Saturday, June 05, 2010

John Wooden

Here's a quickie overview of the famous UCLA/Houston game--one of the greatest games in the history of basketball. Another candidate would be Georgetown/Villanova. There is some talk about Duke/Kentucky, but I"m not giving props to any organization whose foundation is built on the rotting lungs of dead nicotine addicts.

That, of course, would be Duke.

Me? As a young man I carried with me, in a bulging satchel of sorts, what can only be described as a prodigious game. And before it evolved into the thing it became, I modeled my early game on Number 11, Elvin Hayes (who never really got along with that fat kid that played center for the Bullets, Wes Unseld, and who was widely considered to be a bit of a selfish player and, perhaps, although it's a harsh word, dear reader, a jerk; but together they won a lovely championship). Remind me to tell you about my between-the-legs dribble.

But that's not the point here. The point is to acknowledge the death and passing of John Wooden.

"Be quick, but don't hurry," Wooden used to say, and I can't imagine a better five words of advice for almost everything except, perhaps, sex. Which is more like golf than basketball anyway.

I'll spare you the oratory other than to say that in this world so full of plastic imitations of the real thing (John Calipari jumps to mind, although he, dear reader, amazingly enough, is, apparently, constructed entirely of assholes. Which is slightly off topic but still, imagine ... a man constructed entirely of assholes! The mind reels.), John Wooden, as his name implied, was made of something else entirely.

I liked how he called Abdul-Jabbar Lewis til the day he died.


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