Elvin Hayes versus Wes Unseld | Truth About It.net

Elvin Hayes versus Wes Unseld

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Updated: September 22, 2009



{via Sports Illustrated Vault}

{via Sports Illustrated Vault}

An unfortunate part about being a Wizards/Bullets blogger and only 29 years old (and only having moved to DC in 1990), is that timing has deprived my memory and knowledgeable grasp of franchise history. But we all depend on people before us to tell the stories we don’t know. The more accounts there are, the better depiction we get of what actually transpired. This is what’s so great about team blogs, or “sites” maintained by sources which not apart of main stream media. They provide a more in depth view from wider angles, making the lore that much better for the future.

For my last birthday, a friend gave me ‘The Great Book of Washington, D.C. Sports Lists‘, written by Andy Pollin and Leonard Shapiro and published in 2008. These two guys have an insanely close relationship with sports in the city I love, and they turned to even more brilliant minds for assistance when composing their lists. While the book doesn’t exactly satisfy my desire for Bullets history tid-bits (to be expected in a Redskins town), it comes highly recommended for its Washington sporting facts, which are considered mostly minutia by ‘official’ historical accounts, but extremely savory to serious fans.

In reading, which I still continue to do, some lists twice, I came across some eyebrow raising commentary regarding the relationship between Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I previously had little knowledge of Hayes outside of him being a great player, and a member of the ’78-79 championship team. I simply haven’t taken the time to dive into research about him as I’ve done for more contemporary figures during my fandom period (such as Kevin Duckworth, Robert Pack, Larry Stewart, Scott Skiles, and Haywoode Workman).

Hayes and Unseld appear on three lists together:

  • List: IT TAKES TWO (Odd Couples)
    #2, Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes: “Off the court, they plain didn’t like each other, but put them on a hardwood floor and they made sweet hoops music.”
  • List: TOP 100 DC ATHLETES OF ALL-TIME
    #14, Elvin Hayes: “Not the best loved by his teammates off the floor, but a tireless worker on it.”
  • List: GAMES FOR THE AGES
    #2, The Fat Lady Sings: “Ironically, the two men (Hayes and Unseld) despised each other off the court, but put their differences aside to help secure the title.”

Interesting that all three mentions tell of tumultuous relations between Hayes and Unseld. Could it be that the two greatest players in franchise history, the duo who together brought D.C. its only NBA title, just plain didn’t like each other?

It seems that Hayes didn’t exactly endear himself to owner Abe Pollin either. With the Wizards returning to China this year, we were reminded of a story the Washington Post’s Michael Lee wrote two years ago:

When Abe Pollin led the NBA’s first venture into China in the summer of 1979, not every member of the Washington Bullets shared the team owner’s enthusiasm. As players and their wives poured off a bus to take in the splendor of the Great Wall, Elvin Hayes and Dave Corzine refused to budge.

Pollin peered back and asked Hayes if he was coming. “I’ve seen a big wall before, Mr. Pollin,” Hayes told him. Wes Unseld tried to persuade Hayes by telling him the wall was the only man-made structure that can be seen from outer space. To which Hayes responded, “I’m never going into outer space.”

Pollin was so infuriated afterward he swore that he’d never take his team on another trip. “One of the wonders of the world,” Pollin said recently in a telephone interview, “and they didn’t get out of the bus.”

I mean, what kind of jerk refuses to get off the bus when already there? A pretty big one as indicated by Hayes’ personality through more research. Hayes often spent time boasting about himself, at times criticizing teammates, including Unseld, and his stats reflected a ‘me first, shoot first’ attitude.

Hayes once told Tex Winter, “I’m an all-star. Don’t expect me to pass. It’s like asking Babe Ruth to bunt.” Poor Tex, he’s not in the Hall of Fame, and has had to deal with some of the best players/prima donnas in NBA history.

It’s worth noting that Winter only coached Hayes for one season, in ’71-72 with the Houston Rockets. In that season, Hayes put up career high assist numbers (3.3 apg, 2.8 ast/36 min, and 11.7 ast%) but more on Hayes’ passing, or lack thereof, later. It’s also worth noting that the Rockets only won 34 games that year. Winter would later admit that in his first season as an NBA head coach, trying to turn a great scoring center like Hayes into a passer, and treating his players like they were in college, were bad ideas. He concluded, “It was as much my fault as it was [Hayes'].” Winter’s days as an NBA head coach were limited, but went on to be one of the greatest NBA assistants of all time.

Other indications of Hayes’ personality come via his NBA.com/history profile:

Hayes was immensely popular with fans, who appreciated his dominating style of play as well as his persona off the court. But he was less endearing to coaches and teammates. Critics felt he had an attitude problem that sometimes short-circuited the teams he played for and gave him a Jekyll-and-Hyde personality.

“For some players and coaches, being around Elvin every day is like a Chinese water torture,” John Lally, a trainer with the Washington Bullets when Hayes was with the team, told the Washington Post. “It’s just a drop at a time, nothing big, but in the end, he’s driven you crazy.”

More tales come from the Sport Illustrated Vault and, ‘Whatever Happens, It’ll Be Washington,’ by Curry Kirkpatrick (June 5, 1978). Kirkpatrick wrote after game three of the ’78 NBA Finals against the Sonics, which followed the rare 1-2-2-1-1 format with the opening and final games taking place in Seattle:

Hayes, who reinforced his reputation as basketball’s quintessential choker in Game 1 by hiding in the fourth quarter while being terrorized by Silas, accepted media criticism with E-quanimity. “I ain’t talkin’ to no press,” he said. “All that stuff is history. You want history, you can go to the library.”

None of the reference books, however, explained why [Bobby] Dandridge scored only six points in the opener when, as he likes to tell his coach, Dick Motta, while skipping practice, “I’m an artist, not a house painter.”

Kirkpatrick continued …

Hayes’ and Dandridge’s response was to blast Unseld. “It’s the same old story,” said Dandridge. “The other team just leaves Wes alone and double-teams us inside. If Wes were capable of making those 15-footers, we’d be O.K.”

And Hayes said, “Our guards get criticized for not playing defense, our forwards for not scoring, but I never hear a word about our center. Mitch Kupchak can shoot. He ought to play more.”

Though Unseld referred to these remarks as the work of “a prostitute sports-writer,” the quotes were accurate. So, as it turned out, were Hayes’ and Dandridge’s shots in Game 2.

Of course, the Bullets went on to win the most unlikely of championships, seemingly curing all ills, especially when looking back on history today.  But there were some indications that the Bullets won the championship despite Hayes. A passage from another SI Vault article, ‘The Big E Wants An MVP’, written by John Papanek in October 1978:

Even the winning of the championship after nine futile seasons failed to erase Hayes’ reputation as a choker. The collapse of the Philadelphia 76ers, and injuries to Bill Walton and other Portland Trail Blazers, tainted the Bullets’ win over the Seattle SuperSonics. Because Hayes fouled out of two of the final seven games—including the seventh—some fans felt that the Bullets won despite Hayes rather than because of him.

One does not have to go far to find people who dislike Hayes intensely. Alex Hannum, who coached him in San Diego during Hayes’ most turbulent years, calls him to this day “the most despicable person I’ve ever met in sports.” Reporters have been damning him for 10 years, the result of having had to chase him for low-yield interviews, and having been dealt with brusquely or stood up. Many opponents consider him a crybaby, some teammates feel he is selfish. Five years ago he stopped answering criticism and trying to correct misquotes and half-truths about himself. Last season his wife Erna and their three children, Elvin Jr., Erna Elisse and Erica, remained in Houston while Hayes lived alone in a rented house in Columbia, Md. On Thanksgiving he cooked a turkey and ate it alone. He did not spend a single social evening around Washington with a teammate, nor did he do more than eat a few meals with any of them on the road.

His prickly personality does not endear him to most of his teammates, some of whom consider him a finger pointer. For instance, after the Bullets blew a 19-point lead and lost to Seattle in the opening game of the championship series, Hayes criticized Center Wes Unseld in the newspapers for his lack of offense. Hayes insists his quotes were a year old and out of context. Nevertheless, Unseld was upset. He and Hayes have never been close. Says Unseld, “I always hear Elvin say, ‘They’re blaming Elvin.’ I never hear anybody blaming Elvin. Not coaches or players, anyway, just the papers, and that happens to everybody when they lose. It’s just that Elvin keeps calling attention to himself.”

“I do my talking to other players face-to-face, not through the press. I don’t dwell within Elvin. I don’t know what he’s thinking and I don’t care. The person I know is the basketball player, and right now he is one of the best in the league. What he’s done verifies that. We’ve had more than our share of run-ins off the court. But when he’s on the court he’s a professional and that’s all that matters.”

Much of Unseld’s high road goes to show what type of person he is, and why Pollin has remained so loyal to Big Wes as a valuable part of the franchise. Because we all know that Unseld’s coaching record (202-345, 2-3 in the playoffs), or GM history, aren’t exactly reasons to keep him on the payroll.

I’ve recently grown even more respect for Unseld’s character via J. Freedom du Lac’s piece in the Washington Post called, ‘30 Years Later, Visit to China Still Resonates‘. Quotes from Unseld:

They just told us not to do anything stupid — which as members of a professional team we were apt to do sometimes. I learned some Chinese, too: hello, goodbye, I’m sorry — things like that.
——-
At the hotel in Peking, they had American food on one side, and the other side was Chinese food. My wife and I, we had Chinese everything. Why go to China and eat bacon and eggs?
——-
I was a history major in college and wanted to see everything I could. We took a bus to the Great Wall, and a couple of my teammates didn’t get off the bus. I don’t know if they were tired or what, but I was embarrassed.

One, for people who know me, I get somewhat annoyed by ultra picky eaters, or at least those who are unwilling to try something new. It’s like that episode of The Office when Michael Scott is in New York City, looking for an ‘authentic’ slice of pizza, and proceeds to go into Sbarro (ok, not exactly an example of ‘picky’, but easily a similar display of absurdity).

Plus, if you are going to travel to another country, especially on a ‘diplomatic’ mission of sorts, you should display a willingness to be open and respect the culture, unlike slugs like Hayes and Corzine, the latter saying, “I was thrilled to get to Hong Kong. Most of us headed straight to McDonald’s.” At the time, Corzine was in his early 20s, so he gets a bit of a pass. Hayes, on the other hand, was in his early 30s. Unseld was right to be embarrassed, gently suggesting Hayes and Corzine might have been tired, while the previous account of Pollin depicts Hayes as being downright belligerent.

Shoot First, Shoot Second, Shoot Third

While a great player and a hard worker who rarely missed a game, Hayes was a malcontent locker room presence, difficult to deal with, and not the best teammate, especially in terms of sharing the ball. To further expand upon Hayes’ passing ineptitude, I turned to the Basketball-Reference.com database.

Since 1964-65, when assist percentage (an estimate of the percentage of teammate field goals a player assisted while he was on on the floor) begins its availability (Hayes was a rookie in ’68-69), there have only been a handful seasons where players have had:

  • An 6.5 assist % or below,
  • An average of 37 or more minutes per game,
  • An average of 20 or more points per 36 minutes, and
  • A PER of 17 or greater.

Here, I’m trying to highlight how great of player and scorer Hayes was (via PER and PP/36), along with how many minutes he was on the court, in comparison to his mediocre contributions to overall team passing with assist percentage.

Hayes has four of the 11 total player seasons that fit the requirements. Moses Malone has two, Mel Daniels has two, Wayman Tisdale has one, Dan Issel has one, and some dude named Zelmo Beaty has one.

An expanded comparison would be to find all seasons where a player:

  • Averaged 17 or more field-goal attempts per 36 minutes,
  • Averaged 1.8 or less assists per 36 minutes,
  • Had an assist % 6.3 or below, and
  • Appeared in more than 75 games.

Hayes has five of the 22 player seasons that fit. Mike Mitchell has four, Mel Daniels has two, and no other player has more than one season.

Another interesting item of note is that Wayman Tisdale’s ’89-90 season is the only one that among both stat sets that touches the 1990s and beyond. Modern players simply are not allowed to dominate shot attempts while refusing to share the ball. This could be an indication that there are more egos (or guys with the ability to score) in today’s game, and less players solely willing to perform dirty work. But such a hypothesis would obviously need more concrete theories and a much deeper statistical analysis of NBA trends over the years.

“Take Me Out Coach”

The famed title run wasn’t the first time Hayes was accused of being a choker. In the late 60s, but mostly early 70s, the New York Knicks and the Bullets had a heated rivalry. A particular first round series in April of 1974 that went seven games stands out to many.

The stats will say that Hayes averaged 25.9 points, 15.9 rebounds and three assists on .531 from the field against the Knicks. But the stats won’t tell you is that some guy named John Gianelli held one of the greatest players in NBA history in check during the deciding game of a hotly contested series. In the seventh game, Hayes only scored 12 points on 5-15 from the field. Gianelli, only 23 years-old at the time, was allowed to score 12 points and snag 15 rebounds, 11 of them offensive. The Knicks took game seven 91-81.

Now, you don’t necessarily have to throw around the word ‘choke’, there wouldn’t have been a seventh game without Hayes. Then again, when your best player simply does not show up in such an important game, and elects to retract into a shell instead of using his talents in other ways, something is clearly amiss.

Gianelli thought Hayes was injured because he kept asking out of the game. Afterward, Hayes told reporters that he wanted to go to the bench because he wasn’t playing well. Giving up on your teammates, your coach, and the fans like that is unacceptable.

Amends

It’s tough to paint Hayes as such a bad character without ever knowing him, but written words speak volumes. That being said, I clearly can’t imagine what it was like being in Hayes’ shoes. Growing up in a typical small, segregated, and racist Southern town in Louisiana, the chip he developed on his shoulder likely caused him to both succeed, and acted to his detriment. Throughout his career, Hayes had many struggles within himself, such as trying to find the right coach, or attempting to find himself religiously.

He once took criticism to heart so much that he thought about suicide. “One day I read one of those stories about me and I said to myself, ‘Wow, where does it all end? The best thing to do is kill myself.’ I lived up in the hills of La Jolla and I’d be driving home late at night—I had this fast car—and the thought of just running it off the road was always with me,” said Hayes in Papanek’s SI article.

Hayes’ career, good and bad, is in the past. And the most important part is that Washington, D.C. managed to get a champion in the process. Boy, that Dick Motta must have been a helluva coach. Having a humbled and hobbled big man like Unseld willing to do the dirty work, along with the contributions of Dandridge, Mitch Kupchak, Phil Chenier, Kevin Grevey, and Tom Henderson, didn’t hurt either.

Since, Hayes had made somewhat of an amends with his life path. As far back as the late 80s, he was calling Unseld to congratulate him on the Bullets head coaching gig, while playing a bit of a joke on him.

“I saw Wes go night after night on those bad knees,” Elvin Hayes said from Houston. “He played with all heart.”

When Unseld became the Bullets’ head coach on Jan. 4, Hayes called and pretended he was a Texas sportscaster hot for an exclusive.

“He fell for it for about five minutes,” Hayes said.

Relaying that to Unseld caused his face to break into a familiar smile-scowl.

“How’s Elvin gonna pretend?” he said. “I knew who it was right away.”

(‘Wes Unseld’s Route to the Hall of Fame’ – By Ken Denlinger, The Washington Post  – May 07, 1988)

When being honored as one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1997, Hayes even had the audacity to criticize Allen Iverson for playing like a “runaway train” (via a blurb in Sports Illustrated by Seth Davis). Hayes continued, “The bottom line is what your team does, and his team is not doing anything. If he doesn’t show respect for the top players, then maybe he should read up on them. His head is in the wrong place.”

Hayes concluded, “When I left basketball, I was much more humble than when I first came.” If only we all could learn the lessons of tomorrow in the present.

Today, Hayes has virtually no connection with the world of basketball. In 2007 he became an officer of the law, and continues to be involved in the automobile sales industry in Houston. He now talks more trash about government takeovers than about coaching instruction.

A 2004 New York Times article, ‘Diamond Is Forever in the Big E’s Heart‘, exemplifies how a man with so much talent just didn’t have a love for the game of basketball. Pretty ironic considering that Hayes is one of the greatest players in franchise history, and one of only four players to have their number retired. Meanwhile, Unseld continues to serve the team and the basketball community as a whole. Two different guys, two different paths, one ring … I suppose fans of Les Boulez wouldn’t have it any other way.



14 Comments

  1. Davan S. Mani

    December 12, 2009 at 11:07 am

    You didn’t mention that Dandridge and Hayes hated each other as well indicated from the 1979 NBA championship coverage by Curry Kirkpatrick because Hayes was making more money than he.

    Hayes didn’t like Wes because he won Rookie of the Year when Elvin lead the league in scoring as a rookie. Likewise, he didn’t like Wes because he Wes was Abe Pollin’s pet. Everyone on the Bullets knew that Wes was going to be in management due to his relationship with Abe including Elvin.

    Abe protected Wes from criticism by calling the editors or making threats to the newspaper of lawsuits, getting advertisers away by using television. Elvin wanted the same thing but didn’t get that.

    He felt that Wes should have gottten some criticsm particularly in Game 4 of the 1975 Finals against Golden State where he made a crucial turnover. But it was Elvin’s choke job that made headlines. Likewise, in the 1976 playoffs against Cleveland, Wes letting Dick Snyder get buy him for the winning basket. But it was Elvin foul on Bingo Smith that lead to a technical foul and free throws that made waves. Another thing, Jerry Lucas just shot over Wes in the 1973 and 1974 playoffs. Wes didn’t bother to defend him. So, I see Elvin’s point. However, Elvin’s criticizing his teammates who never said anything bad about him is inexcusable. I have no sympathy for him.

    As for Dick Motta. He said “Elvin never cheated.”

  2. Elvin Hayes Jr.

    January 27, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Great article, and great research however it is still somewhat slanted. Just because I’m related, don’t assume that I am going to trash this article. As with many things in life, there are facts, and truths, and often times they are not the same. The facts in this story suggest that my father and Wes didnt like one another. The fact and truth is, when my father was inducted in the Hall of Fame – Wes Unseld is the one that he chose to intro him. There are SO many other truths behind the scenes, but I’m not going to try to justify them all. All I can say is, at the end of the day, numbers dont lie. The man only missed 9 games due to injury in a 16 year career. Two of those were actually to attend my state championship games. Everyone is entitles to an opinion, which I respect. Just know that the opinion that you are forming is based on partial facts, and partial truth.

  3. Mike Frandsen

    May 10, 2010 at 2:58 am

    I’m doing an article on Kevin Grevey and the old Bullets at http://www.examiner.com/x-37753-DC-Sports-Examiner tomorrow. Grevey didn’t have anything bad to say about Hayes. The Big E’s playoff stats are better than his regular season stats – you can look it up on basketball reference, and he played great in most of the 78 playoffs. You can’t look that up because there’s not much on the web about it and the Wizards have done a poor job of publicizing Bullets’ history. Wes respected Elvin on the court. Missing only 9 games in a 16 year career is pretty amazing too. I always found it strange that the media universally regarded Wes as the greatest Bullet of all-time when I think Elvin was better. Part of that was because Wes was in the spotlight being the coach and then the GM for so long. As a fan, not knowing anything about the players off the court, the Big E was my favorite player. Wes averaged 7.6 points during the Bullets’ championship season. I think part of it is the Art Monk, Eddie Murray syndrome. Players who aren’t friendly with the media get a bad rap.

  4. Mike Frandsen

    May 12, 2010 at 12:28 am

    the article at http://www.examiner.com/x-37753-DC-Sports-Examiner~y2010m5d10-Part-1-Former-Washington-Bullet-Kevin-Grevey-on-the-78-NBA-title-season-Kentucky-and-the-Wizards

    http://www.examiner.com/x-37753-DC-Sports-Examiner~y2010m5d10-Part-2-Former-Washington-Bullet-Kevin-Grevey-on-the-78-NBA-title-season-Kentucky-and-the-Wizards

    also raises the question of whether the Bullets might ever change their name back to the Bullets.

    Little E – (actually I’m sure you’re big) – if the Big E is ever in DC I’d love to interview him.

  5. David Burns

    May 22, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    How come on the famous Hayes SI picture (May ’78) his teammate is wearing a different colored jersey?

  6. harold

    February 11, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    believe the players name was Johnson..his uniform was missing.He wore the Bullets road jersey turned inside out and road shorts.

  7. Bobby McCann

    July 22, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Just wanted to let you know that “dude” named Zelmo Beaty was one of the great NBA players of the 60′s and one of the best that ever played in the ABA,he put up great stats for the Hawks and won a championship with the Utah Stars and made all league several times.thought you just might want to knoe a little about that dude.

  8. Donald Boyle Jr

    February 9, 2012 at 4:25 am

    When I grew up Elvin Hayes was my favorite player. One thing that is always overlooked in all stories about
    the Big E is his awesome defense from
    the forward position. Elvin blocked
    more shots than any forward in history. Records were not kept for shot blocking during his first five years, but there is no doubt no other forward then or now compares. Elvin did scowl at the
    referees and did not get many calls I’m
    sure because of this. Please don’t forget about all of the great alley oop
    dunks Elvin made on assists from Kevin
    Porter. Stop saying Elvin choked in the
    playoffs. Yes he had some bad games, but the referees never, and I mean never
    called all the fouls that should have been called on whoever guarded him. I
    remember Elvin being pushed by 2 and 3
    Sonics every time he had the ball both
    in 78 and 79 and fouls would not be called, but if he touched a Sonics player he would be whistled for cheap
    fouls. Watch these highlights on NBA
    tv and you will see it and hear Brent
    Musberger and Rick Barry talk about the
    bad foul calls on Elvin for very little
    contact and imagine how frustrated you
    would be. How about Elvin’s 47 points
    against a great Buffalo team in the playoffs? Blocking George Gervin’s shot
    to win game 7 against San Antonio. Elvin dominated Philadelphia and Dr. J
    in the 78 playoffs. These are facts. I
    bet he had 38 points and 20 boards in
    some of those games and swatted the shots of the Sixers the entire series. I do know the history of Elvin Hayes and
    it is great. Wes Unseld was a great player and teammate and I’m glad they are both in the hall of fame. They both
    deserve it. I just don’t like to read
    an article that is so slanted and slams
    my favorite player and leaves out so
    many of the truths and facts about a player who was probably the most well
    conditioned athlete I’ve ever seen. The
    man gave it his all and when I was a kid
    growing up in Evansville, Indiana he was
    my hero. He still is! If Elvin Hayes
    played today he would be making 25 million dollars a year. Look what they
    pay players who average 15 points and 5
    boards now. Elvin was not the best passer of his era, but that was not his
    role. Elvin did have the best turnaround jumpshot of all time. No one
    could stop it and he banked in thousands. Elvin blocked many of his
    shots playing help defense off of his man. Good luck finding anyone to do this consistently today. Being the most
    popular player on the team with the fans
    was the one thing that I know Elvin was.
    I know he cared about his team, but everyone expresses themselves in different ways. When I think back about
    those days and the way he played the game I smile. What a player.

    Big E Fan For Life
    Donald Boyle Jr

  9. Gloria Green

    March 26, 2012 at 12:35 am

    I met Elvin Hayes in New York City at the top of his playing career. He was a perfect gentleman, devout christian and well liked and respected by all. He was humble and gracious to his fans. I’m so surprised to see him described as difficult.

  10. WandraF

    January 13, 2013 at 8:17 am

    I met Elvin Hayes in the 1960′s, about 1967. I was about fifteen (15) and he was graduating from college that year. He reponsed to my fan mail and invited me to his basketball game in New York at the Old Garden and to dinner. Several reporters dined with us that evening. He made me feel very comfortable.– However, to show his character, I remember that at the start of the eveining, somehow when I arrived I met him in the hotel. I was in his room before the game and there was another player there as well. In this day and age, a young beautiful girl in an athlete’s room is probably a grave danger. But, it wasn’t the case. Mr. Hayes never made sexual advances toward me. And, after the game and dinner with the reporters he made sure I got home safe. — He was a gentleman-he never touched me. However, It was sad to see him on the cover of a magaizne and marrried about a month later, especially since everyone at my school, FDR , or most knew that he was coming to New York and had invited me to his game. I had a great seat and during the game, I remember Don King, sitting close by. It was a great night, a great memiory. I think that he tries to do the right thing.

    • Robert F

      June 6, 2013 at 7:38 am

      My impression, having followed the team very very closely on TV and in person, was that there is no comparison between Big E and Wes.

      Big E was the reason the Bullets won the 78 championship without a doubt. Wes, Dandridge, Greevey etc.. were all wonderful supporting cast but without Big E there would have been no championship.

      Yes, Big E had an odd way about him some times but as mentioned the guy was a hard worker and when it came time to play, I certainly never saw any lack of effort or quitting on Big E’s part. That is just rubbish you are reading about in a book so some sports writer can create drama that does not exist.

      Thanks for the memories E.

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