June 6, 2007
You can't go home again.
It's a truism, sure—but at the core of every truism is a rock-hard kernel of truth. Given the way things have gone this week, you've got to wonder if Billy Donovan's about to find that out the hard way.
On Friday, Donovan inked a five-year, $27.5 million contract with the Orlando Magic. On Monday, he decided to back out. The obvious rub is that Billy D wants to go back to the University of Florida...but will he be welcome back in Gator Nation?
If I'm a Florida basketball player, I'm not sure how I feel about the prospect of having Donovan in the locker room next season. Sure, he's led the Gators to two straight national championships. He's also acted like an indecisive six-year-old on the national stage and left two teams hanging out to dry along the way.
Do I doubt that Billy Donovan has a job waiting for him in Gainesville if he wants it? No. Not for a second. But he shouldn't expect things to be exactly like they were. 11 seasons, back-to-back titles—all that suddenly looks a little different in the light cast by the events of the last week.
The bloom is off the rose, as they say. Billy Donovan can go back to Florida...but he can't go home again.
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