limits to worry about.
Walton came to that realization when he was an assistant for UA alum Josh Pastner at Memphis during the NBA lockout in 2011.
“I knew I wanted to find something I could be passionate about when I was playing basketball. I didn’t know if that was coaching or if it was coaching in the NBA, coaching college. The time I spent here (in Memphis) and the time I was allowed to be with the players I really enjoyed,” Walton said, via the LA Times.
“But because of the other stuff, it was also nice to realize the NBA was probably the way I wanted to go instead of college.”
Walton and Kerr also have base salaries of $5 million per year in the NBA, nearly double what UA head coach Sean Miller makes, and that’s probably a factor, too.
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire