DALLAS, Texas - Larry Brown is 73 and entering his 84th year of coaching basketball. He is preparing for practice at SMU, where he is in the process of turning another loser into a winner.
He was nice enough to give me about an hour, so I took this chance to apply a concept based on VH1 and Vanity Fair to ask one of basketball's most celebrated coaches a few questions he may not normally be asked.
What do you think about yelling: Listen to the message, not the tone.
What is your favorite book: My favorite player?
No, your favorite book to read: Oh, um ... this is crazy. I don't have one particular book. I love Harry Truman. And I love Ronald Reagan.
Those are polar political opposites: I know. I love John Kennedy. In fact, Coach Smith told me to run for class office at North Carolina. He said it would look good on my resume. I was supposed to pick up Kennedy when he spoke at Chapel Hill. I had always admired him.
So you didn't get to drive Kennedy: No. There was a guy whose dad was mayor of Atlanta. He got to.
Where is your favorite place to visit: Right now it's where my family is. My son is at SMU. My daughter is at a school in New Hampshire.
What virtue is overrated: God I don't know about that. That's a hard one.
Any place you have yet to visit: Right now I want to go Jerry's building in April (AT&T Stadium in Arlington - home of the 2014 NCAA Final Four).
The perfect day: Except for this interview right now?
Yeah, except for this: I tell this to everybody. When you are young you aren't smart enough to say this is the way I want to live my life. When I look back at the opportunities I've had because of the people that have touched me, I love this. I don't want to stop.
Ever been starstruck? I met Muhammad Ali when I was representing the U.S. we were going to Russia. We met him as he was getting his passport. He was getting his name changed from Cassius Clay to Ali. We had a kid named Bill Bradley - not that Bill Bradley - but he went to high school with him in Louisville. So he introduced me, and at the time he was making a scene, and (snaps his fingers) he turned it off right like that. He was amazing.
There was a lot of people. Frank McGuire when he recruited my mother.
What do you do for fun when you are not working: I love to play golf.
You any good: I used to be.
Ever hit a hole in one?: Yeah. In Bellaire. I was 50. I hit a 6 iron 160 yards uphill. I couldn't see it. I was playing with Al Michaels. I got the card.
Regret any of those bad '70s outfits: Only when I see the pictures. At the time I thought I was pretty cool.
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