Stanford Basketball: An Open Letter to a Traitor

Jack ChouCorrespondent IApril 4, 2008

Dear Mike Montgomery,

First off, thank you for making Stanford Mens Basketball a relevant program in the college basketball scene. What you were able to do over the years to overcome the strict admissions requirements of Stanford was nothing short of amazing. A Final Four appearance, four conference championships, and perennial standing in the top few of the competitive Pac-10 is tremendous, no matter the school.

To do that at Stanford where the players actually have to be able to read, write, and speak coherent English? Remarkable.

That being said, I heard today that you’re going to be the new basketball coach at Cal. If that’s true: thank you.

Over the past eight years, I can’t count the number of times I’ve defended you. Even when our teams choked year after year in the NCAA tournament (2001, 2004), I pinned it on bad shooting days, poor luck, and lack of athleticism. I told myself that we should be lucky to have a nationally-competitive team—“what amazing coaching to lose to Alabama!”

When you ditched Stanford for The League, I convinced myself that all Cardinal fans should be happy for you to go get paid. When you completely stank it up as an NBA coach, demonstrating a shocking lack of creativity and ability to relate to players, I blamed it on “the players that wouldn’t listen.” When Nellie came along and took that (mostly identical) team to the playoffs, I said, “Well, Monty’s style just works better for college.” Basically, I deluded myself in every way because you were the guy who made the program relevant.

So thank you for clearing my head up. Instead of sorting out another way to defend you, I can just move on and start hating you.

In 2001, Stanford choked in the Elite 8 (and almost choked in the two rounds before that). In 2004, Stanford choked in the second round. And you know what? I’m going to start blaming those on you. You were a shitty NBA coach. You were an asshole for coming back to Stanford this part year, and then jumping ship like a mercenary for Cal.

And Cal? You might think you’re going to make that program a national power now, since you can recruit academically-retarded kids who don’t give a shit about school, but I know you won’t. I know because the Basketball Gods will not let someone so sinister win (and because UCLA and USC will out-recruit you for those players). And (believe me, this pains me to say it), if somehow your team is good enough, you’re going to choke like I know you can.

So congratulations, Monty. You just made me excited for next year’s Pac-10 basketball season. I can’t wait to root against Cal (and you!) in every game. Suck it Cal.


P.S. Mike Lee was right, that was a class-less move to call out Billy Donovan years ago. You’re an asshole.