Despite these flaws, Wooden deserves to be remembered as a positive role model. Most of his players stayed in touch with him during his retirement and most of those that had bitter experiences reconciled with him. He was always happy to have players visit and reminisce. He became much more approachable in retirement than during his coaching days.
It’s also hard to argue with his success even if it took 16 years to finally win an NCAA title. Once he reached the pinnacle he stayed there. It’s still mind-boggling to think that he coached five distinct nucleuses of players to ten NCAA titles in a 12-year span.
Seth Davis deserves a lot of credit for revealing the man behind the legend. John Wooden wasn’t perfect, but he was still an impressive human being. The man could also coach like no other. Those traits make for a pretty good legacy.
David Kent is the director of the Village Library of Cooperstown. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that all book and movie reviews are for titles that the Village Library has available to borrow.