January 26, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins head coach Steve Alford speaks with guard Bryce Alford (20) during a stoppage in play against the California Golden Bears during the first half at Pauley Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Hate Of UCLA's Bryce Alford is Misplaced And Wrong

January 26, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins head coach Steve Alford speaks with guard Bryce Alford (20) during a stoppage in play against the California Golden Bears during the first half at Pauley Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

What is with all the hate towards UCLA’s freshman point guard Bryce Alford? I mean seriously, what has the son of the Bruin’s coach done to deserve such ridicule from the fan base that is suppose to support a player wearing their school’s name on their chest?

What it comes down to, is that Bryce is a scapegoat for most “fans”. He gives the them something to be mad and constantly complain about. But, why? Bryce Alford has done nothing wrong. This all starts with a word called “favoritism”.

Under former coach Ben Howland, UCLA and its fans were subject to some slow, painful basketball mixed with a whole lot of drama. A lot of that was due to his favoritism of certain players. The UCLA fan base saw this and did not like it.

Under the new head coach, Steve Alford, “favoritism” has translated to “nepotism” and once again the fan base is getting chippy, as they should. But this has nothing to do with Bryce.

Let us be honest here (it is not like we lie), UCLA’s Athletic Director Dan Guerrero botched another search for a coach and ended up hiring a rape apologist. Steve Alford should never have been a Bruin coach, but he is and he is locked in due to a horrendous contract orchestrated by Guerrero. Those are your culprits, the senior Alford and Guerrero. Not Bryce. Mostly Guerrero.

But the hate flows and there is only one thin to say about it… disgusting. From calling the kid names to equating him with “trash”, Bryce Alford cannot get a break in Westwood.

And why? Because people dislike his father. So that is reason enough to verbally bash a kid trying to do right by the four letters on his chest?

NEWS FLASH: Bryce Alford is not Steve Alford.

Bryce is not a great point guard. That is not his fault. Being in the game longer than he should is not his fault. The issues that surround his dad are not his fault. It is his father’s fault.

Go ahead, bash the elder Alford. He deserves it. But from what I can tell, Bryce does not.

I am pretty sure you have not seen him act like this.

 

Or this.


Is this him?

This is not him either, is it?

 

NO! None of those are Bryce Alford because he has done nothing like this (to our knowledge), which leads me to believe that  he has done nothing to deserve the persecution from his own “fan base”. Call it, obviousness.

Bryce needs to improve his game, that is a given, just like every college kid transitioning to a new level of competition. He will adjust, which will help him get better and hopefully turns out to be the player his dad thinks he is. He has to, because if Kyle Anderson bolts for the NBA after the season, UCLA is screwed.

That is all Steve Alford’s fault (and partially Ben Howland’s). UCLA has no point guard coming in until 2015. The cupboard has been left bare and the senior Alford has yet to fill it, except for the younger Alford. Is it Bryce’s fault? I am sure Bryce is a freshman and not a head coach of a major basketball program, so no, that is not Bryce’s fault either.

Whether you like him or not, Bryce is a Bruin and no amount of bashing will take that away. He is not his father and never will be. Any mistakes he makes ail be his own, then go to Twitter with your thoughts. He is his own person that has not, by any accounts, done anything morally, ethically or legally wrong. So before you try to chastise him or any of our future Bruins, at least ask yourself, especially those of you that live and die by his words, would John R. Wooden do this?

Mike W.R.

Twitter: @TheBigDisco

Tags: Basketball UCLA Bruins

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