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Watson addresses rumors he could take UCLA job

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I recommend wildly speculating who will be the next coach of the Suns anyway.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The UCLA Bruins head coaching position is not currently open. If and when that changes, ESPN analyst Jay Williams thinks current Phoenix Suns head coach Earl Watson could be the one headed to Westwood.

In an interview with Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio Monday, Williams looked into his crystal ball and decided current UCLA head coach Steve Alford could accept the vacancy at Indiana, with Watson then dumping the Suns after one full season at the helm to lead the Bruins.

“I see Steve Alford going to Indiana, and then I see Mr. Earl Watson, the head coach of the Phoenix Suns, coming back home to UCLA.”

Watson’s been asked about this before, and he didn’t give the most diplomatic answer. Returning to his alma mater is something he’s thought about before.

Last spring when he was still leading the Suns with the interim tag, Doug and Wolf asked Watson about college coaching on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

“I can’t go to another living room and lie; I can’t go recruit a kid and say, ‘This is the best school for you,'” Watson said. “I would be lying because of a paycheck.”

“So there’s only school I would coach, and we all know what school that is.”

It ain’t UC Irvine.

But that was last April. Before Dwight Schrute’s doppelganger was shown the barn door in Bloomington. Before Alford was asked about the possibility that he could return to the place where he won the 1987 NCAA Championship and didn’t deny that it could happen.

"I've already addressed that matter and I'm not going to address it anymore," Alford said on Sunday. "This is about our team and what these guys are doing. Like I've said over and over again, it's a journey I feel blessed to have a chance to be a head coach at UCLA and in particular this group of young men and the young men that we have in our locker room, it's phenomenal. I'm going to enjoy this ride as long as we possibly can."

On Tuesday, with a little more traction to these possibilities, Doug and Wolf again talked to Watson about the college game and questioned whether UCLA had reached out to him. His answer was predictable.

“No.”

“It’s a lot of what-ifs man; I don’t play the what-if game, I’m just being honest with you. The what-if game gets you in trouble,” Watson said. “I am the head coach of the Phoenix Suns and I’m very grateful for that opportunity. I’m excited about our future, I’m just being honest with you. It’s a lot of what-if games. If that comes into reality, we can talk about that moving forward.”

Great answer. That is a great answer. If the UCLA job is available he is 100% taking it. But that’s a great answer.