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Old 06-01-2012, 07:57 PM
 
16,532 posts, read 21,000,381 times
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Jack Twyman passed away today. He was 78.

Who's he? A giant of a man, that's who.

He's another one of those guys that has slipped from the consciousness of today's NBA fans. He wasn't voted in to the circle of "The Greatest Players of the NBA" when they had their 50 year festivities in 1997, though he did go into the NBA Hall Of fame.

There are sufficient sites when you do a web search on him. To me he is noted for something bigger than the game of basketball. Much bigger.

He is forever linked to an individual who was his teammate and his friend. This individual suffered a horrible head injury on the court near the end of the 1958 season, subsequently suffering a stroke. And sadly couldn't come out of it. The teammates name? Maurice Stokes.

Twyman carried out the ultimate team act. He organized benefit games and various causes. Worked tirelessly regarding Workman's Compensation for Maurice as yes, it was an on the job injury. He became a caretaker and his legal guardian. And worked with him every day of his life regarding rehab where Maurice could communicate with people somehow, someway. And done it for the next dozen years until Mr. Stokes finally passed in 1970. To me that transcends anything he had done on the court or off the court.

I don't post a lot on the basketball forum and when I do the commentary tends to be salty. The older I get the less tolerant I become of the bullsh*t behavior I see out of self promoting knucklehead athletes. But there are players I hold in high regard to what they do long after their careers are over.

One of them is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He has done a lot of volunteer and humanitarian work since his retirement. A friend of mine lives in Show Low, Arizona told me a great story about Jabbar. Years ago Kareem stayed for a long period of time in that area, teaching Native American kids the game of basketball. You can bet he taught the kids something else. For Kareem to volunteer time, well that would be a no-brainer. His coach was John Wooden. Anybody who is familiar with Mr. Wooden knows no more needs to be said there.

Twyman and Stokes played in an era where NBA salaries were small. So were the benefits. Disability insurance for Maurice Stokes? Ha!

Jack Twyman was one of those guys who put his college education to use after his NBA career was over, getting involved in the food business after a several year run with ABC as a commentator. He was a good one too! I remember game 7 of the 1970 NBA championship well. The Lakers and the Knicks and the booming voice of Jack Twyman on the air "LOOK_HERE COMES WILLIS!" He was referring to Willis Reed who had suffered a knee injury in game 5, did not play in game 6, and played enough in game 7 to inspire the N.Y. Knicks to the championship over the favored L.A. Lakers. A great moment in NBA history.

Jack Twyman was great at college basketball, pro basketball, and as a businessman. He was even greater a human being.

Last edited by DOUBLE H; 06-01-2012 at 08:13 PM..
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:10 PM
 
Location: The "Rock"
2,551 posts, read 2,416,856 times
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Thanks for the back story on Twyman... I heard them briefly mention him on PTI saying he was right along Wilt as one of the first great players to put up like 30+ a game consistently.

But they did not mention much of the back story. Your insight is always appreciated. I'll do some research on Twyman now. So big thanks for planting the seed.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Cook County
5,288 posts, read 6,370,264 times
Reputation: 3070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. GE View Post
Thanks for the back story on Twyman... I heard them briefly mention him on PTI saying he was right along Wilt as one of the first great players to put up like 30+ a game consistently.

But they did not mention much of the back story. Your insight is always appreciated. I'll do some research on Twyman now. So big thanks for planting the seed.
Agreed... Always love when HH shares his memories/stories
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Old 06-02-2012, 03:48 AM
 
Location: Near Manito
19,521 posts, read 20,927,423 times
Reputation: 13858
Twyman was a good guy. Here's a link to the AP story.

RealClearSports - Jack Twyman: A Life Worth Remembering
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