Sam Jones: The Little Stool That Could, 1962

“Let’s have the fellows who want to play basketball on one side,” said Bill Russell, “and the fellows who want to fight in another place.”

Ode to a Rookie Referee in Two Takes, 1967

Moser, about to hand the ball to the Celts’ John Havlicek, looked at the agonized Holzman—the Knicks were 16 points behind—and said firmly, “That’s enough,” without exclamation point.

Red Auerbach: An Old Friend’s Telling You to Hang ‘Em Up, 1979

Heed those words, Red. Sit back, light up a cigar and relax. You don’t need the aggravation anymore.

Jabbar, Jerry West, and the New Look Lakers, 1978

“Jerry West is one clever dude,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “He was responsible for making us a unified group. And that was the big difference in this team.”