“I’m not mean,” Hagan said. “I think ‘intensely competitive’ would be more accurate.
“We were a mixture of the old and the new, both in experience and style of play. The long jump shot was just catching on in the league and practically none of our players used it.”
Kerner comes to a basketball game looking, fittingly, likes the best-dressed man in the hall. He leaves looking more like Emmett Kelly, the clown.
What made Sharman’s shooting so remarkable was its purity. He shot with almost robot-like precision, his style so polished and precise that it seemed like an illustration for a book on how to play basketball.
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.
Lenny Wilkens, a handsome sort, smiles readily but speaks restrainedly, in a low voice, in sincere tone.
For Mullins, the biggest kick in basketball is running and moving the ball. He says, “There’s no thrill like moving well, coming down the court five or six times in a row and getting the ball to the man with the easy shot.
“In order to stay in this league for any length of time, you’ve got to be excellent at something,” Silas said. “Rebounding was my specialty, and I just worked at it.”
Nobody was ever sure what made Martin great. He was too small to cope with the huge stars of the game, yet he often played them to a standstill.
“Bobby has the greatest desire of any athlete who ever lived,” says Marty Blake, general manager of the Hawks. “It is remarkable St. Louis should have had two such athletic heroes as Stan Musial and Pettit cut out of the same mould.”