#6 – Hot Rod Known for his skillful dribbling and aggressive style of play, Rodney Hundley was dubbed “Hot Rod” while he played college ball at the University of West Virginia. When he entered the NBA, he earned the nickname “Hot Rod” for an entirely different reason. A legendary partier in the late 50s and early 60s, Hot Rod had the coolest double entendre of a nickname this side of Magic Johnson (Too soon? Come one, he’s alive people).
Hot Rod parlayed his status on the basketball court into a certain celebrity with the ladies, where he would spend many a night chasing skirts around Minneapolis like it was going out of style. Apparently his partying was so out of control that it had a negative effect on his performance on the court. Wait, you mean to tell me that aggressive boozing with women until dawn several times a week will effect your game? You don’t say! Noted sports writer Roland Lazenby recounts this tale in his biography, “Jerry West, The Life And Legend Of A Basketball Icon,”
Team owner Bob Short soon realized he had a real rounder on his hands. Hundley would head out to the bars almost every night to carouse and enjoy the secretaries and professional ladies of Minnesota. Short watched as Hundley’s off-court activities sapped the young star’s strength and hurt his performances. Finally the owner went to Hundley, begged him to stay in his room after games and even offered to bring prostitutes to his room so that he could ‘take care of his business’ and then get the proper rest. Hundley refused the owner’s prostitute offer. ‘The thrill is in the chase, baby,’ the player told the owner.
Hot Rod Hundley, ladies and gentleman! My man.
Next: Feeling Alive with No. 5