It’s weird to envision an alternative timeline in which on this fine, August Tuesday, Doug Gottlieb is catching his breath after an exhaustive few weeks scouting talent on the AAU circuit.
That’s less oxygen being emitted on trashy hot takes, of which sports media has no shortage. Much of it comes from the various Fox Sports properties; they of video-pivoting, managerial strife and handsomely paid bloviators who routinely bat a Bluto Blutarsky in the ratings.
To that end, Doug Gottlieb is just fittin’ in. After all, the scouting report on Gottlieb as an Oklahoma State point guard in the late 1990s reads pass-first point guard and sticky-fingered defender. No scoring threat, he found other ways to contribute; ways that require innate adaptive abilities and an uncanny sense of reading the action around him.
Such qualities often translate nicely to the sidelines, perhaps more seamlessly than to the airwaves. Successful college coaches such as, but not limited to Billy Donovan, Mike Krzyzewski, Tony Bennett and Sean Miller could all be described thusly.
Perhaps it’s not so crazy, then, that Doug Gottlieb was rumored as a serious candidate for the sudden vacancy left at Oklahoma State when Brad Underwood bolted for Illinois. As an alum with an on-court pedigree typically conducive to coaching success, OSU at least had to grant an interview — I guess?
Even explained in that context, Oklahoma State interviewing Gottlieb in March still baffles me. Gottlieb’s spent the last 15 years exclusively in sports media, ascending from a radio co-host in the Oklahoma City market, to a full-fledged Takesman seen and heard nationwide.
Oklahoma State would have been banking on Gottlieb’s playing experience — and perhaps his media visibility on the recruiting trail — to recapture the program’s glory.
That’s mind-blowing when one considers the coaching roster Big 12 basketball boasts:
• Bill Self, Lon Kruger and Bob Huggins are active legends of the business
• Bruce Weber reached a national championship game and won National Coach of the Year honors
• Shaka Smart reached a Final Four and left a nationally respected program behind at VCU
• Jamie Dixon is a proven winner who needed just one season to get perennially downtrodden TCU on the winning course
• Scott Drew’s continued the family legacy, turning Baylor into a perennial winner
• Both Steve Prohm and Chris Beard coached mid-major programs that won NCAA Tournament games
Even before today’s firestorm, born of ignorant comments about Adrian Beltre, Doug Gottlieb would have been out of his depth coaching in the Big 12. A comprised of Skip Bayless, Jason Whitlock, Clay Travis and fellow Dominican Republic-slanderer Colin Cowherd is probably the better fit.