Update: Jordan Hamilton says on Twitter that he was misquoted: "Thank God for twitter because my words got turned around. I thank Coach Barnes for everything he has done for me & my career. Hook em Horns"
In the midst of an NBA Draft night that could only be called a success for the Texas Longhorns basketball program and the three former players taken in the first round, a Twitter report about a possible reason for Jordan Hamilton falling into the late first round sullied the evening.
National NBA writer Chris Tomasson spoke with Hamilton following the draft and the Denver-bound wing dropped a bombshell about why some teams might have passed on him:
Just talked to Jordan Hamilton. He said believes reason he slipped in draft was because coach Rick Barnes told teams he wasn’t 'coachable'
J. Hamilton: "(Barnes) called some teams and said that I probably wasn’t coachable and things like that. But I feel like I can be coachable'
Asked Jordan Hamilton how knows Rick Barnes allegedly called teams and said not coachable. Wouldn't give names, said "got some feedback.''
More Hamilton on Barnes: "I love Texas and everybody is entitled to their opinion.’’ But Hamilton still later called Barnes "great coach'
Barnes had made comments during the season about the strides made by Hamilton as a person and as a teammate following a freshman season that often saw selfish play from the California native. However, Barnes couched those words at the time by emphasizing Hamilton's improved maturity, a maturity that showed on the basketball court with better shot selection and consistently better body language.
For his part, Hamilton apologized to his teammates following his freshman season and went back and looked at every poor shot he took that year in an effort to improve his decision-making on the court. And he did.
So why would Barnes supposedly call teams and tell them that Hamilton is "uncoachable"? Surely, Hamilton was at times uncoachable -- his freshman season. Those problems seemed to melt away as a sophomore and criticizing former players seems both out of line for a coach in general, but more importantly out of character for a guy who has been consistent in looking out for the best interests of his players in the past, advising both TJ Ford and Kevin Durant not to return to school. If Barnes continued to have a problem with Hamilton, wouldn't he have addressed it with him personally?
If true, it's a black mark on both Barnes and the program that could influence future recruits in a highly negative manner. If it's not true, someone in NBA circles is spreading malicious rumors to undermine the Texas basketball program. As conspiracy theories go, that seems as far-fetched as any. So what is the truth and will it ever actually come to light?