As serious as coaches take matters during NCAA Tournament time, sometimes they allow themselves to laugh. Jim Valvano, Billy Tubbs and others over the years provided needed breaks from the one-game-at-a-time humdrum.
Butler’s Brad Stevens provided one during a media interview period, Wednesday, however inadvertently. The exchange with AOL Fanouse writer Chris Tomasson went like this:
Tomasson: “With the success you’ve had in recent years, are you ready to leave behind this Hoosiers image, overachieving team type of thing? Do you think you have arrived as a legitimate squad or do you think until you really win big, you’ll always kind of have that image?”
Stevens (who misunderstood the question): “Did you say a loser’s image?”
Tomasson: “Hoosiers image, overachieving team.”
Stevens: “I was like, Boy, that was direct.”
Stevens went on to say: “You know what, we don’t really think about that. If people want to think that about our team, then that’s okay. I think we respect every opponent that we play and we hope that we’ve earned the respect of the opponents that we play, so that they feel when they walk in the gym, they’re going to have to beat us. We’re not going to beat ourselves. We’re going to do tough things. We’re going to give for one another.
“Some of the things that you mentioned about that reputation, I think there’s a belief in a team, there’s a belief in tradition, valuing history that this group understands and appreciates. I think that’s part of what makes them good.”