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 2017 NBA Playoffs Round 1 24 Apr 17

by Tony Medley

Here’s why Hubie Brown is the best color commentator on TV sports. With about two minutes left in the fourth quarter of the 4th Cleveland-Indiana playoff game and the scored tied there was a timeout. Brown said, “What they (Indiana) want is, come out of this timeout with a set play something where you’re doing one screen or the staggered screen; doing something that’s going to open up Paul George and if they do trap then you take advantage of the trap; 4 against 3 under the trap.”

The ball was put back in play and Indiana got the ball to Paul George coming off the screen where Cleveland had to switch defenders. Brown continues describing the action, “Well they’ve got their switch, the switch they wanted; there is the double; nice pass to Young! (Young scores a layup) Nice pass by Paul George; you knew the trap was coming. And they don’t hesitate; they come and get you right away and Young created that pass in the painted area.”

This is why Hubie Brown is in a class by himself. He doesn’t wait until after the action has occurred. He described precisely what was going to happen during the timeout and then the viewer watched it unfold before his eyes. If I’ve said this a million times before, and I’ll say it again. Listening to Hubie Brown is better than taking a graduate course in basketball. He is simply the best, bar none.

A shining example of the “education” athletes get at NCAA schools: UCLA alumnus Russell Westbrook answering a question directed at teammate Steven Adams after losing the 4th game of the playoff series against Houston, about OKC’s ineffectiveness when Westbrook is on the bench, “I don’t want nobody to try to split us up. We all one team. When I go to the bench, when I’m off the floor; we in this together. Don’t split us up. Don’t try to split us up. Don’t try to make us go against each other, try to make it against Russell and the rest of the guys, Russell against Houston. I don’t want to hear that. We in this together. We play as a team and that’s all that matters; that’s it.” Adams never opened his mouth.

Westbrook played for UCLA two seasons. Apparently he never made it out of Dumbbell English, and apparently nobody in the faculty cared or took the time to teach him how to use proper grammar. Well, they only had two years.

But what is more troubling about this is that Westbrook did not let his teammate, to whom the question was directed, answer the question. I wrote a column about Westbrook’s ball hogging a couple of years ago. I thought he had corrected that last year and part of this year. But in playoff game #2 in which he scored 51 points, he took 43 shots in 41 minutes played. That’s more than one shot per minute. His teammates can’t be happy, and Westbrook’s shooting is probably why Kevin Durant flew the coop to Golden State when he had the chance. However, in Westbrook’s defense, OKC is remarkably devoid of talent. When Westbrook is on the bench they are outscored something like 20 points. When he’s in the game they outscore the opponents by 19 points.

Worse, Billy Donovan, the OKC coach, is to basketball as Dave Roberts is to baseball. In the crucial fourth game against Houston it was basically a tie game in the last five minutes. OKC’s defensive gem Andre Roberson could be the worst free-throw shooter in basketball. Donovan left him in the game despite the fact that starting with 4:11 left in the game, every time OKC got the ball he was intentionally fouled. This happened four times in the next 50 seconds, when Donovan finally pulled him, and he was 2 for 8 from the line in those 50 seconds (2 for 12 for the game). These missed offensive opportunities undoubtedly cost OKC the game, that and not fouling with 18 seconds left and one point behind. It’s hard to believe Donovan will be able to keep his job after these inept decisions.

The NBA should not allow these “Hack a Shack” intentional fouls away from the ball. There’s an easy solution. When a player is intentionally fouled away from the ball, the offended team should get 2 free throws and retain possession. Result? No Hack a Shacks. But goofball NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has already proven he cares more about politically correct things like ensuring that grown men can use your daughter’s bathroom at school than he does about basketball.