By Reinis Lacis (@LamarMatic)
UTEP Miners great Dave Feitl joined the show and reminisced about the university’s success under coach Don Haskins, remembered the difficulties the Houston Rockets faced after the 1986 Finals and told us his story about regaining confidence in Europe after being run into the ground with the Washington Bullets.
Topics discussed in the podcast:
02:20 – Taking up basketball and falling in love with it while growing up in Tucson, Arizona, a city where the sport wasn’t all that popular due to the heat in bad basketball gyms (Fat Lever and Sean Elliott are two of the other three Tucsonans to make the NBA), playing against Mark Alarie and Steve Colter from Phoenix, later being teammates in the league;
05:10 – A summer job helping him get introduced to Tim Floyd who in turn connected him with coach Don Haskins, Haskins’s presence and candor;
08:15 – UTEP’s success during his time there, enjoying wins against national powerhouses like Georgetown and Indiana;
10:20 – Being aware of the fact that he’s 17 points shy of Tiny Archibald‘s school record in total points scored, the team being more important than individual success under coach Haskins;
12:30 – Joining the Houston Rockets during unsure times, being nervous about making the roster, that stint as a fun time, yet filled with unfortunate events like Ralph Sampson‘s injury;
16:10 – Backing up Hakeem Olajuwon, the sad day of finding out the news about Mitchell Wiggins and Lewis Lloyd failing their tests, all of the bad luck stopping them from going at the Los Angeles Lakers, him being more of a face-up center who would be suited for today’s game, working with Olajuwon on post moves;
21:00 – The trade to Golden State, averaging 16 points and 8 rebounds in four games against the Rockets, competing with Olajuwon and his old teammates;
22:55 – The tough times in Golden State, guys like Chris Washburn being admitted to rehabilitation institutions, the difficulty of facing great teams when having little success of your own, that being the longest season for him;
26:55 – Losing confidence after the second trade, the Washington Bullets having a lot of talent, but not playing as a unit, Wes Unseld tiring everyone out as a new coach, him not having his legs under him and that being the worst year of his career, the lack of attention teams paid to such factors;
34:30 – Going to Italy to get his confidence back, enjoying the culture in Italy and the burden of having to score a lot for Arimo Bologna;
38:30 – Returning to Houston, later reuniting with coach Bill Fitch in New Jersey, a demanding coach, yet a fair human being, knee issues forcing him to make a decision about his basketball career;
43:20 – His last stop in basketball with the unstable Chicago Rockets, being in agreement with players who spoke out about George Karl due to his new book, living in the same apartment complex as Drazen Petrovic, getting in the business of making energy efficient buildings.
The media related to the podcast:
(You can see Dave Feitl in action throughout the video. Certain marks like from 2:04 onward have consecutive baskets made by him.)
(The second half of an Italian league game in which Feitl scored 29 points, with 17 of them coming in the latter half of the contest. Baskets by him can be seen at 2:20, 6:12, 6:40, 11:07, 13:12, 14:36, 15:24, 18:38 and 23:34.)
Notable snippets of the interview:
Thanks to Dave for coming on the podcast and being so candid about his career!