The last time I spoke to Bill Walton not long ago we were talking about college coaching when the subject turned to John Wooden.
"What people have to understand about coach Wooden is the impact he had on people's lives," Walton said. "He was a father figure. He taught you things you'd carry beyond basketball. He taught you how to be a man. I'll never be able to say thank you enough to him."
I speak to Walton on occasion and I find him to be one of the smartest and most decent of athletes I've known. Each time we talk, he brings the topic to Wooden. It seems many who played for Wooden are the same way. He was that kind of impactful man.
Wooden died on Friday night at the age of 99. If any of us enjoy a tiny fraction of the wonderful life he did, we'd be fortunate.
His impact goes beyond the 10 titles on the court. It's also about the people he helped to forge off of it. Good men like Walton and dozens of others.
There is Wooden's 88-game win streak and the fact he never had a losing season in 29 years as a head coach. All impressive, of course.
Wooden created a legacy of championships but more importantly he birthed a legion of good men.
That's not bad. That's not bad at all.