Although he has been approached by several owners as a possible replacement for Walter Kennedy as commissioner of the NBA, Storen is realistic about his chances for ever being named commissioner of an eventually merged league. "They can't agree on anything," he says of the NBA owners. "Besides, for all the reasons I'd be a good commissioner, I'd lose votes."
In Memphis, Storen is explaining why to nobody. "It's my franchise and I have total, absolute control," he exults. Storen reportedly has financial backing from Al Bell of Stax Records and Memphis real estate moguls Avron Fogelman and Cary Whitehead. But he can operate as he sees fit.
So Memphis, which has seldom known from one week to the next whether it was going to continue to have a basketball team, has lost the Tams but has gained the Sounds, and as Storen bubbles, "We're not having an exhibition season, we're going on a concert tour."
When Ted St. Martin of Yakima, Wash. goes out to shoot baskets, he is likely to be gone for quite a while. His personal backyard best is 514 straight free throws.
Foul shooting was merely a hobby for the 39-year-old St. Martin, a former dairy farmer, until 1971 when he learned that the existing record for free throws, as listed by the Guinness Book of World Records, was 144 consecutive shots. Immediately, St. Martin's life took on new meaning. In his first assault on the record, he took 12,099 free throws during a 24-hour period and made 10,944 of them—90.45% accuracy. He missed the record because he was unable to shoot more than 86 without a miss, but he was hired promptly by AMF-Voit as a "professional free-throw shooter."
Then it was back to the backboards until March 1972 when, during an exhibition in Riverdale, Calif., St. Martin shot his way into free-throw immortality with 200 straight. Since then, St. Martin has raised his official mark to 281 and improved his 24-hour marksmanship percentage to 90.72.
Although the closest he has come to the pros was performing in a halftime exhibition during a Phoenix Suns game last January, St. Martin feels there is a place in basketball for the designated free throw shooter. "The designated shooter would take free throws for all the players on the team," he says. "That way there would be less fouling and the game would be speeded up."
To fill his days until the pros see the light, St. Martin is indefatigably going for 700 or 800 without a miss. He does not even rule out the possibility of 1,000. "Once you get past the first 200," he says, "you can relax."