Champions of The Round Table

In the first years after he returned to the Alabama Crimson Tide, Coach Bryant's teams were known for being considerably smaller than their opponents. Although they typically weighed anywhere from ten to thirty pounds less than the opposition, their quickness allowed them to compensate for their lack of size.

One Friday in the early sixties, long-time Southeastern Conference officials Butch Lambert and Harold Johnson got into a conversation about Bryant's uncanny ability to
win games with such small players as they drove to that week's Crimson Tide game. Johnson told Lambert that he thought that Coach Bryant could teach a four foot pygmy to guard Wilt Chamberlain (the giant 7"2" basketball star). The next day, when Lambert saw Bryant in the Alabama Crimson Tide dressing room before the game, the official approached the coach and told him that Johnson had given him a great compliment. When the coach inquired what the compliment was, Lambert told him about the Chamberlain comment. However, Bryant was preoccupied with getting ready for the upcoming game and he told Lambert: "Hell Butch, I don't know anything about coaching basketball."

Lambert then went over and began a conversation with Alabama assistant coach Dude Hennessey. The conversation abruptly ended as Lambert felt a tap on his shoulder. As the official turned around, he saw Coach Bryant grinning as he towered over him. Bear then remarked to Lambert "That ain't to say that ole SOB can't be guarded."

Truly a great read for any Alabama Crimson Tide or college football fan

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    Richard Sikes


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