Back from the Dead

With emphasis on the championships and recovering form pain Back from the Dead by Bill Walton was a fairly quick read though I wonder who would be insulted more – Tommy Curtis whose over-dribbling Walton essentially blamed the 1974 UCLA non-championship season on or the mother of his four children who did not even get a mention.

Excerpts follow:

Whatever playing time Tommy Curtis got – ever – was way too much. (page 90)

We were destroying everybody. After beating Notre Dame in December by 58 points, we went back to their place in January to complete the yearly home-and-home series. Digger Phelps ruined the day by forbidding his team from trying to win. Their only goal was to not get beat by 58 points. So they hardly ever shot. They held the ball as long as they could – at one stretch for three and a half minutes without so much as taking a step toward the  basket. There was no shot clock in those days. It was boring, frustrating, embarrassing, and no fun at all – all of which pretty much describes Digger. (page 92)

[John Wooden] told me right there and then: “We are UCLA. We do not call time-out. Time-outs are a signal of defeat, and only give the other team a chance to regroup.” (page 97)

I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity. (page 102 from ‘Up to Me’ by Bob Dylan)

Tommy Curtis was still there, though playing way too selfishly, and now inexplicably with more playing time. (page 116)

Sadly, we still had Tommy Curtis on the roster. Tommy was the antithesis of everything that I knew and loved about basketball and UCLA. He was a self-centered, overdribbling, statistically oriented, loudmouthed, foul-mouthed fool. He was a shoot-first gunner with an individual agenda that revolved around nonsense. He had none of the values, goals, or ideals that defined who we were as a team, what we stood for, or what we were trying to do. If only he had not redshirted. Who knows how the fate of the known world would have evolved. (page 134)

There were many factors – my injuries, the failure to assertively initiate the attack – but, after forty years of reflecting on it, I’ve concluded there was nothing as devastating as the continued presence in the lineup of Tommy Curtis. (page 142)

The team’s [San Diego Clippers under Donald Sterling] basic business model was to sue anybody and everybody they owed money to, figuring the payee would ultimately settle for a lesser amount rather than fight the endless nonsense. (page 215)

The best foot therapy that I’ve ever found is the beach. Walk in the soft sand to find the problem. Then up and down in calf-deep cold water to help heal it. On far too many mornings, Marvin Barnes was already there, working the parking lot. (page 216)

But about this time, Mark Shapiro left ESPN, and that brought an end to my calling the games. Instead, I was assigned to the endless, mind-numbing, maddeningly repetitive, sterile, contest-free studio shows out of ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. (page 284)





One response to this post.

  1. ESPN is what? Racist? Check .

    “The best foot therapy that I’ve ever found is the beach. ”

    Don’t give Union County Freeholders any ideas….probably making a back door deal to hire DeCotiis right now to look over/ draft a contract for another campaign donor to build a beach in whatever town/city in Union County that DeCotiis hasn’t f’d over yet and to award many more donors with the actual work which work won’t actually work.


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