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: Last Year’s Dodgers Heroes and NBA TV 4 May 15

by Tony Medley

Following Up on Dodgers’ Castoffs:

Dee Gordon, 2b, Miami: .423 and leading the league in batting as of Saturday (the next day he went 3 for 3 to up his average to .440);

Matt Kemp, of, San Diego: .330

James Loney, 1b, Tampa Bay: .321; Unmentioned in Los Angeles, in 2014 Loney hit .290 to .276 of his replacement, Adrian Gonzalez.

Hanley Ramirez, if-of, Boston: .281.

How Does Don Mattingly Think? Or are we assuming facts not in evidence? How can Justin Turner remain a substitute when he’s a better hitter than anyone else on the team? Vin Scully gives the excuse that he’s “not strong enough” to play every day. Not strong enough? That’s a little hard to believe. He’s a professional athlete, only 30 years old, 5-11 and weighs 205. I always get a kick when I hear some baseball player or manager say that some player “needs a rest.” A baseball game is around three hours long. Half of that time a player spends sitting on the bench while his team bats. That means that his “work” for the day is standing in the infield or outfield for 90 minutes or less each day…for half a year. Wow; that’s really tough work. I’m sure all these guys think it would be much less fatiguing working in a coal mine or digging ditches or delivering mail or picking cotton 8 hours a day every day of the year, year in and year out instead. Then they wouldn’t need a rest. Standing at third base for 90 minutes a day is much more wearing. Please, please, please, don’t make me play baseball for a living. Anything but that! I don’t have the energy for that! And was Turner so weak that he was unable to play in even one of last year’s playoff games when Mattingly limited him to three pinch-hitting appearances despite his baseball-topping .340 batting average?

And how can Donnie Baseball bat a .180 hitting shortstop (.118 in the last 14 games), ancient 36-year-old Jimmy Rollins, at leadoff or in the second spot? It’s not as if Rollins is in a slump, as Vin Scully intimates. His batting averages for the last three years are .250 in 2012, .252 in 2013, and .243 in 2014, so it’s unlikely he’s going to have some magical renaissance at the plate at this late age. Scully claims Rollins has been wonderful in the field, ignoring the obvious fact that he’s lost at least one step in the field from his MVP prime 8 years ago, if not two. As long as the Dodgers lead the league, I guess nobody cares, and if Vin Scully says it, it must be gospel (readers of my column will recall the Jackie Robinson incident and know that’s not true).

Another Mike Trout? Dodgers’ rookie centerfielder Joc Peterson has one thing in common with the Angels’ phenom. So far in 26 games he has struck out 29 times. That projects to 181 strikeouts for the season, one shy of Trout’s MLB-leading182 last year. If that isn’t Troutian, it’ll do until something better comes along.

Lousy Baseball TV: #1. Fox Sports 1, Angels v. Giants, 2 May: The announcers gushed over Mike Trout’s catch a few days before that saved the game against Oakland. They talked about it for five minutes, but never replayed the catch. #2. The Dodgers’ Sportsnet LA: The vast majority of Dodger fans who are deprived of this should feel some relief because the production values are about what we saw in the stone age of the 1950s. Just as an example, the MLB network shows a graphic that is onscreen on every pitch that shows the speed and location with respect to the strike zone of each pitch and keeps it up through each batter’s entire at bat. The Dodgers’ Sportsnet LA might flash the location graphic three times in an entire game for only a single pitch if the viewer is lucky and then immediately take it down. Get with it, Dodgers, and keep that graphic onscreen for each batter for each pitch for the entire game!

Say What? On Sunday, May 3, Vin Scully announcing the Dodgers hitter in the bottom of the second inning of the Dodgers-Arizona game, “Alex Guerrero, playing left field today. Carl Crawford banged up, Scott Van Slyke getting a rest, and Guerrero a chance to play against the left hander,” as Arizona right-handed pitcher Chase Anderson delivered the first pitch to Guerrero. For the record, Anderson had been a right-handed pitcher in the first inning, too.

Turn Off the Sound: ABC’s Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, and Jeff Van Gundy calling the May 3 Golden State-Memphis NBA playoff game. Compared with the king, Hubie Brown (who preceded them on the previous game that day), who is constantly talking about the game he’s broadcasting and telling people what’s actually happening (listening to Hubie is akin to a taking a Master’s course in basketball; his commentary is better than the game), being subjected to these three dunces is sheer agony. During play, they talked about the prior night’s Mayweather boxing match, something Van Gundy did decades ago, Vince Carter’s career, and anything but the game itself. Granted, broadcasters who do this just telegraph their ignorance of what is going on in front of them, but this kind of meaningless blather robs the viewer of the thrill of the competition of the game by taking away their concentration on the game being watched. When Van Gundy did decide to talk about the game being played in front of him, he said, “That was a very well executed set…or cut…” (yeah, Jeff, or whatever it was). These three uninformed and uninforming clowns should be cast out where there’s weeping and gnashing of teeth and never allowed near another broadcasting booth.