Denny Crum always seems to be in the Final Four, and the people he brings with him never change. They’re all 6-7 and they can all run and jump, dribble and shoot and hit the boards. They can also win.
How does Crum do it?
Jack Rohan, basketball analyst for the USA network, told the New York Times: “There is a cave in a remote section of Kentucky’s hill country. In that secluded spot lives a magician who, rumor has it, wandered in from ‘The Lord of the Rings.’
“Every three or four years, Denny Crum, the coach of the Louisville Cardinals, visits the cave. The ritual that follows is always the same. Coach Crum asks, ‘Is my order ready?’
“The magician replies, ‘Yes, but let’s double check. You wanted two big, swift guards; two large, quick, flexible, very talented forwards; and one strong, tough forward who can also play center. You’ll be pleased with this group.’
“Crum thanks the magician, gives him five frogs and promises to return.”
Add Crum: He still thinks he made the right decision by not taking the UCLA job when John Wooden retired, but he told Dave Anderson of the New York Times: “I think I probably could have done the job at UCLA better than anyone else. It’s never easy following a legend, but because I knew the people and the situation there, I don’t think I would’ve had the problems other people had.
“Through the years, I’ve learned to be patient. Coach Wooden had tremendous patience. When he said, ‘Goodness, gracious sakes alive,’ he was swearing at you. He was at the end of the line with you as a player. And as an assistant coach, I had my conflicts with him on the bench as to what to do and who to put in the game. But that was good instead of bad. There’s no value to having a yes man as an assistant coach. You need opinion from your assistants.”
What’s-in-a-name dept.: Webster’s defines blue devils as “low spirits: despondency.”
Trivia Time: What do Jigger Statz, Red Auerbach and Jersey Joe Walcott have in common? (Answer below.)
Said rookie Pete Incaviglia of the Texas Rangers when asked if he could handle the curveball: “I never had trouble with breaking balls. Not much trouble with anything else, really.”
Jim Petersen of the Houston Rockets, comparing the Lakers and the Celtics, told Peter May of the Hartford Courant: “They both have great impact players with Larry Bird and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Boston is more physical. They bring Bill Walton off the bench, and Robert Parish and Kevin McHale both bang.
“Boston also does great things with passes. Magic Johnson can do that, but he’s really the only guy on the Lakers who can. But Boston has Larry and Walton, and Danny Ainge can do some great things with the ball. That’s the main difference I see between them.”
Add Celtics: Jerry Sichting, who came to the Celtics from the Indiana Pacers, told Anthony Cotton of the Washington Post: “I hated ‘em. I wanted to beat ‘em real bad. It seemed the way they carried themselves was just cocky.
“Now I think that’s just part of being on the team. It’s like Red says, ‘Don’t be retaliators, be instigators.’ I think that’s the team’s philosophy.”
Trivia Answer: The same first name, Arnold. Walcott’s real name is Arnold Raymond Cream. Quotebook
Baltimore Oriole pitcher Scott McGregor, asked what he thought of New York Yankee first baseman Don Mattingly: “How does he strike me? All over the place. He just waxes you and goes home.”