by | Nov 21, 2008 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments



“Hello, Chuck Daly? Terry O’Neill from NBC.”

“Hi, Terry.”

“Just calling to see where we stand. You know we want you as our TV analyst. You and Pat Riley? Together? Awesome, babe. Big money. And we can make sure you guys never wear the same suit, don’t worry about that.”

“Thanks, Terry, I haven’t decided yet.”

“I’ll call back. Think peacock, Chuck.”

Click. Riiiiing!


“Hello. Chuck? Harold from Philadelphia. Let’s get down to brass tacks. We want you. You want us. The GM job is open. What’s it gonna take?”

“Gosh, Harold, I can’t decide.”

“We got bucks. We got hot pretzels. If you want, we’ll build a statue of you outside the Spectrum, like the one we got of “Rocky” with his hands over his head. You could be screaming for a time-out. How about that? Chuck Daly in bronze? Huh? Huh?”

“Well, that’s tempting, Harold.”

“You have my number. Call me.”

Click. Riiiiing!


“Chuck? Bill Davidson. I want to sweeten the offer. We’ll go from
$500,000 a year to $510,000. Don’t thank me. You’re worth it.”

“Gee, uh, thanks, Bill.”

“You’re a Piston, Chuck. It’s in your blood. Stay with us. Make us great.”

“I’ll let you know, Bill.”

Click. That’s the final offer . . . for now Riiiiing!


“Chuck, this is Ian from Toronto. We’re counting on you to lead our expansion effort into the NBA. Remember, you get 10 percent of the team, a free luxury suite, plus all the ski passes you want.”

“Actually, Ian, I don’t ski.”

“We’ll teach you. Call us.”

Click. Riiiiing!


“Chuck? Rich N. Powerful from Vitalis Corporation. We’ve got a vice president opening in our hair spray division, and I think you’d be just perfect. Salary is $800,000, company car, and a lifetime supply of aerosol or pump. You name it.”


“The Dry Look. Consider us, OK?”

“Uh, sure. Thanks.”

Click. Riiiiing!


“Chuck? It’s Bill again. I’m upping the offer. Are you ready? I’ll give you $515,000.”

“I’m . . . overwhelmed.”

“Just come on down to my office, OK?”

Click. Riiiiing!


“Chuck. Don’t say anything. Just listen. One word: Kuppenheimer.”


“We’ll be in touch.”

Click. Do it for America, Chuck Riiiiing!


“Please hold for the President.”

“The Presi–“

“Chuck? George Bush here. I want to thank you for that Pistons jersey. I’m wearing it around the house. Fits nice.”

“No problem.”

“Chuck, I’d like to offer you a cabinet position. Maybe National Security Adviser.”

“Are you serious?”

“Read my lips. I’ve seen you stand up to Earl Strom. You’re a no-nonsense guy. Your country needs you, Chuck.”

“Can I sleep on it, sir?”

“Certainly. Dan and I will wait.”

Click. Riiiiing!


“Long deeestince from da Soviet Union.”

“Can they call back?”

Click. Riiiiing!


“Chuck? George Steinbrenner here. Six million. Four years. What do you say?”

“George Stein– . . . um, can you hang on?” Click.


“Chuck. Bill again. OK. I’m in a generous mood. I’m offering you

“Bill, I really . . . oh, hang on. The other phone is ringing.”



“Hi, honey. It’s me.”

“Terry. What a day! It’s insanity. Everybody is calling. And the thing is, between you and me, I finally decided what I want to do next.”

“Great. What is it?”

“Retire and go fishing.”

“Mmmm. Sounds good.”

“Yeah. . . . How much you think I can get for that?”


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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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