Yet some Golden
State fans went so far as to suggest that Parish purposely stumbled into foul
trouble so he wouldn't have to play. There was indeed a time when Parish wanted
no part of basketball. That was in Shreveport when he was a 6'2"
sixth-grader and woefully self-conscious about his height, and the coach at
Union Junior High, Coleman Kidd, had to paddle him before he would come out for
the team. Yet as a Warrior, when his heart was truly in the game, Parish was
nonetheless blamed for his team's struggles, and it led him to consider
retiring. "I didn't need the aggravation," he says.
Ray, the veteran center who was finishing up his career with Golden State. Ray
had scars from 11 knee operations and a championship ring, won with the
Warriors in '75, that conferred credibility on everything he said. Bearded and
with the same faintly arthritic bearing that has become the Chiefs signature,
he even looked the part of the wise elder. Ray took Parish aside to counsel
him; and Parish was a grateful pupil. Today, they agree their most valuable
discussion went something like this:
know, if I had your drive, I could be great."
Ray: "You can
get that drive."
I'm kind of lazy."
not lazy. You've just never had a purpose."
center's got to look at one thing—the outcome of the game. Did we win? Win
often enough, and people will say you're the reason why. You're always going to
have stars, you're always going to have colorful players. But you can't win
without someone who rebounds and plays defense and brings people
I'm not as vocal as you are."
Ray: "You can
be a leader without being vocal."