Bill Sharman Rumors
Nicknamed “Hooks,” Mr. Wanzer played his entire nine-year NBA career with the Royals and participated in five NBA All-Star Games. He teamed with Bobby Davies to form one of the best backcourts in league history, and a popular debate of the era was whether that duo was better than Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman of the Boston Celtics. The 5-foot-10, 172-pound Mr. Wanzer often was described as the best NBA player pound for pound and inch for inch. “He was a player’s player (he never missed a game in his NBA career and usually played all 48 minutes) and as good as anyone in that decade (the 1950s), including Cousy,” former Royals owner and coach Les Harrison said decades ago. “He was a complete player. Every time we played Boston, he guarded Cousy and he usually outplayed him.”
Maxwell freely admitted it was difficult watching Fred Roberts and Mikki Moore wear No. 31 before it was retired. And he suggested that the Celtics formulate a list — with the help of a committee of former players, executives, and public relations employees — of players whose numbers would be considered untouchable. Obviously, No. 2 (Red Auerbach), 6 (Russell), 17 (Havlicek), and 33 (Bird) would be on that list. But what about 18 (Cowens), 21 (Bill Sharman), 22 (Ed Macauley), 23 (Frank Ramsey), 24 (Sam Jones), and 25 (K.C. Jones)? Would No. 15 (Heinsohn), 16 (Tom Sanders) or 19 (DonNelson) be considered untouchable?
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.
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.
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.