Spencer Haywood recalls Jesse Owens' “drop-the-mic moment”

Spencer Haywood dropped by CBS Sports Radio to share several poignant stories from his life and career, including one involving Jesse Owens at the 1968 Olympics

The DA Show
October 13, 2020 - 11:33 am
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NBA Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist Spencer Haywood dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Tuesday to discuss his new book, “The Spencer Haywood Rule: Battles, Basketball, and the Making of an American Iconoclast,” which chronicles his incredible life in and out of sports.

Haywood shared several poignant anecdotes on The DA Show, including one of his encounters with Jesse Owens at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Haywood, who was 19 during those Games, was hanging out with George Foreman, Tommie Smith, John Carlos and other great athletes of that era.

“We were just running our mouths like young guys do, all of us at the Olympics,” Haywood recalled. “We were in this big meeting and Jesse Owens came in, and Jesse was talking about how you got to be [a] good American. He looked at us and said, ‘Hey, any of you SOBs would have been able to run [in front of] Hitler?’”

Owens, of course, was referring to the four gold medals he won in track and field at the 1936 Games in Berlin.

“That’s when we were like, ‘Okay, you dropped the gauntlet on us. Cool, Jesse. Cool,’” Haywood said, laughing. “We are here to win the gold medal, we have no problems – ‘Sir, you are the greatest.’ That’s a drop-the-mic moment.”

Haywood, who won an NBA title with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, also opened up about his struggles with addiction. Click below to listen to his interview in its entirety.