Frank Martin went Frank Martin on his South Carolina players Thursday night following an embarrassing 64-46 home loss to LSU.
The former Kansas State basketball coach was so disgusted by his team’s extreme lack of effort and so frustrated by a fifth-straight loss that he compared all but one of his players to zombies.
It was the start of a postgame news conference that quickly went viral. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch the video here. Darryl Slater, of the Post and Courier, was also good enough to transcribe the whole thing.
“If you take (point guard) Bruce Ellington off our team, you’d probably have the 12 leading candidates for the starring roles in ‘The Return of the Living Dead,’ the zombie movie,” he said. “If you took Bruce off our team, our guys would probably win an Academy (Award) for their performance in that movie. I’ve been doing this for 28 years, nine of which as a junior varsity high school coach. That means I’ve dealt with 14-year-olds. I’ve never been more embarrassed to call myself a basketball coach than I am today.”
Later, when asked how he could motivate his players to give more effort, Martin said:
“If this was the NBA, we’d fine them, we’d take their money, we’d release them and say, ‘Good luck with ever finding another job.’ It’s not the NBA. So we’re in education. Somehow, some way, we have to reach them. It’s embarrassing. I’m just telling you, I’ve been telling our team here for three weeks that there’s a word that if it’s not in your vocabulary – whatever it is you choose to do in life – if the word ‘pride’ is not your vocabulary, you’ve got no chance at ever sniffing success.
“I’m a lot of things, but I’ve got pride. And I’m just telling you, I’m doing this (press conference) right now out of respect to you (reporters) and your jobs and because it’s part of my job. But I have never been so embarrassed. I shouldn’t coach basketball ever again if this is how my team plays.”