let me tell you a story (part won)-red auerbach and john feinstein

“i like derrick rose‘s hustle”

“girl, you like him ‘cuz he’s fine”

“Red is not one of those older guys who sits around and says things were better in the old days. He just bridles at those who think nothing important happened until the media explosion that has turned athletes into megacelebrities.” (283)

“And of course it was. Jordan and Stackhouse sniped at each other all season, first privately, then publicly. Jordan continued to play well, especially for a man who turned forty in February, but often at the cost of what was best for the team. By the time he reached his fortieth birthday, the team was in almost open revolt against him and Collins. Kwame Brown, the much-bally-hooed Jordan-selected number one pick in the draft out of high school in 2001, had been cowed into a complete shell by Jordan and Collins.” (215)

In those days, professional athletes needed to supplement their income during the off-season. The Redskins, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the New York Giants had formed basketball teams and they traveled around the East Coast playing one another. Sometimes they played in their home cities, other times they went to small towns where a basketball game among pro football players wasn’t just a novelty but a chance to do something fun on a cold winter night.” (44)

“The Americans won by fifty-five. Red spent most of the second half eating ice cream on the bench, legs crossed just to make it absolutely clear that this game was too easy to even merit his attention. That night, at a postgame banquet, the head of the Yugoslav federation asked Red if perhaps the Americans might do a clinic the next day.
Red’s first response was direct: ‘Tell him,’ he said to the interpreter, ‘I got tow words for him: no way.’
‘I am always willing to forgive,’ Red likes to say, ‘but I never-ever-forget.’” (122)

“If guys are just playing for the money, you don’t win. I think one of the things we did well was identifying guys who wanted to win.” (327)

the quote off the top came from a conversation that also contained a discussion about kobe retiring. although i’ve never felt anything about him (i’ll say it again-i’m not moved by the doods that we reward for individual merit in a supposedly team sport), i do feel that his retirement is truly an end of an era, and i’m glad that he announced it early so that every night would be a farewell tour for him, because he does deserve it, and his team does not, and has not had a chance in hell to even crack the playoffs, let alone win a championship. i even felt like i wanted the vintage kobe jersey that they had for the xmas day games (but to be fair, i wanted a vintage clippers, spurs and rockets jersey as well).

this post is dedicated to the change that red saw in the game in his time, which was another era. he was part of the international camps in which the seeds of today’s foreign players are sowing the fundamentals that he called today’s (and at the time of writing, this would’ve been kobe‘s era) players are too lazy to figure out.

he also saw the change in the global reputation of the game, whereby everyone had to help sell and explain the game, and now there is no way you would need anyone to explain the game in any corner of the universe, and if somehow you would-there’s no way you could get players to go to the mall to promote the game for free.

i was just telling someone again today that we don’t have that many moves as humans, and that the pendulum must swing back, but i’m waiting to call it in the nba. i feel like it’s kind of been happening, with the spreading of the popovich system‘s tentacles, but i will officially make a statement depending on who wins the next championship. but look how exciting and surprising this season has already been thus far when we’ve got all these team-assed teams gunning in both conferences already?

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