Quotes From Pat Riley And Jamal Mashburn
Jan. 19, 2000
Pat Riley Quotes:
"I think the four years of college, going to a university, leaving home, finding a whole different structure and responsibility are probably the most important years of any person's life. I do believe that the University of Kentucky, not only from the great Adolph Rupp and his coaching ability, but the people I ran into and was educated by, put me in a position that when I left, that besides professional basketball, I had other opportunities. I felt that I was ready. I do think that that is what the University of Kentucky did for me Coach Rupp and his philosophy, discipline and structure."
"I think probably what I cherish most is the fact that I went to an institution that really cared about sports and cared about basketball. Kentucky basketball is probably one of the most important things in the state of Kentucky, and we took great pride in that. Lexington took great pride in it. All the fans throughout the state of Kentucky took great pride in it. I felt very special being a part of that kind of program. There was a lot of pressure there, but I think the one thing that I took away from Kentucky was that we were in something that was real, that was important, and also fun. We did the very best we could do at it."
On Rupp's Runts
"I think it's like any other team. We had grown together. Most of us had come in together. We were in our third year together. We caught everyone by surprise and caught the attention of the basketball public. We had a great year, because we had great togetherness. We had great leaders in Larry Conley and Tom Kron. We had a young center in Thad Jaracz. We had two shooters in myself and Louie Dampier and a great bench that was playing in a great system. So, we got on a roll, and we believed in ourselves. It all culminated being the No. 1 team in the country in 1966."
"The title game was a very, very big disappointment. It's one of the black holes in my life, basically. When you think about it, having the opportunity to win the NCAA title, and you get there and you don't, you'll never forget it. At that particular time, it was a great game. Texas Western was a great team, coached by Don Haskins. And only today do I know the impact that game had on all of college basketball. In that respect, when it came to recruiting and players being able to come out of other areas, it was a big game for what it did for college basketball."
"I learned from my father, learned from my high school coach and from Coach Rupp that there was only one way to play, and that's as hard as you can play. I was in a great system at the University of Kentucky, where I was featured as an offensive player, and a lot of the shots came to me. Other responsibilities were to rebound the ball, and jump the center and things of that nature. I was taught to play hard and I wanted to win. Coach Rupp could bring out the competitiveness in players."
On having what having his jersey retired means to him
"It's a great honor that I was one of the players to have gone through the long, long tradition at the University of Kentucky. It's one of the things that earmarks what the tradition of playing at the University of Kentucky is all about. One day people will ask about the contribution of Pat Riley to the University of Kentucky and remember back to those great years. I'm very flattered by it and very appreciative of it."
Audrey Spivey and Dr. Cash Spivey:
"Bill would be so pleased. I think there is a great amount of vindication. He was innocent. He stood trial in New York and was found not guilty. He talked about it often."
On how they learned of the jersey retirement
"We found out through C.M. (Newton). He is the most wonderful person. As you might have heard him say, they were roommates and teammates. He just thought Bill was so deserving of this."
"This is real special. We looked forward to this and are real happy it occurred."
On what the jersey retirement means
"To me, this is something that I never thought I would attain. This isn't something that I set out to do. It's especially nice to come back and have all of the fans still cheering me on like I never left. This was definitely a special moment."
On his reaction to the news that his jersey would be retired
"The letter actually came and I asked my business manager, who's from Lexington, if the letter was real. I came to UK because I wanted to play basketball. That's it."
"It makes me proud to have this honor. When I first came to UK, we were still had a year of probation. A lot of people asked me why I came here. I came because of Coach Pitino and the way the state of Kentucky rallied around the program. This is a special thing. A lot of people want to play here."
On what he thinks of this year's squad
"I've only had the chance to watch a couple of games. I think the guy wearing my jersey now, Marvin Stone, is pretty good. Pat Riley keeps us pretty busy. They seem to be pretty good, though, especially with Coach Smith. He was with us my first year and he's a great coach."