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: What Did You Think of Blake Griffin’s Performance? 18 May 15

by Tony Medley

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;

The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,

And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;

But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.

        Ernest Thayer, Casey at the Bat, 1888

The Clippers’ Blake Griffin is today’s answer to mighty Casey. When the going gets tough, Griffin disappears. In the crucial sixth game against Houston, Griffin looked bewildered in the 4th quarter, scoring exactly zero points. How can a superstar be shut out in the 4th quarter of a big game? He would get the ball and, instead of fighting for a shot, would look frantically for someone to whom he could pass as the Clippers blew a 19 point lead to lose by double digits. He returned for the dismal 7th game and looked equally panicked and uninterested in the 4th quarter of a game the Clippers had to win.

Why Baseball is Unwatchable: Don Mattingly. It’s not just Don alone, it’s all the managers and coaches in baseball who have forgotten Branch Rickey’s dictum, “Baseball is 80% pitching.” But Don is the guy I see most, and mishandles two of the best starting pitchers in baseball. Last Saturday’s game was enough to make me give it up forever (I won’t). Zack Greinke was at the top of his game pitching a 4-hitter through six innings, trailing 1-0 (the result of a first inning home run). With one out and nobody on base in the bottom of the sixth, for no discernable reason Mattingly sent strikeout king Joc Pederson up to hit for Greinke against a lefthanded pitcher, against whom Pederson struggles even more than he does against righties. Predictably, Pederson did what he does best, struck out. But that doesn’t matter. Even if Pederson had hit a home run, pulling Greinke was a move that epitomizes how little Mattingly and today’s managers understand about the importance of individual pitchers, thinking, instead, that all pitchers are fungible and the only way to distinguish one from the other is by determining with which arm they throw. After facing three batters in the top of the 7th, Greinke’s successor had already allowed a two run home run to put the Dodgers 3 runs behind. Then that reliever’s successor gave up a three run home run in the top of the 8th. From a 1-0 game, the Dodgers were now down 7-0, basically out of reach. They did score a run in the bottom of the 9th, so had Greinke remained in the game it probably would have been tied 1-1. Taking one of the best pitchers in baseball out of a 1-0 game in the sixth inning for a pinch hitter is the height of incompetence, and this incident screams why. Predictably, not one sportswriter or commentator even mentioned it.

Deflategate; Clearing up the Wells report’s usage of the phrase “more probable than not:” Many have jumped on Ted Wells’ statement in his report on the accusation that Tom Brady had footballs deflated that stated that it was “more probable than not” that Brady knew about it. They claim that this is hardly damning language, certainly not an indictment, and the fact that such wishy-washy language was used is evidence that they had no proof at all the Brady knew about it. However, Wells cleared this up in a subsequent statement that has been little reported, to wit:

“I used the words ‘more probable than not’ because that is what is in the rules, because I thought it was appropriate when people read my report to always make sure that they understood the burden of proof that I was following…I did not want someone to read my report if I just said, ‘proven,’ and think I had used just a beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard. That would have been misleading. (emphasis added).

“So I was very careful to draft in the report what the appropriate standard of proof was. And that is far different than probable cause, which some reporters have reported.”