Over the years, I’ve asked Syracuse Orange head basketball coach Jim Boeheim many a question. In my four-plus years at TNIAAM, I’ve covered a good amount of basketball games, which usually results in asking the Hall-of-Fame coach a question or two after games. For the last two seasons I’ve been on every ACC coaches teleconference in which Boeheim is required to participate and usually ask a question or two in some form. It’s part of my #jokesandgarbage duty around these parts.
Hell, I even remember as a youth asking him why he didn’t redshirt Andy Rautins in his freshman year during Syracuse basketball camp in 2006. It was one of the rare instances where Boeheim didn’t have a USA Basketball obligation that particular week of camp and at the end of his session he stopped to sign autographs and take photos. For some reason back then, I thought it’d be clever to say, “Hi coach. I don’t want your autograph. I just want to know who’s going to start for you this year.”
He answered in earnest, but must have thought I was a little shit for that. All this is to say, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know who I am (which is fine. I prefer it that way).
But as someone who grew up in Syracuse and has covered the basketball team for the last four seasons, I’m pretty familiar with the program and I at least have some sort of idea on how Boeheim operates: He can be a pretty simple guy, yet somehow complicated at the same time.
Big round of applause for Buddy Boeheim’s dad as he walked in. pic.twitter.com/FmatzHoCf6— James Szuba (@JamesSzuba) July 28, 2019
So after Boeheim’s Army lost on Sunday at OCC, I knew he wouldn’t want to be bothered taking questions from various media members. But as most of the crowd trickled out, my best friend from high school said I should go ask him anyhow. I quickly shot him down though, retorting that Boeheim didn’t want to be bothered. But as in any good friendship, when your pal tells you that you should do something, you go do that thing. It’s like an unofficial rule and maybe misplaced measure of bravado — I couldn’t walk out of that building being labeled soft.
So, I walked up to Boeheim knowing full well he wanted nothing more than to leave the SRC Arena without any attention and asked him for a moment of his time. He smiled, squeezed his eyebrows inward and said..., “No!” with a downward wrist motion.
Fair enough. I guess we won’t get know who’s standing out in practices before the Italy trip and what type of cuisine he’ll be sampling over there. The latter will at least have to wait a couple weeks.
This is just to share a funny anecdote rather than cause a stir. To be frank, if it were me I wouldn’t want to respond to questions from the media on a day where I’m trying to enjoy a basketball game with family. I just think it’s a funny moment worth sharing.
You’ll have to deal with me at some point, coach. But I understand that you don’t let anything get in the way of ice cream.
Jim Boeheim waiting in line to get ice cream is all of us. https://t.co/hpjEle2Z2g— Jeff (@orange_runner) July 28, 2019