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.
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: Indy
500, Popovich and Other Happenings
29 May 17
With the exception of retired Vin Scully on baseball, deceased Chick
Hearn calling basketball play-by-play, John McEnroe on tennis, and Hubie
Brown on basketball,, there aren’t many TV sports commentators who
provide any kind of knowledgeable or helpful information (in fact, I
would say none). The producers of sports on television are similarly
inept in my judgment. That is why once a year I am blown away by the
quality of ABC’s coverage of the Indy 500 car race. The announcers are
exceptional, making the esoterica happening on the track understandable
and exciting. The video of the races, enhanced by the helmet cam
attached to various drivers’ helmets introduced this year, gives viewers
amazing shots that capture the speed and danger of the event. While the
Indy 500 is the most attended single sports event in the world,
spectators at home get a far better view of what’s going on than those
in the stands. ABC should win an Emmy every year for best sports
production for the Indy 500, because nothing comes close.
More on Popoff
San Antonio Spurs basketball coach Gregg Popovich showed another glimpse
into his lack of character last week. Due entirely to Popovich’s unfair
rant blaming Golden State’s Zaza Pachulia for causing an ankle injury
that was primarily caused by Popovich himself, Pachulia revealed that he
and his family have received death threats, not only to Zaza, but also
to their children. Anybody with a scintilla of class would immediately
come forward to discourage such threats, but Popovich has remained
silent. His silence can only be interpreted as encouraging the threats
being directed at the innocent Pachulia and his innocent family.
Popovich is a disgrace to the NBA, if not to the human race.
The sabermetricians keep making baseball curiouser and curiouser. Now
they have taken to comparing the quality of batted balls by talking
about “exit velocity.” This is the speed of the ball after it leaves the
bat. This is one stat that I like. A batter who hits a hot line drive
directly into the hands of the third baseman has had a much better at
bat than one who dumps a Texas League single out of the reach of the
left fielder, shortstop and third baseman. If the Dodgers were to use
it, Kiké Hernandez would be starting for them because he hits the ball
hard much more often than some of the Dodgers’ starters, and doesn’t get
any credit when it’s right at somebody.
On April 17, I wrote, “Baseball…should
outlaw head first slides. When one slides feet first, there’s much less
that can be seriously injured. Sliding head first … jeopardizes the
fingers, hands, wrists, shoulders, and arms. If baseball is really
interested in protecting the health of its players, nobody should be
allowed to slide head first.” On Monday the Angels realized the truth of
what I wrote when Mike Trout, “the best player in baseball,” put himself
on the disabled list for 2 months by injuring his thumb in a head first
slide. When will baseball come to its senses?
When Washington’s Bryce Harper charged Giants’ pitcher Hunter Strickland
starting a benches-clearing brawl on Monday, two Giants players showed
they were a lot more mature and smarter than the average baseball
player. Star pitcher Madison Baumgarner, instead of charging the field,
turned around and went into the clubhouse. Catcher Buster Posey, the
Giants best player, just basically stood and watched, saying later,
“It’s a little dangerous to get in there sometimes,” as his reason for
not stepping in. How true, and how stupid were all those who plowed into
each other, risking injury. Baseball should have the same rule that the
NBA and NFL do, that anybody leaving the bench during a fight gets