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: NBA Corruption 13 Jun 16

by Tony Medley

The most outrageous action by any sports league has always been, in my mind, Commissioner of baseball Kennesaw Mountain Landis banning Chicago White Sox third baseman, Buck Weaver, for life in 1920 solely because he was approached to throw the 1919 World Series and refused, but failed to reveal the plot. Weaver had been the White Sox star in the Series, batting .324 with 11 hits and fielding flawlessly.

Then the NBA suspended Golden State’s Draymond Green for the fifth game of the 2016 NBA Championship Series. Almost since its inception after World War II, the suspicions of corruption have hovered over the NBA. In the ‘50s it was all but acknowledged that its teams would throw playoff games to lengthen each series because the teams needed the money. The Boston Celtics in particular lost some playoff games to teams that didn’t belong on the same court with them. Losses ensured there would be a few more paydays before the series’ ended. Everybody winked at this because the league needed to survive.

In the Semi Final series between OKC and Golden State, Green kicked OKC’s center Steven Adams in the groin twice and basically nothing happened, when he should clearly have been suspended for a flagrant foul. Why? Because Golden State was in jeopardy of losing to OKC and the NBA didn’t want its best team out of the playoffs, so Green, maybe Golden State’s most valuable player, was slapped on the wrist.

Then in the fourth game of the Championship Series, NBA demigod Lebron James walked all over Green and Green got up and kind of touched James on the arm. No penalty was called, no technical, nothing. Green basically walked away, even though James came after him. However, the Cavaliers lost the game and Golden State took a 3-1 lead back to the Bay Area. The series was threatening to be ended after five games, which the NBA viewed as a disaster because it was getting big ratings.

So, ex post facto, the NBA Office said they were charging Green with a “flagrant foul,” (something they had not done when he kicked Hayes in the groin, twice in the same game, actions that were clearly intentional and far more violent) and suspended him for the crucial fifth game.

Since Green had been guarding James and holding him to inept performances and had also been scoring well, the best way to ensure that the Cavaliers would win the fifth game was to get rid of Green, and that’s what they did, retroactively assessing the charge and penalty. They could have just called it a technical foul, but that wouldn’t have gotten rid of Green. In actuality, Green did nothing; in fact he basically walked away from James, showing admirable discretion. If anyone should have been called for a foul it was James, but he’s the NBA’s Ubermensch.

Result? Without Green guarding him, James ran wild in the fifth game, and the Cavaliers won. With Green guarding James in the first four games, James and guard Kyrie Irving drove an average of 19.8 times per game and shot 43.5% averaging 17.5 points per game. In the fifth game, with Green not in the building and unable to defend against James, they only drove 18 times but shot 70.6% and scored 31 points.

It’s not only on defense where Green was missed; his replacement, Harrison Barnes, only made 2 shots out of 14 attempted in 38 minutes of play (14.2% v. 46.7% for the year), many of them wide open 3s, with 5 rebounds. Green is averaging 14.8 ppg and 9.3 rebounds per game for this series. Worse for Golden State, center Andrew Bogut hurt his knee so is probably out for the rest of the series. If Cleveland comes back to win, they have the NBA Office to thank.

Worst Home Run Call: Vin Scully used to have the best home run call, “Cut on and belted!” he would intone. For some reason he dropped this a couple of decades ago. Dick Enberg, when he took over play by play for the Angels said he thought he had to have a trademark call, so he came up with “Touch ‘em all!” I’ve always felt of all the home run calls, that was the most inane. That was before June 6, however, when Colorado Rockies’ Trevor Story hit a three run home run against the Dodgers. “Take a good look; you won’t see it for long!” said Colorado play by play telecaster, Drew Goodman, who easily takes over the crown from Enberg.

Say it again, Sam: Former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis on Muhammed Ali, “He will always be remembered and he will never be forgotten.”