Jack Ramsay had always conditioned himself to take nothing for granted, never to live in the past, but he says he never dreamed it could be over so quickly.
“Sometimes I think, ‘Man, I’m really jumping in deep,’” said Bradley.
The praise Lenny received in the past and the praise he is hearing again today are not hollow. Especially now that the words are not confined to a few hundred miles of the Puget Sound, we must begin to know that Durocher was wrong: good guys can finish first.
The trade that changed the makeup of the Lakers happened Monday, June 16, 1975, when club owner Jack Kent Cooke announced he had sent four players—Brian Winters, Elmore Smith, David Meyers, and Junior Bridgeman—and a cash payment to the Bucks for Abdul-Jabbar and Walt Wesley.
“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.”
“Pro basketball isn’t supposed to be shuffleboard, but it shouldn’t be football and hockey either.”
The executives at CBS Sports regrouped and sent Jane Chastain to Portland today for the NBA Game of the Week.
For the time being, Ard is putting all the ifs and buts out of his mind. His wife, daughter, and now nine-month-old son are arriving tomorrow, and, when the furniture gets here, they’ll move into an apartment he’s rented in Peabody.
Now, like Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and, to a lesser extent, Bill Walton, Sampson is expected to usher in an era of his own—“The Age of Sampson.”
As one of the few players who had the chance to play pro basketball in three different decades (the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s), it also was my fortune to play both against—and with—most of the great players produced by the National Basketball Association.