Spencer Haywood Rumors
The colorful legacy of the American Basketball Association will be celebrated at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 7, 2018, when the ABA’s 50th reunion is held. All proceeds will go to the Dropping Dimes Foundation, an Indianapolis-based charity that assists former ABA players, coaches, and team employees in need of financial or health care assistance. The event will bring a retro ABA All-Star weekend feel to downtown Indianapolis. Many of the league’s greatest players and coaches are scheduled to attend, including former Pacers legend George McGinnis and legendary Pacers coach Slick Leonard, Julius Erving, Spencer Haywood, Dan Issel, George Gervin, and Artis Gilmore. NBC announcer Bob Costas will serve as master of ceremonies. During the program, the list of the ABA’s all-time 50 greatest players will be announced, as voted on by a media panel.
He talks to retired stars such as Clyde Drexler and Dominique Wilkins, who stress to him the importance of a post-basketball career. He’ll dial up Moses Malone, who introduced him to golf and even Spencer Haywood, who became the first underclassman to play in the NBA after a landmark Supreme Court case. “Have a plan,” said Billups. “Boredom is what gets you in trouble.” He’ll always have golf. And he’s getting better.
Around 80 players visited the new office in midtown Manhattan, which covers 47,000 square feet over two floors. It’s the only location in Manhattan that resembles an NBA training center. The rookies got a tour of the gym, locker room, soon-to-be-completed basketball court and hydroworks area (hot/cold tub and underwater treadmill). They also checked out the players’ lounge (with pool and ping-pong) and multiple business rooms (technologically-equipped) where they can conduct meetings to advance their careers on and off the court. In addition, they met with and heard from NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts, NBPA President Chris Paul, other staff members in breakout sessions, and former NBA legends Isiah Thomas and Spencer Haywood. Here’s our behind-the-scenes video feature on the NBPA’s Rookie Transition Program, while highlighting our new office for players.
Yesterday, KJR’s Dave “Softy” Mahler had a pair of Sonics legends on his radio show and they each had interesting comments about the future of the NBA in Seattle. In hour one, Softy spoke to Spencer Haywood about his upcoming documentary “Full Court.” Spencer had some interesting comments that came from a place not of speculation, but straight from the mouth of the NBA Commissioner. According to Spencer, Adam Silver told him… “Will you help the people in Seattle understand that we want to make amends? We want a team back in Seattle immediately.”
Softy seemed a bit taken aback by this strong message from the league, but Spencer doubled down. “[Adam Silver] wants a team back in Seattle desperately. They want to do right by Seattle, what has happened. They want to make it right.”
Me: Did you ever speak with the guys who decided not to play in ’68 and supported Harry Edwards’ boycott, like Kareem and Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes? Spencer Haywood: I talked to them, but they don’t see it like that. They don’t even like to even discuss it. Kareem says, well, even back then, he said, ‘I was just going to help some kids up in Harlem. I didn’t really boycott.’ And I take him at his word. I said ‘Okay, big dog.’ But I know it’s a boycott. So history, you know, history has its way of weaving through. And I also thanked them, too. Because if they had came to the ’68 Olympics, they would never have looked at a freshman to try out and be a member of the Olympic team. As Elvis would say, thank you, thank you very much.