Holzman Would Have Loved It
Bill Bradley led Princeton to three Ivy League titles, averaged 30.1
points a game and was a two-time All-American. The only junior, he was the
captain of the 1964 gold medal winning U.S. Olympic team. He led the New
York Knickerbockers to NBA titles in 1970 and 1973.
today he is even more famous than he was when he wore the uniform of the
New York Knickerbockers for a decade and made the crowd at Madison Square
Garden come to its feet cheering his determined and intelligent play.
the man they called "Dollar Bill" returns to the Garden for a
fund-raising event for his Democratic Presidential nomination bid.
will be a class reunion of sorts under the banners that hang from the
rafters including "No. 24," for Bill Bradley. Many of old
teammates and opponents will be there to keep him company. One of them is
Bob Cousy, who recently campaigned for Bradley in New Hampshire, where
there were cars with bumper stickers that proclaimed: "Another Celtic
Fan for Bill Bradley."
Square Garden is a home of sorts," the former star forward said.
"It's the place where I worked for 10 years, and it's got a lot of
many realize that Knick coach Red Holzman took a "gamble" and
drafted Bradley when he graduated from Princeton even though he had to
wait two years for him while the scholar-athlete completed his Oxford
Holzman remembered Bradley this way: "Bill could be funny by design
but he was never an oddball, even though his tastes and interests were far
different from the other players. He liked museums, shows, books and his
friends were intellectual, busy guys. But Bill was as tough as they come
on the basketball court, a really irritating player on defense."
Red Holzman died last year.
in 1985 when I was writing his autobiography, "Red on Red,"
Holzman told me, "Even when he was a Knick, Bill was intensely
interested in politics and arranged many meetings and appointments on
he played for the Knicks, Bradley never did a commercial. His image even
then was of prime concern to him. There was even a special clause in his
contract that said Bradley did not have to do any endorsements. Bradley
always had his eye on the big picture, the big prize.
he is going for it with all the drive that he went for excellence on the
basketball court. "Bill," Red Holzman recalled, "spent many
hours playing one-on-one in an empty gym after all the other players had
long gone. A ninety minute workout was never enough for him."
Willis and Clyde and Earl the Pearl and Dave and so many others will be
It's just too
bad William "Red" Holzman can't make it. He would have loved it.
# # #
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About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
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