While the internet was circulating frenzied rumors connecting Billy Donovan to Indiana on Friday, the Oklahoma City Thunder coach was indeed conducting meetings inside a practice facility.
Just not the one in Bloomingtin.
Speaking with reporters on Saturday, Donovan denied internet chatter claiming he flew to Indiana to meet with university officials about the then-open head coaching position.
“Yesterday morning I was here in practice,” Donovan said. “I was not there. I was here in practice. I was actually in a couple meetings, then went to Russell (Westbrook’s) bowling charity last night.”
Donovan, the highly-successful former Florida coach, said he appreciated that people would connect him to such a high-profile position, but he’s not thinking about college anymore.
He wants to stay in the NBA.
Indiana hired Dayton coach Archie Miller on Saturday.
“Any time your name is brought up in any situtation, it’s always flattering,” Donovan said. “It’s always nice that someone would maybe think about you that way. Indiana’s obviously got great tradition and a great program, incredible fans and their athletic director has got to look at that situation and evaluate it. People have opinions of what’s a good fit for certain people, but all my concentration and focus is on here and getting prepared for Houston tomorrow.”
Donovan is in his second season in Oklahoma City, where his team is 41-30 and in sixth place in the Western Conference.
He said he was unbothered by the chatter and that there was nothing to read into.
“I think I’ve been pretty transparent in terms of what I’ve said,” Donovan said. “I love it here. I’m committed here. I said that from the beginning. I think a lot of times, I’m just not going to openly talk about other situations or specific jobs. I’m just not going to do that because I don’t think it’s fair to the institution or the people that are in charge there. I made a comment about how I felt about being here. I still feel the same way today about that.
“I’m excited about our team and the guys I work with and the organization I work with. So that’s really all I said. That hasn’t changed. Although someone had me flying into town (Friday), that’s fine. I wasn’t. It wasn’t like I was hiding. I was here.”