Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009 | 7:11 p.m.
I just got back from West Virginia and San Francisco, and it was good getting out. It was the first time I’d really been out since my accidents and surgeries.
I made a commitment a long time ago, and I’m glad I kept them. My family didn’t want me to go and doctors said I’d have to be very careful. I couldn’t fall down. It could become critical.
But I was careful and I had my 15-year-old grandson, Jerry King, with me. They had a wheelchair pick me up at the airports and shuttle me to gates, and I was fine.
We had a great time. I think Little Jerry got a kick outta meeting all the coaches and seeing what all that was like.
In San Francisco last Friday night, North Carolina coach Roy Williams and I were the speakers. We had a question-and-answer session for about 90 minutes, and that went really well.
We’re good friends. We’ve known each other a long time, and I really like Roy. I think he’s a great coach and person. He didn’t know anything about my health. He was shocked.
I just told him how it happened.
Their team was really good at the end of the year. They were so deep, and at the clinic I said that’s the reason they started slow last season. However, that’s also the reason why that team was really good at the end of the year.
The way Roy handled those guys was great. That’s why they finished so strong. They were so deep.
Little Jerry and I stayed at the Mark Hopkins Hotel. Geez, it was so nice. Then, Saturday morning, we flew to West Virginia and we stayed at the plush Oglebay Resort in Wheeling.
I had never been to that part of the country, but I knew John Havlicek, the great basketball player, is from Martins Ferry, right across the Ohio River from Wheeling. Same with the Groza brothers, Alex and Lou “The Toe,” who played football.
Geez, I have a damn cat in my house! I don’t know how it got in. We don’t have a cat.
John Chaney and Jamie Dixon spoke with me Sunday at the Wheeling clinic with about 160 coaches.
Anyway, we had some players there and I demonstrated the Amoeba defense. I taught them the way we tutored our players on those drills, and we showed how we did that.
Someone already wrote about liking that part of the clinic, and I think we’d spend about 10 minutes every day on nothing but drills. That was a secondary defense for us.
We almost always went man-to-man, but I used the Amoeba against Duke in the national title game and that’s when it became famous. It worked so well, the announcers kept talking about it and it became famous.
But we probably used that defense only five to 10 percent of the season. Not very often.
They took me and Little Jerry out to dinner Sunday night, and it was all so nice. Monday was a long flight. I slept a good part of the day, but I’m feeling a lot better today.
Two Sundays ago, Charlie Spoonhour rang me and we went to UNLV’s conditioning session. They did some scrimmaging, and I really like Anthony Marshall, the kid from Las Vegas.
He’ll be a very good player, and I like Oscar Bellfield a lot, too. And Chace Stanback, who transferred from UCLA, will be a remarkable player.
Next time, I’ll tell you a little more about watching the Rebels. Right now, I have to get this damn cat out of my house.