Last week, UCLA had been hiring Mick Cronin after whiffing at Tennessee's Rick Barnes.
But what if UCLA promised to pay Barnes's $ 5 million buyout?
"I think I was my coach at UCLA," Barnes told reporters in Knoxville on Tuesday. "I've told people before. I really felt it at that time."
In one of the most transparent and loyal news conferences held by a coach who just wants to refuse an attractive offer from others at school, Barnes accepted that he ended his final decision to stay in Knoxville, because of financial matters.
Tennessee forward Grant Williams says he enters the NBA draft to "test water," but the All-America consensus did not decide the possibility of returning to his senior season.
Rick Barnes said that his interest in UCLA had nothing to do with Tennessee and all about intrigue leading the Bruins back to the glory they reached under great John Wooden As part of his return, Barnes was agreed to a new deal in Tennessee to pay him $ 4 million a year before rising to a $ 6 annual total at the end of the contract, sources ESPN's Chris Low sources said last week.  Barnes signed a deal last year that was set to pay him $ 3.25 million each year with an annual $ 100,000 increase. Her new deal will also provide more money for her assistants, including former Colorado assistant Kim English, replacing Rob Lanier with Tennessee personnel.
Lanier, former coach of UT coach, recently agreed on a deal to become coach of the Georgia State head.
"I'm supposed to be in Tennessee," Barnes said. "And really above and beyond the basketball program, I love this community, I love this state, I think we have a lot of good things happening in this town."
But the multimillion-dollar buyout in his contract seems to be the main issue to stop Barnes from getting his talents in Los Angeles.
"Many prayers come in here, I can tell you," Barnes said. "There's a lot going on when you get down to a situation like this, it should make sense from a financial point of view. Bottom line is that we can not do this with the purchase."
Barnes led Tennessee, earning a No 1 ranking during the 2018-19 season, at Sweet 16, where the Vols were lost to Purdue overtime in one of NCAA's greatest game tournament history.
On Tuesday, the 64-year-old told the head coach that UCLA's conversation was swiftly moved last week. But he told the school he would not leave Knoxville without talking to athletic director Phillip Fulmer and others in the community.
"I told them that the point is blank, & # 39; I'm not walking out of here and does not meet my team, & # 39;" Barnes says. "I'm not walking from here and not meeting people here that's really nice to me." I said, & # 39; You can not send an airplane tomorrow and we're leaving. Make sure the correct way is done. & # 39; "
Barnes said she lost weight while she was contemplating her choices. He also said that he believed the destruction of buyout talks was a sign from God.
"There was an hour in my mind that I really felt that was going to happen," Barnes said about UCLA's potential acquisition offer. "I got that point where I felt my prayers were answered."