One half of this tape, comprised of production materials for the "Once a Star" series, is an excerpt from an interview with Olympic Swimmer Mark Spitz. He discusses fame and athletic drive. The second half of this tape is a series of interviews and montage highlight footage from six former professional basketball players. They discuss their current occupations, the feeling of playing in the National Basketball Association, and several other topics.
00:00Copy video clip URL Color bars.
00:52Copy video clip URL Close up of Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz sitting on a pier: “I think in the Olympic Games there were two events that I had more ability than anybody. That was in the butterfly events… but in the freestyle events, I finessed my way through all of that… I was able to use the nuance of some other event and create an image.” He talks about how being an Olympian changed his life and reflects on his swimming career.
1:46Copy video clip URL Spitz: “I had no idea you could make the kind of monies that were out there.” He describes the mind-boggling aspect of becoming a millionaire overnight at age 22.
3:03Copy video clip URL Spitz: “I’m surprised I didn’t flip off the deep end when I think about it. I think part of the reason I didn’t is cause after nine months of this foolishness [getting whatever he desired]… I got tired of that and I met my wife, Suzie, and she really instilled a lot of sense into me. I can never relive that experience, I don’t care what I do, and I’ve learned to live with that… and the reason I’m happy with it is ’cause I had the last laugh… it was a picture perfect career.”
4:05Copy video clip URL Spitz: “That dream of wanting to make it to the top is the provoking spark that makes you get to the top.” He talks about how people keep 5% of their effort to themselves out of fear of giving 100% and finding out, even when they give all their effort, that they are not the best.
4:33Copy video clip URL Shot of Spitz walking on a pier. He stops to look over the boats. Cut back to Spitz sitting. He discusses whether his son can live up to the high athletic expectations that precede him. Spitz: “Maybe it’s not something I should be worrying about now, since he’s only four and a half.”
5:11Copy video clip URL Interviewer: “What do you see for yourself for the future?” Before Spitz can answer, the video cuts to black.
5:19Copy video clip URL Cut back to Spitz: “Here’s the thing. I was an athlete thrusted into the entertainment field. I was ready for them, but they weren’t ready for me, but I had never trained to be ready for them.” He suggests that being a producer or a creator is much more fulfilling than being an actor.
6:05Copy video clip URL Cut to Spitz entering a car. Spitz: “You want more out of life, at least I did, than to be five million or ten million… dollars richer over three or four or five years and have nothing to do the rest of your life–no vocation, no background, nothing to pick up from your education…” Car drives away. Cut to black.
7:22Copy video clip URL Music fades in–“Yesterday’s Gone” by Chad and Jeremy. Montage of basketball player lockers and highlight footage.
8:02Copy video clip URL Cut to Nate Thurmond in a suit and tie: “A typical day I start off going to an exercise class, lift a few weights, then I might have to take care of my business which is doing some PR for the warriors.”
8:12Copy video clip URL Cut to Walter Bellamy dressed in an NBA Legends jersey: “Currently I serve as a director of special events for the National Scholarship Service for Negro Students.”
8:19Copy video clip URL Cut to Cornelius ‘Connie’ Hawkins, also in an NBA Legends jersey: “I’m living in Pittsburgh right now and I’m living off my annuities, and if I don’t have to travel or go nowhere then I have enough money.”
8:25Copy video clip URL Pete Maravich in a suit and tie: “I run Christian basketball camps in the summertime…and it’s expanding.”
8:34Copy video clip URL Cazzie Russell on a basketball court in an empty stadium. He wears a University of Michigan hat. “This year is the first year I’m just kinda taking it easy… and reassess the direction I’d like to go, and it’s kinda nice to do that sometimes…”
8:54Copy video clip URL Cut to old highlight footage. Voiceover footage: “I feel good about what Cazzie has done, I feel good about myself mentally and physically, I feel great that I had an opportunity to do something I enjoy…”
9:08Copy video clip URL Hawkins: “People from New York probably saw me at my best. That’s when I was learning the game…” He goes on to tell how video recording has kept a generation of early basketball players for posterity and education’s sake. His remarks are interspersed with old highlight footage.
9:31Copy video clip URL Music fades in–“Come See About Me” by The Supremes. More highlight footage.
9:47Copy video clip URL Back to Maravich: “Because, see, when I played you weren’t supposed to have pizzazz, you weren’t supposed to entertain, you weren’t supposed to trick anybody, that was considered embarrassing people…”
10:09Copy video clip URL Back to Thurmond: “I always said that the one thing that really charged me up was hearing 15,000 people screaming ‘Nate!’…the biggest high was to be in the NBA.” The video cycles through each player’s response to what it was like playing in the NBA.
10:42Copy video clip URL The first player from the video says: “I feel that we are the most recognizable athletes only because how much we travel and how tall we all.”
11:11Copy video clip URL Back to Hawkins: “I think being in the Globetrotters was probably the best experience I ever had in my life, because of the fact that, you talk about education and learning a lot of things, and I traveled around the world twice, and I think that if I weren’t in the Globetrotters I wouldn’t have learned different languages, different cultural backgrounds, and the things you learn in the history books.
11:33Copy video clip URL Russell: “I came from Chicago, a very rough neighborhood where the gangs wanted you to go their way, and I’ve always been different, so I had to fight for the right to be an individual…”
11:49Copy video clip URL Bellamy: “The public now thinks that if you played you’re making a lot of money, and that you were involved at some point with the drug situations.” Cut to suit and tie: “I’ve always tried to maintain the same kind of persona when I’m playing and when I’m not playing…” Marevich: “I don’t need all the worldliness that is out there anymore. I’m glad God chose to save me out of that.” Hawkins relates his love of the game and U of M hat tells about his desire to pass on the technique to others.
12:44Copy video clip URL Music fades in–“The Twist” by Chubby Checker. Montage of the players enjoying each other’s company and highlight footage.
13:18Copy video clip URL Music fades out. Cut to black.
14:01Copy video clip URL End of tape.