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Straight Outta Watts

The promised big Reggie Theus feature from The Bee's Sam Amick is up. Predictably great insight, including some notes from the coach's childhood which certainly contradict the glam persona he's developed.

There was little glamour to be found on 118th Street in Los Angeles, even with Reggie Theus living there.

One block up from Main and in the heart of Watts, where the violent riots of 1965 soon would bring the area infamy, a basketball-playing beefcake was being raised.

Even when his parents' divorce prompted a move to what was then white-bread Inglewood before Theus' sixth birthday, there was nothing pretty about it. Especially when it came time to go to work.

Five days a week in the mid-1970s, the boy who was well on his way to hoops prominence and prima donna status spent his early mornings and late nights cleaning toilets and mopping floors.

He was one of four assistants for the Felix Janitor Service, a company established in 1939 and named for its founder, Theus' father. Along with two older sisters and an older brother -- the other helpers -- Theus learned the value of a solid work ethic and felt no shame for his dirty little secret.

Well worth the read. Really interesting how no NBA coaches would give him an assistant job. Fame is threatening, I guess.