SB Nation's UCLA blog, Bruins Nation, prepared a fitting tribute for John Wooden following the passing of the legendary Bruins coach. But of course, John Wooden wasn't simply a Bruin. He was an exceptional and example-setting human being. Plenty of our other blogs are offering tributes on Saturday.
First up: our WNBA blog, Swish Appeal, spoke to Ann Meyers-Drysdale, general manager of the Phoenix Mercury and vice president of the Phoenix Suns.
"I'm crying inside, but my heart is happy that he's with Nellie. And I think that's what he's wanted all along -- didn't know it'd be this hard because I'd been expecting it. I just know that he's at peace and that's what we were all hoping for. The fact that he was with us 99 years is very impressive and he knew what was going on. The stories were always incredible. You could never spend enough time in his presence -- he just made you feel like a better person. So, love him, miss him, but I know he's happy."
The Lakers are in pursuit of an NBA Finals win, but our Lakers blog, Silver Screen and Roll, still took time out to offer some thoughts on Wooden. Dexter Fishmore explains why Wooden was so important, not just to the UCLA program, but to basketball as a whole.
If you're reading this, it's because the sport of basketball is important to you. You wouldn't be on this site if the game hasn't brought you enormous pleasure and satisfaction over the years. For that you should thank Coach Wooden. He was a strategic and tactical innovator, and the empire he built at UCLA helped the sport grow and become the cultural institution it is today.
Our Louisville Cardinals blog, Card Chronicle, lists some of the greatest John Wooden quotes. One of the best that we didn't include in our earlier list:
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
Our Kentucky blog, A Sea of Blue, appreciates Wooden as much as anyone, but cautions that we should be careful to keep his legacy accurate and honest.
Admire Coach Wooden. But don't compare eras. The explosion of coaching salaries is not the fault of Calipari, or Calhoun, or Krzyzewski. Do not claim that modest income was a Wooden legacy -- it was not.
How much money would Jack Nicklaus have made today if his career had begun at the same time as Tiger's? Coaches like Wooden, Rupp, and Dean Smith laid the foundation for the huge coaching salaries of today, not by the money they made, but by the success of their programs.
Let's remember Wooden for the right reasons, not fake ones.
USC fans aren't exactly fast friends with UCLA fans, but our USC blog, Conquest Chronicles, does not hesitate to express its appreciation of the UCLA icon.
Even as a USC fan, there's no questioning Wooden's success. Alleged relationship with Stan Gilbert aside, Wooden had a run of success in Westwood that will remain unparalleled in the college basketball world. Florida winning back-to-back titles under Billy Donovan this decade was a rarity. Try winning seven in a row.
But Wooden's legacy is much more than just winning. From the pyramid of success, to the innumerable quotes and life lessons, and to the strong character he exhibited on and off the court, Wooden embodied everything that a college sports coach and teacher should be. "A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment," Wooden said.
There are sure to be more reactions and tributes from our SB Nation blogs. When a personality of this magnitude passes, it means something to all of us.