North Carolina coach Roy Williams is unhappy with ESPN, to put it mildly. In fact, his displeasure with the network that calls itself “the worldwide leader” inspired quite the rant on Friday.
Here’s the background: For a while now ESPN has hyped the best of the best college basketball players and promoted their NBA potential. The network did it when Andrew Wiggins was at Kansas and Jahlil Okafor at Duke, and certainly it’s happening now with LSU’s Ben Simmons.
More recently, though, during college games, the network has been describing various’ players’ “green room” potential – as in the NBA draft green room. The network has even promoted games referencing the green room. In case you were unaware, the green room is where the top prospects gather on draft night to wait to hear their names called.
The mere mention of “green room” in the context of a college game was enough to set Williams over the edge, and it inspired something of a diatribe on Friday. Take it away, Roy:
“I think ESPN is (an ACC) partner, and I’ve got to watch on TV where somebody’s college basketball game and they’re talking about the freaking green room? That’s the most ridiculous thing. And that’s one of my partners? That’s half the damn broadcast: ‘Well, so-and-so’s in the green room.’
“And this is a great time for me to be saying something about it. Because they ain’t mentioning any of my guys, OK. But God almighty, you’re sitting there, you’re trying to win championships, and here it is, January, and ESPN’s talking about some green room and some Chad Ford or who it is and his (draft projections) – that’s the most ridiculous thing we’re having to put up with in college basketball.