Mark Gottfried got a little excited last night when Ronald Steele told him he would return to the Crimson Tide. But Gottfried put the cart before the horse. According to Ian Rapoport of the Birmingham News, Steele isnâ€™t done testing the NBA. His source? Ronâ€™s father.
Rapoport said Steele would continue visiting NBA camps in the coming weeks. Steele has until June 16 to withdraw from the draft and retain his college eligibility. Heâ€™ll probably use most if not all of that time.
“(Gottfried) had talked with Ron last night, and Ron told him he was coming back,” Steele said. “Then after we talked, we kind of told him he had a little more time than to do it now. Might as well explore it a little bit more, get a little more experience. After we talked, he retracted that statement.”
Is that a vote of no confidence?
Rapoport reveals more. Steele would return to Tuscaloosa if the NBA doesnâ€™t work out. But… What would keep Steele in the NBA draft?
“It would have to be a first round, maybe early second round with a guaranteed contract. Other than that, he’ll be back.”
The guaranteed contract has always been important. But, now is the Steele family ready to accept the lower pay and profile of the second round?
Whatever the case, it makes Gottfried look bad. The ESPN story Saturday night had the look of a desperate basketball coach trying to get out some good news to a battered and fractured fan base.
What little credibility the coach had is evaporating.