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: TV Coverage of NBA Playoffs 6 Jun 16

by Tony Medley

Random Comments: “This is an opportunity for either team to try to take over this game; This is a great opportunity.” Mark Jackson, ABC, with 4:24 left in the third quarter and Golden State leading 63-62. What followed were six lead changes in the next 4 minutes. Jackson never explained exactly why this was such a great opportunity, but neither team took advantage of whatever it was. Let’s face it, it was a senseless statement. One could probably say that at any point in any game, but why?

“They’ve got to do a better job.” Mark Jackson, again, every five minutes ad nauseam. Poor Mark. After being fired by Golden State and seeing his replacement immediately turn the team into one of the best ever, and after paying extortion to a stripper apparently to try to save his marriage and reputation, he’s been put in an impossible situation where he is required to say something intelligent about basketball, but he just doesn’t have anything to say. It says a lot about ABC and ESPN that they hired him and keep him on because he contributes exactly nothing to the broadcast (not that Jeff van Gundy does, either, though, see below).

The “Attaboy” shot that isolates the player who just scored as he jogs back down court should be banned forever. Viewers want to see the action with the ball, not a visual reward for a scorer. It risks missing presses and steals and all sorts of action occurring with the ball off camera.

It’s time to retire “downtown,” as in “Curry, from DOWNTOWN!” Three point shots are no longer from “downtown.” They are as common as a layup and, from one who played a lot of basketball (me), much easier.

TNT has a new definition of “instant replay.” They rarely show the play just ended, which is what we want to see. Instead, when there’s a break in action, they show a play several plays previous, even if the last one was a key play. TNT’s version should be called “delayed replay.”

“His hands are so underrated,” Chris Webber, TNT. Words fail me on this one. I tried to find the ratings for hands, but failed.

The NBA should have the best commentators during the playoffs and especially for the championship series. The absence of Hubie Brown from the broadcasting team for the Championship Series is a disgrace. Hubie is the best color commentator of any sport anywhere (well, at least on a par with John McEnroe, but basketball is a much more complex sport than tennis, so Hubie’s job is that much more difficult). He tells what’s going on as it’s going on and explains the intricacies so a layperson can understand and watch it. He knows basketball better than all these former players and coaches put together, and he explains it better, as it’s happening. His commentary makes the games immensely more enjoyable.

In the second game between Golden State and Cleveland, LeBron James lowered his shoulder and ran over a Golden State player and was called for an obvious offensive foul. He looked like Jim Brown running over a linebacker. But Van Gundy said he didn’t see any foul there. This guy is an “expert?” He’s there, apparently, to utter controversial Howard Cosell-isms. But Howard was a laughingstock on Monday Night Football because he didn’t know what he was talking about and ABC kept him on because his know-it-all attitude irritated so many people that ratings soared as more people tuned in to see what silly thing Howard would say next. Van Gundy and Webber and Jackson are apparently supposed to be taken seriously. For me they are simply a reason to turn off the sound.

Later in the same game, Jackson went on a maudlin monologue about what Muhammed Ali meant to him. He went on and on and on while the game was progressing; points were being scored, leads were changing hands! That’s outrageous.

The idea of commentators is to comment on the game they are broadcasting, not to give some eulogy to someone who has just died. It’s not entirely Jackson’s fault; it’s ESPN’s and ABC’s, who allow this sort of nonsense. Listening to the jabber of Jackson and van Gundy is like listening to stream of consciousness blather.