By Reinis Lacis (@LamarMatic)
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When the 1961-62 Detroit Pistons made the Division Finals, Ray Scott was their impressive rookie forward. When the team first won 50+ games in 1973-74, he was their head coach. Thus we talked about the Pistons, yet also about the city of Philadelphia (and Wilt Chamberlain), fun with the Virginia Squires in the ABA and some of his teammates who were quite ahead of their time.
Topics discussed in the podcast:
01:45 – The impact of Philadelphia on Ray, helping establish the Philadelphia Black Basketball Hall of Fame where some more unknown players have been inducted and received the proper appreciation;
05:35 – The type of friendship he had with Wilt Chamberlain, a deep conversation the two of them had many years later;
08:40 – Attending a junior college in Brooklyn, then spending a year with the Portland Pilots where he got to spread his wings, meet new people, his first contract with the Pistons paying him $25,000;
12:40 – Playing a versatile and exciting style of basketball, developing it in the schoolyards on his own, the impact of West Philadelphia High School coach Doug Connelly;
18:00 – Pistons coach Dick McGuire not exactly being enthused about Ray’s style of play, him starting to concentrate more on rebounding and being proud about his place in the history in that part of the game, starting along Bob Ferry at the power forward position, facing Hall of Fame level of competition;
25:35 – Playing with great teammates who were in front of him in the pecking order and made All-Star games, having the Coach of the Year title to his name;
28:05 – The maturity of a young Dave DeBusschere who was ahead of his years and became player-coach at the age of 24, Reggie Harding as Detroit’s treasure with a high skill level who could not hold back his own flaws;
33:55 – His averages going down as the Baltimore Bullets began to accumulate talent, Jack Marin eventually taking his minutes as a defensive player, playing against the orchestra of a team in the New York Knicks, having a snapshot in his memory of the quick Wilt Frazier stripping the ball from Kevin Loughery in the 1970 Playoffs;
41:25 – Charlie Scott and Julius Erving coming in as rookies and leading the Virginia Squires, the story of Scott as the first African American scholarship athlete in the ACC, Dr. J coming to town, proving himself in scrimmages and stealing all of the minutes;
48:20 – Feeling like a part of the ABA family, enjoying the type of basketball played in the league, everyone socializing after games;
54:50 – Becoming a coach for a new generation of players, changing the Pistons to a defensive-minded team thanks to the involvement of stars Dave Bing and Bob Lanier, them helping each other as Lanier became the top scorer, Bing was moved off the ball, while Chris Ford started to take it up the floor;
1:03:10 – An appeal in the ability and opportunity to serve, building a successful insurance company in Michigan, learning how to help his community.
The media related to the podcast:
The following video starts with Ray making an entry pass for a basket by Doug Moe. Unfortunately, he’s not on the court in the other pieces of film. Nevertheless, the material is very fascinating.
Notable snippets of the interview:
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Thanks to Ray for coming on the show and sharing a wide variety of stories from his life.