Nonetheless, the timing of his departure from his previous job probably could have been better.
Frazier, the starting point guard for s.Oliver Baskets of the German Bundesliga, flew back to the United States on Wednesday on the eve of the second game of his team's semifinal matchup against Ratiopharm Ulm in the league playoffs. S.Oliver Baskets lost the first game of the series on Sunday 77-65 despite 14 points and five rebounds from Frazier.
"We are disappointed that Chester Frazier has decided to leave the s.Oliver Baskets at this crucial stage of the season," managing director Jochen Bähr said in a statement later translated into English. "At the time of his commitment, it was not clear that we would get this far in the playoffs. We had agreed with Chester that he will remain at least until the end of the semifinal series against Ulm. Why he has decided to go back now already to the U.S., he has not informed us."
Frazier averaged 7.7 points and 2.1 assists in 24.4 minutes per game this season for s.Oliver Baskets and played the same rugged defense he was known for throughout his college career at Illinois. It's unclear why he'd leave the team now rather than wait until the end of the playoffs, but DraftExpress.com's Jonathan Givony reported Tuesday that new Kansas State coach Bruce Weber encouraged him to stay.
Frazier initially put his coaching aspirations on hold for the chance to play professionally in Germany, leaving a video coordinator position under Weber at Illinois in November to sign with s.Oliver Baskets. It was tough for him to leave Illinois and to say goodbye to his fiance for a few months, but he told RidiculousUpside.com in March that he missed playing too much not to give it a shot.
"I missed playing basketball," Frazier said. "I missed the fight. The closest I could get to 5-on-5 was playing against 40-year old guys and playing noon ball. And I could feel it too -- I got out of shape and gained about 20 pounds."
At the time of that interview, Frazier said he always intended to get back into coaching once his playing days were over. Clearly that came at least a few days sooner than most would have imagined.