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THIS JOKER IS WILD
Bruce Newman
November 07, 1988
The Nuggets' Doug Moe, the NBA Coach of the Year, doesn't diagram plays or watch many game films
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November 07, 1988

This Joker Is Wild

The Nuggets' Doug Moe, the NBA Coach of the Year, doesn't diagram plays or watch many game films

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At this late date there seems little danger Moe will ever act or talk like a real coach. When Glen Gondrezick, one of Moe's former players, grew depressed over personal problems two summers ago and tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the chest with a rifle, Moe was at his hospital bedside the next day. As Gondrezick lay there, Moe tried to offer an inspirational thought. "I told him it didn't surprise me a bit he missed," Moe says. "Gondo never could shoot."

As this might indicate, Moe is rarely happier than when he's insulting people, particularly when the object of his abuse doesn't expect or isn't accustomed to such obloquy. "He's going to talk to Ronald Reagan or the Pope the same way he talks to you," says Bill Ficke.

Moe can usually talk himself out of a slump, but he was uncharacteristically glum after a tough loss at home to Detroit last season. His team had given up a lead in the fourth quarter, and for the rest of the day Moe was inconsolable. He looked so pathetic and depressed that anyone might easily have mistaken him for, well, a basketball coach. "But I woke up the next morning and I wasn't dead," he says, "so I decided I might as well have a good time. For me, the meaning of life is to enjoy it."

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