OJ Simpson as I knew him - (Pub Domain photo)

 

OJ Simpson terrified defenders when he carried the ball - (Screen shot photo)

 

From the perilous streets of Philadelphia to coaching her third NCAA Women's title winning team, Dawn Staley is living a dream - (Chris-Gillespie photo)

 

Walt Hazzard was a driving force in leading the UCLA Bruins to an NCAA title in 1964 and earned the MOP Award for the tournament

 

San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyamai - (NBA Photo)

 

ON THIS DAY: April 12, 1958 Bob Pettit poured in 50 points as the St. Louis Hawks, who missed the championship by a whisker a year earlier, beat the Boston Celtics 110-109 in Game 6 of the 1958 NBA Finals to dethrone the Celtics as NBA champions - (The Sporting News Archives - photo)

 

Los Angeles Lakers Magic Johnson and Boston Celtics Larry Bird in Game two of the 1985 NBA Finals at Boston Garden Date 30 May 1985 - Steve Lipofsky www.Basketballphoto.com

 

Bill Russell is seen here in the green uniform guarding Wilt Chamberlain. They had some of the NBA's most classic battles. Russell sadly passed away Sunday at the age of 88 - (US Library of Congress image)

 

SPORTS NOTES EXTRA EXTRA - REMEMBERING OJ SIMPSON

James Loving/National Radio Text Service

 

 

 

There is no question that OJ Simpson created a firestorm of controversy during his life. He was successful in his football and entertainment careers. He brought both joy and sorrow to many. The question it conjures up is… will he rest in peace? - THIS DAY IN THE NBA - NBA's ALL TIME BEST PLAYERS 1st and 2nd TEAMS

 

Thursday April 11, 2024

THE HIGHS and LOWS of OJ SIMPSON

Another OJ Simpson shocker when it was announced that OJ passed away from cancer at the age of 76. It seems as though the fixation on the former NFL running back would never die as the news of his death was reported on around the world.

For many it was a relief that this black man died since OJ was the topic of a racial divide when he was found innocent of murdering his wife. The majority of white people felt he was guilty while the black race believed he was innocent.

The black race thought his trial was a sign of racial injustice and that OJ was a victim of racism. It was felt that it was another crime that was blamed on another innocent black man.

For his trial Simpson had the best lawyers that money could buy. Simpson was well to do following the closure of his playing career finding success as an actor and sports reporter. His popularity grew on two fronts sports and entertainment.

His trial lawyers were referred to as the DREAM TEAM. They included Johnie Cochran, F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz and Robert Kardashian the father of reality star Kim. Odd enough all are dead except Dershowitz.

The lawyers made an issue of race and won. The winning salvo was Cochran having OJ try on a leather glove that allegedly was used in the murder. It didn't fit and Cochran famously said, "If it doesn't fit you must acquit."

My awareness of Simpson began when he was in college at USC. He was ripping off yardage against my favorite team UCLA and taking them apart. He went on to the pro ranks and set NFL records as a member of the Buffalo Bills.

His most outstanding feat was in 1973 setting the then yards rushing record for a season with 2003 yards in a then 14 game season for a record 143 yards per game.

My personal experience with Simpson began when I began my sports journalism career. We both were covering the then Los Angeles Raiders and were almost daily at their office and practice facility. I don't recall when I interviewed him but I was at their practices between 1989-94.

At the time I wasn't sure Simpson would grant the interview. I thought that he had a massive ego and would be a problem. One thing was certain, I didn't want to go through another Bo Jackson experience who was a member of the team at that time.

Surprisingly when I approached Simpson he was smiling and very cooperative. He gave a great interview. I would interview him several times since we had accounts with several networks that required NFL content, including with then former NFL Hall of Fame player Franco Harris.

On one occasion Simpson said he had to run off and do something but would talk to me when he returned. When he did, he spotted me and gave me a hand signal pointing up in the air and ran to me and we proceeded.

That was the end of our personal interaction.

When I was in Bangkok in 1994, I was watching the NBA playoffs, the game was interrupted to show the now famous Bronco car chase of Simpson on the freeway.

As it would later be described, he became the subject of a low-speed pursuit by police while riding as a passenger in a white 1993 Ford Bronco SUV, a vehicle owned and being driven by his former teammate and longtime friend Al Cowlings.

According to Cowlings, Simpson was armed in the back of the vehicle with a pistol, holding it to his head and threatening to shoot himself if he was not taken back to his Brentwood estate. This caused the responding California Highway Patrol officers to pursue with extreme caution. TV stations interrupted coverage of the 1994 NBA Finals to broadcast the incident live. With an estimated audience of 95 million people, the event was described as "the most famous ride on American shores since Paul Revere's".

My hotel's Cable system broke down. I frantically checked out of the hotel and went to a new one since I had to see this event. At that time international television programs were scarce in Thailand. It was their beginning of the nation installing cable TV systems.

Due to my heavy travel schedule, I didn't see the trail and have no idea how it proceeded. Occasionally I would see brief reports on the news.

More hardship for Simpson would follow.

On the night of September 13, 2007, a group of men led by Simpson entered a room at the Palace Station hotel-casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and took sports memorabilia at gunpoint, which resulted in Simpson being questioned by police.

Simpson admitted to taking the items, which he said had been stolen from him, but denied breaking into the hotel room; he also denied that he or anyone else carried a gun. He would serve a nine-year term.

One can believe what they want about the man but one thing is certain, Simpson brought a lot of joy and sorrow to many. His life was a complicated one that conjures up the thought… can he rest in peace?


THIS DAY IN THE NBA

April 11, 1961 The Celtics captured their fourth NBA Championship with a 121-112 win over the St. Louis Hawks in Game 5 at Boston Garden.

April 11, 1967 The Philadelphia 76ers defeated Boston 140-116 in Game 5 of the Eastern Division Finals to end the Celtics’ eight-year reign as NBA champions. The Sixers went on to take the NBA title, and in 1980 they were voted the greatest team in league history.

April 11, 1991 Adrian Dantley of Milwaukee scored five points in the Bucks’ 111-92 win over Boston at the Bradley Center, moving him into what was then ninth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 23,152 points.

April 11, 1998 Michael Jordan dished out his 5,000th career assist in an 87-78 win over Orlando.

April 11, 1999 The New Jersey Nets retired the number 52 jersey of Buck Williams in ceremonies at New Jersey’s home game against New York. Williams accumulated 16,784 points and 13,017 rebounds during his standout 17-year NBA career with New Jersey, the Portland Trail Blazers and Knicks.

April 11, 1999 Miami head coach Pat Riley recorded coaching win number 938 with a 95-92 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, tying Red Auerbach for third all-time.


NBA's ALL TIME BEST PLAYERS

THE NBA's GREATEST of ALL TIME
1st Team
Position
2nd Team
Larry Bird
PF
Elgin Baylor
SF
Julius Erving
Bill Russell
C
Wilt Chamberlain
Michael Jordan
SG
Step Curry
Magic Johnson
PG
Oscar Robertson
11th & 12th MAN SUBSTITUTES & Coach
C/F
C
Coach

NBA's 50 GREATEST PLAYERS of ALL TIME LIST

On October 29, 1996 In conjunction with the NBA’s 50th anniversary celebration, the list of The 50 Greatest Players in NBA History was announced. It included: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Archibald, Paul Arizin, Charles Barkley, Rick Barry, Elgin Baylor, Dave Bing, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, Billy Cunningham, Dave DeBusschere, Clyde Drexler, Julius Erving, Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier, George Gervin, Hal Greer, John Havlicek, Elvin Hayes, Earvin Johnson, Sam Jones, Michael Jordan, Jerry Lucas, Karl Malone, Moses Malone, Pete Maravich, Kevin McHale, George Mikan, Earl Monroe, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Robert Parish, Bob Pettit, Scottie Pippen, Willis Reed, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Bill Russell, Dolph Schayes, Bill Sharman, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Nate Thurmond, Wes Unseld, Bill Walton, Jerry West, Lenny Wilkens, and James Worthy


COMMING THE KARDASHIANS RAID THE NBA

 


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