Every now and then a hint of the coiled spring deep within the man once labeled soft and passive pops up.
A swing at Detroit Piston Bill Lambier in January of 1989, after being elbowed in the throat.
A somewhat alarming pronouncement regarding NASCAR:
Brad Daugherty admitted that he â€œlikes to see the violenceâ€, to which Suzy [Kolber] added, â€œeveryone wants to see it!â€
More than once.
â€œI just love the sport,â€ Daugherty says of racing. â€œI love the smell, I love the color, I love the violence, I love everything involved.â€
Early on, no one guessed Brad would someday be hailed by the Boston Globe as:
[e]nter[ing] the realm of Hakeem Olajuwon, Pat Ewing, David Robinson, Robert Parish and other elite big men. (Source: The Boston Globe, May 2, 1992)
Growing up in Black Mountain, North Carolina, with brothers 5 and 10 years older who played on the high school basketball team while Brad was still in grade school, Brad was determined to catch up. He and his brothers:
[…] played on a dirt court in back of their house. The basket, only 81/2 feet high, was nailed to an old oak tree. When his brothers werenâ€™t around, Brad played there alone and worked on his dribbling, shooting, and rebounding.
â€œIt really wasnâ€™t much of a court, â€œ said Brad. â€œThe yard had been beaten down so much by our playing on it that it was just dirt. There were a lot of bushes, shrubs, and small trees in the yard, so I pretended they were other players. I practiced dribbling around the tress, shooting over the shrubs, and going one-on â€“one with the bushes.â€
[â€¦] Â Sometimes he pretended the bushes were his older brothers, Steve and Greg. â€¦ Other times, he imagined he was leading the University of North Carolina Tar Heels to victory in the Final Four against the arch-rival Duke Blue Devils. Â (Source: Little Basketball Big Leaguers byÂ Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo,Â 1991, Nash and Zullo Productions, Inc; Simon & Schuster)
During his sixth grade year, Bradâ€™s brothers relented, letting Brad play in real games unwittingly helping to form Bradâ€™s passing game, for which he would later become famous:
[â€¦] Brad stood 5 feet, 9 inches tall. Steve and Greg decided he was now big enough to play in the neighborhood games-as long as he played by their rules.
â€œThey said they wouldnâ€™t rough me up anymore if I passed them the ball while they shot,â€ laughed Brad. â€œSo I spend most of my time passing trying to hit them when they were open so they could score. That was really the only way theyâ€™d let me play. If I started shooting too much, or tried dribbling around, theyâ€™d make me quit. The way they made me play helped me develop good court awareness at a young age. I was right there in the middle of the action against bigger and older guys, but I still had to find the open man.â€ Â (Source: Little Basketball Big Leaguers byÂ Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo,Â 1991, Nash and Zullo Productions, Inc; Simon & Schuster)
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