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 Featured Popular UCLA Bruins

  • neil kaufman

    you are right about Bryce Alford. i also agree with your conclusion about people putting words into coach Woodens mouth. mostly the complaints come from the non mindful bullies at the fair and balanced bruin nation. get outside the box and look around.

    • Mike W.R.

      Thank you. This was something that we felt strongly about. The kid is trying to help UCLA but is eating ridiculed left and right by his team’s owns fans.

      • neil kaufman

        mostly bruin nation fans. is that the majority of bruin fans? Ii hope not. i would assume given the stature of that university most fans are educated and not so mean.

        • Idaho88

          Mike- I liked your article. I agree with what you say regarding Bryce. I probably think Alford is a better coach than you do but after reading the garbage on the BN site it was nice to read something written by someone who has a clue…I think that in a couple of years most Bruin fans are going to be very happy that Bryce is a Bruin…

  • Larry Milstein

    Lets be honest for a freshman point guard Bryce has played pretty well and made some clutch shots. He is not the best defender or most athletic player but he handles the ball well and has a solid shot. If his last name was not Alford I would say that most would think he has had a pretty good freshman campaign so far. If you are a real Bruins fan, give the kid a break, it can only help in his development and the development of our team. Go Bruins

  • Larry Sailer

    Why the continuing crap on Bleacher Report about Steve Alford? The guy’s a great coach and the players like him. So the guy made a mistake and verbally defended a rapist. Talk about hate, this continuing invective about Steve Alford really needs to stop. Guerrero hired the best coach available; get over it, and stop using nonsense stuff on Bryce Alford to get at his father..

    • Mike W.R.

      1. Great coach, no.
      2. Verbally defending a rapist, bad.
      3.Alford was neither the “best” or “available” coach. He just signed an extension.
      4. This article was about Bryce, who you cannot really talk about without mentioning his father, thank you for reading.

      • neil kaufman

        most wins by an american basketball coach before the age of 50!

    • janeausten4ever

      http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2003/april/040903skorton.html

      This man should not be coaching at UCLA.

  • Scott Eugene

    Let’s be honest…anybody that has to preface a statement with “…let’s be honest,” has propensity to lie.

    Alford senior stood by his player and made a bad choice over a decade ago. When “Mike W.R’s” side of the street is emaculate, then he can pass judgement on other folks. It would be intriguing to see what Mr. Mike honesty was doing over a decade ago and examine each and ever step to see if they were prudent.

    On second thought, let’s not. He’s just a hack writer.

    In the interim, shut the #@** up and let the man coach. And his kid will be fine. He’s resilient…just like his old man. They both have character …. something which I think that “Mike … to be honest … W. R”. lacks desperately.

    • Mike W.R.

      I don’t see how my “lack of character” has to do with my defense of Bryce but I guess you are entitled to your opinion.

  • Lance Morton

    If you want the hate to stop then stop hating. your column drips with animus. lighten up. both the coach and the player are rookies. stop writing like one.

  • jean

    I am so thrilled that people on this site are calling out Bruins Nation. They are a very hateful group that label themselves as “fans.” I’m embarrassed to say that on occasion I go to the site and read the posts. Every time I do, I tell myself never again. If you look closely at the posts on that site, it’s the same four people that write the majority of the badgering content. I’ve come to the conclusion that they are a bunch of bullies with nothing better to do than find something negative to write about either UCLA sports teams, UCLA coaches, UCLA fans, etc. And don’t think about writing a post in disagreement with something they’ve said, because they will then bash you and block you from the site, which isn’t that bad of a consequence actually.

  • Slarty Bartfast

    I haven’t seen such misplaced vitriol towards a coach from so-called Bruin fans since the days of Gene Bartow (yes, I’m that old). The alums actually created a new university (UAB) to get rid of Bartow. Judge Alford on his record, (which, last I saw, was 20-5 for a nationally ranked team) rather than on attacking him personally. For the record:

    Alford apologized for declaring Pierce’s innocence “before the legal
    system had run its course. This was inappropriate, insensitive and
    hurtful, especially to the young female victim involved, and I apologize
    for that.”. -Wikipedia

    Also for the record, I do find the constant juvenile whining here at GoJoeBruin very entertaining. -UCLA 1976-1982; 1989-1991

  • GriffGC

    It’s not what Bryce Alford has done, it’s what he hasn’t done. Anyone with eyes can see that Bryce shouldn’t be on the court with lottery picks like Kyle Anderson and Zach LaVine. It is an obvious and particularly discouraging case of nepotism, given the prestige of the UCLA program. It is unbelievably selfish that Alford would put his son before the players, program, fans, etc.

    Last week Aaron Craft got assailed on Twitter; non-character criticism directed at Bryce is more than justified by his level of play IMO.