Jack Haley Rumors
McIlvaine: We once kicked Jack Haley out of a meeting because he had recently retired. He was there as a mole. Years later he told me that ownership had somebody listening on every call and knew exactly what we were strategizing. I don’t know whether this was Jack blowing smoke, but there were certain players that were sympathetic to owners. Hunter: Stern would always tell me, “I got my people everywhere. I know as much about what you’re doing as you know. I got my eyes and ears.” Clearly, I think there was someone amongst the players, but there also may have been people within my office and on staff. I have my suspicions, but I’m not going to disclose that.
Nets Daily: NBA very concerned about sudden death in very tall men. There are studies underway. Ex-Nets Jack Haley, Armon Gilliam, Yinka Dare all gone
Miller used to say Jack was the hardest working player at UCLA, where he was basically sort of a basketball version of a tackling dummy, not even having played basketball in high school. He was a surfer, dude. His dad had been a U.S. champion and the family was wealthy. They had a famous sea food restaurant; a sister was on the staff of First Lady Barbara Bush. Jack had lettered a badminton in high school.
Jack Haley had no business being in the NBA with no real skill that relates not only to basketball, but playing with the greatest players in the world. He had a set shot and couldn’t really jump, didn’t see the floor that well, handle the ball or even take his sweats off effectively. Doug Collins, who gave Haley his first NBA job with the Bulls in 1988, has a favorite story. “He’d always sit close to me,” Collins recalled Tuesday. Early in one game we didn’t have any energy. I said, ‘Jack, you want to play, get in there.’ He jumped up and we had those snap away pants back then. He pulled them off so fast to get in the game one of the snaps broke off. It hits me in my eye and now I couldn’t see like half the game. He’s saying, ‘Coach, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.’ I was, ‘Jack, just get in. Go play.’ He was ready, always ready. He wanted to play so badly.”
Jack loved to tell the story of the UCLA/University of North Carolina alumni game. Jordan used to play in those things. “I remember him getting the ball at the top of the key and thinking, `He`s gonna dunk on me on national TV.’” I could still hear Jack today. He was a ham and loved to tell these stories. He didn’t have many on the court where he was the victor, at least not noticeably. “I went after him as best I could. I got some ball,” Jack would say and with a pause add, “I also got a lot of him. I know he didn`t score.” Michael would get his revenge, as he always did, Jack becoming one of his favorite foils in the regular card games. Michael quickly learned Jack had that family money and that his card skills weren’t much better than his basketball skills.