At a recent gathering Bill Walton approached Wooden and told him how much he loved him. So did Swen Nater. "Unusual for Bill," Wooden says, "not for Swen. I was always concerned about Bill. He was always involved in anti-establishment things. Swen was not that way at all, he just went along. Yet as time went by, they've become more alike." Funny. It has been just over 20 years, and Wooden is getting his grade.
Strange that it takes so long. "We never realized how much had been given to us," says Nater. "But there was this man, in a time where everything was turned upside down, a man sitting in his office, working on a practice, not wearing the latest clothes. He's the one who had it all together. And we did not appreciate it."
Nearly a dozen children—his grandchildren, you could say—stand straight and true. Look again at the picture at the beginning of the story. Their fathers, Pyramids of Success in their wallets and refrigerator-magnet sayings in their heads, suddenly confident. Look at them, smug in the inevitability of their wisdom. They'll be loved too. Takes 20 years.