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 stories in their own words.

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


Kevin Hart: What Now? (0/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 96 minutes.

Not for children.

This starts with a spoof of James Bond films that is agonizingly awful, even though (or maybe because of) cameos by Hallie Berry and Don Cheadle. But what comes next is worse.

What comes next is Kevin Hartís appearance before 50,000 people in a Philadelphia football stadium to perform his standup show. Iíve seen other films that other black standups like Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy made out of their shows (like Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip, 1982 and  Raw, 1987, respectively). This is like those in that Hart uses all the words that seem to be de rigueur for black standups, F-bombs, MF-er, B (rhymes with witch) referring to women, the N word, the S word (for excrement), the A word (another word for donkey, but referring to a part of your anatomy), etc. The difference between Murphy and Richie and Kevin, however, is that the former two are achingly funny in spite of their bad language, and Kevin didn't bring even one smile. His bad language just made it worse.

Itís telling that standups like Don Rickles and Rodney Dangerfield and Jerry Seinfeld and Mort Sahl and a host of others didnít need to use bad language to be funny. Maybe the difference is that they were, in fact, funny and Hart, in fact, isnít. Bad language is little more than a crutch, a shock value to make people laugh because they feel uncomfortable.

The movie was so bad that the guy sitting next to me who walked and talked like a laugh shill, started out with belly laughs, but gave up after about a half hour. The rest of the audience was lukewarm throughout. Me? I was dying. Without treating myself to a whole box of milk duds, Iím not sure I would have survived.

There is some good acting in the film, though. There are shots throughout of the Philadelphia audience reacting to Kevinís stories with hilarity. Being a skeptic, I wondered if these shots were cut out of an old Pryor or Murphy concert. If not, these people should all be up for Oscarsģ. Itís hard enough to cry on cue and be convincing; laughing on cue is just as hard (just ask Julia Roberts, whose annoying fake laughs can drive one out of the theater screaming).

I have to hand it to Kevin, though. It takes a lot of Chutzpah to get up there for an hour and a half and tell stories loaded with vulgarities that have not a hint of humor or even make sense.

What sort of stories were they, you might ask, assuming you have any interest in reading further? One is about how a man should act and react when heís dating a woman who does not have a shoulder. That discussion took more than 10 minutes. Then he logically proceeded to his next topic and talked about how a man should act and react if he were on a boat alone with a woman who fell into the ocean and came out of it without an arm and a leg. That took up another 10 minutes. Et Cetera. Lemme outa here!

 

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