Talking Wichita Falls Texans and Bickerstaff

It’s not every day you travel this far and meet a stranger who’s been to Wichita Falls, especially one who came to our city for basketball.

But sitting next to me in workroom after dinner Thursday night was former NBA and CBA referee Mike Costabile, who enjoyed talking news and politics for a few minutes but we didn’t get into much basketball.

But he remembered coming to officiate in Wichita Falls for the Texans, who won a CBA title in 1991. He officiated in the NBA from 1989-93.

Costabile was interested in our drought conditions. He wasn’t aware of that but did ask about the Red River land controversy between Texas and the Bureau of Land Management.

You never know what’s going to pop up or who you’ll find here.

Moments earlier I sat right behind Bernie Bickerstaff, the 2014 Chuck Daly Award winner, at the press conference and it took me about two minutes for me to figure out that I was sitting behind the legendary coach who led the first 8 versus 1 upset in league history back in 1994 (Denver over Seattle). Bickerstaff has coached more than four decades in the NBA.

Both Erik Spoelstra and Gregg Popovich congratulated Bickerstaff in their pre-game meetings with the press. Spoelstra said he “grew up a Portland Trail Blazers’ fan” so he was rooting against Bickerstaff’s Seattle teams from 1985-90.