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: Scully Poorly Served by Staff 29 Aug 16

by Tony Medley

Bill Stern is rolling over in his grave: Stern was notorious for making up what sounded like legendary stories out of whole cloth. Here’s what Vin Scully said about Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward when he came to bat in the middle of the Friday, August 26, game between the Cubs and Dodgers:

“Jason Heyward and his family; his parents unfortunately divorced. So they sent him here to Los Angeles to live with his uncle and attend a private school. That uncle? Kenny Washington, who was the sixth man on the UCLA national championship teams of 63 – 64 and 64 – 65. They were John Wooden’s first two national championship teams. But he (Jason) spent a lot of time at Pauley Pavilion working out, playing with Kareem and a bunch of fellows like that. What a thrill growing up!”

While that sounds good, in the great Stern tradition virtually none of it is true.

Kenny Washington has been one of my best friends for over 40 years. In the mid to late 70s he called me and told me that the parents of his nephew, Gene Heyward, had divorced and Gene was coming out here to live with Kenny during his high school years. Kenny asked me to recommend a private high school that would provide a good education, but also a lot of discipline.

I recommended Daniel Murphy, a small Catholic boys' high school in the Miracle Mile area of Los Angeles, and personally met with the Principal, Fr. Lopez, and described the situation and the high quality of the Washington family and of Kenny himself. Murphy accepted Gene as a student.

During his time at Murphy while living with Kenny as his surrogate father, which was 10 years or more after Kareem graduated from UCLA, Gene not only played basketball, he became an accomplished student. He was so good that he was admitted to Dartmouth. There, he met his wife, Laura. After graduation they moved to Georgia and in 1989 she gave birth to Jason, which was the year Kareem retired from the NBA. Contrary to Vinny’s story, Gene and his wife are still married.

I know that all broadcasters, Vinny included, are provided notes to use during their broadcasts. Whoever provided the note that Vinny used, made it all up. The only thing true about what he said was that Kenny was the sixth man on Wooden’s first two national championship teams. The rest was Bill Stern-like poppycock.

This should be warning to Vinny that he should read his notes before the game starts and think about them before he uses them. While he can have had no knowledge of what actually happened between Kenny and Gene and Jason, common sense would tell him that Jason could not have “worked out” with Kareem at Pauley Pavilion while growing up and still be only 27 years old.

 Lunatics running the asylum: With apologies to Richard Rowland, then head of Metro Pictures, who uttered this famous quote in 1920 when Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Charlie Chaplin established United Artists, this perfectly describes the 30 managers of major league baseball teams. They all make the same idiotic decisions with respect to pitchers, and you’ve read a lot about that here. But it keeps occurring, and getting worse, if that’s possible. On Thursday, August 25, San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Moore retired 26 men without allowing a hit. Leading 4-0 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager broke up the no hitter by fisting a weak line drive to right field. Out pops Giants manager Bruce Bochy and he pulls Moore, who had struck out 7 and walked only 3, to bring in Santiago Casilla from the bullpen to get the final out on one pitch. What horrible event would have befallen the world had Bochy left Moore in to throw that last pitch and get a complete game one-hitter?

But Bochy isn’t as foolish as Dodgers manager Dave Roberts who earlier in the year pulled pitcher Ross Stripling with only four outs to go to become the first pitcher in modern major league history to pitch a no-hitter in his debut. Roberts got his comeuppance, though because his relievers not only couldn’t preserve the no-hitter, they lost the game! These nincompoops have ruined what used to be the best game ever devised with their ignorant maneuverings.