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Bob's Corner: When Queen were kings

THANK Naismith for US correspondent BOB CRAVEN, who kept sending his popular column for publication during my recent back spasm cataclysm. He's on holidays now but here's another anniversary update I found in my B.O.T.I. Inbox. And once again, Bob has spread his wings beyond the boundaries of a basketball court.

ON October 31, 1975, Freddie Mercury, uhhh, I mean Queen, released the single “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the UK. 

It’s sobering that it’s going on toward 50 years since this iconic piece came out. 

And on a sad note, Jay Black, the lead guy of Jay and the Americans passed away a few days ago at 82.  He/they were a big deal in rock music in the 1960s, shortly before and after The Beatles exploded onto the pop/rock music scene and blew everybody away.  (“She Cried”, “Come a Little Bit Closer”, “Cara Mia”, “This Magic Moment”)

A few pro basketball anniversaries of the last few days:

A few days ago, Bob Ferry passed away at age 84.  A St. Louis, Missouri native, the 204cm Ferry was an All-American at St. Louis University and was taken with the 7th pick in the 1959 NBA draft by the St. Louis Hawks. 

He played one year for them before being traded.  He played four years for the Detroit Pistons and four more for the Baltimore Bullets before retiring in 1969 due to injury.  He worked as a scout for the Bullets and eventually became their GM in 1973. 

During his 17-year tenure there, the Bullets won an NBA title in 1978 and played for the title two other times.  He was twice voted by his peers as the NBA Executive of the Year.

One of his two sons, Danny, a 208cm big man, was an All-American at Duke University, where he/they won the NCAA title in 2003. 

That year he was also voted the Naismith College Player of the Year.  He played 13 years in the NBA and, like his dad, has also worked as a GM and executive for a number of years for multiple teams.

1950—Earl Lloyd of the Washington Capitals became the first African-American to play in an NBA game.  Washington lost on the road to the Rochester Royals 78-70.

1969—Former college All-American and NBA All-Pro Lenny Wilkins gets his first victory as an NBA coach when his Seattle Supersonics beat the Cincinnati Royals 129-121.  He is now the NBA’s all-time winningest coach.

1997—Violet Palmer makes professional sports history by becoming the first woman to officiate an NBA game.  Surprisingly, there was little reaction from the crowd when her name was announced shortly before tipoff in a game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Vancouver Grizzlies.

2001—Michael Jordan returned to the NBA after a 3 ½ year retirement—it was not his best ever game.  Playing for the Washington Wizards, he committed two crucial late turnovers, then missed his last and most important shot in the game—the Wizards lost to the NY Knicks 93-91.

2003—In the first game of his NBA career, 18-year-old LeBron James has 25 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals, but his Cleveland Cavaliers lose 106-92 to the Sacramento Kings.

2006—The Miami Heat’s season-opening 108-66 lost to the Chicago Bulls is the worst loss in NBA history for a defending champion on opening night.

Nov 27

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