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: The Spanos Chargers join The Kroenke Rams 16 Jan 17

by Tony Medley

What has Los Angeles done to deserve sports owners like Stan Kroenke and, now, Dean Spanos? Kroenke’s abysmal football judgment has been chronicled here, so I won’t repeat it. But if there’s anybody whose record indicates less understanding of football than Kroenke, it’s Spanos.

In 2007, after the Chargers had completed their best season ever at 14-2, Spanos summarily fired his coach, Marty Schottenheimer, apparently because he lost a close game in the first round of the playoffs. Since then their record is 72-77.

Like Kroenke, Spanos dumped a future Hall of Fame quarterback, Drew Brees, in 2006 in favor of Philip Rivers. Former star Charger running back Ladanian Thomlinson said that had the Chargers kept Brees, they would have won the Super Bowl.

Here’s a list of the owners/decision makers that make Los Angeles sports teams laughingstocks:

Kroenke, Los Angeles Rams;

The Buss Children, Los Angeles Lakers; their record of consistent failure and desecration of a hallowed franchise speaks for itself;

Arte Moreno,  Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; the name of the team alone is silly enough but this is the guy who signed washed up, over the hill sluggers Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols to 10 year hundred million dollar contracts and has seen the team descend into near oblivion;

Everybody who has acted as general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers since Peter O’Malley’s craven firing of Al Campanis in 1987, creating the Campanis Curse that has kept the Dodgers out of the World Series for 30 years (the team Al put together won the 1988 World Series), with the possible exception of Ned Colletti who actually knew something about baseball, and who was fired by the latest in this line, Andrew Friedman, who thinks that statistics are more important than ability.

Now, Spanos joins the club.

Put them all together and they might make half a brain when it comes to knowledge of sports. Los Angeles needs Spanos’ Chargers like it needs more drought. If I were king, the NFL would never set foot inside Los Angeles City Limits, and I’m not alone.

Sportscaster goes over the line: Blaming the San Diego Mayor for the Spanos move, Jim Grey of Fox Sports said “This Mayor in San Diego, he really should be shot.” Really? Someone on a national network advocating, however hyperbolic, that someone should be shot? And what was the Mayor’s sin? According to NFL hack Grey, “They wanted to tax the people who use the hotels. He went on the side of the hoteliers until the last three weeks.” Wait a minute! The Mayor went on the side of the people who use the hotels, not the hoteliers (the definition of which is “hotel proprietor; somebody who owns or runs a hotel”). Why should I, as a visitor to San Diego, have to pay for a new NFL stadium for San Diego? It’s outrageous and unreasonable. But, according to sportscaster Grey, any person defending the concept that visitors to San Diego hotels should not have to pay for an NFL stadium in San Diego “should be shot.” Anybody who misdescribes something, obviously intentionally (if not intentional, then Grey is too stupid to be on television), and says something so inflammatory, should be severely censured, if not fired (I’m more benevolent than Grey in ensuring that the punishment fits the crime).

Baywater Babe hits bottom: CBS Sports’ Tracy Wolfson asked the New England Patriots Deon Lewis, “Deon, you’re the first player in postseason history to have a receiving touchdown, a rushing touchdown, and a kick return for a touchdown. What does it say about the trust that Tom Brady and this team have for you?” It’s bad enough that sports networks put these poor ignorant women on an athletic field to ask questions of the players (Erin Andrews excluded; she’s a pro who knows what she’s talking about and asks intelligent questions). The least they can do is to have somebody who knows something about the game feed them questions that are meaningful. All of these idiotic questions asked by these inadequate women insult the viewing audience. It’s time the networks stopped judging sideline reporters on the size of their breasts and attractiveness of their faces and get people on the sidelines who can ask appropriate questions. Sex appeal sells, but not on the sidelines of an athletic event.

NFL Playoffs Round Three:

Green Bay at Atlanta: Atlanta is one of the few teams I hadn’t seen play this year, but they were impressive in annihilating Seattle. Green Bay has the best quarterback in history and terrific receivers, even without Jordy Nelson. This one is a toss-up. I don’t have a clue who’s going to win, so I’m not picking, but it should be a barn-burner.

Pittsburgh at New England: Pittsburgh has one of the best quarterbacks, the best runner, and the best receiver, plus a good defense. New England didn’t look that impressive in beating Houston last week, but has Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. I’m going with Pittsburgh.

For the record, I’m 7-2 going into this weekend, including the NCAA title game of Clemson over Alabama.