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Bob "Slick" Leonard was the fiery coach of the ABA Indiana Pacers. Early in the 1972-73 season, the Pacers visited their biggest rivals, the Utah Stars. Late in the game won by the Stars, Leonard felt that the 30-second shot clock had expired before a Utah basket. After his ranting and raving gained nothing but two technicals and an ejection, Leonard exploded in a memorable fit of temper.
Shocking the Utah fans, Leonard ran onto the court, grabbed the red, white and blue basketball, and punted it far up into the seats. Naturally, this resulted in a significant fine and suspension.
Showing a good sense of humor, Stars management turned the tirade into a unique promotion. The next time the Pacers visited Salt Lake City, the Stars put Leonard on the cover of the official game program (left). And, before the game, Stars GM Vince Boryla gave a special gift to the temperamental Pacers coach: he presented Leonard with a framed photo of the incident (photo above right). At least for that one moment, Slick broke out with a big smile on a rival team's court.
Slick Leonard Tribute Page
Pacers History Page
Utah Stars History Page