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Finebaum Wonders If Grant Wants To Be At Bama

Leave it to Paul Finebaum to create a stir.  In today’s Mobile Press-Register, the controversial talkshow host/columnist opines that Tide basketball coach Anthony Grant “seemed to be going through the motions” during his first year in Tuscaloosa.

“Count me among those who were underwhelmed,” writes Mr. Finebaum.  “I realize Alabama went out and hired a basketball coach and not a late-night comedian.  Unlike football, basketball is a personalized sport.  You can reach out and touch the coach.  In Grant’s case, he seemed to be going through the motions, immune to the faceless crowd cheering him on.”

It gets better…

“Perhaps (Grant) looks miserable all the time because he realizes he took the wrong job.  Perhaps he doesn’t care about interacting with the public because he realizes this place is even more football crazy than he was led to believe.”

It seems that there’s a great deal of “reading into” going on in this piece.  Maybe the writer is correct and has picked up on facial cues that reveal the coach’s true feelings about the job he accepted.  More likely it’s someone trying to stir the pot.

Mr. Finebaum goes on to compare Grant’s demeanor to that of Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl.  “… fans love Pearl because he lives and dies every game.  He looks like he really wants to be there.  He acts like he really cares.  My concern about Grant is that he appears to be biding time, hoping to get the Tide on an uptick before immediately fleeing for a better job in a more desirable locale.”

That’s quite a statement considering Grant has coached all of 32 games in Alabama.  Had the Tide finished 20-12 with an NCAA bid, rather than 15-17 without one, would anyone be complaining about Grant’s bench persona?

I don’t know that tossing a sportcoat or screaming at an official has anything to do with building a program.  Certainly, being involved with the fanbase is a part of the job… and if Grant is neglecting that part of his job then he’s doing so at his own peril.

Still, it’s a little too early — at least in my view — to be questioning his motives and ability simply because he doesn’t smile enough.



  1. [...] even suggested last March that Grant might be “biding time” until he could land “a better job in a more desirable locale.”  All because the coach wasn’t smiling enough.Fast-forward 11 months and there are smiles all [...]

  2. [...] year in Tuscaloosa.  But it was just a year ago that his first team was struggling and some were wondering if he was cut out for the Bama gig long-term.His track record is a short one.  Yes, he was a Billy Donovan assistant, but so was John [...]

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