By LARRY VAUGHT
Don’t ever confuse me with a NBA authority. I watch some NBA games but mainly wait until the playoffs start to watch because the season just has too many games for me.
However, I can tell when a coach is taking a shot at a player and that’s what Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan did Saturday after the Thunder lost 115-102 to fall behind 2-1 in the first-round playoff series.
Former UK standout Patrick Patterson came off the bench in the first quarter and hit two 3-pointers during an 18-2 Oklahoma City run.
After the game Donovan talked about his team’s lack of consistency and took a jab at Patterson.
“Patrick did a great, great job tonight, made some 3’s, but there were a couple of passes where he maybe tried to pass it and should have dribbled it. Those things kind of led to the inconsistent play, but they’re trying to do the right choices and make the right choices and decisions. I give Patrick credit for being ready to play. He came into the game early and gave us a nice lift. But can you play consistently at a high level as a team in a lot of different areas?” Donovan said.
It’s been a frustrating season for Patterson, who left Toronto and coach Dwane Casey to join Oklahoma City as a free agent.
Remember Donovan recruited Patterson when he was the coach at Florida before Patterson picked UK over Florida. When the Gators swept UK this season, Donovan took some playful jabs at Patterson over that.
Several Oklahoma City/UK fans criticized Donovan on Twitter for his “BS” criticism of Patterson while other players were not mentioned by the coach.
Patterson’s mother, Tywanna, was not happy with Donovan’s words.
“The coaching staff better rise up or heads will roll for next season,” Tywanna Patterson posted on Twitter.
She also noted that Donovan was “showing his true colors” by singling out her son for criticism.
Again, I know little about the NBA or what all has gone on with Patterson/Oklahoma City this season. But I do know Patterson well enough to never question his effort/focus because few players I have ever seen play value winning more than Patterson.
Just ask John Calipari, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and Darius Miller.