December 21, 2013 |
The freshman-sophomore basketball team from Reseda Cleveland High is in a panic. It's their first home game, their friends are whooping at them from the creaky stands in the musty gym, and they can't find the basket. In their first four trips down the court against San Fernando High, they rush to the hoop and miss layups, their offense quickly dissolving into a chaotic blur. On the sideline, the kid coach with the oversized dark blue tie hanging between rolled-up light blue sleeves stares quietly at the court.
January 27, 2012 |
Ayeet Timothy Odeke, basketball coach at Nkumba University in Kampala, gets the look - the same one Bill Walton might have given John Wooden years ago - when he instructs his players on the proper way to put on their socks and lace up their shoes at the start of each season. "If you didn't get the words, the face would talk to you," Odeke explained. "Are you mad? Are you crazy?" It was 10 years ago, at a basketball clinic in Uganda, when Odeke was exposed to certain Wooden life lessons for the first time: Don't mistake activity with achievement.
April 8, 2014 |
It came during a pause in the national anthem, loud and clear. “Fire D'Antoni!” was the yell from a single fan before the Lakers played Houston on Tuesday. Don't tell that to Steve Nash, who came to the defense of Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni earlier in the day. “With the amount of injuries and the rebuilding and the evaluating different players, I don't know that any coach is going to be real successful this season,” Nash said. “John Wooden is not going to be dealt a great hand with all the change and injuries we've had. You look at it every week, someone else goes down.” The Lakers will take their time evaluating D'Antoni.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 1994 |
UCLA basketball coach emeritus John Wooden was informed by his 9-year-old granddaughter that her coach wanted grandpa to come and talk to the girl's elementary school basketball team. Wooden, who will celebrate his 84th birthday on Thursday, wanted to know whose idea it was. "Both (of ours)," she responded, "but I said I'd ask you because you couldn't turn me down." Wooden, the Wizard of Westwood, doesn't put up much of a defense when friends and family put the touch on him.
December 25, 1988 |
Almost every morning, just as daylight begins to brighten the color of the leaves on the Eucalyptus trees lining the sidewalk closest to his front door, John Wooden sets out on a 5-mile walk. The route he takes is always the same: White Oak to Burbank, up Burbank to Balboa Park, through the park, up Balboa to Ventura and back home. He could probably walk his path with his eyes closed, because in 17 years, it has never varied.
October 14, 2000 |
He will awaken today in a condominium where time has not budged for 27 years. There is shag carpet on the floor, crushed velvet furniture in the corners, his late wife Nell's enduring vision on walls filled with aging clocks and plates and photographs of men in basketball hot pants. He won't turn on his cell phone, because he doesn't have one. He won't jump on the Internet, because he doesn't own a computer. He will not watch the TV in his bedroom, because it hasn't worked for years.