"But you know now is not the time to address it, as it wasn't when I got asked over last week. It's all about these kids, our program and what happened. It was a good try, though."
Donovan probably will stay. Florida boosters, a wealthy, powerful and bullying bunch that does not take no for an answer, will throw so much cake at Donovan he won't know what hit him. He'll be covered in money. He'll be so rich that even Bill Gates will go: "God, you're wealthy."
There is also surely a part of Donovan that will wonder what fool leaves a great program built, brick by brick, jumper by jumper, by his own two hands? What louse departs on the midnight train to Lexington?
Yet coaches are challenge-freaks. They are junkies. They are a strange group. I can guarantee -- guarantee -- he is wondering what it is like to coach the Wildcats. There is intrigue and late night tossing and turning. Could he duplicate what he did in Gainesville there? Could he be great there the way he was at Florida?
What about his legacy? "I've never really worried about what my legacy is," he said.
He would be the first great coach in history not to think about his place in history. The first. The last.
Again, he will probably stay because it is the safest bet.
The bar, though, has been set impossibly high at Florida.
Yet he can go to Kentucky and in a matter of just one or two seasons win a championship there. That would be the surest thing in sports. That and Pacman Jones will visit a stripper or two.
With Kentucky's resources, and with Donovan's smarts and work ethic, the Wildcats would dominate basketball even easier than the Gators have over the past two years. He would build a second empire. He would be mentioned in the same sentence with John Wooden.
It would be a no-lose situation for him with the Wildcats. If Donovan did win a title there, he would be a hero. If he didn't, then people would think no one could win there again, because if a two-time champion could not, then it could not be done.
It is impossible not to like what Donovan has done with the Gators. He got today's modern athlete to believe in the concept of teamwork. "We're the ultimate team," said Taurean Green.
They are not sexy. There is no Lew Alcindor on the Gators. There is no one named Wooden or Walton or Oscar around it. They're just great. Just plain great.
Thanks to Donovan.
Who would be crazy to stay.
Just go Billy. Go and build another champion.