Hal Greer – A Quiet Pioneer

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Hal Greer died. I missed the obit. I am entering that stage of life when the people I watched, heard and followed as a kid on the Jersey Shore are dying.

Hal Greer was a great basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers in the 60s and 70s. Great jumpshot. Always had a weird looking pad on his thigh to protect it. He would torch the Knicks, my favorite team. Obit is here. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/16/obituaries/hal-greer-hall-of-fame-jump-shooter-for-76ers-is-dead-at-81.html

Best of all – he shot foul shots as a jump shot, leaving the floor even though he didn’t have to do so. I used to practice that for hours. He came into the league early as a pioneer. Never got the credit because Earl Loyd broke the color barrier. But in those early days, guys like Greer paved the way for the stars of today, making little money and playing in cold drafty gyms like Detroit’s Cobo Arena or the Cow Palace in San Fran.

Pretty soon we will be losing all these guys, my heroes from those days – Willis Reed, Walt Frazier. It is fun to watch the obit page every day and remember that generation so warmly and bathe in the glow of the Marv Albert call on the radio of Knicks games.

Hal Greer – class act.