generation, three different tones of whistle; for the next, no need for a
whistle at all. Or if you prefer an alternative metaphor, listen to Bill
Shapland, Georgetown basketball's longtime sports information official.
"Like a lighthouse," he says of the father. "He focused on a whole
realm of things. Now I work for a man who's a laser beam."
A YEAR AFTER John
III arrived at Georgetown, the school hired a new athletic director. The coach
could be forgiven for taking it personally. Bernard Muir had played for the
Brown team that beat Princeton with that halfcourt shot in 1988.
When he arrived
in D.C., Muir innocently asked Thompson if he had played in that game.
recall," Thompson replied, deadpan.
Not until two
years later, when together they went to Brown for Thompson to collect the Black
Coaches Association's Fritz Pollard Male Coach of the Year Award, did the
Georgetown coach share with his boss his central role that night.
Muir told him, "you're only as good as your last game."
Of course that's
the way administrators see it, and fans and media and alumni. But there's an
itch at the ears of a coach who knows better. Who knows that you're only as
good as your next possession.