Opinion: Watching Eric Musselman leave wasn’t difficult, but not for the reason you think

If you missed it, Eric Musselman was officially announce as the newest head basketball coach at USC.Watching him leave was a lot easier than I thought it would be, but not for the reason you might think.

Knowing he was actively searching for a way out made it easy. I mean, if a significant other wants to break up with you, what are you really upset about? Is it that they don’t want to be with you anymore, or is it because you’ll miss what you had? So, if he doesn’t want to be here, then I don’t want him here.

If we’re being honest, the writing has been on the wall for some time. After watching his team show glances of greatness throughout the season, followed by some of the worst basketball the program had ever seen, Musselman just looked… worn down by season’s end.

Subsequently, seeing how his demeanor changed over the past year, the move wasn’t exactly surprising. So, not being smacked out of the blue with the news definitely made it easier, too.

However, knowing that Musselman left Arkansas basketball in a far better position than he found it—with the potential of gaining a quality coach—is the biggest reason I’m borderline indifferent.

Since he was hired in 2019, Arkansas has been to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament three times. The Hogs have played massive, maybe even historic, games like beating No. 1 Auburn in 2022, knocking off No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga in the 2022 tournament, or coming back against No. 1 seed Kansas in 2023. Even in the worst season of his tenure, he had wins against Purdue in a not-so-exhibition game and Duke in Bud Walton Arena.

In addition to the success, Eric Musselman built up the intangible aspects important to today’s game. He pushed the Arkansas basketball brand to new heights, to levels that legends like Eddy Sutton or Nolan Richardson could’ve never touched. Social Media is one reason, but Musselman was as good a promoter as a basketball coach in Fayetteville. Now, Arkansas is one of the top-talked about teams in the country, even after a bad season.

Put together, those two aspects already make Arkansas interesting to a potential hire. Yet, what makes it one of the best open jobs in the country is when you add:

  • A potential top-10 paycheck

  • Amazing athletic facilities

  • A rich history

  • A raging fanbase that sold out a 20,000-seat arena multiple years in a row

  • A top-5 home-court advantage

  • Great in-state talent

So, if you’re a fan upset about Musselman leaving, just chill out. Go grab an ice-cold glass of Tang, or maybe Wade through your local pool to cool off. And if you have one, I hear stroking your Beard relieves an amazing amount of stress. Trust me, there are tons of big fish in the sea.

Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire