RIP John Wooden

June 4, 2010

Is it okay, normal, to be sad about the death of someone you didn’t know? Well, I hope so. Kinda sad around here tonight, at least for me. If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know how I feel about John Wooden. He died tonight. 99 years old.

ESPN ran this piece tonight about his life.

ESPN also ran this excellent piece by William Nack, but they’re not letting people embed it.

Several months ago, Rick Reilly did this video about his ongoing love for wife, Nell, who died in 1985. Wooden still wrote love letters to her up until the time of his death.

In that video, he says:

“The most important word in our language is ‘love.’ Second is ‘balance.’ Keeping things in perspective.”

That pretty much sums up everything for me. Perfectly said.

Back in 2001, he spoke at the big TED conference. This video reminds me of the speech I saw him give in the late 1980s when I was a student at Pepperdine University.

I wish we’d all try to live our lives more like he lived his.

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