Friendship was only skin deep. But competition was their lives and does not wipe away the driving force of one’s existence simply because some young man comes along and you like him.
There is no bitterness in the man because he played in a time when the game was not appreciated, and the rewards were relatively few.
One thing Connie Hawkins will do for Phoenix is solidify the franchise overnight. No team can exist for long in the NBA today without a superstar, and Connie Hawkins fills the gap at Phoenix.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar knows where he came from, knows where he’s at, and has an idea where he’s going.
No one can tell Auerbach what it takes to win a championship, nor can anyone tell him what it is like to remain a champion.
West sighed wistfully. “All season, other players said things about me which I read in the newspapers or heard on radio and TV which I couldn’t believe. They were so complimentary as to build up my ego enormously.”
There it is. A scouting report on the NBA entering the 1969-70 season.
Fast or slow, the game is usually Alcindor’s. He leads the NBA in scoring with 31-plus points a game, he ranks one-two in shooting accuracy, and he is among the leaders in rebounding. There really isn’t anything he can’t do.
Milwaukee will not win a pennant or championship this season. But next season or the season after, the Bucks will be boosted to the top by the first truly dominant force to move into professional basketball in a decade.
Darrell Imhoff spun away, and Lew Alcindor cracked him hard with a long swing of the right elbow, catching him behind the left ear.