March Madness featured plenty of memorable moments. Ironically, one of the most unforgettable scenes involved Arizona Wildcats coach Adia Barnes and her middle finger.
After coming agonizingly close to leading her team to a national championship, her name has been thrown around as a potential candidate to take over the school’s men’s basketball program. And during a recent podcast appearance, Barnes left no doubt about her interest in the job with a sexist comment.
Adia Barnes put herself in the spotlight by giving the middle finger during March Madness
The Arizona Wildcats took on the University of Connecticut Huskies in the Final Four of the NCAA tournament. Given their history of capturing championships, Geno Auriemma’s team represented a massive hurdle for Adia Barnes’ squad to overcome.
By the end of regulation, however, the scoreboard read 69-59 in favor of the Wildcats. The upset victory elicited quite an emotional reaction from Barnes. As she spoke with her team, she quickly flashed her middle finger and dropped an f-bomb in a moment that instantly became a trending topic on social media.
After acknowledging in her post-game press conference that she used “a cuss word” as a way to tell her players to forget their doubters, Barnes showed no interest in apologizing for what occurred the next day.
“I honestly had a moment with my team, and I thought it was a more intimate huddle. I said to my team something that I truly felt and I know they felt, and it just appeared different on TV, but I’m not apologizing for it because I don’t feel like I need to apologize,” Barnes told reporters on a Zoom call.
Arizona coach follows up controversial moment with sexist comment
Less than a week after nearly taking down the Stanford Cardinal in the national title game, Adia Barnes once again finds herself under scrutiny. This time, it has nothing to do with flipping a middle finger or uttering a four-letter curse word.
During a recent appearance on the Johnjay & Rich: After Words podcast, the former WNBA player got asked about her interest in the men’s basketball head coach vacancy at her current school. Barnes’ no-filter approach to answering the question raised a few eyebrows due to the sexist nature of her comments.
“Absolutely not. Zero interest,” she said as the hosts laughed. “Guys don’t listen to crap, no. You tell a guy to go right, he’s going left three times. No, they don’t listen.”
Her comments about working with male basketball players certainly seem like a massive generalization. After all, there are countless examples of coaches who made a major impact in men’s basketball at both the amateur and pro levels. Clearly, though, Barnes has no desire to fill Miller’s old role.
Who will the Wildcats hire as their next head coach?
Adia Barnes obviously won’t be in the mix for Arizona’s coaching opening. But there are several candidates who could soon take over a men’s basketball program in need of a new direction.
So who should Wildcats fans have on their radar?
If the school wants to make a big splash, why not look to a familiar face? Damon Stoudamire starred at the school before taking his talents to the NBA. He has carved out a name for himself in the coaching ranks through his work at the University of the Pacific. The 47-year-old looks like a top candidate to replace Sean Miller.
Stoudamire could face competition for the job from another former Wildcats standout. Current LA Lakers assistant Miles Simon had his No. 34 jersey retired by Arizona. And after winning a championship ring last season, he could look to capitalize and finally have the chance to run his own team.
Both Stoudamire and Simon remain names to monitor as the school continues its search for a new head coach to lead the men’s basketball team.