The Fighter

by November 25, 2010


Unfortunately, we didn’t have room to run all the great Bol quotes we collected in the feature itself. Fortunately, we can do so here.

“One time we were playing Larry Nance’s team. He was one of the better leaping big guys [during the 1980’s]. My job was to make Nance go baseline and once he went baseline, Manute was supposed to be there. Well, he dunked the ball over Manute. I don’t think Manute talked to me for two weeks.”  — Dan Roundfield

“Manute was a little insecure about the way he looked on the basketball court. Obviously, when you are 7’7, and going in for a layup, it looks awkward. I remember Greg Grant, Tim Perry and myself were in the layup line before the game. Manute shot a layup and looked around to see if anyone was watching him. Greg tells me and Tim, ‘Guys, look at Manute when he shoots this layup. Look how funny he looks.’ He shot the layup and we all started busting up laughing. Manute runs by us and he slaps the hell out of Tim Perry and tells him, ‘What the hell are you laughing at?’” — Kenny Payne

“I was like, ‘How come I can’t have that [jersey] number?’ He said, ‘It will cost you $500,000.’ I said, ‘That’s how much I make all year.’ He said, ‘Exactly. That’s how you can get No. 10.’ I just took No. 5 instead. He got traded that next year.” — Tim Hardaway

“We used to take the bus up to New York when we played in Washington. We jumped out of a bus and went to a deli to get a sandwich and there were two guys. When Manute walked in, they said something to each other in Arabic and started laughing. Manute said something back to them and their jaw dropped. I said to Manute, ‘What happened?’ He said, ‘I speak Arabic, English and Sudanese. When I walked in, they said, “Look at that big asshole.” I said to them, ‘Hey, suck my dick.’” —  Jeff Ruland

“It was funny because he was 7’7” and I was 5’7”. He used to call me Little Man. We used to joke around a lot. He never found a short joke he didn’t like. He stayed with ‘Little Man.’ ‘Sit on my lap.’ ‘Let me rock you to sleep,’ or he would hold the ball up above his head.” — Greg Grant

“The thing I remember most about Manute Bol was during my rookie year, I dunked on him. It became a big billboard in Phoenix and it was my signature play as a rookie. It happened in the playoffs. They called an offensive foul on me and it was a terrible call. The last time I saw Manute, he came into my bar and I had a picture of it and had him sign it for me. It was funny. He came into my bar and we were both laughing about it. I was like, I got something for you to sign and I brought it out and he thought it was funny so he signed it. I don’t think anybody expected me to dunk it but I kept going and dunked it over him. The players went crazy and the crowd went crazy but Joe Forte called an offensive foul. You don’t forget that kind of stuff.” — Dan Majerle

“My wife at the time was in real estate and she helped for Manute to get a house. They raised doorways and everything. Manute decorated it. He had posters and pictures of him all over the townhouse. He said he decorated it in ‘Early Manute Bol.’” — Bob Ferry