Monday, Nov. 17, 2008 | 1:46 p.m.
I am so glad Gondo, Glen Gondrezick, is doing well and back doing the games on radio after his heart transplant. Many people were praying for him.
It was a long wait, and it was really hard on him.
I remember when we were recruiting him. I was out on a trip, to speak in Montana, and I drove through Colorado. The whole family was there when I went to the house in Boulder.
I thought for sure we’d get him, but he put us on hold. He wanted to go to Oregon, but coach Dick Harter put him on hold, thinking he’d get Adrian Dantley.
Every time Gondo wanted to sign with us Harter told him to wait one more week. I’m there with him, with Gondo, and Harter told him that. Gondo finally said I’m not waiting any longer.
I’ve been friends with Harter forever, and he told me he really thought he’d get Dantley. But Adrian went to Notre Dame, where he was a two-time first-team All-American and national player of the year in 1975-76.
Adrian is No. 2 on Notre Dame’s all-time scoring chart. Yeah, he was a good one.
Gondo was perfect for us. He led the team in steals and rebounds in 1976-77, when Eddie Owens led us in scoring a third consecutive season. Gondo is top-10 at UNLV in career boards
Everyone is so happy that he’s back, healthy and doing well.
Have a great season, Gondo.
He played two seasons with Reggie Theus, who is now coaching the Sacramento Kings for a second season. The 4-7 Kings are struggling a bit.
I thought Reggie did a great job last year, when the Kings went 38-44. We talked a lot over the summer and he has a great attitude. He knows that team.
He didn’t have the talent of many teams in the league, but they had appeal. Real young players. And he developed them.
I think that’s important. It was a player-development year. He stuck with those guys and made them better. They always pick in the middle of the draft so they never get blue-chip players.
But they played well and won some games. And they have great owners. The Maloofs are great people and they have a very good president of basketball operations in Geoff Petrie.
He didn’t tell me they were going to run more of the “triangle” offense, but that’s what I’ve learned. He did say they’d run up and down the court, utilize their youth and concentrate on developing young players.
I think the triangle is way overrated. I think it has a lot of good stuff in it. Tex Winter is the architect of it. I remember watching the Chicago Bulls run it.
I was in New York City for something, a speaking engagement somewhere, and I was in a bar with one of the Bulls’ radio guys. They were playing the Knicks.
I talked with him about the Bulls and he said Michael Jordan told him that the triangle is way overrated. When the game got close, they’d just give it to Michael and everyone gets out of the way.
You never see the triangle when the game gets close. Same thing with Kobe Bryant when it’s Kobe Time.
I don’t know what would have happened had I taken the Philadelphia 76ers job instead of coaching the San Antonio Spurs.
I knew the 76ers owner, Harold Katz, very well. I know I would have had an owner and a general manager on my side in Philadelphia. I think.
But Philadelphia wasn’t very good. Charles Barkley was on that team.
Harold told me the first thing we would have to do is get rid of Charles. I said I go on vacation with Charles every summer and his family. I have a great relationship with Charles.
That doesn’t make any difference, Harold told me. He said Charles had a great relationship with the coach, after Billy Cunningham, who became the general manager.
And that guy said Charles is stone crazy. Get rid of him.
But we’ll never know because I went to San Antonio, which I shouldn’t have done. Bad karma.
There have been requests for me to address how hard our practices were at UNLV, and I will get to that next time. Might even have a surprise or two for you, too.