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: Bits ‘n Pieces 5 Apr 16

by Tony Medley

The Best? If the NCAA Championship game between Villanova and North Carolina wasn’t the best ever played, I don’t remember one better (and I’ve seen them all for a half century). Both teams played at their pinnacle and each “won” the game with a miraculous shot in the last five seconds. It was captivating all the way to the end.

Maybe the Best but not the Brightest: Texas A&M was trailing Oklahoma in the Sweet Sixteen by 18 points with 12 minutes left in the game. The ball was passed to A&M’s Jalen Jones all alone under the basket. Instead of immediately dunking it for two points, he bounced it once. By that time two Sooners were there and they fouled him. He missed the free throw. This meaningless dribble happens all the time. Why bounce the ball when you don’t need to? As a postscript the identical play occurred in the Carolina-Syracuse semifinal and the Roy Williams-coached Carolina player eschewed the dribble and immediately went up for the unopposed dunk.

Goodbye and Good Luck: Prevaricating PED-abusing New York Yankee Third Baseman Alex Rodriquez has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2017 season when his $275 million contract expires. Can we expect a retirement tour a la Kobe Bryant, et. al.? Will Alex subject himself to the possibility of getting a cascade of boos at every park in the American League?

Superstar Arrogance: LeBron James announced that he had un-followed his Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team on Twitter and Instagram. Here’s the colloquy that followed when he was interviewed after the next game:

Reporter: Lebron, you might not like this question and I’m not thrilled about asking it. I’m obviously trying to defuse this a little bit. It appears that you unfollowed the Cavs on Twitter today and it has caused quite a stir. Why did you do that? What would go into that?

Before we get to James’ gutless response, has there ever been a more obsequious question outside of Matt Lauer and the MSM interviewing Obama and other Democrat politicians? He apologized three times in the space of the 15 seconds it took to ask the question. Mike Wallace he is not.

James (frowning and grimacing): Next question.

Reporter, undaunted: You had 38 assists tonight. That’s a season high. What do you take forward to the next game? (this guy is so clueless he could easily qualify as a Boobless Baywater Babe).

James: Uh I’ma, I’ma, muh, uh…I’m done. (stomps away).

James is a player who is all about publicity, even distributing videos of himself working out with weights (as if somebody cares). He took an hour of national TV time in 2010 to announce he was dumping Cleveland to go to Miami. Now he unfollows his own team. He doesn’t think he’s going to be asked about it? And then he refuses to answer? Or is this just a devious way to get people to talk about LeBron James instead of Steph Curry so he could get more publicity that his performance this year hasn’t justified? With most of these supercilious guys, it’s all about them.

Kiss of Death: I have watched four Golden State games this year, against the Spurs, Thunder, Lakers, and Celtics. Even though they have only lost 8 games all season, of the four games I watched, Golden State lost three of them, and barely won the fourth on a last second, 35-foot shot by Steph Curry. They should pay me to not watch.

”Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end”: Scottie Pippen said that the ’95-’96 Bulls would “sweep” this year’s Golden State and that he would hold Steph Curry under 20 points. This reminds me of old time minor leaguer Perry Werden (the then holder of the organized baseball record of 45 home runs in a season), who said in 1920 after Babe Ruth set the major league record by hitting his 30th home run on July 19, 1920, “Ed Delahanty would have equaled or bettered the home run record of Babe Ruth if the lively ball had been in use.” Delahanty, the best hitter of the 19th Century, played from 1888-1903 and died during the 1903 season when he got roaring drunk and was thrown off a train in Niagara Falls, then got into a fight with a night watchman walking across the International Falls Bridge and fell into the river to his death.

Sports Movie Recommendation: The Program about Lance Armstrong.