The entire state of Indiana lost a friend yesterday.
Actually, more than just a friend. A mentor, hall-of-famer, coach, fan, and broadcaster.
All of that was woven into the soul of the great Bobby “Slick” Leonard. Above all else, the legendary Indiana Pacers bench boss was the type of person everybody wanted to be around.
That’s how we remembered Slick Wednesday on The Fan Morning Show. Wednesday mornings were usually the day that Slick stopped by the program to chat with his friends Jeff Rickard and Big Joe Staysniak.
Unfortunately on this particular Wednesday, there was no call coming.
We did have plenty of memories, laughs, and nostalgia to share.
One in particular came from former Pacers Athletic Trainer David Craig. Craig and Slick shared a ton of time together on the road.
“Believe it or not Slick was my roommate on the road,” Craig said. “When you travel with someone in the NBA, you learn a lot about them. He was such a great guy and fun to be around. He was a heavy influence on all of us whether you were a player, trainer, or on the stat crew. He took care of everybody.”
You think you’ll ever hear of a coach today making millions of dollars sharing a room with someone?
More than anything, Craig talked about Slick being Slick.
“Slick and I would watch a ballgame and if someone got hurt he would tell me what he thought about the injury and I would say my opinion,” Craig added. “Then we’d bet on it. We bet a six-pack on what the injury was and then another six-pack on how long the guy would be out. We closed a lot of bars together.”
There was one more thing that Craig said later on to Jeff and Big Joe that truly stuck out about Slick.
The guy helped people. No matter who, no matter where, and no matter how.
That’s the DNA of Coach Leonard.
“Before we closed a bar we would have one last toast,” Craig mentioned. “The last toast was, you are nobody until you do something for somebody else.”
Rest in peace, Slick.
Tune into The Fan Morning Show weekdays from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM.
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