Archive for Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Beyond the Phog’ excerpt: J.R. Giddens on leaving KU

"Beyond the Phog" book.

"Beyond the Phog" book.

September 28, 2011, 12:00 a.m. Updated September 28, 2011, 12:56 a.m.


"Beyond the Phog" book.

"Beyond the Phog" book.

The following is an excerpt from "Beyond the Phog - Untold Stories from Kansas Basketball's Most Dominant Decade." Compiled by Jason King of Yahoo! Sports and Lawrence Journal-World sportswriter Jesse Newell, the 400-page book includes interviews with 40 players and coaches from the most successful era in Jayhawks history. "Beyond the Phog" will be available in stores Friday. For more information on ordering the book or upcoming book signings, check out

In J.R. Giddens' words ...


Any thoughts I had about leaving (school early) for the NBA ended when I got stabbed. After that I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. If anything, I was trying to figure out if I was ever going to play basketball again.

I think that’s why they made me leave Kansas. The doctor said I would walk with a limp for the rest of my life. He said I was going to come back 50% and I wasn't going to be able to play basketball anymore.

I’m not saying Kansas threw me out like a battery. But they get McDonald’s All-Americans every day. They weren’t going to let me stay around campus and be Moulaye Niang.

Micah Downs was coming in. Bill Self used to always tell me, “Micah is coming in and he's better than you.” He would just say little stuff like that and I was like, “Dang, man, you’re not even for me, are you?” I wanted to stay at Kansas but I felt like they just pushed me out the door, especially after getting stabbed. I was like, “I'm sitting here worrying if I'm ever play basketball again and you guys are over here talking to me in an inappropriate manner? I'm 19 years old. You guys are supposed to my college coaches. Instead, at the first sign of trouble, you guys are turning your back on me?” I felt like it was everyone from the coaching staff to the people up there in the offices. As a 19-year-old who was immature and didn’t understand life, I took that really hard. I left the office in tears when I knew I was leaving.

I remember that day really well. I walked out of there on crutches, crying. I’d been interrogated for about seven hours for three days straight. Then those guys did that to me? A few weeks before that, I had to move out of my dorm at the Towers. I was staying with Josi Lima, my girlfriend at the time who played volleyball. Bill Self was telling my teammates not to have any contact with me. Darnell Jackson and Jeremy Case were two of my best friends, and they weren’t even allowed to talk to me. Aaron Miles was done playing so he came over. He was the only person who came and saw me. I was like, “Dang, I’m 30 feet from where I used to stay and you guys can’t even come over here and see me?” I’m stabbed and laid up and don’t even know if I’m going to play basketball again. That was very kind of Kansas basketball and Bill Self, to tell people to stay away from me like I was a team cancer.

• A previous version of this excerpt was updated.


Jay Hawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Duh...he was a team cancer. He was a cancer before the knife incident. He had been a cancer all year with his attitude, cockiness and me-first attitude. The stabbing was nothing more than THE final straw. He obviously has not grown up or matured in the least. Weak people blame others for their failures J.R. Accept that you threw away a lifetime opportunity...and move on!

dmb40fan 6 years, 7 months ago

Completely agree with grlzdad. As most people grow older, they learn to take accountability for their actions. JR did not, and continues not to take accountability. I think Coach Self made the best decision for KU and for JR.
I'm sure coach Self wanted JR to realize you can't just do whatever you want and not have any repurcussions, he was part of something bigger than himself and he didn't recognize that and still to this day continues not to recognize that.
At New Mexico he was kicked off the team for several different internal team issues, "not being a good teammate" per Steve Alford, and in his overseas stints, they have been cut short b/c of his childish attitutde towards coaches and other players.
This is one reason you have to respect Coach Self, Giddens was All American talent, but was not benefical to the team or the university. I don't think HCBS ever lost any sleep over this choice.

fabian_zimbabwe 6 years, 7 months ago

Add to which, how many times did his errant shooting lead to the ball bouncing off the back of the rim? I nicknamed him "The Bricklayer."

hardwork1998 6 years, 7 months ago


Jim Williamson 6 years, 7 months ago

"They weren’t going to let me stay around campus and be Moulaye Niang."

That was a d*ck remark.

ModerateOne 6 years, 7 months ago

They let Moulaye Niang stay around campus and be Moulaye Niang. Perhaps this is because Moulaye was a good kid.

Vince Brown 6 years, 7 months ago

What an idiot! Guess he doesn't believe in "guilt by association". Players continuing to hang out with him would, sooner or later, get sucked into his troubles unfairly. Hope he reads his comments a few years down the road and realizes how childish he was then and sounds now.

rabbit 6 years, 7 months ago

He who is without sin let him cast the first stone. He was a kid like the Morris twins who were shooting BBs out the dorm windows. Like all the other players who have come to Kansas and gotten into trouble such as Tyshawn, Brady, CJ and Mario. So glad J.R made it regardless of his days at Kansas

TopJayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

No Rabbit big difference. Sorry you cannot see the obvious. Did the Morris's get stabbed? And both of them togather did not get into the trouble our J.R. did.

Roy gave him his second chance before he ever hit campus. Remember getting busted for big shoplifting down in OKC?

And what has he made? You don't know and niether do I. That is because he hasn't made anything that we are aware of. Perhaps you could enlighten us?

No, didn't think so.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

If he wasn't out ripping and running every night, he probably would have shot better.

Hammertoe 6 years, 7 months ago

Sherron Collins? All KU cares about is winning... at one

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