Bret Bielema uses Curry, LeBron analogy to stress team to players

ByBrett McMurphy ESPN logo
Wednesday, June 1, 2016

MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla. -- Bret Bielema was asked Tuesday if the firing of Baylor coach Art Briles would serve as a wake-up call for coaches to hold players more accountable for claims of sexual violence, and the Arkansasfootball coach referenced ...Stephen Curry and LeBron James?

"I can't speak for others," Bielema said at the SEC's spring meetings. "I can only speak for myself. What happens every day outside of my program in the world of college football I'm aware of, but very seldom does it affect what I do. I think it's great awareness. I think it's great education and great teaching tools at times for our players."

Then Bielema veered off topic.

"I used the NBA [Finals] series a year ago, an off-topic deal, but [it's] just the way I think," he said. "I told our guys here at Arkansas we need to be a little bit Curry and a little less LeBron. We've got to be a little bit more about the team and working together and the chemistry."

Bielema said he used the analogy for his players' benefit.

"I think [Curry] was the seventh draft pick or the eighth draft pick? I listed all the guys that got drafted ahead of him that weren't even in the league anymore," Bielema said. "And I think about it a lot.

"I knew our players were engaged with basketball. I don't know anything about basketball, so I probably shouldn't be commenting on it. But I knew the story of Curry. We use outside stuff like that that helps us build our program in the way that you want."

Curry, the NBA's reigning two-time MVP, was the seventh pick in the 2009 draft. He averaged 26 points, 6.3 assists and 20.3 shot attempts during last season's NBA Finals. James averaged 35.8 points, 8.8 assists and a staggering 32.7 shot attempts during that series while trying to carry the Cavs in the absence of injured starters Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.