Give The Man His Due (via Sports On Earth)

LAS VEGAS — Jerry Tarkanian shifted in his easy chair to find a place it didn’t hurt so much. “My butt is sore,” he said. It’s what happens when you’re 82 years old and you fell four years ago. Back in the day, Jerry Tarkanian roared. On this day, his voice was a whisper, tiny and airy as a child’s.

“He’s worn out by physical therapy this morning,” his wife, Lois, said.

Maybe it’d be better to talk another day?

“No, no, he needs this,” she said.

In early April, for the first time, Tarkanian will be a  finalist for election to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

A question to him: Would you like to be in?

His lips barely moved. “It’d be nice,” he said.

What would your players think?

Again, a faint breath of air. “They would like it.”

We should shout it out. Jerry Tarkanian belongs in every basketball Hall of Fame. He built teams at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas that were wonders of the craft. They were at once aggressive and careful, disciplined and relentless. To see UNLV leave Duke alongside the road in the 1990 NCAA championship game, 103-73, was to see basketball made beautiful. In 31 seasons at Long Beach, UNLV and at his alma mater, Fresno State, Tarkanian’s teams won 778 games. He took UNLV to the Final Four four times.

This is also worth a shout: Tark was right all along. He called the NCAA corrupt long before such thinking was fashionable. … Read More

(via Sports On Earth)

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