What John Wooden Gets Wrong About Basketball

Wooden_program.jpgI thought this article by Tommy Craggs on Slate about John Wooden and basketball was interesting. An excerpt:

Wooden, and our beatification of the man, has had its toxic effect on the game. It's certainly there in the NBA, which over the past year or so has hired a chief strategist of President Bush's re-election campaign to win back Middle America; instituted an absurd and paternalistic dress code (glossed nicely here); and stood idly by while Chicago Bulls coach Scott Skiles benched Ben Wallace, one of the hardest-working players in the game, for wearing a headband.

I don't know...I thought the dress code (as silly as it may be) was more about what was perceived to help sell the product that the NBA is, not necessarily some sort of legacy of Wooden's.


John Wooden's effect on the NBA or even college ball is surprisingly low. Since Wooden didn't have a lot of assistants during his career, there are few coaches who worked under him. His top assistants: Denny Crum and Gary Cunningham, have long since gotten out of coaching. Bob Knight and Dean Smith have far more "disciples" coaching.