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Lloyd made his debut
Lloyd was a ninth-round draft choice of the Capitols in 1950. The
"You would have never convinced me that if the
Nevertheless, history will forever remember Lloyd as the first to play. He played in seven games before the team folded and he went to the
Lloyd would later be claimed off waivers by the Syracuse Nationals and eventually win an NBA Championship with the Nationals in 1955. He played nine seasons, likening himself to
Lloyd, 81, was inducted to the
Lloyd recounts his experiences in the
"I guess what I was saying in this book without saying it is don't let someone tell you what you cannot do," Lloyd said. "You cannot buy into people's hate."
Lloyd starred at
"It was bad," Lloyd recalled. "Sitting up the in the balcony watching movies, segregated restaurants. It was easier for me probably than Chuck for one reason. Chuck was born and raised in
Lloyd understood he was more than just a basketball player. His every move would be watched.
Being a good person was just as important as being a good player. Character issues could cost today's prospects a lot of money.
But a problem with Lloyd in the 1950s could have meant an entire generation of black players might not have the chance to play at the highest level.
While many of today's players bemoaned the player dress code, Lloyd always wore a coat and tie because he said he didn't want to give anything but the best impression.
"Nobody had to tell me I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders," Lloyd said.
That meant handling even the most insulting of situations with grace.
While out with a teammate at a restaurant that was nearly empty, Lloyd was informed of the eatery's policy.
"They said 'we don't serve coloreds,'" Lloyd said. "I said we don't have a problem, we don't eat them."
Lloyd also has a humorous way to explain how he got into coaching at the urging of
First he had to stop playing for the
"Our second exhibition game was against the Philadelphia Warriors with
Lloyd credits McGuire and then
Lloyd had the misfortune of losing Hall of Fame guard
He enjoys watching today's
Lloyd loved that Barkley excelled as an undersized power forward and admires O'Neal infectious personality.
"I've had a good run," Lloyd said. "These kids, some oldtimers really criticize them. In this capitalistic society we've been taught a fat salary is what the market will bear. These players have to get what they can get because he can go up and get one rebound and it's over."
(c) 2010, The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.).
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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