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A Press Democrat Blog

Old School

Robert Rubino connects current sports news with the past

Wilt’s 100-point game still fascinates

The following is my column that ran on C2 of  last Sunday’s Press Democrat. It stands out freakishly, like the fictional Pushmi-pullyu, the two-headed creature from the old Dr. Doolittle children’s stories, with each head facing an opposite direction. It’s that odd, that unreal. As laughable as it is exotic. As sports accomplishments go, the legacy of Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 points in an NBA game exists more as carnival exhibit or myth from ancient times (or at least pre-ESPN,… Read More »

When Warriors were truly in golden state

Warriors fans can give themselves a treat today. NBA TV is broadcasting key games from the 1975 postseason — which, of course, ended with the team’s only Bay Area NBA championship. At 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., Game 7 of the Warriors-Bulls Western Conference finals will be shown. At 11 a.m., 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., Game 3 of the Warriors-Bullets NBA Finals will be shown. And at 1 p.m. 7 p.m. and then 1 a.m. (Tuesday morning),… Read More »

Poor Moses Malone

On Tuesday night Moses Malone dropped from the NBA’s sixth all-time leading scorer to seventh, courtesy of Kobe Bryant. And on Wednesday night, Kevin Love will try to surpass Malone’s record of 51 consecutive games of double-doubles, set in 1978-79. On the other hand, as my colleague Mike Murphy pointed out, NBA fans this week are talking about Moses Malone a lot — probably for the first time in at least a decade.

Role models for NFC West, part 6

Maybe you think the 49ers and the rest of the NFC West are pitiful. Maybe you’re outraged at the thought that the NFC West “champion” can make the playoffs, even with a non-winning record. OK, but there have been underachieving teams in pro sports that suddenly overachieved in the postseason and gave fans quite a show. For example: 2007 Golden State Warriors. Don Nelson returned as coach, and the team returned to the postseason for the first time in 13… Read More »

Role models for NFC West, part 4

Maybe you think the 49ers and the rest of the NFC West are pitiful. Maybe you’re outraged at the thought that the NFC West “champion” can make the playoffs, even with a non-winning record. OK, but there have been underachieving teams in pro sports that suddenly overachieved in the postseason and gave fans quite a show. For example: 1976 Phoenix Suns. After slouching into the playoffs with an unassuming 42-40 record, this team suddenly discovered its chemistry, melding rookie of… Read More »

NBA Big Three no guarantee

No doubt about it, the Miami Heat’s Big Three of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade is formidable. But the trio hasn’t won anything yet. There have been other Big Three combinations in NBA history, with varying degrees of success. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and James Worthy won five NBA championships with the L.A. Lakers. Larry Bird, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale won three titles with the Boston Celtics. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman won three titles… Read More »

When Mieuli spoke at SF State

Former Warriors owner Franklin Mieuli died on Sunday, at 89. I remember the one time I got to see, and hear, Mieuli up-close and personal. I was taking a sportswriting class at San Francisco State University in 1976, a class taught by Murray Olderman, a distinguished sportswriter and sports cartoonist. Besides being a wonderfully supportive teacher, Olderman brought in an impressive array of speakers. One day he brought in Al Davis. Another time he brought in Bay Area broadcasting legend… Read More »

Merging Connie Mack with Don Nelson

Don Nelson will be 70 next month, yet there he was on Wednesday in Minneapolis, dancing (sort of) with his players in celebration of becoming the NBA’s all-time winningest coach, having notched victory No. 1,333. I’m just wondering if Philadelphia A’s manager Connie Mack danced with his players on that September afternoon in 1950 when he got the last of his MLB-record 3,731 wins. Mack, who also owned the team, was 87 years old at the time.

Merging Larry Brown with Don Nelson

When the American Football League merged with the NFL in 1970, part of the agreement was that all AFL statistics would count in the NFL record book. It was a significant victory by the AFL, and a key concession by the NFL. But when four teams from the American Basketball Association merged with the NBA in 1976, part of the agreement was that no ABA statistics would count in the NBA record book. It was a blow to the ABA’s… Read More »

All-time favorite NBA All-Stars

In honor of the NBA All-Star weekend, send a list of your all-time favorite NBA (and/or ABA) All-Stars. There is only one rule: Your selections must be pre-Bird/Magic (after all, this is an Old School blog). One other thing: There is no right or wrong selections here. I’m just curious to see as many of the old names as possible. And remember, it’s not necessarily the players you think were the best All-Stars, but your personal favorites. Here are mine.… Read More »