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Summer 2000
Coach!
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We learn from everyone, in some way or another. When my son was in high school he wanted a car. I said, "You work hard in the summer and save up for half and I'll pay the other half." He saved up, and I came home one day and Nellie was just distraught. Jim had given his money to a friend. I said to Jim, "Do you think you'll get it back?" He said, "Dad, what did you always teach me? He's my friend. Haven't I heard you say your greatest joy is doing something for someone with no thought of something in return?" Hearing your own words come back at you can make you smile. Later that year, his friend paid him back. The two most important words in this world are love and balance.

We didn't have any drills where you just stand and shoot. Players were constantly moving. Every fundamental drill was a conditioning drill. My players knew that we stopped on time, just as they knew we started on time.

I used to tell my players: "My job is the two hours I have you on the floor for practice every day. Your job is what you do between those practices, because you can tear down faster than we can build up by lack of moderation."

"I do it because he does it" is not a good reason.

Passion is momentary; love is enduring.

I'll never adjust to the loss of Nellie. We were married for 53 years. No man ever had a finer wife and mother to his children. Prior to her loss I had some fear of death. Now, I have no fear of death. I look forward to seeing her again.

If I am through learning, I am through.

What is right is more important than who is right.

I had a rule against facial hair for players. I didn't want hair or sweat getting in a player's eyes and obstructing his vision. One day Bill Walton came to practice wearing a beard. I said, "Bill, have you forgotten something?" He said, "Coach, I think I should be allowed to wear it. It's my right." So I asked him, "Do you believe in that strongly?" He said, "Yes, I do, coach." I said to him, "Bill, I have great respect for individuals who stand up for those things in which they believe. And the team is going to miss you." Bill shaved and returned to practice. There were no hard feelings.

I had three rules for my players: No profanity; don't criticize a teammate; never be late.

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