Visualizzazione dei post da ottobre 25, 2017

The Unjust Exile of a Superstar

Unjustly accused of helping gamblers, a basketball superstar spends his life banned from NBA competition.
1969, May 16
He is six feet eight inches tall, and he does things on a basketball court nobody else his size can equal. He moves with disciplined grace --controlling the ball with one massive hand, dribbling behind his back, passing with the flash of a Globetrotter and making jump shots from 20 feet out. One special move always brings the crowd to its feet. He slithers close to the basket, wards off defenders with his free arm, leaps high into the air and dunks the ball with a one-handed flourish that rattles the backboard.
His name is Connie Hawkinsand, according to top professionals who've played against him in summer tournaments, he is one of the five greatest players in the world, a mixture of Bill Russell, oscar Robertson and Elgin Baylor. And those who praise him loudest play in the National Basketball Association, the sports' only real major league. …

The Miracle of the White Angels

Spartak Trnava outshone the aristocrats of Prague and ignored the Soviet tanks to reach the 1969 European Cup semi-final. Karel Häring recalls an incredible journey

by Karel Häring
CHAMPIONS MAGAZINE, Issue 34 - April/May 2009

There was no celestial intervention, but Spartak Trnava - known as the White Angels despite a black and red home kit - played a starring role in the 1969 European Cup when they reached the semi-finals, overcoming a Soviet invasion and ignoring the Warsaw Pact ban on the competition along the way. They even did it without the insiprational coach Anton Malatinsky, who led the rise of the small-town club from western Slovakia.
Outshining and outplaying their illustrious opponents from Prague, Spartak rose from the second division to claim five Czechoslovakia titles in six years and remain unbeaten at home for seven seasons. But their most remarkable feat was coming to within a goal of beating Ajax to make the European Cup final, in seriously trying circumstances.