By Reinis Lacis (@LamarMatic)
Jerry Eaves came on The Handle to talk about the Louisville Cardinals of the early 1980s, the 1980 NCAA National Championship, coach Frank Layden’s personality and Utah Jazz teams and the various other stops Jerry has had in his basketball career.
Topics discussed in the podcast:
00:50 – Jerry being a lifelong fan of the University of Louisville, the heartbreak over Louisville’s loss to UCLA in 1975’s National Semifinal, Butch Beard, Wes Unseld and Junior Bridgeman as Jerry’s idols;
03:05 – The National Final against UCLA in 1980, Jerry bothering Kiki Vandeweghe‘s breakaway layup, making a couple of baskets down the stretch to ensure Louisville’s comeback;
05:35 – The very good Cardinals teams after Darrell Griffith went professional, losing to Arkansas on U.S. Reed’s miracle shot in his junior year, the game against Georgetown in the Louisiana Superdome in his senior year;
09:35 – Learning from a kid at a basketball camp that he had been drafted by the Utah Jazz in the 1982 NBA draft;
11:00 – Getting the opportunity to play being the hard part about professional basketball, having great games as a rookie (like a 35-point effort against Isiah Thomas and the Detroit Pistons) and earning playing time after injuries to Adrian Dantley, Larry Drew and Freeman Williams, the success of the team in 1983-84 being more important than individual success;
15:30 – Utah’s conference semifinal series in 1984 against the Phoenix Suns, Walter Davis being the main factor for Phoenix’s win, the pivotal Game 4 that went to overtime;
17:05 – Frank Layden’s philosophy of having to score 120 points per game, the pace of those Jazz teams, Frank as a great and humorous personality;
21:20 – Jerry sensing that John Stockton would be great and would take his job, the knee injury which slowed down his career;
24:35 – Having the best experience of his life when playing in the Philippines, averaging about 45 points per game there;
27:40 – His last stint in the NBA coming after he had already started working at a different job, Phil Johnson signing him to a 10-day contract after an injury to Othell Wilson;
28:40 – Jerry improving as a coach, having little idea how hard the job would be before getting into it;
32:50 – The 2000-01 Charlotte Hornets falling to the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games in the conference semifinals, Milwaukee’s offensive prowess behind Ray Allen, Sam Cassell, Glenn Robinson and many capable 3-point shooters;
35:30 – Not regretting that he missed out on coaching LeBron James at Cleveland, being ready to end his coaching career in a few years as the head coach at Simmons College of Kentucky.
The media related to the podcast:
Notable snippets of the interview:
Thanks to Jerry for coming on the podcast and reliving the many stops he has had in his basketball career!