Roy Williams rips CBS’ Doug Gottlieb over retirement speculation

North Carolina coach Roy Williams directs his team during the first half against Miami.
North Carolina coach Roy Williams directs his team during the first half against Miami. rwillett@newsobserver.com

North Carolina coach Roy Williams had finished with his press conference following his team’s 96-71 victory against Miami when he remembered he had something else to say. So he came back and delivered one of his more memorable rants.

“Steve (Kirschner) just told me Doug Gottlieb said that I was going to retire and Hubert (Davis) was going to replace me,” Williams said, referencing Kirschner, his team’s spokesman, and Gottlieb, a college basketball analyst for CBS. “That’s sinful. Sinful.”

Here’s the background: Before UNC’s game against Miami Saturday – one that was broadcast nationally on CBS – Gottlieb during a pregame show suggested Williams might be considering retiring. Gottlieb said Davis, one of Williams’ assistant coaches, could be a leading candidate to replace Williams.

This was Williams’ response to Gottlieb: “You have no freakin’ idea what you’re talking about.”

After that Williams took it to another level.

“That’s the guy,” Williams said, “that said that (who) couldn’t put his damn pants on the right way when he was playing at Oklahoma State.”

Williams was referencing a 1999 game between Kansas and Oklahoma State at Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse. Williams was the coach at Kansas, and in that game against Oklahoma State Gottlieb played the first eight minutes with his shorts on backwards.

“The Kansas crowd was great – ‘shorts on backwards, shorts on backwards,’ ” Williams said on Saturday, mimicking the crowd. “And Doug – I like Doug. But that’s not journalism. Don’t make up crap.”

Williams was almost finished. But not yet. He went back to Gottlieb’s shorts.

“So Oklahoma State got in a little circle and (coach) Eddie Sutton made him take his pants off and put ‘em on the right way,” Williams said. “Didn’t have his dadgum pants on right. You didn’t know I was going to say that, did you?”

No, don’t think anyone saw that coming from Williams after one of his team’s most complete, dominant victories of the season. But we are, perhaps, all better for having heard it – especially Williams’ impersonation of the Kansas crowd at the sight of Gottlieb’s shorts mishap.