There were rumors that Mike’s refusal to replace assistants was one of the reasons that led to his dismissal, I am really surprised that with all that loyalty talk, it appears Mike is not retaining Melvin Watkins on his new staff,
Other than TJ, Mike has hired Queens native Van Macon (previously at St. Louis) and is looking at hiring Joe Esposito (currently at UNLV).
I have zero inside information, but I’d bet Melvin didn’t want to leave for New York. His kids are all graduated now and I would imagine he’s pretty set financially. He’ll be 65 in a few months and probably would like to enjoy life with wife, kids, grandkids and/or grandkids to be. Northwest Arkansas would be a great place to settle down and do that. Or, if he has family elsewhere, he may want to retire where they are.
If you have the money, you don’t live in NYC. You live in New Jersey just across the river in Fort Lee or somewhere in Bergen County. Those New Jersey suburbs are pretty good. Living conditions are fine. My sister lives there. Problem is time to commute to work and as you said just a volume of people. I am sure Mike has found a place outside of NYC.
The Connecticut suburbs of NYC are also very nice (I live in Stamford, CT). Living in or near NYC is fantastic, as is the East in general. The population density means there is always something to see and do. It is like living in an amusement park. I moved here 18 years ago and don’t regret it a minute. St. John’s is in northeastern Queens towards Long Island. He is probably living in in far eastern Queens or western Long Island. Donald Trump grew up in eastern Queens. The area is expensive as you would expect but is well affordable on his salary.
Melvin wasn’t interested in heading east, and it was applied that Scottie would stay with the new coaching staff, otherwise why would Scottie remain on the recruiting trails after the rest had left the program