Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing toiled in the NBA for 19 combined seasons before reaching the Finals in 1994. They were upstaged on June 17 during Game 3, however, when NBC preempted Rockets-Knicks coverage to air police chasing O.J. Simpson down a Southern California freeway. (AP; John Biever/SI)
Miller Barber, Golf Champion with an Unorthodox Swing, Dies at 82.
An East Texan with a twang and a folksy manner, Barber didn’t seem a prime candidate for pro golf success. He was pudgy, he had hay fever and his form was ungainly at best.
Barber’s right elbow flew outward on his backswing as he raised the club to the outside, bringing it high over his head, the shaft almost perpendicular to the ground. (In a classic backswing, the right elbow remains close to the body and the shaft ends up almost parallel to the ground.) After that he looped the club head inside and produced an orthodox downswing.
Fellow players likened his contortions to an octopus falling from a tree or a man trying to open an umbrella on a windy day. But he usually got the club face square to the ball, producing long drives and superb iron shots.
In a 1993 interview with The St. Petersburg Times, Barber said: “When I was young I tried to get more conventional with the way I swung a golf club. It was a total disaster. I just couldn’t swing like Jack Nicklaus or Sam Snead.”