Call to the Hall: HoopsHD interviews brand-new National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Famer Todd Lichti

The Stanford basketball program has a fascinating postseason history. The Cardinal won the 1942 NCAA title behind Coach Everett Dean (the only coach to be undefeated in his NCAA tourney career), then waited almost 50 years before having another 20-win season in 1988 and finally making it back to the NCAA tourney n 1989. The star of those late 1980s teams was Todd Lichti, who last month was named a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019. His most remarkable trait was his consistency: he had 17+ PPG/50+ FG%/80+ FT% during each of his 4 years on The Farm. Earlier this month HoopsHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Todd about his terrific career and we congratulate him on his awesome honor.

Last month marked the 30th anniversary of your Stanford team making the 1989 NCAA tourney: how big a deal was it at the time to end the school’s 47-year NCAA tourney drought, and where does that upset by #14-seed Siena rank among the most devastating losses of your career? NUMERO UNO: I do not think I have ever felt as gutted or disappointed after losing a basketball game as I did that day.

You graduated as the leading scorer in school history with 2336 PTS and scored in double figures in all but 3 of your 124 career games on The Farm: what was your secret for being a great scorer? I worked awful hard on my jump shot after arriving at Stanford. I genuinely had no thoughts of the NBA until after my freshman year when others were talking about it so I dedicated the next 3 years to getting there. The improved shooting complemented what I arrived there with, which was an ability to drive and finish at the basket with either hand. I was very athletic as well and could jump, which allowed me to adjust and make decisions if a defender came at me. We had a nice group around me that were also threats if a team wanted to concentrate on me too much.

You remain in the top-5 in school history with 47.7 3P%/84 FT% during your career: what is the key to being a great shooter? Thousands and thousands of reps (in my case anyway), but you have to be doing those reps while getting the basic principles right that everyone teaches. I did learn a couple more keys from Walt Davis once I got to the pros.

You twice finished in the top-10 in the conference in STL: how did you balance your offense with your defense? I just played and did not think about balancing either side of my game. I did concentrate more on my defense the longer I was at Stanford as I felt it was important in helping our team’s chances of winning.

You were a 3-time All-American at Stanford and the only Cardinal to be named 4-time 1st-team all-conference: what did it mean to you to receive such outstanding honors? I honestly did not think about it much and am not that comfortable with personal accolades in a team sport. I always felt that I had a long way to go to match up with the best in the NBA.

In the summer of 1989 you were drafted 15th overall by Denver and played 5 years in the NBA: what is your favorite memory from your time in the NBA? Probably my rookie year at Denver. There was a great bunch of veterans there who I learned a lot from: I also became friends with many of them. The coaching staff (led by head coach Doug Moe) was also enjoyable to play for.

During college you played for a pair of national COY winners in Tom Davis/Mike Montgomery, and in the NBA you played for a pair of COY winners in Doug Moe/Don Nelson as well as a championship coach in Paul Westhead: who was the best coach that you ever had? I liked all of those guys but the ones who made the biggest impressions were Montgomery and Moe. Coach Montgomery forced me to do things offensively that I was not always comfortable doing but they made me a better player. This was the result of what best suited our team. He had a way making sure that neither you nor the team were ever satisfied. I thought Moe was the ultimate pro coach: he only said things that were relevant at the time and some original stuff that I had not heard before. I think the good coaches do that rather than reuse the typical clichés we have all heard before. Doug would get into you at times (yelling/screaming/cussing/spitting, etc.) but it was left on the court and you could enjoy time with him outside of that. Tom Davis only had 1 year at Stanford (my freshman year) and it was a frustrating year for us as a team. Paul Westhead is 1 of the best people you will ever meet but his system just did not work in the NBA. I only played a 10-day contract for Don Nelson.

You later went abroad to Australia and played 4 more years of pro basketball: what is the biggest difference between basketball in the US vs. basketball overseas? This gap is closing but I would say size/strength/athleticism.

You currently work as the Managing Director of a winery in Australia: how do you like the wine business, and what do you hope to do in the future? Sante Wines (www.santewines.com.au) is a wine distribution business that Sue (my wife) and I bought it in 2002 so this is what I will be doing until retirement.

Last month you were named a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019: how did you learn about the great news, and where does it rank among the highlights of your career? The Hall of Fame folks did not have any contact details for me but Mike Montgomery rang because he still had my phone number from a trip he took to Australia a few years ago with a Pac-10 (Pac-12?) all-star team that he was coaching. It is a HUGE honor to be alongside the names that are already there. It is certainly a highlight and I am sure it is the highest honor that I will ever achieve in basketball…but it is impossible to compare/rank it with my life outside of basketball. It was a long time ago and looking back now I do not feel like I climbed the mountain completely. There was unfinished business due to injuries and other circumstances that I suppose leave me just short of satisfied…BUT, I was luckier than most on that front so I simply feel like I did my best. No matter what you do it is always deeply satisfying to be considered among the elite.

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All-Access at the East Regional: HoopsHD is in the 2nd row for Michigan State-Duke

The NCAA tournament is about basketball but also so much more: the fans, bands, cheerleaders, etc. The East Regional took place in Washington, DC last month and we could not have been more excited to be there in person! HoopsHD was all over it and covered all of the angles so we hope you enjoyed our cascade of coverage. Jon Teitel concludes our coverage with a photo essay recap of the Elite 8 featuring the Spartans vs. the Blue Devils (all of the photos below were taken by HoopsHD, but since the NCAA was kind enough to award us a credential…and to cover our butts, we will extend the courtesy for everything to both the NCAA and CBS Sports just in case).

There was plenty of starpower in the house for this heavyweight battle:

Bill Raftery and Grant Hill on the mikes:

CNN political analyst David Gregory courtside:

This photo has a lot of stuff going on: we got Magic Johnson saying hi to Ryan Shazier in the middle of this sea of green and white, while John Harbaugh is seated on the aisle in the lower-left.  Who knew that football players/coaches were such basketball fans?!

Grant/Magic were not the only Hall of Famers in the house, as David Robinson was seated on the aisle in the middle of the sea of blue and white because his son Justin plays for Duke:

Andy Katz (reporter extraordinaire/friend of my brother-in-law) was also in attendance:

Both teams seemed very loose before the game: Duke was dunking in their layup lines while Cassius Winston ran a down and out football pattern and caught a basketball pass from Foster Loyer while keeping his toes inbounds:

Let’s go:

2 notable absences from the starting lineup were Cam Reddish and Nick Ward, who made wildly opposite entrances. Reddish checked in after 2 minutes to a thunderous ovation…then stepped out of bounds on his very 1st possession:

In contrast, Ward checked in after the 1st TV timeout and rewarded his coach by making a jumper in the lane on his own 1st possession.  You could tell that this was a big game because both Hall of Fame coaches got a little heated: Xavier Tillman had a REB/putback for Michigan State that caused Coach Mike Krzyzewski to scream at his team to box out, while Aaron Henry got an earful from Coach Tom Izzo after he failed to notice the shot clock running down to zero…although we all know that is nothing new!  The 1st half was a game of runs and the 1st 1 belonged to Duke. RJ Barrett made a bunch of layups and threes to help his team score 12 straight points and turn a 21-18 deficit into a 30-21 lead and force Izzo to call a timeout with 5:20 left:

Zion Williamson was strong in the paint with 7 PTS/6 REB but picked up his 2nd foul with 4:52 left and was summoned to the bench:

Then it became PG Cassius Winston’s time to show why he was the Big 10 POY/conference tourney POY: he took a LOT of shots in the 1st half (13 FGA) but made floater after floater and layup after layup to help his team score 13 straight PTS and head to halftime with a 34-30 lead:

I strolled the concourse at halftime and saw a pair of former players who are beloved in Durham: Calvin Hill (whose son Grant won a pair of NCAA titles in 1991/1992) and Mark Alarie (who helped Coach K reach his very 1st title game in 1986 after becoming the best basketball player at my alma mater of Brophy Prep):

The mascot dance-off was less exciting:

The 2nd half remained ultra-competitive as neither team had a lead larger than 6 PTS. Javin DeLaurier grew up in Shipman, VA, and played like a hometown hero in the paint, finishing with 10 PTS/5-5 FG/11 REB for his 1st-ever double-double. Zion did not pick up a 3rd foul and remained aggressive throughout while playing like the national POY that he is. He had a pair of big blocks on Kenny Goins, a REB/putback/fist pump, a pair of threes, and a huge lefty layup off the glass with 1:31 left to give his team a 66-63 lead. I thought that he looked like Superman before the game…and if someone had given him a cape I just might have believed it:

Tillman was dunking all over Duke but did not force it when his team needed him the most, taking an alleyoop pass from Winston and gently laying it in to cut Duke’s lead to 66-65 with 1:17 left. After a miss from RJ with 50 seconds left led to an Izzo timeout, Goins shook off an 0-4 effort from behind the arc in the 1st half to make the biggest 3 of his life with 34 seconds left to give Michigan State a 68-66 lead. A missed 3 from RJ ended up with the ball going out of bounds with 8 seconds left, so the refs huddled up/went to the monitor/decided that the ball went off Matt McQuaid and belonged to Duke:

RJ took advantage of his 2nd chance by driving the lane and getting fouled with 5.2 seconds left and a chance to send the game to OT. Instead he missed his 1st FT on accident and made his 2nd despite shooting an intentional line drive that somehow went in. Winston was fouled by Reddish with 4 seconds left but his team was not yet in the bonus, then received an inbounds pass and dribbled it out without getting fouled to send his team to the Final 4 for the 1st time since 2015, and here is the scoreboard to prove it:

Winston (20 PTS/10 AST/4 STL) was the obvious choice for East Region Most Outstanding Player and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by his teammate Tillman, his opponents Zion/RJ, and Kerry Blackshear Jr. from Virginia Tech. After waiting in line behind about 50 people with TV cameras I got to make my way onto the court for the postgame festivities:

A boot on his left foot could not stop Joshua Langford from ascending the ladder:

Winston walked over to the Spartan cheering section to say hi to some family/friends:

Magic made his way down the court but was not ready to state whether he would be back for another year in the Lakers’ front office:

I am still not 100% sure if Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio was on-site but this guy sure does look like him:

Ward’s hand did not seem to be bothering him after the big win:

McQuaid’s circus shot in the 2nd half was probably the most incredible 2 PTS all night but getting interviewed with the net around his neck is the memory that will last the longest:

You might think that Izzo would not get excited about making yet another in a long line of Final 4s…but you would be wrong:

Until college athletes like Brock Washington get paid, they will just keep playing for the sheer joy of winning trophies:

Robinson was left to sit in the stands and wonder if his son can make it to the Final 4 next year as a SR (something that he was never able to accomplish himself at the Naval Academy):

The Spartan cheerleaders got to take the ever-popular confetti selfie:

Izzo and his crew got to chat with reporters on the podium about what it meant to be heading to Minneapolis:

Brackets don’t lie:

That is a wrap on our East Regional coverage for 2019 so keep your fingers crossed to see if we get a credential for the 2020 East Regional at MSG!!

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Reaching the Summit: HoopsHD interviews Nike Hoop Summit player Justin Moore

Justin Moore is no stranger to big-time competition. As a high school player at DeMatha his team was ranked #1 in the country. As a freshman at Villanova this fall he will join a team who has won 2 of the past 4 NCAA titles. At this Friday’s Nike Hoop Summit he will play for team USA along with some of the best high school players in the nation (including Cole Anthony, Vernon Carey Jr., and his fellow incoming Villanova freshman Jeremiah Robinson-Earl). Earlier today HoopsHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Justin about overcoming injuries and choosing the Wildcats.

You missed most of your sophomore year at DeMatha with a torn left ACL: how difficult was the recovery process to get back onto the court, and how is your health at the moment? It was real hard and took a lot of rehab/physical therapy but my parents pushed me and my coaches helped me as well. Toward the end of my junior year I was close to 100%.

There have been so many great basketball players to come out of DeMatha (including Adrian Dantley/Victor Oladipo/Markelle Fultz): what have you learned while playing for a program that was ranked #1 in the country this year? I learned from all of my coaches to just trust the process. I tried to learn as much as I can and also listen to our great alumni.

Last May you signed with Villanova (over Cincinnati/Maryland/Notre Dame/Penn State/Virginia/Wake Forest/Xavier): what made you choose the Wildcats, and did you have any 2nd thoughts after watching the Cavaliers win the title last Monday? I really love Villanova so I had no 2nd thoughts. I think that I can contribute right away and the school has a lot to offer off the court as well.

What is it like to get recruited by a 2-time NCAA championship coach in Jay Wright? He is amazing and treated me like family. I feel very special that he believed in me and trusted in me.

Your incoming freshman class is ranked as high as #3 in the country due to yourself and several other great players including Bryan Antoine/Eric Dixon/Jeremiah Robinson-Earl: how well do you know the other 3 guys, and are you excited to team up with Jeremiah this week? I have known Jeremiah since I 1st played for team USA. They are all great players and we will be ready to go this falll.

The Wildcats will be losing several key seniors (Phil Booth/Joe Cremo/Eric Paschall) and Jahvon Quinerly announced last week that he will be transferring: how will you try to replace all of the talent that is walking out the door? There is not really any pressure: we are just taking on the challenge. We will put in the work and be ready to produce.

You are 6’4”: what position do you play in high school, and what position do you expect to play in college? I played combo guard in high school and Villanova wants me to play a lot of both guard spots.

You will play for team USA in the Nike Hoop Summit this Friday: what does it mean to you to represent your country? It is an honor and I feel blessed to represent the USA.

Is everyone spending this week trying to convince the unsigned guys on team USA like Cole Anthony/Matthew Hurt to sign with their school?! We are all focused on the game: we came here to get the win on Friday.

Will you get a nice summer vacation or is it going to be a quick transition from high school to college? I will get to enjoy myself a little bit back home with my family before heading to Villanova so it should be a fun summer.

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Call to the Hall: HoopsHD interviews brand-new Hall of Famer Bobby Jones

There is an old adage that “defense wins championships”: Bobby Jones has now proven that defense also wins you membership in the most elite of clubs. Last Saturday he was announced as a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019. He has been involved with some of the most notable basketball teams of the past few decades: the 1972 US Olympic team, some great North Carolina squads coached by Dean Smith, and the 1983 NBA champion Philadelphia 76ers. Earlier today HoopsHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Bobby about his top-notch defense and well-deserved honor.

At South Mecklenburg High School you won 2 state high jump titles and finished 3rd as a junior year to an athlete at Smith High School named Bob McAdoo (who also beat you in the state basketball playoffs before later becoming your teammate at both UNC/Philly): how good of an athlete was Bob in high school, and how easy was it for you 2 to make the switch from rivals to teammates? It was quite a rivalry! I won as a sophomore but the following year he improved and was able to win the high jump title. His basketball team did beat us in the state semifinals but I still hold it over his head that I outscored him! He is a good guy and was a great teammate in both college and the NBA.

You played 5 minutes for team USA in the 1972 Olympic gold medal game: how did that infamous 51-50 loss to the Soviet Union change your life (if at all)? I do not think that it changed my life but it did make me more aware of the business/politics involved with the Olympics, which was disheartening. I remember having a book about the Olympics while growing up: Al Oerter threw the discus and was my favorite Olympic athlete. I was still in college at the time so by the time I got back to campus and had to catch up on all of my schoolwork I actually had to drop a course so that I could graduate.

You were selected by the Carolina Cougars in the 1973 ABA Special Circumstances Draft but returned to campus to finish your psychology degree and were named an All-American in 1974: how much importance did you place on academics? I cannot say that I was a great student but very few people back then ever left college early: only a few guys like Darryl Dawkins/Moses Malone. I wanted to graduate but was not planning to become a psychology teacher.

In 1975 with Denver you set an ABA record with 60.4 FG% and were named to the ABA All-Rookie Team: what was your secret for being such a great shooter, and how did you make such a smooth transition from college to the pros? It had to do with my training at North Carolina: the coaches taught me how to play defense and turned me into a good athlete. In high school I could dominate due to my size but in college they taught me how to do things like take a charge/overplay your man. My scoring average as a rookie was higher at the time because David Thompson had not arrived in Denver yet.

In the 1976 ABA All-Star Game you had 24 PTS/10 REB in a 6-PT win for Denver over the ABA All-Stars: how on earth did your team score 52 PTS in the 4th quarter to win the game against a team featuring legends like Artis Gilmore/Julius Erving/George Gervin, and what do you remember about the 1st-ever slam dunk contest? That game was 1 of my great highlights although it was a real challenge for us to face the All-Stars. I was invited to participate in the dunk contest but turned it down because I wanted to focus on winning the game. We had some great players in Denver like Thompson/Dan Issel: teams who have played together for a long time can usually beat a group of all-stars who come together for just 1 day.

In the 1980 playoffs as a player for the 76ers, Erving made his famous baseline up-and-under move in Game 4 and Magic Johnson was named MVP after filling in for an injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Game 6 with 42 PTS/14-14 FT/15 REB/7 AST/3 STL: what do you remember about Dr. J’s amazing play, and how was Magic able to come in as a rookie PG and win the series as a fill-in center? I enjoyed watching Julius as a teammate more than having to guard him as an opponent at the 1976 All-Star Game! Magic was a highly-skilled athlete who had a lot of confidence and a great motivation to win. However, you have to remember that he was not playing with a bunch of stiffs: Jamaal Wilkes scored 37 PTS against us in Game 6.

In Game 7 of the 1981 Eastern Conference Finals you scored 13 PTS off the bench in a 1-PT loss at Boston: where do you think that series (with 5 of the 7 games decided by 1-2 PTS) ranked among the greatest in NBA playoff history? I honestly do not remember that series as much as some of my other ones but it was obviously a very tight series.

Take me through the magical 1983 playoffs:
You finished the regular season by winning the inaugural NBA 6th Man of the Year Award: what is the biggest difference between being a starter vs. coming off the bench? I thought that it was an advantage for 2 reasons: you could sit there and watch what your opponents were doing (who was hot/which way did they drive/etc.), and I felt that having the energy to finish games was much more important than being out there to start a game. There was 1 year that I was named to an All-Star Game despite not even being a starter on my own team, which showed that I was doing something worthwhile despite coming off the bench. There are not very many people who have done that: perhaps Paul Silas when he played for the Celtics.

In Game 4 of the Finals you had 13 PTS/6-7 FG/4 STL/no turnovers in a 7-PT win over the Lakers to finish off the sweep: what did it mean to you to win a title? It was 1 of the hardest things that I have ever done: I was so exhausted after that series. We were actually trailing at halftime during each of those 4 games so it took a great team effort to win that series. You are competing as a group and trying to help each other, which is what I miss the most about my time in the NBA.

You made 11 straight NBA All-Defensive teams from 1975-1985: what is the key to playing great defense? The 1st key is effort: it might take away from your offensive abilities but great defensive players cannot just rest on offense. I was not a great 1-on-1 player like Julius/Andrew Toney but I was good at making open shots. You have to work at it by reading defenses and take some chances whether it be a STL/BLK. I also thought that deflections were just as important because it disrupted the other team, which is what defense is all about.

You played for several Hall of Fame coaches including Dean Smith/Larry Brown/Billy Cunningham before becoming a coach yourself at Carmel Christian School in Charlotte: what was the most important thing that you learned from any of them, and how do you like being a coach? Before coming to Carmel I spent more than a decade as a coach at Charlotte Christian School, which is where Stephen Curry went to high school. I enjoy working with the kids: they have great energy and listen well, which is the key to success at any level. I always tried to be a “compliant” player and do whatever my coaches told me to do. I remember 1 time with the 76ers where a teammate came up to me after a timeout and told me to pass him the ball because he knew that he could score against the guy who was guarding him: I told him no because I was going to run the play that Billy had called during the timeout.

On Saturday you were named a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019: how did you learn about the good news, and where does that rank among the highlights of your career? I was driving in my truck to Charleston to visit my son. I got a call from Hall of Fame president/CEO John Doleva on my cell phone and put it on speaker. My wife was crying in the back seat and my best friend raised his hands in celebration while I just tried to keep my composure. The emotions I had at that moment took me back to everything I did as a player: it flashed by me really fast. It ranks right up there and is only behind winning the title in 1983. I wanted to be part of a championship team so much and the Hall of Fame is more about what I did as an individual.

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The Hoops HD Report: Season Finale!!

We look back at the Final Four and National Title games and recap what an incredible run for Virginia as they knocked off Auburn in a Final Four thriller and survived against Texas Tech in overtime.  We also look at the NIT, CBI, and CIT finals and look at what it means to some of those programs as they move forward into next year.  There have been several major coaching changes, particularly in the SEC and most recently at UCLA, and we discuss some of those big moves.  And lastly, we look back at some of the memorable moments from this past season in our final thoughts…

 

And for all you radio lovers, below is an audio only version of the show…

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Call to the Hall: HoopsHD interviews brand-new Hall of Famer Sidney Moncrief

It was a big weekend for Arkansas basketball: on Sunday they hired Eric Musselman to replace Mike Anderson as head coach, and on Saturday former Razorback Sidney Moncrief was announced as a member of the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019. As a member of the famed “Triplets” he helped lead his team to the 1978 Final 4 before heading to the NBA as the leading scorer in school history. He made 5 straight All-Star games with Milwaukee from 1982-1986 and was named NBA DPOY in 1983 & 1984. Several years ago HoopsHD’s Jon Teitel got to chat with Sidney about his spectacular career and is proud to present that previously unpublished interview for the very 1st time: congrats!

Along with Marvin Delph/Ron Brewer you formed “The Triplets” under head coach Eddie Sutton/assistant coaches Gene Keady/Pat Foster: could you tell at the time what an amazing coaching staff you had? We knew that they were good coaches because we were well-trained but we only realized how great a staff we had after the fact.

You finished the 1977 regular season with a record of 26-1: how did you lose to Wake Forest in the NCAA tourney (Rod Griffin scored 26 PTS/10-17 FG)? We had such a good team but had not been tested. I dislocated my finger in the 1st half and freaked out before the trainer popped it back into place. I fouled out of that game but it set us up for the next year.

Take me through the magical 1978 NCAA tourney:
You had 21 PTS/11 REB in a 4-PT win over #2-ranked UCLA: what did you learn from the 1977 tourney that helped you in 1978? We were just more familiar with the tourney environment and also had the ability to close out a game and not become too relaxed. We should have beaten Wake Forest so we learned to stay focused.

You scored 10 PTS and Brewer made a jumper at the buzzer in a 2-PT win over Notre Dame in the 3rd-place game: did you think that Brewer’s shot was going in, and how was your team able to stay focused for the consolation game? It was tough to lose on a Saturday and then come back on a Monday but it was easy to get up for top-flight competition like Notre Dame. I got off to a slow start but we had a good 2nd half. Ron did what he did so well: make big shots.

You were named All American in 1978 & 1979: what did it mean to you to win such outstanding honors? Back then it was something special to be an All-American because most guys stayed in college for 4 years and you would have to be at the top of your game to be recognized by the media. It also helped put our school on the map as a basketball powerhouse.

In the 1979 NCAA tourney you scored 24 PTS but Bob Heaton’s last-second shot hit both sides of the rim before going in to clinch a 2-PT win by Indiana State: what was it like to face Larry Bird in March (31 PTS/10 REB)? Larry and I had played on the same team in international competition. I had to guard him in the 2nd half. We had a call go against us late and to this day 80% of the people who saw the game would say that Bird was the 1 who made the final shot because he was the best player! Heaton was the most unlikely of heroes.

You remain 1 of the shortest college players to ever have 2000+ PTS/1000+ REB: how on earth were you able to get so many rebounds despite being 6’4”? I was trained from my junior high school days to be an inside player. My teams relied on my rebounding so I developed the skill of having a nose for the basketball.

In the summer of 1979 you were drafted 5th overall by Milwaukee (4 spots behind Magic Johnson): did you see that as a validation of your college career, or the realization of a lifelong dream of reaching the NBA, or other? Neither one. I did not process it the same way: it was just something that was happening in my life. I was pleased but I did not have strong feelings about it with tears of joy or anything.

In Game 7 of the 1980 Western Conference Semifinals you scored 13 PTS in a 4-PT loss to Seattle: why do you refer to that as “the biggest postseason disappointment of your career”? Looking back I felt that of all the teams I played on in Milwaukee that 1 had the best shot talent-wise of making the Finals. We had all that we needed to advance but we played some great competition.

In Game 3 of the 1982 Eastern Conference 1st round you made a running bank shot at the buzzer to beat Philly: where does that rank among the most clutch shots of your career? Very high. I was a huge fan of Dr. J growing up and we had not beaten Philly in my career until that point.

You won the inaugural 2 NBA DPOY awards in 1983 and 1984: what was your secret for being a great defender? Knowing your system and having a great team behind you. The bottom line is that the best 1-on-1 offensive player will embarrass the best defensive guy unless the rest of the team buys into the system. I was shocked to win the award but was also very thankful.

In the 1984 All-Star Game you had 8 PTS/5 STL in a 9-PT OT win over the West: how on earth were you able to beat a team with a Hall of Fame starting 5 of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar/Magic Johnson/George Gervin/Alex English/Adrian Dantley? Isiah Thomas was on the East team: say no more!

In Game 7 of the 1986 Eastern Conference Semifinals you scored 23 PTS and Julius Erving missed a 15-foot jumper with 3 seconds left in a 1-PT win over Philly: everyone knows about the Lakers-Celtics rivalry of the 1980s, but how intense was the Bucks-Sixers rivalry? It was in the 1st tier of rivalries back then. The year that Philly won it all (1983) they had 1 of the best teams in NBA history, both their starters as well as their bench. It always came down to close shots when we faced each other.

Your son Brett played college football at Troy: how proud are you of all that he has accomplished, and does he credit at least some of his success to genetics? I am very proud that he graduated from college. I told hem to pay attention to his coach and be a team player. He did not want to play basketball because he did not want to follow in my footsteps so I told him to play any sport he wanted and just give it his best shot.

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