Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose contributions Wooden  ignored and tried to bury.

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. The players tell their their stories in their own words. This is the book that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.

Premium Rush (5/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 91 minutes.

OK for children.

Let's start out with a confession. It seems to me that the dumbest, most inconsiderate people in Los Angeles are those who don their funny looking uniforms and ride their bicycles on city streets. For years I was a bicycle rider, riding my bike up the bike path from Marina del Rey to Santa Monica and back. But then bicycle riders were courteous and respectful of traffic. Today they don't care a fig that they ride double file, side-by-side taking up an entire traffic lane and cause enormous amounts of traffic to back up behind them. They are dumb because they don't seem to realize that they are putting themselves and their 25-pound bike up against an army of 4,000 pound vehicles. But they don't seem to care. They don't care about their health and safety and they don't care about the inconvenience they are causing the people driving cars who are forced to drive behind them.

That said, this is intended as a high-octane chase movie, but it falls short. I'm surprised that Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Wilee), who has been developing into a fine actor would waste his time on a vehicle like this that is basically 91 minutes of people riding bicycles at high speed through traffic-laden New York City.

Burdening the movie is Michael Shannon, who plays a bad cop, NYPD detective Bobby Monday who is bad beyond belief. He plays the role in such an over-the-top manner that it becomes comic relief. Often his sneering lines were greeted with guffaws from the audience.

Director David Koepp (who also wrote the screenplay with John Kamps) steals a concept from the new Sherlock Holmes films where Sherlock plans out his fights in advance and we see them in slow motion as he views them in his mind's eye. Here Wilee sees his alternate routes as he's speeding down the street with their terrible consequences and chooses the one that lets him get through without mishap. I didn't like them in Sherlock Holmes  and I don't like them here.

I got tired of all the cinéma-vérité bicycle-riding shots of Wilee cutting in and out of traffic, going the wrong way on one way streets and running red lights with heavy, streaming traffic early on and started looking at my watch less than 30 minutes into the film. Alas with only a whisper of a story, the film continues with 61 more minutes of bicycle riding and chases.

To be fair, I saw the film at a screening on the Sony lot and some in the audience applauded when it ended. One never knows whether the applause is due to appreciation for the quality of the film or just relief that it finally did, in fact, end.

There is a shot after the end credits of one of the mishaps that occurred during the filming and an injury to Gordon-Levitt. So if you've stayed that long, you may as well stay until the actual end of the film. Chase films can be fun if they are combined with characters about whom you can care and a story that is at least minimally involving. Both are lacking here.