As an eight-time NBA All-Defensive pick and Defensive P.O.Y. (’87) who won five ‘chips in an era where he guarded the likes of Jordan, Dumars, Iceman and Drexler on a regular basis, Michael Cooper had to be intense.
In his post-playing career, most notable for his title-winning stint coaching the WNBA’s L.A. Sparks, Coop hasn’t changed. In his first season as head coach of the USC women’s team, he made headlines for his intensity following a recent win over crosstown rival UCLA.
“My opening statement is, f*** UCLA,” Cooper said to kick off his post-game press conference on Sunday.
And remember, Coop’s squad won the game.
He has since sent a letter of apology to UCLA coach Nikki Caldwell, saying there is “no excuse” for what he said, which was “outside the bounds of good sportsmanship.”
The USC women are 10-6 this season (4-1 Pac-10). The rematch with UCLA is Feb. 13 on the Bruins’ home court.
Cooper has proven himself on the women’s level, but so far hasn’t been able to get a full-time head coaching job in the NBA. He held the interim job with Denver for a few weeks before George Karl took over, and won a championship in the D-League coaching Albuquerque in 2006.
Do you think Coop could succeed as an NBA head coach?