This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
work at on my own. When you get to the point where you can make good contact with the ball and hit it solid, that’s a huge part of wanting to do more. When you could work the ball and hit a lot of different shots, that was when it got to be fun. If you hit it in the bunker, you weren’t really concerned about making a par. You felt like you would make a par. When you really get into it, you just practice all the scoring shots. When you’re not there, all you do is pound balls. You can never play golf that way. The thing I most admire about the professionals is they have a great way of blocking out all these things. You watch


something that’s been a labor of love and a joy. It’s been terrific. We have a very small staff, and they are just great people. The PGA Tour has been great to work with also. •••


What is your favorite golf course? I think Cypress Point. Augusta is a very interesting course. I like that a lot. There are so many courses I haven’t played, because I haven’t traveled to play golf. I always think Cypress Point is a really fun, unique golf course. •••


Do you have a dream four- some? I like history. I think most of my choices would be historical figures and leaders.


Winning a gold medal (at the 1960 Olympics was probably my greatest thrill, and obviously winning an NBA Championship.


their short games and they can just get up-and-down from anywhere. I just love to watch professional golfers hit the ball. The sound of it is com- pletely different than hackers like me now. I used to know what it felt like to hit good shots, and now I don’t. ••• You mentioned watching the pros play. What prompted you to take on the role of executive director for the Northern Trust Open at Riviera? It’s really focused on the charitable giving. I have the opportunity to be able to give back to the city of Los Angeles, and the city has been so great to me. That’s the fun part of it. We gave $1.7 million last year and that feels good to know that you’re go- ing to help programs that are for the kids, and programs that will help kids that are really in desperate need. At the end of the day, that’s really what’s made it a lot of fun for me. The excitement of the week itself is a lot of fun. I’ve been involved in a lot of things in my life, obviously through basketball, but this is


34 / NCGA.ORG / SPRING 2013


I’ve always admired Abraham Lincoln. I think he would be fun to play with. I would have more than one dream foursome. One would be basketball players I’ve known for years and we went through similar things together. I’m fascinated by a lot of people in this world, about how bright they are. I wonder if I could even carry on a con- versation with Einstein. I’m sure he would get out there and think, “What am I doing on a golf course?” I would probably have four


or five groups I’d want to play with, from all walks of life, from our forefathers, to some of the people who are around today. It would be nice to know them in a social setting, because that’s what I think golf is many times. •••


What is the best golf tip you’ve ever received? There’s a number of them. Chipping is one of the most elementary things in golf. Johnny Revolta, a very old teacher who’s unfor- tunately deceased, was a great short game teacher, and I took some lessons from him. He


just made it so simple, how to hit pitch shots, wedge shots. He was a very nice man also. One teacher I seemed to


really connect with was Jimmy Ballard, whose theories are different than others. But he really helped me a lot, particularly with bunker play. I played with Gary Player, and he was showing me how to hit bunker shots, but it was way beyond my ability. Lots of little things. Just


learning how to hit the ball first, and not behind it—it’s just a completely different sound, and the ball will go the


To win a gold medal for our country was maybe the biggest thrill I ever had. •••


How unstoppable would you have been with the 3-point line? How would you have tailored your game to fit playing in today’s NBA? You always think about that. I did take a lot of longer shots. In certain parts of the game, it is a vital shot. Instead of tying a game, it can win it. That shot out of the corner is not a very difficult shot. The wings are a little longer, but in the corner, it’s not that far. There have been a number of games where for a lot of teams, it would have changed the course of their season. But it wasn’t there. You made an old-fashioned three-point play with a drive and foul, or a jump shot and foul. It certainly would have opened up other things. I shot a lot of free throws in my career, if you make those shots, you feel like you’re able to make the 15-footer, a 17-footer. If you’re really a good player and you can make a 3, it almost makes


correct distance that you think you can hit it. •••


What is your favorite memory from you playing career? Winning a gold medal (at the 1960 Olympics) was prob- ably my greatest thrill, and obviously winning an NBA Championship. At an early age in my life, that gold medal was very impactful for me. There was a lot going on in the world. David Maraniss wrote a great book called “The Olympics that Changed the World.” That to me was a very significant book. It talked about racism, the Cold War, the threat of Nuclear War, and we were all amateurs. It’s not like being a professional where you’re used to everything. It was an eye-opener for all of us, and particularly the college players. There were seven col- legiate players on that team.


you unguardable at times. ••• You spent three years as the coach of the Lakers before becoming a scout and then a general manager. Why did general manager seem like the best fit, post-playing career? Being a coach was incredibly important for me. As a player, you really just have to manage yourself. I’ve always heard that coaches have to motivate players. No. I think they have to organize players. I didn’t need a coach to motivate me. Not at all. In the process of going from someone who is responsible for yourself, getting yourself ready to play, it became a lot more difficult when you’re trying to look after 10 or 12 people. Managing the game is probably the easiest part for players, in terms of timeouts, substitutions. But I probably


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84