Gilbert Arenas appeared on former Arizona Wildcats teammate Richard Jefferson’s Instagram Live Monday afternoon and naturally the conversation turned to the UA’s vacant head coaching position.
Arenas and Jefferson played at Arizona together between 1999-2001 and know what it takes to lead the program to a Final Four. After successful NBA careers, Jefferson has transitioned to a broadcasting job at ESPN and Pac-12 Network, while Arenas is building his own media platform through the No Chill Podcast.
As two of the most successful and outspoken former Wildcats, their voices carry outsized weight. It helps that neither is afraid of sharing their real opinions.
Jefferson labeled the Arizona coaching search “a debacle” on his Instagram Live feed before bringing on Arenas as a guest. When Jefferson asked Arenas who he’d pick for the job, Arenas didn’t hesitate to say it should go to Damon Stoudamire.
“He’s been coaching for awhile now,” Arenas said. “He’s established himself. He’s turned a whole program around where he went (University of Pacific). He has the credentials.”
Gilbert then added unprompted, “An assistant coach doesn’t have credentials.”
“You’re talking about Tommy Lloyd, the coach from Gonzaga?,” Jefferson asked.
“I don’t even want to say his name because he doesn’t deserve it,” Arenas retorted. “You’re the assistant coach, okay? You’re assistant. Do your job.”
After Jefferson came to Lloyd’s defense by pointing at Gonzaga’s success, Arenas answered, “What did they do? They had an AAU schedule. They didn’t play anybody. And when they did play someone, they got their ass handed to ‘em (by Baylor). And as an assistant coach, you should have said, ‘hey listen, our offense is not working today. Maybe we should just play them one-on-one since we have a No. 3 pick in this Draft. (Jalen Suggs). Let him get busy since he’s actually not getting any shots.’”
Arenas made it clear he’d like to see the Arizona job stay in the Wildcats family.
“Damon (should be) one. I can’t go Josh (Pastner) because Josh has a job. I like Miles Simon. He’s been around. Listen, when it comes to Arizona alums, we’re fucking bright. Any one of us will do that job.”