Ah, Larry Drew. That mediocre point guard of UNC’s past who left the program abruptly, leaving the position thin for the next two seasons as North Carolina thought it had shored up its backup when it had two scholarship players on the roster. That kind of behavior is likely to get a few people to downright dislike you, even if those people had stood up for, nay, DEFENDED you when you lost your starting spot to a freshman.
Dislike turns to hate when you suddenly reveal that beyond a doubt, you truly are the worst person in the world — or more specifically that you are the duke of douches, the king of cowardice, the sultan of sulking, the prince of pouting, the champ of chumps, the apex of assholes, or my personal favorite, the wizard of woefulness.
I’m not sure what possessed Baxter Holmes to write this piece on Drew. Maybe he just pulled off the great troll of all time? But one thing is for sure, Drew loved the attention. And it got me riled up. The best way to get my frustration out is going Tudor Style on this piece. Quotes from the story appear in bold.
First up, the headline, and subsequent dek headline:
Coach says he’s to blame for Larry Drew II’s short UCLA career
Ben Howland says he made a mistake years ago in pushing for a commitment from then-high schooler Drew. The unselfish point guard went to North Carolina but is finally realizing his dream in Westwood.
So you’re telling me the main point of the entire story is that Ben Howland blames himself for whiffing on Larry Drew II? You know you were ranked in the top 15 to start the season and are now not even receiving votes, right? Then, the fact that the dek says “unselfish” ……….OK, I’m going to collect myself, first. I’ll get to that below.
The UCLA coach regrets this not just because he will lose a veteran leader and an unselfish, steady point guard who is averaging 8.3 assists a game, third-highest in the nation.
No, Howland regrets this also because he knows the fifth-year senior would have played for him much longer than one season if not for a mistake Howland said he made years ago.
This is basically what my entire rant about this piece is based on. Unselfish can refer to LD’s play on the court, sure, but it’s also a term that makes a statement about a person – particularly when it’s in the headline and at the very beginning of a story. It’s a term of character. Would a selfish person have the ability to play unselfishly? Surely not. So surely Larry Drew is an unselfish person, right? After all, “if not for a mistake Howland said he made years ago,” Drew would have been a Bruin from the start.
This is absolutely ridiculous. In 2007, Howland signed the NO. 1 RECRUIT IN THE NATION in Kevin Love and No. 52, Chace Stanback. In the class of 2008, Drew’s year, he signed No.4 Jrue Holiday, No. 24 Drew Gordon, No.26 J’mison Morgan, No.31 Malcolm Lee and No.49 Jerime Anderson. In the midst of his stretch of three Final Fours, Howland was not exactly having a tough time recruiting. Lee was only rated two spots lower than Drew, who was No. 29, and Anderson was also a PG. You might also have heard about that Jrue Holiday fellow, now playing PG for the 76ers. The story goes on, quoting Howland, who suggests he wasn’t patient enough to recruit Drew. This is absurd. It’s mind boggling that Howland could somehow think he should have been more patient when he was enjoying the recruiting successes he was at that time. Nine out of 10 college coaches at a big-time program like UCLA would have done the same thing for a recruit in that range.
But when Howland offered a scholarship while Drew was starring at Woodland Hills Taft, the coach added he wanted a commitment in roughly one week.
“But I didn’t really want to do that,” Drew said.
“I just wanted to keep my options open and weigh everything out, even though UCLA was my favorite.”
Drew also wanted to “experience the whole recruiting process,” according to his father, Larry Drew Sr.
So to recap, this “unselfish” point guard gets an offer from his FAVORITE SCHOOL, but turns it down “keep his options open” and to “experience the whole recruiting process.” The recruiting process is also known as taking visits to other schools you may or may not be interested in to have coaches flatter you and tell you how much they want you to play for them, maybe even introduce you to some of the lovely ladies of their university. IRONY, much?
In the end, Howland’s scholarship offer came off the table and Drew ended up in North Carolina, a place he said he “never really liked” and one he left after 21/2 seasons.
Howland was apparently the first person to call Drew after he left UNC and apologized for how he recruited him.
“He let me know he wanted me to come back,” Drew said.
Howland also spoke with Drew Sr., who coaches the Atlanta Hawks.
“To me, it takes a special man to admit he handled the situation the wrong way,” Drew Sr. said in an interview.
You mean, like, say if a man abandoned the team he committed to mid-season, well after all the PG prospects for the next year are signed to other schools, leaving their cupboard bare and didn’t even have the balls to tell his own roommate he was leaving without warning and then he didn’t even nut up enough to tell his own coach, but instead had HIS FREAKING DAD call the coach to tell him his son wouldn’t return? You mean like that?
“I definitely would’ve come here out of [high school], maybe if he would’ve given me a couple of days or so after that week,” Drew said. “But I don’t really regret much. I just try to learn from my experience.”
Except you didn’t. You had an offer, and you didn’t take it. What could have possibly changed your mind about your DREAM SCHOOL in the next few days. If it’s your dream school, you go. You don’t wait on other offers. It’s the very definition of dream school. Of course you don’t regret anything, you little shit.
Drew said he and Howland are on good terms about what happened, but that neither has talked about it much publicly.
“I’m glad he finally said something,” Drew said, when informed of Howland’s comments during an interview.
Oh, you’re glad he said something? Thank GOD he finally owned up to wronging Larry Drew the fucking Second.
“It’s not like I was waiting on it …” Drew said, his voice trailing off.
“OK, well, maybe I was waiting on it,” he said, laughing.
When people asked why he chose to play for the Tar Heels, he answered he did so for the tradition or the coach or the great teammates he would have, but none of that that was true.
“I never really wanted to go there,” Drew said.
But he kept the truth inside — until now.
“I’ve always wondered when I could tell people,” he said.
Tell people what? That you didn’t like winning the national title as a freshman?
At North Carolina, Drew started 53 games but lost his starting job to a freshman after a 20-point loss. He came off the bench for four games and then left without saying a word.
But at UCLA, Drew is home and happy, and his assist/turnover ratio (4.9) is the seventh-best in Division I, a stark difference for a player who committed 120 turnovers as a sophomore at North Carolina, earning him the nickname “Turnover Jesus.”
No one ever called him this — ever. But it is pretty funny and appropriate.
“He’s confident in every move he makes, every pass he makes, every shot he takes. It shows,” said forward Travis Wear, who also transferred from North Carolina to UCLA.
Let’s quote one of the other guys who left UNC and didn’t experience the title-contender level basketball that occurred after Drew departed Chapel Hill.
[Benn note: Did Travis Wear just reinterpret Puff Daddy and Faith Evans?]
And Howland is glad to finally have Drew, but he wishes that he hadn’t asked for a commitment so early, because maybe he could have had Drew for four seasons instead of one.
“It’s all on me,” Howland said. “I regret it to this moment.”
Judging by the decidedly pro-Drew tone of the piece and the way it glosses over the situation with him leaving UNC, I’m guessing LD had to approve this before Holmes could publish. Why else might I think that?
It was no secret you were a cancer on UNC, Droover. What somehow remains to be a secret is how you can weasel your way into a starting PG spot at TWO top five programs and bring both of them down to mediocrity. But hey, you don’t really regret much, so why should you care?