Bill Sharman Rumors
And then when I got to Italy I was like, “What the hell am I doing over here?” I’m going over here to a foreign country and, you know, “What the hell?” I flew into Venice, and the Venice airport is on the mainland, and the city is out in the ocean, so it was like, “Shit.” I have seen redemption in my life. I mean, I’ve experienced it. I was walking the path. I know about God. But it was just leaving that baggage, leaving your luggage alone. You know, you’re dropping your bags right there and saying, “Hey, I know what I need to do. I know who’s waiting for me.” Through the Lakers, through Jerry Buss, through Bill Sharman, God intervened and sent me off to Italy in order for me to get my sanity. Italy was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Saturday was an absolutely beautiful day on the Palos Verdes peninsula as a memorial service/celebration of life was held for former Lakers coach and two-time Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Sharman. Sharman passed away Oct. 25, following a stroke the previous week. The 87-year-old holds the record for most championship rings earned by a player, coach, general manager, team president and consultant with 17. Add his two Hall-of-Fame rings, joining John Wooden and Lenny Wilkens as the only people to be inducted as a player and a coach, and it brings the total to a staggering 19.
Worthy: “He was a very kind, helpful and generous man and even today it’s hard to believe all his accomplishments. It’s mind-boggling what this man did, not only in the game of basketball but in life as well. “And while Bill was one of the humblest men you’ll ever meet, he was also tough. You don’t have as much success as he did without being tough as nails. And he was so smart. I could go into his office just to say hello and I’d come out later with an education in life. He’d talk to me about finances, my personal life and just about anything else, and I always learned something from Bill.
I knew Sharman for nearly four decades and I never heard anyone say anything negative about the former Celtic great. In fact, his last sign of generosity, along with wife Joyce, was to set up a raffle of his 2010 Lakers championship ring to benefit various charities, such as: Toberman Neighborhood Center, Angel’s Nest, Public Counsel, James Worthy Foundation, Lakers Youth Foundation, Providence TrinityCare Hospice Foundation, West Coast Sports Medicine Foundation and Xcel University. Click here for more information.
Mike Bresnahan: Pau Gasol excused from Saturday’s practice to attend Bill Sharman’s memorial service. Kobe, Kurt Rambis + Gary Vitti will also be there.
Phil Jackson: Dr Buss always wanted people to know Bill Sharman was the architect of the Laker of the 80’s. He will be missed greatly by all who knew him.
Bill Sharman, a Hall of Fame basketball player and coach who guided the Lakers to their first National Basketball Assn. title in Los Angeles in record- setting fashion, has died. He was 87. Sharman, who coached teams to championships in three professional leagues and also played professional baseball, died. Friday at his home in Redondo Beach, said his wife, Joyce. He had suffered a stroke last weekend. He collected 15 championship rings as a player, coach, general manager, team president and special consultant, serving in all capacities but player in more than 35 years with the Lakers. As a coach, he introduced the bane of night-owl players everywhere, the morning shoot-around on game day.
And so, if you go to http://www.billsringofhope.com, you can see exactly how Bill Sharman will participate in what Joyce Sharman calls “our finale.” There, you will have a chance to buy raffle tickets for Sharman’s 2010 Lakers championship ring, the one he received for his consulting role. It’s not his only championship ring, certainly, but when you consider that it will probably be his last, and that it represents Phil Jackson’s finale, Buss’ finale and, of course, a seventh-game victory over his hated and beloved Celtics, you can quickly determine the emotional and sentimental value. The winning name will be drawn on Nov. 22, and the winner will come to Los Angeles and be presented with the ring by Sharman, at a Lakers game. “This is who Bill is,” Joyce says. “He is genuine, humble, and we want this to be part of his legacy.”
Before the stroke, he and his wife of 32 years, Joyce, decided to find a way to light up the lives of others. The stroke will slow him down, but not the project. He and Joyce have a plan to raise money for a charity they’ve been involved with for the better part of 25 years, the Toberman Neighborhood Center in San Pedro. It serves at-risk children, offers job training and mentoring, even has a model gang-intervention program that Los Angeles used for awhile. Bill and Joyce saw what the Lakers’ Metta World Peace did after the Lakers won the 2010 title and were inspired to do something similar. World Peace raffled off his championship ring to benefit mental health causes and raised an estimated $800,000.
Two-time Hall of Famer Bill Sharman is auctioning his 2010 Lakers championship ring, with the proceeds going to charity. The Bill’s Ring of Hope campaign kicked off Wednesday and will close at 8 a.m. Pacific time on June 7. Tickets cost $2 each with a minimum purchase of five ($10 overall). Tickets can be purchased at http://www.billsringofhope.com.
“I am really glad that Pat Riley was part of our ’71-72 team,” Sharman said. “I would have been among the first to congratulate him if they would have broken the streak.”
The anxiety heightened as former Lakers coach Bill Sharman watched the television screen. He “felt that Miami had a very good chance” to surpass the Lakers’ all-time record of 33 consecutive wins set in the 1971-72 season when Sharman oversaw the team’s first NBA championship in Los Angeles. Even with Miami nursing a double-digit deficit for most of Wednesday night against Chicago, Sharman said he didn’t feel fully at ease as he watched the game with his wife, Joyce, and sister-in-law until the Heat officially ended their 27 -game winning streak. “We were all very nervous even when Chicago was ahead because the Heat team is so good and has come back from large deficits in other games,” Sharman wrote in an email to this newspaper. “Who can say if the 33-straight winning streak will ever be broken? I am glad that it stays with the Lakers.”
There’s no reason for concern anymore. The Heat’s 27-game winning streak, the second-longest in NBA as well as all of American pro sports history, came crashing down with a 101-97 loss Wednesday night at Chicago. “The Miami Heat had a great run and I congratulate them on winning 27 in a row,’’ said Bill Sharman, coach of the 1971-72 Lakers. “As for me and my ’72 team, I don’t mind that the streak will live on for a while longer.’’
Now, it’s different. Here come the mighty Miami Heat, who won their 20th straight Wednesday and are showing no signs of slowing down. “It is certainly a possibility that the Heat could break our 33-game winning streak,” said Bill Sharman, the Hall of Fame coach of those legendary Lakers. “The record has held for 41 years, and all of us that participated in it are very proud to have been part of that season. However, (Heat president) Pat Riley has put together an amazing team, and I have to admit this one makes me a little nervous.”
Jamaal Wilkes spoke pregame to the media – emotional from all the recognition. Spoke Lakers… “Playing for the Lakers was just great. From top to bottom they had the leadership, the organization, from Dr. Buss to Bill Sharman, Jerry West, Pat Riley and then the players,” said Wilkes. “We had a real sense of pride in our team’s success. Of course we had issues going on all the time, undercurrents, but we never let it get in the way of our objective, which was to be the best in the NBA and to represent the city of LA the best that we could.”
Chamberlain, who died in 1999, is not around to offer his take. But Sharman says those stories are not true. “I’ve heard that story so many times but Wilt never said that,” Sharman said about Chamberlain vowing to show up just once a day at the arena. “But when I did start shootarounds with the Lakers everybody said, ‘You’ll never get Wilt Chamberlain to do it.’ Wilt had a reputation of sleeping late. “So I took Wilt to lunch and put on my best pitch. I told him that I thought having shootarounds really could get the team loose and help. He was real nice and kind. But when he got done listening to me, he said, ‘Bill, I’ve known you for a number of years and I respect you but I don’t think it will help. I just don’t feel good when I get up too early in the morning.’ I said, ‘Wilt, let’s just try it out and see.’ So he kind of went along with it.”
But when you’ve got a guy like Wilt Chamberlain involved, it sounds a lot better to say that shootarounds really started with the 1971-72 Lakers. “It was a funny story,” said Hall of Famer Jack Ramsay, who coached Philadelphia that season after having been general manager of the 76ers five years earlier, when they won the NBA title with Chamberlain. “Wilt was not a shootaround guy. So Bill sent his assistant to get Wilt and Wilt said, ‘Tell Bill I play once a day. Does he want me to play at 10 o’clock in the morning or at 7:30 at night? That’s his decision.”’ Another story goes that the shootaround was started to get Chamberlain, notorious for going to bed very late and sleeping until noon, out of bed.
It’s happy 40th birthday to the shootaround. Back up a minute. The non-basketball junkie might want to know what in the name of James Naismith is a shootaround and why is it having a birthday. Well, back in 1971, when Bill Sharman took over as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, he proposed that his players show up at the arena on the morning of game days for a very loose practice that he dubbed a shootaround. The Lakers ended up winning the NBA title by going 69-13, which was then the best mark in NBA history and included a record 33-game winning streak. With those results, that’s why all NBA teams have been taking the lead from Sharman since the 1970s. It was on Oct. 15, 1971 that the Lakers’ regular season began and the shootaround started to become an NBA staple. So that seems as good of a birthday as any.