Good for him. He is a real classy guy and about as good as they come.
Great article. What a life. I enjoyed most the family time, including
grandchildren, he's able to have.
Frank Layden Part 2Had to do it this way, as the word limit
prevented doing only one post. He then said: "this Malone kid
has the chance to be something special in our league. He has the tools to become
one of the best to ever play his position, but he has to continue to work and
develop his game and his body. The free-throw shooting has to get better, or
teams will simply foul him every time he gets the ball at the end of close
games. So, I’m merely putting the whip to him to see how he responds. To
this point, he's shown every characteristic of a great thoroughbred, he has
the chance to be the Secretariat of basketball." How prophetic was
that? And, what a treat for me to have Frank tell a complete stranger about the
potential he saw in a skinny kid from Louisiana.
Had the opportunity to have lunch with Frank one day at Lamb's cafe
Actually, I stopped by and the place was packed, and he offered me a seat at his
table.Anyway, we get to talking and I asked him why he was so tough on
Karl Malone regarding his poor free throw shooting early in his career, even
publicly ridiculing him in the papers and radio interviews.Again, in
true Frank Layden fashion, he went on to explain that Casey Stengel, coaching
the best baseball players in the world, had to find some way to get them to work
hard and continue their improvement throughout their careers. So, he would get
on Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, & Yogi Berra for their shortcomings,
publicly, as a means of seeing how they would respond. Would they be a
thoroughbred, or a mule? Watch a jockey put the whip to a thoroughbred down the
stretch and watch the thoroughbred respond with even more effort, do the same to
a mule and watch him sit down and quit, Frank said.
Another great article Doug. When I was in the middle of a very tough life
learning process, Frank, without hesitation, saw me at a function and gave me a
business card. Official with the New York Knicks logo it reads
"You...can't quit. It's a league rule." And I have not. Great
to hear he and Barbara are doing so well and so happy. Here's hoping the
next several years are filled with the same level of happiness.
I once saw Frank after he was finished getting a haircut near a subway sandwhich
shop.....I said hi and he was gracious and said hello back. He is at the tell
end of those who were born of the greatest generation. When people people
where patriotic, would sacrifice for thier neighbor, worked hard to to gain
their needs and did not expect a hand out.....Frank I am glad that I
can scope you out at the Bees games. And point you to my 13 year old son and
tell him, that this is the coach who saved the Utah Jazz.
Frank is a great ambassador for the NBA and the state of Utah. He is a classy
guy in a profession(pro sports) not always known for class. He will always be
the face of the Jazz for me.
Had not thought of him for awhile. I'm glad to hear he is doing well. Wish
we could say the same for Hot Rod.
When Frank was in the front office, the company I worked for had Jazz seats
close to Frank's. It was fun to see all of the media people (and really
everyone else) treat Frank as royalty. People lived for his one-liners. Frank
is a true gentleman and a wonderful ambassador for the Jazz, baseball, New York,
Utah and everything else that he touches. He is the Best!!!
Many years ago my husband and I had the opportunity to go on a cruise with the
Jazz front office and Frank and Barbara. Dining with them each night was an
unforgettable experience. (Even having Barbara eat off our plates!) And Frank
could sure tell great stories. That was a moment to remember and treasure. The
last night on the ship Frank said, speaking of living in Utah: "Do you
appreciate what you have there? What a great place to live with amazingly kind
people!" I have to agree.
Every time I make it down to Salt Lake for a Jazz game, I can't help but
think back to the days when the Jazz played in the old Salt Palace. Back then,
Jazz fans use to worry about whether or not the team would still be around the
following season.Now, we worry about who the Jazz will select with
the 5th pick in Thursday's draft. The team has certainly come a long ways
since those early days.Thanks Frank for all the great memories.
Here's one Jazz fan who will never forget what you did for the Utah Jazz.
May God bless you with many more years.
My favorite Layden quote was when Dennis Rodmen said that if Larry Bird were
black he would be considered just another player! Layden responded with one of
his best, "I think we need to get Dennis a better seat on the bench."