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The Man Who Tried Too Hard
Leigh Montville
May 06, 1991
Even the son who idolized him found Bill Musselman's obsession with winning difficult to take
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May 06, 1991

The Man Who Tried Too Hard

Even the son who idolized him found Bill Musselman's obsession with winning difficult to take

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"How about basketball?" I asked. "Did you play one-on-one against your father in the driveway when you were a kid?"

"Oh, yeah," the son said. "We played every day when I was a kid. He always beat me. Every time. Finally, in ninth grade, I beat him once. That was the end. One game. We've never played one-on-one again."

On April 22, the Timberwolves fired Bill Musselman, their head coach. The team had won six of its last eight games and finished with a 29-53 record, seven wins better than it did in 1989-90, its first season in the NBA. Management said one of the reasons for the firing was that Musselman wanted to "win too much," and did not devote enough effort to developing his younger players. Musselman said he was guilty as charged. He said he always liked to win.

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