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Old Tue Apr 03, 2007, 01:58am
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Referee Mendy Rudolph elected to HOF

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Old Tue Apr 03, 2007, 02:11pm
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In my book, Mendy and Earl Strom were the two best - ever.
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Old Tue Apr 03, 2007, 02:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Padgett
In my book, Mendy and Earl Strom were the two best - ever.
I saw both work many times. I agree completely.
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Old Thu Apr 05, 2007, 03:44pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Padgett
In my book, Mendy and Earl Strom were the two best - ever.
I agree.

Strom,especially, was a guy who was never affected by a crowd, one way or the other.
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Old Thu Apr 05, 2007, 05:31pm
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I read Strom's book, and it was a great read. Sounds like the guy went through a lot during his career. Can't imagine having to do those guys 2-man every night
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Old Thu Apr 05, 2007, 06:44pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canuckrefguy
I read Strom's book, and it was a great read. Sounds like the guy went through a lot during his career. Can't imagine having to do those guys 2-man every night
I have Strom's book and it's the best book about the NBA I have ever read. It's entitled "Calling The Shots". Note it's not just about the NBA, but Strom's entire career. For those of you from France - it has pictures.

BTW - regarding great refs, I should also give high marks to Jim Capers.
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Old Fri Apr 06, 2007, 12:33pm
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Mendy Rudolph and Earl Strom

I was curious if Mendy Rudolph's election to the Hall of Fame would cause any posts out here. Nice to see he is still remembered by his fellow officials, and always nice to see people posting fond memories of my late father, Earl Strom. I thought I'd post a few words about Mendy and my father for those of you too young to remember them.

When my father was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995, he was the first contemporary NBA official to be honored. The other 11 officials in the Hall were early pioneers of the game, and the 3 of them who worked in the NBA did so prior to 1960. So when my father came up for election for the first time in 1995, one year after he passed away, I wasn't so sure he'd get in because so many officials, like Mendy and Sid Borgia, and Norm Drucker, had been overlooked for so many years. Needless to say, our family was thrilled when he got in on the first ballot. I had the honor of giving the acceptance speech, and mentioned in the speech that my father would be happy when one day Mendy and Sid joined him in the Hall. It took some time. Hard for me to believe 12 years have passed, but now Mendy is in, and I'm very happy for his family.

During Mendy's 25 year career, he truly was the face of NBA officiating. Mendy more than any other official had a singular style of working games that many tried to copy but few could match. He was a handsome man, very charismatic, but willing to make the tough calls. He knew the rules inside and out, because he helped author the NBA rulebook in the 1960's. He was the one person that my father seeked approval from during his career. As I said during my Hall of Fame speech, true acceptance of an official goes far beyond getting a few calls right and working a few big games. True acceptance comes when the players, coaches, GM's and even owners respect your officiating ability and integrity, and value you as a person. My father had that, and so did Mendy. There was a time in the 1960's when Mendy, Norm Drucker and my father were referred to by people in the league as The Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I always liked that line.

Mendy worked his last game in 1975. He was in Baltimore working a playoff game when he collapsed and for a few minutes, died on the court. Luckily a doctor sitting courtside was able to revive him. He covered the NBA for CBS for a few years, most notably you can hear him doing commentary in the famous 1976 Game 5 between Boston and Phoenix. He also appeared in some of the early Miller Lite commercials with Tommy Heinsohn, where he threw Tommy out of the bar. Four years later, in 1979, Mendy died of a heart attack while waiting in line at a theatre. I believe he appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot a few times in the early 1980's but didn't receive many votes and was removed from consideration. This was the first year he made it back to the final ballot, and thankfully even though it's long overdue, he's where he belongs.

One final thing... Mendy wore number "5" during his career. When he passed away in 1979 the officials wore a round patch with that number on their uniform the following year, and even though the NBA has never officially stated that the number is retired, no NBA ref has worn number "5" since.

Eric Strom
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