“My suggestion,” said Dave Cowens, the Celtic’s center for the past eight years, “is that they retire his number from the league. Don’t let anyone wear No. 17 again. That’s how much I think John’s meant to the NBA. Just take 17 and stash it up there in lights.”
Heed those words, Red. Sit back, light up a cigar and relax. You don’t need the aggravation anymore.
It was hard to imagine Walker, sitting relaxed and at ease in his home, pounding up and down a hardwood floor shooting baskets for the Kings.
“I’ll repeat what I said before about this job,” says Russell. “The best player I’ve got is me.”
Jones’ trademark is the bank shot from the corner, or anywhere around the key, which hits the backboard and then angles neatly into the basket.
Bob Cousy racked up thousands of assists during his Hall-of-Fame career with the Boston Celtics. He called it “spreading the sugar,” and the internet is filled with grainy, black-and-white film clips of Boston’s original basketball leprechaun dishing out nifty, no-look passes behind his back and, more often, sprinkled magically delicious over his shoulder.
Red Holzman criticized Willis Reed unmercifully in the early days. The team captain was generally the target when Holzman screamed: “Don’t turn your head . . . get back . . . pick up your man.” The Knick coach knew Willis had the temperament to handle the abuse while the other players learned the biggest and the smallest [players] would get the same treatment.