OT: Billy Tubbs

I’d forgotten Billy did this. He was unique — LOL.

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That was hilarious……

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I was there. Billy was a treat to be around and loved to mess with a sportswriter. I played golf with him in Nolan’s tournament. He was about a 10 handicap, but entered as a 20. So does that make him a cheater? Probably. But he told me, “I’m just looking for an edge. We all are in life.”

I wrote the advances for basketball in the Tulsa World. They were roundups, with stuff on all of the Big Five games and that’s OU, OSU, TU, ORU and Arkansas. At one time, they included Oklahoma City but dropped them from those roundups when they went to NAIA with Abe’s second trip to OCU.

I’d get most of the coaches in the morning and it would be an early exit for me to possibly cover a game. Billy would ask me, “What’s your deadline for the state edition and I’ll beat that after practice?” I’d tell him 6 p.m. He’d call at 6:02. So I told him they moved it up to 5 p.m. He’d call at 5:02.

I explained to Billy that I got early quotes from Eddie Sutton, Ken Hayes, Bill Self, Tubby Smith and other coaches through the years and never lacked for something from an OU coach until him.

Finally, I told our sports editor, Bill Connors, what was happening and he phoned Tubbs for a little bit of a pow wow on why his comments couldn’t be in our advances. Billy called me and apologized and said he’d begin calling in the morning. We’d agree to a time, say 10 a.m. He’d intentionally call at 11 a.m. We talked about that one time playing golf. He said, “I love you and just want to have a little fun. I won’t do that anymore to you, but to everyone else.” I asked around to the guys at the Daily Oklahoman and they told me he did the same things to them. Again, I love Billy, a true gem.


Excellent Clay. I bet he was a character. Did he and Nolan get along OK?

Nolan liked him. He always invited him to his golf tournament.

Thanks Clay. Love these stories.

From your comment my imagined feelings regarding Tubbs are confirmed. If Nolan liked him then he should have pass good for everywhere.

That so good. I bet he had fun with some of the refs like Abe Lemons use to do.

I remember that story about Billy getting on the mike at LNC. That was hilarious.

Billy’s teams were fun to play. They didn’t mind running with us. Not a lot of people had the guts to try that back then. The only other team I can remember that ran with us was Vegas, and they were just simply the best college basketball team I’ve ever seen.

Remember being in the subregional in Austin a few weeks after Strolllin with Nolan, so the t-sips were letting us have it with both barrels (a mere warmup for what we got from them 5 years later). OU with Tubbs and Stacey King was the 1 seed, UNC was the 8, but Rick Fox made a shot at the buzzer to knock OU off, then we struggled past Dayton. Seemed like there were abut 15000 Flyers fans, most of them wearing orange. A week later we blew out UNC in Dallas.

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He was a different dude!! funny guy!!

I can remember we were playing OU and Tubbs got fired up about something and came over to scorer’s table to insinuate they were cheating or getting something wrong. Tommy Smith was a big ole man and didn’t take kindly to the insinuation and stood up. Tubbs immediately scurried back over to his bench.

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