- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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At age 84 of natural causes in Newport Beach, Calif., Carl Kraushaar, the first starting center for legendary college basketball coach John Wooden at UCLA. Kraushaar (above) was a junior transfer from Compton College in 1948, the same year a 38-year-old Wooden accepted the head coaching job with the Bruins (who had managed only three winning seasons in the previous 20 years). Under the Wizard of Westwood, 6'5" Kraushaar laid the foundation for a dynasty: He was the leading scorer in 1948--49 as the team earned a record 22 wins and its first Pacific Coast Conference title, and a year later he made all--conference after leading UCLA to its first NCAA tournament. He was taken by the Rochester Royals in the '50 NBA draft. Instead of going pro—while Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton followed in his footsteps as centers under Wooden—Kraushaar chose to become a high school teacher, coach and administrator, working in education for almost 40 years.
For 2011, HBO's NFL training camp reality show Hard Knocks, confirming speculation that the league's labor issues, combined with an abbreviated preseason, might scuttle the show, which debuted in 2001 and which won three Sports Emmys for last year's edition. Also proving problematic for the hourlong program, which had previously featured the Ravens, Cowboys, Chiefs, Bengals and Jets, was the casting of a new featured team. According to reports, the Buccaneers, Falcons and Lions had turned down HBO, while representatives of the Jets, Bears, Broncos and Vikings had publicly stated that they were not interested in being featured.
Following 17 seasons, Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood, 38, who earned more than 400 victories and won three Stanley Cups, a combined feat achieved by only five other NHL goalies. A third-round draft pick in 1991 by the Red Wings, Osgood spent his first eight years in Detroit and won two of his Cups during that run, once as a backup to Mike Vernon in 1997 and the next year as a starter. After Detroit signed Dominik Hasek in 2001, Osgood moved to the Islanders, then to the Blues, before returning to Detroit where in '07--08 he led the league in goals-against average during his third Stanley Cup season. Though criticized for inconsistency, Osgood produced when it counted. Described by Detroit G.M. Ken Holland as "an incredible competitor with tremendous mental toughness," he retires ranked fourth alltime in playoff shutouts, with 15.
By the LAPD, Giovanni Ramirez, who was arrested in May as a suspect in the beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow in a parking lot following a Dodgers game in L.A. in March. Investigators' case against Ramirez began to fall apart when they found no cellphone or ticket records to place him at Dodger Stadium on the day of the attack. On July 20 police arrested two new suspects, Louie Sanchez, 29, and Marvin Norwood, 30, on charges of mayhem, assault and battery. (A third suspect, Dorene Sanchez, was arrested as a suspected accessory but not charged.) Meanwhile, Stow, who suffered extreme brain damage and was in a medically induced coma until early May, opened his eyes for the first time last Friday.
By Tiger Woods, the golfer's caddie of 12 years, Steve Williams, who was at Woods's side for 66 PGA Tour victories and 13 major championships and who, by SI's estimates, would have earned some $10 million over that time. Despite a statement on Woods's website that called him a friend and an outstanding caddie, Williams (above, with Tiger in 2001) vented his frustration to the press upon being axed, saying that he had lost respect for the golfer during Woods's '09 sex scandal and that his time with Woods would make an "interesting chapter" in his future autobiography. The pair's relationship had been strained in recent months, with Tiger unhappy that Williams was manning the bag for Adam Scott in tournaments. Meanwhile, Williams says that he had grown frustrated with Woods's low productivity and last-minute decisions on whether or not he would play a tournament following a knee injury suffered at this year's Masters. A groomsman in Woods's '05 wedding, Williams is now permanently on the bag for Scott. Woods has yet to make an announcement about a new caddie or when he will return to PGA play.