By Reinis Lacis (@LamarMatic)
This episode could have been called “Coby Dietrick Steals the Show” if I actually did titles for each conversation. A 13-year pro in the ABA and the NBA, most notably with the San Antonio Spurs, and someone with experiences in Europe and the CBA, Dietrick had a lot to tell. Colorful teammates, wonderful times abroad and unique stories about games, contract signings and the business of basketball. All of that can be heard in this podcast episode.
Topics discussed in the podcast:
01:45 – Growing up surfing in California, similarities with Jack Haley, baseball player Bill Parsons as the best player on his Riverside Polytech team;
06:50 – Playing on San Jose State alongside Darnell Hillman, his jumping abilities, John Carlos, Tommie Smith and Lee Evans;
08:45 – Attending a San Francisco Warriors camp just for fun, Babe McCarthy being persuasive about joining the New Orleans Buccaneers of Snapper Steve Jones and Jimmy Jones, owner Maurice Stern picking him up in a yellow Volkswagen bug;
14:35 – The team moving to Memphis, rooming with Wendell Ladner, his roots and girlfriends;
20:00 – Being around men as a rookie, learning the physical game, coach McCarthy cutting him in favor of Lee Davis who needed the money, returning to Los Angeles and playing every Saturday against local guys, a guy approaching him about playing in Italy;
27:50 – Flying to Italy, playing on a San Marino All-Stars promo team with Fordham’s P.J. Carlesimo, George Zambetti, Tom Sullivan and Al Nissen from Nebraska, facing numerous teams from Europe in different kinds of settings before the 1972 Summer Olympics;
35:25 – Babe McCarthy calling him up to come over to Dallas, being picked up in a Midget sports car by a blonde, signing his contract on a diving board in a party;
38:45 – Tough guys like Goo Kennedy, Simmie Hill and especially Rich Jones setting the tone on the team about rough pro defense, coach McCarthy showing the same trust in Coby as in James Silas, Silas going through growing pains (Ralph Simpson scores 44 against Dallas) to his first success (Silas then dropping 38 against Denver);
43:40 – The team being aware about the financial aspects of the ABA, a memorable fight against William Franklin, relocating to San Antonio, being called up in Europe again after going there on a Jim McGregor team, Bernie LaRue running everything the first year;
53:55 – Silas controlling the game and getting the points that matter versus George Gervin as a genius scorer, Bob Bass’s smart trades, entering the NBA as a fast team, a young Danny Ferry being responsible for the lights going out in Game 7 of Spurs – Bullets;
1:01:45 – Being a capable passer, coach Doug Moe‘s style of play and him scrimmaging with them, building a trust with Larry Kenon, dynamics of NBA teams, Coby and George Karl going out to sell season tickets for the Spurs;
1:10:35 – Bill Musselman picking him up for the Tampa Bay Thrillers playoff run, coach Musselman’s antics against Frankie Sanders, Coby finding Linton Townes for a basket that forced overtime, having the last word with Albany Patroons head coach Phil Jackson.
The media related to the podcast:
Notable snippets of the interview:
Thanks to Coby for coming on the show and taking over it with such fantastic stories!