(Ed.'s note: Another in a series by Wilson in St. Louis.)
''He had a family member, who is also a cousin of Elijah Johnson, a young man we signed. Elijah and Tyrone grew up in the same neighborhood in Gary, Ind., and there was a family member that was shot and killed this past week, and the services were this morning. So [Appleton] flew home to be with his family, and he'll be back here by, I believe, 7:30 this evening....Last year, we had two individuals who had family members murdered in drive-bys in the same week....It does put a perspective on everything. Because basketball is important -- it's why we're all here -- but it's certainly not life or death, which is what a lot of these guys go through. And we just kind of pass it by, as if it's not that big a thing. But you know that these guys are really, really hurting inside.''
-- Kansas coach Bill Self, quoted in the March 22 Chicago Sun-Times column by Rick Telander after Kansas player Tyrone Appleton had to leave the team to attend the funeral of a family member who had been killed.
"I never lecture, not because I am shy or a bad speaker, but simply because I detest the sort of people who go to lectures and don't want to meet them."
--- H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)
"Put somebody on their (expletive) back. Don't let anybody oopsy-doopsy lay up on you and be laughing at you. Have you ever seen me get dunked on? No, because I put (expletive) on their backs. Period. 'If you're going to be a big man, be a big man. Don't be out there (expletive) around. Lay somebody on their (expletive) back. Period.' Wilt (Chamberlain) told me that. Bill Russell told me that. Hakeem (Olajuwon) told me that. All the great big men told me that. . . . That's what I'm trying to teach him, instead of just being out there like a loose tree blowing in the wind. Do something."
--- Shaquille O'Neal, Arizona Republic March 31, on advice to rookie center Robin Lopez of the Phoenix Suns
"I never got to the point where I was having trouble sleeping. At the end of the day, it's bowling."
--- Australian bowler Jason Belmonte, known for his unorthodox two-handed approach, after winning the Long Island Classic bowling tournament and earning a full-time spot on next season's Professional Bowling Assn. tour