Florida coach Billy Donovan says he has spoken to 'a couple of NBA teams'

Thursday May 22nd, 2014

Billy Donovan led his Gators to the Final Four this past season. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Billy Donovan led his Gators to the Final Four last season. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Florida coach Billy Donovan told reporters Thursday he has spoken with "a couple of NBA teams," but he “all but guaranteed” he will remain with the Gators, according to tweets from Mark Long of the Associated Press. 

Donovan has been rumored as a candidate for NBA jobs, including with the Minnesota Timberwolves. In 2007, after leading Florida to a second consecutive national championship, Donovan agreed to become the Orlando Magic’s coach, only to reverse course and decide to return to Florida a few days later.

In March, Donovan said the possibility of coaching in the NBA still intrigues him.

From the Associated Press:

"I got into coaching because of the basketball piece of it, and there is an intrigue as it relates to (the NBA)," Donovan, who led Florida to two national championships, said. "When you try to project where your future is, where you're going to be, and you don't know because I don't have a crystal ball, all I can say is I am happy here at Florida. I love being here.

"The NBA part of it, the intrigue part of it for me, is just the fact that it's basketball 24 hours a day. That's all you're dealing with is basketball."

In 18 seasons at Florida, the 48-year-old Donovan has led the Gators to two national championships and four Final Fours. Louisville coach Rick Pitino, for whom Donovan was an assistant at Kentucky in the 1990s, recently endorsed Donovan as an NBA coaching candidate.

"Billy has always wanted to try (the NBA)," Pitino said last month, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. "He loves strategy. He loves offensive strategy. He loves staying up all night thinking of ways to innovate. He also has the personality to deal with professional athletes, because he's a very humble man."


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