Stay classy, Rod Watts: Lansing Eastern coach embarrasses himself in Dayton paper

Posted: March 28, 2011 by Jared Field in High School

For anyone interested in becoming a basketball coach someday, here’s a good example of what you don’t do after one of your players gets slighted. Lansing Eastern coach Rod Watts, on the heels of Dwaun Anderson’s improbable Mr. Basketball award, told the Dayton Daily News this:

“LaDontae is still the best player in Michigan,” Lansing Eastern coach Rod Watts said. “The process doesn’t lend itself to make the best player Mr. Basketball. It turns out to be a popularity contest. If I can get more coaches from around the state to vote for my guy, then he wins it.

“LaDontae can guard all five positions. (Anderson) will have trouble guarding Michigan State assistants.”

Cute. Funny. Classless.

Is it Dwaun Anderson’s fault that he won the award? Obviously I thought Henton deserved it, but why throw a player (one that Watts has actually coached, if I’m not mistaken) under the bus?

Steve Bell told me over the weekend that this was coming down the pipe. I almost didn’t believe him when he said it, but there it is.

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Comments
  1. Jared Field says:

    There are things you can say as a coach, and things you can’t say. Honestly, that’s a comment you’d expect a fan to write on a message board under a pseudonym. It’s just crazy for a coach to say that on the record.

  2. CP says:

    I was under Watts back in the Day in E.L.
    This doesn’t shock me, him saying this. Had anyone else voiced the same sentiment I would agree the same. So, Watts was right in what was said, but him being a coach I guess should have been handled with more tact.

    B.S.
    Speak on what you feel and be honest. Henton got jobbed by the media.

  3. Justafan says:

    I like honesty… Let’s not punish a coach for finally speaking his mind let’s focus on if his statement has any merit

    (a lot of people feels the way Watts does and it needed to be officially adressed it doesn’t matter if we agree or not)

  4. CoachT says:

    This is an unfortunate comment. Watts did coach Anderson and though he may have a better relationship with Henton having coached him in high school, I agree, you don’t throw another kid under the bus. That doesn’t show the kids the great character they should see.

    I think Henton did get jobbed based on his production on the floor this year. His stats are amazing. The process is what it is, years ago Ben Simons got jobbed and D. Nix won the award and he wasn’t the best on his team. As long as BCAM has limiters such as being a senior, then you will not get the best player.

  5. Cinderella says:

    bush league at best. he was wrong. if nothing good to say don’t say it coach!

  6. Marcellus Miller says:

    Coaches can simply not go that far. He was fine talking about his own guy being slighted, but the minute you talk about another kid negatively without merit, you are wrong…period. No excuses…

    • muthguy1 says:

      I have to agree with Marcellus on this one. Watts occasionally says things that make you wonder. When Charles Tucker hit a lucky 30 footer to win the district final vs. Okemos, Watts said there was no one on the team he would rather have take that shot. Tucker was shooting better that game than he usually does, but that team also had LaDontae Henton on it.

      (In fact, because Eastern’s starters are all really good players, you could make the case that any of them would have had a better shot at the game.)

      I wonder sometimes if Tucker’s skills are not overestimated a bit by some of the people who give out rankings. He is good, but there are a lot of people just as good, even on his own team. I’m not at all sure that Tucker is better than any of the other starters on his own team. (To be fair to Tucker, Fredrick Edmond, Brian Morton and Steve Haney are all excellent, talented players. Which of them is best is probably open to discussion.)

      I think their success next year will be based on whether or not they try to figure out who is the best or try to work together. They could be in Sexton’s league if they try to work together. They could be like the underachieving Sexton teams from two to four years ago if they decide to compete with each other. I hope Watts can get them working together.

      • Jared Field says:

        I wonder if Haney regrets making the move to Lansing Eastern. Had he stayed, not only would have been on a better team with a better coach, but EL almost certainly would have been at the Breslin. Hindsight is 20/20 though.

    • Coach Miller i need an aau team to play for…!

  7. Marcellus Miller says:

    Come on out to tryouts at Mott tomorrow night at 7.

  8. DRAKE Z says:

    jared you have been anti -watts since he took the job.
    I would like for you to have the guts to tell him your views to his face
    I doubt you would -coward- behind your website

    • Jared Field says:

      I’m not hiding behind a website. Heck, I don’t even hide behind a screen name.

      That was classless to throw a kid under the bus like that. I don’t know a single other coach who would do that. Not one.

  9. DRAKE Z says:

    NO RESPONSE-LIKE I SAID YOU ARE A COWARD
    FOR ALL YOUR READERS
    YOU PICKED LANSING EASTERN TO FINISH IN 7TH PLACE LAST YEAR
    I THINK THEY FINISHED 20-2
    YOU ALSO PICKED EAST LANSING TO FINISH IN THE TOP IN THE LEAGUE
    THEY WERE 6-AND WHATEVER -COACH GOT FIRED
    WHERE WERE THE PICKS THIS YEAR ?
    YOU ARE A COWARD WHO HIDES BEHIND THIS SITE
    I REALLY WISH YOU WOULD TELL COACH WATTS HOW YOU FEEL
    FACE TO FACE
    I AM SURE HE WOULD HEAR LOVE TO HEAR YOUR VIEWS OF HIM AND HIS PROGRAM

    • muthguy1 says:

      He basically has told Watts to his face. He posted it here with his real name. I’m sure that if Mr. Watts cares, he can find him.

      While I won’t totally pillory Mr. Watts, I’ll bet that even Mr. Watts wishes he had not said what he said for publication.

    • jurdf says:

      they didnt win the big game the one that matters, so your statements are pointless. Theyre season was a failure

      • muthguy1 says:

        I don’t think you can call a trip to the Regional Finals failure. They did lose more games than a team with that much talent should have lost, though.

  10. DRAKE Z says:

    THIS MY FINAL POST
    CYBER SPACE IS NOT FACE2FACE
    SORRY- I KNOW ALOT OF YOU LIVE BEHIND THESE COMPUTERS
    BUT LET IT BE SAID
    WE WILL SEE YALL ON THE AAU CIRCUT
    PEACE

    • Learn to spell says:

      “BUT LET IT BE SAID
      WE WILL SEE YALL ON THE AAU CIRCUT”

      WOW – you really told us! Maybe you should spend some more time in the classroom, and less time on the CIRCUIT!

    • muthguy1 says:

      So, somehow I doubt that Mr. Watts will hit anyone. Mr. Watts can probably find Jared if he wants to complain.

  11. jurdf says:

    he is such an overrated coach, shows no class, very arrogant, and these statements explain it all

  12. ireaditall says:

    Watts may be an overrated coach however if he is as classless as stated in these comments really scares me cause I know he’s a Michigan State Trooper

  13. CoachT says:

    Some are taking this too far. He made a statement that he shouldn’t have made. Was he talking confidential and got quoted or was he giving that statement as a quote. Either way, I think people are taking it all as fighting words, unnecessarily.

  14. jody mack says:

    Naw If it’s how Rod felt, it’s ok. Remember when a coach said an opposing player’s shot selection kept his team in he game. And the opposing player had just scored 31 in a win? I stand behind a coach who stands by his players. Plus Rod is human like the coach who put the player’s shots down 3-4 years ago. The game has become too nicey nice and skill development is at an all time low. I thought early in Bucket’s career he was strictly left handed. He worked. I am sure they all have worked but the award is a joke. I heard a lot of negatives toward Derek Nix when he won and it wasn’t someone else. Why is it wrong that Rod said it about Anderson?
    After last night’s game, maybe we should recall all college scholarships and make players re earn them. That was the best college ball had to offer, wow.

    • Jared Field says:

      You’re offering no context. I am.

      I’m saying that it’s fine, funny even, to make that statement to a buddy when you’re sitting around a bar somewhere. But coaches with class simply do not put statements like that in the paper.

      I know you’re taking up for your boy, but have a little perspective on this. Do you think Coach Ingram at LCC would run to the LSJ after losing a player to transfer and then say that he sucked any way? Or that he couldn’t shoot it in the ocean?

  15. jody mack says:

    Jared no you don’t hide and you know I respect that about you. I will always stand up for Rod, just like I did for V when he went through his season of discontent. Watts is not classless. He didn’t give the basic response but how dd he throw Anderson under the bus? We are all tripping. Rod didn’t cost the kid a scholarship, did he? I know Rod well enough that I would tell him if I thought he was wrong. Many of us put down players like we’re all experts when around coaches or on talk shows. Remember when a local kid got a scholarship to a southern school and many of you put him down. That player went for 16 against DeMarcus Cousins last year. But we put him down when he originally signed. We say what we feel.

    • Jared Field says:

      With all due respect, he’s a coach.

      Again, I’m shocked that people are willing to carry this guy’s water. Insulting Dwaun Anderson, a player who played for the Mustangs, in a public forum is just ridiculous. And because it didn’t cost him a scholarship that means it’s perfectly fine?

      You don’t see a difference between what shows up on a message board and what a coach puts on the record, publicly?

  16. Spencer Trealout says:

    Watts is Anderson’s Auu Coach ….. Thats Sad.

  17. Andrew Secor says:

    No reason for a coach to say that publically about an 18 year old kid. There is no reason for it and it does show a lack of class.

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