He built UCLA basketball into a machine but hated the expectations that stole the joy of playing and eventually pushed him into retirement in 1975. He became a beloved elder statesman, but was embarrassed by the adulation. He was so generous with his time and name that family and friends closed ranks and said no for him more often before anyone else could take advantage of the kind soul. He was an Indiana country boy in a Los Angeles world
"They always throw the word 'icon' around. I don't know if we've seen an icon like him," said Jerry West, the former Lakers player and executive. "He's one of the most remarkable men that I've ever been around in my life. The most uplifting person. I don't know if there's anyone wiser or smarter. I loved that guy. I absolutely loved him. He left a mark on this city that's never going to be forgotten. An incredible person..