Thurl Bailey and Dave Rose first crossed paths as members of opposing teams in the 1983 NCAA Basketball Championship Game in Albuquerque. Bailey was a senior forward and starter for the tournament Cinderella team, the North Carolina State Wolfpack; Rose was co-captain and a fifth-year senior shooting guard coming off the bench for the top-ranked Houston Cougars.
And when the two teams met at The Pit on April 4, 1983, N.C. State carved its place in hoops history with a 54-52 upset over heavily favored Houston, as Lorenzo Charles grabbed a Dereck Whittenburg airball for a last-second, game-winning dunk.
In the two decades since, Bailey and Rose have become mainstays in Utah — Bailey first as a longtime member of the NBA's Utah Jazz and more recently on KJZZ as a color analyst for University of Utah basketball broadcasts and commentator during Jazz home telecasts. In his sixth season as the associate head basketball coach at Brigham Young University, Rose previously coached at St. George's Dixie College and at Millard and Pine View high schools.
While basketball and their professions have allowed the two to maintain contact, Bailey and Rose have never sat down and visited with each other about the 1983 championship game — until the two were invited recently by Deseret News sports writer Scott Taylor for lunch and an interview. Following is a near-complete transcript of their conversation about their historic game 20 years ago:
DESERET NEWS: First, tell me about each of your teams that season — going into the tournament, into the Final Four.
BAILEY: We were just happy to be there, man. We had done some incredible things. We wouldn't have even been in the NCAA Tournament if we wouldn't have won the ACC Tournament — we had 10 losses that year. There were some really incredible things on the court — pulling out games at the last second, fouling guys and capitalizing on missed free throws. So it was really a magical season for us. If it had ended any time during that run, we would have been disappointed, but we would have been happy with what we had accomplished as a team. So, we walked into The Pit, man — I can't remember the exact feeling of everybody, but I knew that it was incredible for us to be able to be there.
DESERET NEWS: Dave, Houston was ranked No. 1 going into the tournament — and it wasn't a 64-team tournament yet, was it? You had a first-round bye.
ROSE: We had a first-round bye and played Maryland in the second round. It was at home, too — well, it wasn't at home, but it was in Houston at what is now the Compaq Center, then it was the Summit. Lefty Dreisel came in there with Lenny Bias — he was a freshman at the time — he had a great team. They held the ball — I think the score at halftime was 18-15. It was a tough game — we didn't get very many touches. There wasn't a shot clock back them, and they were just playing keep-away — that was kind of frustrating. In the second half, we did a half-court trap. I think we won 50-40 (60-50).
DESERET NEWS: You played Maryland — and who else?
ROSE: We played Maryland, Memphis State, Villanova — in Kansas City the second round. Memphis State had a quick little guard — I can't remember his name.
BAILEY: We played them that year — I know who you're talking about.
ROSE: I can't remember his name, but I'll tell you, one of the best dunks I've ever seen is when Clyde (Drexler) jumped over that guy. It was a fast break, and Clyde got it and the guy was sitting there and trying to take a charge. And Clyde went up — and he (the guy) was only 5-8 — he was really small. Clyde just went up — he kind of spread his legs and went up right over the top of him.
DESERET NEWS:It's 20 years later, but what do you remember about Guy (Lewis) telling you about N.C. State and Thurl in particular, as far as scouting. And, Thurl, I'll ask you the same about Houston and Dave.
ROSE: The difference is that he played 39 minutes in the game and I played seven. That's where the difference is in the scouting reports. The thing that I remember most is that they were a really good shooting team and defensively, we really had to pay attention to the perimeter guys who could shot the ball really well. We knew that they had a post player that was pretty skilled in the high post and a player who was pretty physical in the low post. That's what I kinda remember the scouting report as. I've done 500 scouting reports since then, so it's kinda hard to go through it all.
I do remember this — early in the year, I remember seeing them somewhere. The ACC was experimenting at that time with the three-point line, and it was only used in the ACC conference, and I remember halfway through the league, that a couple of guys on North Carolina State that were leading the country in three-point shots got hurt. I don't remember if it was Dereck (Whittenburg) or Sidney (Lowe) who got hurt . . .
BAILEY: It was Derek.
ROSE: . . . and they kinda took a dive. And I remember that going into the game, that this guy's back, he's playing now, and even though they have a lot of losses — they lost a lot of the games without the team that we are going to play. I do remember that.
DESERET NEWS:Thurl, Houston was obviously the top dog of the tournament.
BAILEY: We were scared — I'm going to tell you the truth, we were afraid. We were excited to be there. But there was a little fear involved because, whenever I talk about this team, I always say that they were like an NBA team masquerading as a college team. They had some incredible talent on that team — Benny Anders, Michael Young, of course, Akeem (he later changed the spelling to Hakeem) Olajuwon and Clyde. There was a reason why they were No. 1 — awesome, awesome talent, awesome team.
But I specifically remember the first time I saw these guys, we were practicing at the Pit. I swear, it was almost full. There were a lot of people in there that day — just for practice. I remember these guys come walking down the stairs and we were stretching at the time. And I think it was about the time that the Walkmans had just come out. And they had the Walkmans on, the headphones on, and they came walking down the stairs and they just looked like pros. We watched a lot of video on them. But we had known throughout the course of the year — when you're that good, and you have that much notoriety and you're ranked that high, everybody takes notice. So we knew who they were, we knew what kind of team they were.
Jimmy V. (Valvano) was a different kind of coach, and he never liked to let on kinda what his hand was. I think he gave the media the impression that we were excited to be there. I mean, that if we had the opportunity to hold the ball and make the score as low as possible, that we would do it. But our game plan was to come out and not try to get into a running match with those guys but to go at them and not be afraid.
DESERET NEWS: Dave, you were the co-captain of that team?
ROSE: Yes, I was a senior. We had four seniors and all seniors were captains.
DESERET NEWS: You played the seven minutes — what juncture of the game were you on the court?
ROSE: Toward the end of the first half and the middle of the second half.
BAILEY: Clyde got in foul trouble.
QUESTIONS: He got, what, four fouls in the first half? And Thurl, you got all your 15 points in the first half?
BAILEY: Yeah, they were all in the first half. It was interesting, because it was really our frontline that did a lot of the scoring in the first half. We came out juiced up, fired up and ready to play in that first half. In the second half, I just couldn't buy a basket. I got my shot blocked a couple of times by Olajuwon. Whatever their defensive strategy was at halftime, on me and maybe Lorenzo Charles, it worked. I'm trying to remember — I didn't have a lot of touches in the second half. And when I did, they made me give the all up. But our guards, Dereck and Sidney, they took over.
DESERET NEWS:That semifinal game against Louisville was memorable, wasn't it. People were talking then that that game was going to be for the national championship, because Georgia and North Carolina State were . . .
ROSE: . . . lower-seeded teams. I don't know what their seed was (N.C. State was a No. 6, Georgia was a No. 4), but we were the highest seeds left — us and Louisville. I don't know if we were both No. 1 seeds (both were) — but the other bracket, they were 5 and 10, 8 or something like that.
It happens every year — one bracket has the two No. 1 seeds still left in there, or a No 1 and a No. 2, and there's a 5 and a 7 left on the other side. That whole four- or five-day period, everybody predicts that the two lower seeds that that is the game to watch. And every year, it seems to go whacked out — totally different. The next year was Georgetown and Villanova, and Georgetown was the big favorite and Villanova plays the perfect game and wins it. And that's the beauty of the whole season.
And, come on, you go back to the tournament and see the games that they (N.C. State) won, they beat UNLV — they get down seven with 40 seconds left or something like that. You beat Pepperdine in doubleovertime — a wild, wild game. Sometimes you get on a roll, and the team is going to win.
What I remember is that going into Kansas City was that the year before, I had redshirted — I had knee surgery. They got to that same point with that team and beat Boston College in that regional final and got to the Final Four in New Orleans. And I just wanted it to happen so bad again, that it was almost like I was trying to jinx myself. I mean, you just don't get to the Final Four back-to-back. Our team had gotten there the year before, going 6-0. We got there and beat Memphis and then tried to beat Villanova — the cards were kinda stacked against us. Plus, we hadn't lost since December — we went all through January and February undefeated. But I knew we were going to do — that we could win the whole thing if we got there.
BAILEY: This is interesting to hear. Whenever people interview me and ask me questions, they always ask me what Houston was thinking. And I could only speculate what their strategy was and what their game plan was. It's interesting to have this type of interview and to hear 20 years later, because so many people still ask me about it.
I remember it made me really sad — even though the euphoria of us winning, watching the video and watching Jimmy V. running around like he was doing. But then the cameras turned on these guys, and I can't remember who it was laying on the floor . . . .
ROSE: Renaldo Thomas.
BAILEY: . . . and it was sad to see that side. You know, obviously, I was excited to be on the other end of it. Sports is interesting that way. It's good to hear the other side of things. Because people always ask me — I think it was the part of the game where you guys slowed the ball down, I don't know if you stalled or what happened. But people always ask me, "Why did they do that." Because I think they had the lead.
ROSE: We were up six or seven. It was something we had done all through the year. It was just a part of our game plan once we got ahead — the coach would pull it out. There was no shot clock. It was a four-corners deal like (North Carolina coach) Dean Smith used to run. We called it some crazy deal — no one could ever figure out what we were doing. In reality, we didn't have a pattern. They called it "Loco-motion" — we would go into spread thing. Coach called it the spread offense. What it led to most of the time was a lot of penetration, a lot of help and a lot of dunks for the big guys on the baseline. The point guard usually triggered the whole deal.
We went into that for a couple possessions. It's hard to remember the game — I haven't watched the game for a couple of years — but what I do particularly remember is that they started to foul us. In fact, I was with Clyde two years ago when he was talking about me coming to work for him, and Clyde was still talking about Michael Young having the ball in his hand and Clyde wanted it. He said, "I wanted it. I wanted them to foul me." Clyde wanted them to foul him.
We weren't a very good foul-shooting team in the first place, but we had about four or five different plays off the free throws to get the rebound, because we knew that we were had about a 50 percent chance of it coming off. So we ran about two or three different plays to get the rebound. We won a lot of games in the league that were close by getting offensive rebounds off of missed free throws. But I think it was Michael and Alvin (Franklin) that missed a couple.
DESERET NEWS:You say you haven't watched the game in years? It's not like it isn't available on ESPN Classic.
ROSE: I've seen parts of the game. I'll be in hotels, getting ready to play a game. And a lot of my players will call: "Coach, I'm on the Classic — the game's on."
BAILEY: I can dub it for you if you want.
You know, the real interesting thing is that kids that weren't even born at that time or maybe were babies at the time — they know about it. Their parents have told them, or they've watched it on ESPN Classic. Obviously for us, it was a great feat. It's been called one of the biggest upsets in college basketball. It's just amazing how many people whenever I go out to speak somewhere — people watched. People knew about the great Houston team, they remember, even through it was 20 years ago, where they were and watching the game.
ROSE: I try to think of how come it was so well recognized everywhere you go. Nowadays, I can understand it, because there's so many cable TV channels. But at that time, there was not a lot of real media attention to this sport, like there is now. But I think what really made it was the success of Thurl and Clyde and Akeem after that. You know, they were doing so well in the NBA and having great careers, that it just always draws back to the final game.
DESERET NEWS:And it really made March Madness — that and with Michael Jordan (of North Carolina) the year before and his final shot against Georgetown.
ROSE: And then Clyde and Akeem become two of the top 50 guys in the NBA. There is just a lot of interest in where they came from.
BAILEY: It's part of that story.
DESERET NEWS:And you can say, "Hey, I beat them."
BAILEY: Yeah, you'll always have that. I think on my side, it's not just about that game, obviously, that is what topped it off. But it's the story — the story that every player, every athlete, maybe every person loves to read about — the underdog, the little guy slams the giant. It's one of those kind of things where people like to go on that journey, they like to go back. They want to know how we got there, how this team really came out of nowhere and accomplished great things. I know it's had an amazing effect on just about everything I do. Not just business-wise, but when I go to schools and talk to kids and things like that.
We had our reunion a few weeks ago — you talk to the guys and find out what they're doing and how that particular moment affected their lives forever. It's just a great story — from my side of things.
DESERET NEWS: Can you say the same thing, Dave? Obviously, when you win a championship, you can do that. But there's frustration, disappointment in missing out.
ROSE: It was a great experience for me, personally, and for my family. I'll tell you that most of the time, when people talk to me about that game — not real basketball fans. A lot of basketball people want to talk about the game. They kinda approach it a little delicately because they know the outcome of the game, they remember the outcome of the game. But just the lay person — they think we won. They don't remember. I've had so many people say — "Oh, you didn't win the game?"
There are a couple of things that I think as it has gone from year to year to year that have made the game a lot more famous or infamous or whatever. The fact that when Jimmy V. actually got cancer and died — that great personal feat for him. Then the college coaches around the country started the foundation to try and raise money to fight the disease — I mean, Jimmy's legacy is this game. A big part of his legacy is that national championship game. I think that has brought a lot of notoriety in the basketball world, as far as remembering the game itself, because every year there is the Jimmy V. Classic and there is a golf tournament and there are a lot of things. When you think of Jimmy Valvano, you think of North Carolina State beating Houston.
BAILEY: But, you know what, these guys will always be remembered because they had a great team. Even if they didn't win the championship, they had a great team. And I would have to believe that that team goes down in history as one of the great all-time college rosters around. There are people who obviously gauge that by "Well, did you win a championship?" They had a great team and they accomplished great things. But that's also the thing that made what we did that much nicer. I mean, I don't know, if Louisville had beaten these guys and then we had beat Louisville, I don't think it would have been the same.
ROSE: And if we would have won the game, it wouldn't be the same. I've had a lot of people tell me that the reason it is what it is in history is because we did not win the game. If we would have put you away, you know, won by 10 points, people wouldn't remember that game that much. There's a national championship game every year, where somebody wins and somebody loses. But in this situation, it was perceived by the country as David and Goliath — just like it was the next year, too. That next year's game was really amazing.
DESERET NEWS:You mentioned something, Dave, that there are some people who thought that Houston won the game. After 20 years, are you finding urban legends or myths coming out? Thurl, I would imagine there are people who think that you dunked the ball instead of Charles, since you lingered longer in the NBA.
BAILEY: Yes. Or they think I was on the one standing on the hoop. Sometimes I just agree with them. "Yeah, that was me."
DESERET NEWS:Any other misconceptions or blurred memories?
BAILEY: I don't try to destroy those. Just the fact that they bring it up and they start talking about what they were doing. I was in Spokane speaking to some athletes, and I said something about 80 percent of America didn't think we could win. And some guy shouted out, "No, 99 percent." I mean, the incredible thing was the letters in the mail that we got. And a lot of them weren't even basketball-related. It was more like life-related. People were looking at the whole journey. One I remember is that a lady had her husband on a respirator in the hospital — Jimmy V. read this to us. He was in a coma. She wasn't a basketball fan — she knew nothing about basketball — but he loved watching basketball, college basketball. So, she'd go the hospital, he'd be laying there in a coma, and she'd have the TV on and she'd turn to a college game, and it would usually be us playing in the tournament. She had to make a decision whether or not to disconnect her husband from the respirator. So, she writes us a letter saying we gave her — seeing us play and seeing us come from behind and win these games as an underdog — gave her the reason to hope and believe that her husband would get better. That was overwhelming for us — it was just a game for us. But it kinda opened our eyes to really what we were accomplishing.
DESERET NEWS:With your work, both of you have the opportunity to go back to the Pit from time to time. Does it bring back memories?
ROSE: Yeah, I can't go in there without just kinda replaying the whole thing — the last 15 to 20 seconds of that game. And I've seen that on tape virtually hundreds of time. Because it seems like every highlight of whenever they're advertising the tournament — that pass that Benny Anders almost intercepts that Dereck catches ...
DESERET NEWS:And that's your pass, Thurl.
ROSE: . . . he shoots that thing up there, it doesn't draw iron, Akeem is kind of frozen for a minute and Charles goes up and dunks it. And the thing that I always remember is that Michael Young is trying to call timeout — there's still a second on the clock. I always remember that, because I think that just maybe — in today's world, we probably would have got more time put back on and got one more possession and it would have been a long shot. And there was no three-point line in the day. It was a different game.
But when you go to the Pit, those are all the kind of things that come to my mind. You just replay that. I remember I was sitting right over here, and this is where I ended up after, and Jimmy was running this way. Because he ran right past our bench — as fast as he could go, looking for somebody to hug, because everybody was out there celebrating.
DESERET NEWS:What do you remember exactly about those last 15, 20 seconds.
ROSE: When the timeout was called and they came to the huddle, we put our defense in. I remember going into a little trap — we did the same thing two or three different times in close games during the year. One that I specifically remember was against Pepperdine. We were playing at Pepperdine — we went into the same thing, Clyde stole it, he went down and scored and we won the game. It was on our way back from Japan — we had played Virginia and then Utah in Japan in some tournament and on the way back, we stopped off in California and played Pepperdine.
So, I'm thinking we could put this trap on and get steal, come down and win the game, or probably it's going to go into OT. Then, as it got later and later in the possession and the clock kept ticking down, kept ticking down and they were so far away from the basket, I'm going "OK, we're not going to steal it and we'll be fine."
And he fires that thing up there. And I don't think there was anyone in the place that thought the ball was going to go in on the original shot. Even though he shot it well, he was deep. And then you just see Lorenzo go up and get it.
I've been coaching the game for 20 years, and it's the hardest ball to rebound — the airball - the hardest ball. Because, you get one out of every 25 shots as an airball, and so you're used to the other 24 that hit something up there and you react to it. And the one that doesn't get anything — the guy who is the deepest and is facing out has the best advantage.
BAILEY: Even though it looks short, it might go. If it's going, I don't want to interfere with it.
Last year, when I went for the U. of U.-New Mexico game — that was the first time I had been back. After the game, I remember walking — I actually walked to the spot when there was eight seconds left on the clock when I got in on the corner. I actually walked to the spot. Steve Brown and I were there — I was taking him through the last few seconds. "I was right here, Steve, and I caught the ball with eight seconds." We had thrown some real dangerous passes right before that. Eight seconds on the clock, I remember Sidney passing to me. I overlooked Sidney and I saw Dereck out a little bit further and I threw it for him. And right before he grabbed it, Benny Anders got his fingertips on it. And then Dereck grabbed it, shot it, and I ran to the opposite side of the basket where Lorenzo was — Lorenzo was on one side and I ran right on the other side. And just froze. I don't even know what would have happened if the ball would have come on my side. I'm not sure I could have even gone up in time to grab it. I was just frozen, and all of a sudden, I saw Lorenzo go up and grab it and stuff it in. And as soon as it went in, I was still kind of frozen — "OK, did we just win?" Because Lorenzo looked like ...
DESERET NEWS:He looked kinda stunned.
BAILEY: He was stunned. I think he was about ready to run back on defense or something. And then there was a barrage of people rushing, teammates coming. I just remember falling to the floor, on my knees on the floor, as people came towards me.
ROSE: You can't go in there without thinking about it.
BAILEY: No, you can't. You just remember everything. You remember the oxygen. I remember Akeem and some of the guys ...
ROSE: We had oxygen tanks behind the bench for guys that came out. The Louisville game, especially, it was such an up-and-down game that I played a lot of minutes in that game just for guys to get over there and suck some oxygen. So, it worked out really good for me.
DESERET NEWS: Dave, there are coaches meetings in conjunction with the Final Four. Have both of you been back to the Final Four?
BAILEY: I've been to a few tournament games.
ROSE: The NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) has their coaches convention in conjunction with the Final Four. As a player, you have no idea — you don't know that. But now, as a coach, you look back, it is the conclusion of the season, it's the grand finale. All the coaches are there. So, it's just amazing to me how many people in my profession now have come up to me and say "I was there, I was at the game." Of course they were there, because that's the coaches convention. There's a lot of high school coaches that go, there's a lot of junior college coaches that go. The last 20 years that I've been in the coaching world, I've run into a lot of people — and those are the people who remember who won the game.
Now, my next neighboor ... I lived in one place, I lived next to my next-door neighbor for three years before they finally found out we lost. Those people in the profession, they all remember.
DESERET NEWS: You have all the memories, but any physical mementos or souvenirs from that game?
ROSE: I have an older brother and my sister was actually on a mission at the time, but I had two younger brothers and they were collectors, so they have stuff. They have Akeem's sock, and his jersey and his shoes. And I have some of my own personal stuff that I've kept. I do have a picture of me getting a rebound — the one offensive rebound I did get in the game was over Thurl's outstretched arms. That's nice. There area a couple of magazines that I've kept that were totally dedicated to our season that year — Phi Slamma Jamma, some Final Four memorabilia in a box in my closet. But I haven't done anything with it. A brother has asked me on many occasions to get it all out and he would make a display out of it, but I've never really got around to it.
That stuff is probably a lot more sentimental or valuable to other people — the people that follow it as fans. As players, you just kinda do it — it's just something you do. That uniform — you just put it on and you went to work and you did something in it. To other people, it's just the coolest thing ever. I remember my son wore my Houston basketball uniform one time for trick-or-treat. He dressed up like a player.
But it has really affected my family. My borthers — they really love college basketball — and my dad, he follows the game. Once you feel a connection like that, the tournament is just a special time. My daughter, Chanell, who actually plays at BYU — this year she couldn't play — she's made one road trip with the team this year, and it was to George Washington and North Carolina State. She wanted to go back to North Carolina State and watch the girls play; she went and to the new arena and found all the national championship stuff. I remember (former BYU assistant football coach) Norm Chow, when he took the job to go back to North Carolina State — he remembers a place where he used to eat dinner all the time — a little restaurant or club where they used to play the game all the time.
ROSE: He said he watched that game probably four or five times when he was back there working for North Carolina State.
BAILEY: My mom pretty much has all my memorabilia. She was at that game, too. It's so funny, too — my mom, when we got the tickets . . .
ROSE: Don't tell me — the seats are bad, because Row 1 is at the top of The Pit and Row 36 is at the bottom. So, everybody's fighting for the 1s and the 2s, you know, and you get 36 and you're on the front row.
BAILEY: My mom — her seats were on the top row. She was p—-ed. She was beside herself. At halftime, she sent a note to the locker room to Coach Valvano, saying that "if my seats don't change by halftime, my son is not playing in the second half."
ROSE: Was this in the championship game or the semifinal?
BAILEY: This was the championship game. What happened is that one of the guys in the Wolfpack Club came in and showed the note to the Coach V. And here I didn't know anything about it really — he didn't say anything to me about it. But I guess one of the Wolfpack Club people who was sitting down traded seats with her — she was down there the second half.
ROSE: That was one of the last ones they had in an actual arena — now they're all in domes, because they needed so many tickets just for the convention people besides the fans. There are some bad seats in the Final Four they play now. You can get some really bad seats at the Final Four now — your mom had a great seat there compared to the seats they're giving away now.
DESERET NEWS:Does it seem like 20 years?
ROSE: Gosh, in some ways it seems like 20 years. But when you think of basketball itself, it just seems like yesterday.
BAILEY: I think the fact that it has been relived, that people remember it and bring it up over and over again, it doesn't seem like it was that long ago. I remember watching the Final Four last year and I was bored out of my mind. It was Maryland and ...
ROSE: Duke. Maryland and Indiana in the championship game — that's who it was.
BAILEY: And I think about — how many people are going to remember that championship game? Probably not a lot. I think the team that was picked to win it did. But there are just so many people — so many people from different generations that continue to see that (1983 game) and remember — not just N.C. State but the great team these guys had — the Olajuwons and the Drexlers. And all these kids that want to play college basketball — that's what it's all about, just getting to that point, getting to the Dance.
ROSE: Every Final Four has great players in it, if you look at all four teams. But those four teams that came into that Final Four, you take the success of that group of guys after the college basketball tournament, it's amazing. The McCray brothers, Pervis Ellison, Thurl and all the guys on our team. And Georgia, they had a couple of guys on the team that actually made it in the league.
BAILEY: I think when you look at our team individually, we had some talent. But we didn't have any — I honestly believe that if we hadn't won the national championship, I don't think I would have gone as the No. 7 pick in the draft. I don't think I would have. I probably would have gone in the draft, but I wasn't this highly sought-after All-American player. Sidney Lowe — great skills, but he had to go to some postseason tournaments just to get picked up. That kind of thing — and in coaching now — there are many things that have been derived from that accomplishment.
DESERET NEWS: Dave, what about you?
ROSE? I think it gave me a great opportunity right out of college to get a head coach's job. I got to get out a lot of guys can coach basketball as
assistants or as graduate assistants, and they go six, seven, eight even
nine years before they even get a chance to coach and decided if they want
to do that. For me, I was fortunate to have a couple jobs offered me, and I
think it was because of the notoriety of that season. I got to be a head
high school coach right out of college and decided if that is what I wanted
to do, if I was going to be any good at it, if I liked it and if I wanted to
pursue it. And then I think it helped me get a lot of the jobs that I've had
it brings a little bit of credibility to my name the fact that I played on
a pretty good team.
BAILEY: The fact of the matter is, you've got a couple of great stories here. Even looking at it from his side, which is: had they won the
championship, it's still a great story, it's still a great team. You look at
the success that Dave's had and guys that he's played with have gone on to
do great things, which really means that when I go out and do the
motivational speaking thing, obviously, those experiences come into play.
But at the same time, there's a great moral on both sides. There's a
great lesson on both sides especially for young people today. There are a
lot of times when they aspire to do something, and it doesn't work out, and
they feel like their lives are just over. There are a lot of kids like that
a lot of teenagers who just don't know where they want to go. But, you
know, the fact of the matter is, you could be very successful.
Jimmy V. used to tell us, he used to run it into the ground about "never
giving up, always be a dreamer." People don't know that he told us three
years before that he told us that he was going to win a national
championship. This was when Norm Sloan left after my freshman year. When
we met him for the first time, he talked about this dream he had that he
was going to win the national championship sometimes soon. But he always
stated that the whole three years we were with him.
ROSE: We had the same thing in our locker room every day. We had a
consistent coach who told us the first year we got there, the Final Four was
in Philadelphia. And he said, "OK, boys, when we load up for the tourney to
go to Philly, when we get off the plane, we're walking off the plane and
right into limousines and right to the arena." And this guy just talked
about it all the time.
We didn't make it that year, we got into the tournament, but we got beat
by Villanova in the first round. But the next year, he started talking about
going to New Orleans "We're gonna do this, and this is how it's gonna
happen." And then the next year he talked about "It's in Albuquerque" and
the next year, "It's in Seattle" and we actually ended up going three
Obviously, Akeem was a big part of that you know, he's the best center
in college basketball for three years, but you still have to do it, there
are so many things to make a good team great.
BAILEY: And that's the lesson that's really the lesson. Those are the
things that are going to be obviously be with you long after your college
career, your NBA career, your coaching career is over. You're going to be
teaching it to your kids, just like Dave is teaching it to his guys.
ROSE: Coach Lewis' big deal Jimmy's was "never give up" and this and
that. Coach Lewis' was, "Hey, I've never gone into a game thinking I
couldn't win the game, and I'm not going to start now." It was almost like
every time after he gave us a final scouting report, it was like "Hey, guys,
listen I know we can win because I've never played a game that I didn't
think we couldn't win, and I'm not going to start." There are some real
lessons in that positive results start from positive thoughts.
BAILEY: Jimmy V.'s was "Always be in a position to win." You're not
gonna win them all. Just be in a position to win.