John MacLeod taught me how to play basketball. Literally.
When I first really became a fan of the Phoenix Suns, in 1975-76 as the Sunderellas were making their unlikely first run at the NBA Finals, I looked at Coach MacLeod as though he was General Patton or Winston Churchill, a tactical genius and inspirational leader of my heroes. I could root for Paul Westphal, Dick Van Arsdale or Alvan Adams to make the shots, but Coach MacLeod was the chess master moving the pieces, and the players were executing his vision. As this was my first real exposure to pro basketball, and Coach MacLeod was the first coach I’d ever paid any attention to, he seemed like he must be a more-than-human figure, the way he directed his scrappy underdog players past the best teams of the time. [Read more...]