Even though the Syracuse Orange kept themselves in the running for the NCAA Men’s Tournament with Wednesday night’s win over Clemson, head coach Jim Boeheim was decidedly cranky after the game. After answering a question about the team’s defense and its 9-7 ACC record, Boeheim couldn’t help but get a dig in at beat reporter Matthew Gutierrez of The Athletic over something he’d tweeted about Boeheim’s rotations earlier in the week.
Gutierrez suggested the Orange could be firmly in the tournament if reserves Kadary Richmond and Jesse Edwards had played more minutes throughout the season, and the tweet clearly stuck with Boeheim. “But if I’d played Jesse and Kadary, we’d probably be 22-2 now,” Boeheim said. “I just didn’t see that. Couldn’t figure that out by myself after 45 years. I need a reporter to figure that out, who has never played basketball and is 5-foot-2.” That’s quite rude, Evil Bernie Sanders.
What’s especially egregious about Boeheim swiping at Gutierrez is that the two men already seemed to have cleared the air the day before. Gutierrez said on Tuesday that he and the coach were “all good on this” after the reporter explained himself.
Boeheim has spent the conclusion of the season being a big jerk; two weeks ago he aimed his grouchiness toward Duke freshman Jalen Johnson. After Johnson opted out of the rest of the season to prepare for the NBA Draft, Boeheim went on the radio and said, “That guy was hurting them so they actually are much better now without him. He was just doing some things and keeping other people from playing that are good.” Boeheim then gave a half-assed clarification when people took his comments as dickish.
It’s telling that Boeheim at least felt the need to explain himself when he received backlash for his comments on Johnson, since it could affect his recruiting efforts. But he doesn’t need anything from a reporter like Gutierrez. No need for Boeheim to maintain that relationship when he can blindside someone and get away with it.