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.

Sports Medley NBA Championship Game 20 Jun 16

by Tony Medley

No MVP: Steph Curry is a turnover machine. With 5:16 left in the tense final game against Cleveland, and Golden State leading 87-86, he had the ball and made a bush league, left-handed behind the back pass intended for Klay Thompson that instead went directly out of bounds for a crucial turnover. Since Golden State lost on a 3 point shot by Kyrie Irving with 14 seconds left in the game and the score tied, it’s arguable that this irresponsible pass cost them the championship. There was no need to make the pass behind his back because he was not being heavily guarded and both were on the sideline.

This is typical of most of the games I’ve seen him play. He is appallingly careless with the ball. He might be a great shooter when he’s healthy, but he tends to be too much of a hot dog and makes far more atrocious passes than a great player should make. A foolish pass like this should never be made in the waning minutes of a close Championship game.

But the person responsible for the defeat was Coach Steve Kerr, who has allowed Curry to continue to make careless passes. Worse, Kerr played Harrison Barnes, who was having a horrible series (2 for 14 in the fifth game when he was trying to compensate for the loss of Drayton Green), 29 minutes but Shaun Livingston and Leonardo Barbosa, both guys who can put the ball in the basket, only 16 and 4 minutes, respectively. As if that weren’t enough, Kerre had Festus Ezeli playing in crunch time at the end of the game.

Just 8 seconds before Curry’s fateful pass, with 5:24 left and Golden State leading 87-83, Ezeli made an ill-advised foul on LeBron James shooting a desperation three point shot with the 24 second clock running down. Kerr should have told his players before the series, “never foul James shooting a three pointer,” and emphasized this before each game because James is only a 33% 3 point shooter. While there was only one chance in three that James would make his 3 pointer, LeBron is a 74% free throw shooter and made all three free throws, reducing Golden State’s four point lead to one point. These two stupid plays and the absence of Livingston and Barbosa cost Golden State the championship, and the coach is to blame.

More NBA Corruption: The league clearly wanted the series to go seven games to get that huge rating on Sunday night (which they got, 30.8 million total viewers with a 11.2 rating among adults 18-49. That’s up 17% from the 26.2 million that the last Game 7 in 2013. Sunday’s game is the most watched telecast this year after the 111,900,000 that watched the Super Bowl and the 34,400,000 that watched the Academy Awards. In the sixth game there were at least three fouls called on Steph Curry (two in the opening minutes of the game) that were bogus. No NBA MVP has ever been treated like Curry was treated in the sixth game. People like Michael Jordan, James, and Shaquille O’Neal always get special treatment because they are the stars. But the NBA clearly wanted a seventh game and what better way to ensure it than to get Curry in quick foul trouble? The fifth foul in mid-fourth quarter was a clean steal from Irving that would have resulted in a score for Golden State. I agree with Steph’s wife, this was NBA corruption and Coach Kerr all but said it in his press conference, calling three of the six fouls absolutely wrong, for which he was fined $25,000 for telling the truth.

1984 is alive and well in Major League Baseball: Legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully announced the “attendance” at Sunday’s game against Milwaukee at 45,931, despite the fact that there were far more empty seats than occupied seats. The actual attendance couldn’t have been much more than 20,000 fans in the stands, if that (see attached photo of the stands in the top of the eighth inning of a tight game).

But in 2000 MLB decreed that “attendance” will no longer be announced based on turnstile count, and instead all teams report “tickets sold,” not how many people “attended.” While it’s a simple matter to determine how many people actually attended because each ticket has a bar code that is scanned, MLB teams consider that information “proprietary,” and refuse to release it. The result is a stadium like Dodger Stadium Sunday when the stands aren’t even half full, but a “tickets sold” number is announced that leads everyone to believe that the stadium was more than 80% filled.

Exacerbating the inaccurate information he was conveying, though, Scully piled on, adding, “That’s the biggest crowd of the four game series. Despite all the talk of the heat and everything else, the fans come out.”

But they didn’t come out! The stadium was full of empty seats.  I’m not in Vinny’s head, but apparently he doesn’t know that MLB no longer announces “attendance” based on turnstile count, but just “tickets sold,” and those are two completely different things. “Tickets sold” is even what it says in the box score. Let’s face it, nobody cares how many tickets were sold. Most people want to know how many fans are in the stands, the actual “attendance” physically present at the game. In fact, the old, dearly departed LA Sports Arena had an electronic sign tied into the turnstiles that showed the number of people who passed through the turnstiles in real time.

If Vinny reads this, maybe he will stop making such a misleading statement. I don’t want to believe he would do so intentionally.