[The Athletic] - It’s about that night in Lexington when Hall hosted his friend and counterpart, legendary Soviet coach Alexander Gomelsky, for a welcoming party.
A KGB agent came along. And got drunk on Russian vodka. And danced. “The KGB guy was very stoic, a little intimidating,” Hall says. “He didn’t like me very much at first, I don’t think.”
“They all got drunk,” Hall says. “The KGB guy was down on the floor, doing a Russian dance before the night was over.”
You thought recruiting was weird now? What? With the fancy way of paying players (which happened every year there was college basketball) and having to talk to AAU coaches and high school coaches and handlers. Well, imagine having to hose a party with a goddamn KGB agent there.
Everyone always brings up their go-to party story or cocktail story, something quick that you have to drop whenever you're around a group of people. Sure, Joe B. Hall could flash his title ring and that would be good enough. Perhaps he could talk about the time him and Bobby Knight almost fought during a game. But, he needs to lean right to this.
You know what people fucking freak out about? The Cold War. You know what else people freak out about? Agents. Imagine leading with 'so I was drinking with the KGB agent.' Here's the other thing. The Americans had to FAKE DRINK because of how wild the Russians got:
The partygoers went back to those bottles whenever they needed a refill. Except Hall and the Americans — knowing full well it would be a tall order to keep up with their Soviet friends — at some point in the night began to sneak water in their glasses … while letting the Soviets forge ahead.
All I can think about reading this though is the dancing scene from The Man Who Knew Too Little (a wildly underrated Murray comedy)
I can't imagine Drazen Petrovic playing college hoops. That dude was so fucking good, he would have been unfair in college. People bring up what-ifs like Len Bias or injuries like Brandon Roy, Derrick Rose, Penny, etc. Petrovic is right there with them. He really figured the NBA playing for the Nets before he died in that car accident.