Intimidating basketball sayings

So he reduces his life that summer to one simple goal -- he will practice and practice and practice until he is able to sink the ball each time he gets within 15 feet of a basketball net. George Leftwich, the star guard on the Carroll team, watches one day.

He got there by demanding absolute control in everything he does. But will it work for America's basketball team in the Summer Games? He cannot dribble, his rebounding needs work, he's not tough enough on defense, and, worst of all, he doesn't have a shot.

With enough money, Thompson can insist on doing what he wants, when he wants.

John Thompson doesn't doubt for a minute that if he lost his money or his winning record, he would lose control over his own destiny.

"It broke my heart, but I had to tell him the NCAA had rules against giving things to ballplayers," Thompson says, shaking his head at the purity of Mr. * Then Thompson's speech slows and his smile fades as he reflects on a lesson provided by a man who served as coach and counselor at the Metropolitan Police Boys and Girls Clubs for 40 years. Jabbo," says Thompson, jabbing his finger in the air, "and I said to myself, 'I'm never going to let that happen to me -- I'm going to stay in control.'" -3- It is September, a year ago. He asks to see the lockers the team will use, taking note of their exact size.

In the 1970s, recalls Thompson, a bunch of college-educated accountants began questioning the aging Kenner about how long he had worked at the police clubs, how much vacation he had taken, why he didn't have complete records, how much pension he was due. He wants to see the room where ankles will be taped.

Thompson is flatly convinced that money -- not race, not friends, not fame -- determines how "equal" one is in America.

He goes to an American military base to find a backup practice site in case he's not happy with security at the Olympic site.

And he visits an American school to arrange for a backup practice site to his backup.

His team became a kamikaze crew, physical and in the other team's face throughout the game. They played tough, full-court defense for the entire game. He learned that from me and Russell: Be in control, put the other people on the defensive. Henle, then Georgetown's president, remembers: "I had interviewed all three candidates, and I was terribly impressed with John. When I made him the job offer, he said before accepting he would like to say a few things.

"I coached at Carroll, and John was coaching at St. He has learned he's got to be in control of situations and never be on the defensive." Thompson was so determined to have control over how he was going to run his program at Georgetown that when he was offered the job, he made several demands before he even discussed salary. He said he would not play kids and let them flunk out. He said he'd like to have another position to ride herd on the kids academically.

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