Could Kansas' Bill Self someday coach the Oklahoma City Thunder?
I don't know when the Thunder will need a new coach. Scotty Brooks has done a phenomenal job and could be the next Jerry Sloan, for all I know. But the best bet, whenever the time come comes, be it five years or 10, is Self.
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But taking over the Presti-run Thunder or the Buford-run Spurs is different business. No telling if the Thunder's runaway success goes beyond the Kevin Durant/Russell Westbrook era, or if the Spurs will keep winning big when Tim Duncan and Tony Parker are gone.
But don't count against it. Quality management trumps lottery luck in the NBA. Knowing how to run a consistently competitive franchise is the hallmark of the Spurs and the stated aim of the Thunder, a goal that seems to be more and more obtainable.
How would Self fare in the NBA? I say well. Jeff van Gundy says the No. 1 priority for an NBA coach is to maintain a solid relationship with the franchise star. Self maintains a solid relationship with virtually everyone on the planet; it's one of his gifts.
Self is 49, still young by coaching standards. He's reached the pinnacle of his profession. A new challenge could entice him to come home. Or at least head to San Antonio.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.