Over at ChicagoSide, Daniel Libit has a nice profile of Bulls rookie guard Tony Snell, who is in the midst of a surprisingly productive season after being drafted with the 20th pick in the 2013 draft. Libit's piece is a nice look into a fringe prospect's journey to the NBA and Snell's close relationship with his mother, Sherika Brown. But one scene in particular caught our eye.
Before his junior year at New Mexico, Snell told then-head coach Steve Alford that he planned to forgo his senior year and enter the NBA draft after the season. That's when shit hit the fan:
According to Brown, when Alford heard Snell was leaning to the NBA, he angrily called a meeting with player and mother.
"Alford, of course, is a control freak and he is mad as hell and he wants a meeting with me to know what I am doing with Tony," Brown says.
"We were having a screaming match, him literally telling me he is not going anywhere, saying 'What if he doesn't make it?' First of all, I have a positive attitude. I am a woman of God. I believe in prayer. I have had (Snell's) back since day one.… I don't care if he goes first or second round, or if he goes overseas, we are going to take that chance."
Brown inferred selfish motives in Alford's efforts . Alford was the brand-name player, the white All-American with the charmed high school and college careers. He played his senior year at Indiana and ended up getting drafted in the second round.
"I called him a motherfucker at the time," says Brown.
Surely, Alford was so vehement about Snell staying for one more season because he wanted his player's intellect and character to be enriched by the full, four-year college experience, and not because, say, he wanted to wring one more year of free labor out of his team's best shooter.
Or maybe Alford is just a stickler for loyalty, and doesn't think it's right for people to jump ship in favor of a bigger payday. [Googles Steve Alford]. Hm. Never mind.