Dear Billy Donovan, your time is now 

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Updated: April 23, 2015
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Mr. Billy Donovan,

It’s time.

It’s time to leave Gainesville behind and move on to bigger and better things.

You’ve coached in four Final Fours and won two National Championships as the head coach of the Florida Gators. After this past season, you joined the 500-win club in college basketball, the second-youngest to ever do it. You have coached 15 different NBA players during your time in Florida.

It’s time for you to coach in the NBA.

Sure, you contemplated a jump to the pro game after winning your second consecutive title with the Gators in 2007, and personally, I don’t blame you for coming back. Since you came back in 2007, you went to four straight Elite Eights from 2011-2014 and had a 30-game winning streak in the 2013-14 season.

You’ve seen it all and done it all.

Fast-forward to today and now, somebody from the NBA is going to come calling. His name will probably be Sam Presti, the general manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

You should listen to what he has to say.

Why?

No, it’s not because you’ll make John Calipari‘s path to the SEC title that much easier, which would personally make me happy as a Kentucky fan. You should listen to what he has to say because two former assistants under you are now on the Thunder’s staff.

Oh, did I mention you’ll be coaching two of the top basketball players in the world in Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant?

I can’t help the fact that you’ll be in the Western Conference, which is basically SEC football on steroids. But, c’mon. You can’t tell me coaching Russ and KD wouldn’t be one hell of an experience.

And yes, I remember that Orlando offered you a five-year, $27.5 million contract to coach the Magic that you wanted to sign for about 24 hours. Trust me, with the new NBA television deal coming, you’ll make that … and then some.

I know this may backfire on you a couple years into your deal, Oklahoma City may want to go in a different direction. Here’s the thing: You can always come back to the college game. Don’t believe me? Ask Nick Saban how his paychecks look after his flop with the Miami Dolphins. Someone will throw plenty of cash at you again to coach their team.

Times are changing in terms of NBA coaching searches. College coaches are being scoped out more than ever. You spent a brief time in the NBA in the biggest media market in the world. You know the nature of the beast.

And you know what, you’d be pretty good at the next level.

 

Sincerely,

-Mike

 

(Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America)

Mike Whitlow

Mike Whitlow

Michael Whitlow is Sideline Sports Report's college basketball editor. The 22-year-old from Fort Wayne, Indiana is currently a journalism major at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Michael calls Chicago, Illinois his home because of the sights, the sounds and passion Chicago sports fans show each and every day.

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