Thirty minutes before the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced the class of 2013, Slick Leonard casually chatted about his candidacy for the Hall with Big Joe and Conrad Brunner on 1070 The Fan.
Slick mentioned that he'd been in the pro game for 60 years and while the Hall of Fame nod would be rewarding, he was more interested in his players being honored.
Always the coach, Slick got what he wanted when the Hall of Fame announced former Indiana Pacers' legend Roger Brown would be the sole ABA representative in the class of 2013. "Rajah" had a tragic hoops career in many ways due to accusations about involvement with gamblers as a young player, a sordid story that kept Brown out of the NBA. But his talent was never an issue and helped push the Pacers to three ABA championships in the early '70's.
Fortunately, a documentary covering the life of Brown that will shed light on his well-deserved honor today will air on Feb. 28 on local WFYI television. Brown passed away at age 54 but his memory lives on and his old coach is swelled up with pride today.
During the radio interview before the announcement, Slick said in his 60 years around the pro game he'd seen every front court come and go and that Mel Daniels, Roger Brown and George McGinnis were as good as any pro front court he has seen and better than most. That's when Slick said he'd take great pride in all three of those players being honored by the Hall of Fame.
Well, two down one to go. But first, let's hope Slick gets his call from the Hall.
Slick: Been around pro game for a long time 60yrs, Mel Daniels Roger Brown George McGinnis, as good as any front line, better than most.