Florida's Billy Donovan still intrigued by NBA - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Florida's Billy Donovan still intrigued by NBA

Posted: Updated:

By MARK LONG

AP Sports Writer

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Florida coach Billy Donovan is still intrigued by the NBA.

Donovan briefly left the Gators to take the head coaching job with the Orlando Magic in 2007. He changed his mind a few days later, returned to Gainesville and has been there since.

With Donovan back in Orlando for the NCAA tournament, he has fielded several questions about his decision and what could have been.

While making it clear Friday that he's happy in Gainesville, he didn't rule out a potential return to the NBA.

"I got into coaching because of the basketball piece of it, and there is an intrigue as it relates to (the NBA)," Donovan, who led Florida to two national championships, said. "When you try to project where your future is, where you're going to be, and you don't know because I don't have a crystal ball, all I can say is I am happy here at Florida. I love being here.

"The NBA part of it, the intrigue part of it for me, is just the fact that it's basketball 24 hours a day. That's all you're dealing with is basketball."

Donovan said it's difficult to not be around college players for long stretches during the summer, adding that coaches have "a lot of other things" to deal with all the time.

When asked whether he considers himself a college coach for life, Donovan chose to avoid that label.

"When you say a lifer, that means to me I'm never, ever going to go anywhere and be there," he said. "Who knows? They may get sick of me at Florida and want me to move on. But I don't like coming out making bold predictions or statements. I would say I'm extremely happy with my life right now at the University of Florida."

Louisville coach Rick Pitino, Donovan's mentor who coached the New York Knicks (1987-89) and the Boston Celtics (1997-01) before returning to college, advised his former Providence point guard and Kentucky assistant to stay in Gainesville in 2007.

"Do I think Billy will ever coach in the NBA?" Pitino said Friday. "He's like a son to me, but I couldn't answer that question. The last time around, his dad and his wife were all for him going to the Magic, which was shocking to me. I was the only one against it, I think, in his inner circle."

Pitino made it clear he would like to see the O'Connell Center court in Gainesville named after Donovan.

"You know, it's always been, not a dream of Billy's, but a dream of mine to see a court named `Billy Donovan Court,"' Pitino said. "I thought it would happen a while ago, to see his name on the court. I still very much want to see that someday because of what he's meant to Gator basketball.

"That being said, if he wants to try it someday, that would be great. He'll be a great pro coach. Billy, if he wanted to do that, will be a terrific pro coach because he's always thinking of plays, defenses and he'd be great at it. Me personally, you know, I just want what's best for him and his family. Florida is very lucky to have somebody like that for a long period of time. How many years has it been?"

Eighteen in Gainesville.

"That's amazing," Pitino said. "I really feel like I just left him in Providence like seven, eight years ago. It's amazing."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


  • College FootballMore>>

  • 2 Texas football players charged with sex assault

    2 Texas football players charged with sex assault

    Thursday, July 24 2014 5:23 PM EDT2014-07-24 21:23:32 GMT
    Two University of Texas football players were arrested and charged Thursday with felony sexual assault after a female student said she was raped in a campus dorm room last month.
    Two University of Texas football players were arrested and charged Thursday with felony sexual assault after a female student said she was raped in a campus dorm room last month.
  • Man United buries Galaxy 7-0 in Van Gaal's debut

    Man United buries Galaxy 7-0 in Van Gaal's debut

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:59 AM EDT2014-07-24 06:59:55 GMT
    Manchester United made an impressive debut under coach Louis van Gaal on Wednesday night, with Wayne Rooney scoring twice late in the first half of a 7-0 victory over the LA Galaxy.
    Although Louis van Gaal intends to restore Manchester United to its former international glory, even the veteran coach was impressed when his new club scored a virtual touchdown at the Rose Bowl.
  • TCU's Fields investigated for alleged assault

    TCU's Fields investigated for alleged assault

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:20 PM EDT2014-07-23 00:20:43 GMT
    TCU suspended defensive end Devonte Fields on Tuesday pending the results of a police investigation into whether he punched a former girlfriend in the head and threatened her with a gun while shouting, "I should...
    TCU suspended defensive end Devonte Fields on Tuesday pending the results of a police investigation into whether he punched a former girlfriend in the head and threatened her with a gun while shouting, "I should blast you!"
  • College BasketballMore>>

  • Leslie headlines 2015 women's Hall of Fame class

    Leslie headlines 2015 women's Hall of Fame class

    Sunday, July 20 2014 5:50 PM EDT2014-07-20 21:50:00 GMT
    By DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball Writer Four-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie headlines the 2015 women's basketball Hall of Fame induction class announced Saturday.
    By DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball Writer Four-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie headlines the 2015 women's basketball Hall of Fame induction class announced Saturday.
  • No charges against 2 Providence College players

    No charges against 2 Providence College players

    Thursday, July 17 2014 5:34 PM EDT2014-07-17 21:34:23 GMT
    An investigation into an alleged sexual assault by two Providence College basketball players has concluded with no charges, the Rhode Island attorney general's office said Wednesday.
    An investigation into an alleged sexual assault by two Providence College basketball players has concluded with no charges, the Rhode Island attorney general's office said Wednesday.
  • Griner blossoming in WNBA after rough 1st year

    Griner blossoming in WNBA after rough 1st year

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 8:23 PM EDT2014-07-17 00:23:30 GMT
    After a tough first season in the WNBA, Brittney Griner is blossoming into the player everyone thought she would be, all the while embracing her status as a role model for gays.
    After a tough first season in the WNBA, Brittney Griner is blossoming into the player everyone thought she would be, all the while embracing her status as a role model for gay youth.
Powered by WorldNow

WSVN-TV
Sunbeam Television Corp
1401 79th Street Causeway
Miami, FL 33141

Switchboard: (305) 751-6692
Newsroom: (305) 795-2777

Can't find something?
Connect with us here:
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSVN. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.