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HBO's documentary The UCLA Dynasty (debuting tonight at 10, with numerous replays) is so full of wonderful images that it's hard to pick just one, but this might be my favorite: Former players recall how coach John Wooden's attention to detail went all the way down to instructing them the correct way to put on their socks and tie and their sneakers. Then several of the interviewees -- in their 50s, 60s -- take off their dress shoes and demonstrate how they haven't forgotten the exact manner in which Wooden wanted then to carefully unroll the sock over the foot so as to avoid creases and thus possibly produce blisters. Henry Bibby, Jamal Wilkes, Lucius Allen, older, beefier as they may be, haven't lost even the smallest of lessons from the Wizard of Westwood.

The program attempts to put UCLA's incredible run of success in the context of the turbulent times, where the chaos of the 1960s and early '70s rocked the campus outside the order that prevailed in Pauley Pavilion. The atmosphere is best evoked for the protesting days of Bill Walton and Co., less so for the burgeoning Black Power movement earlier. This likely is more a function of having extensive interview time with Walton and none with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor).

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We get a few unexpected voices -- former UCLA students in Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek and filmmaker Penelope Spheeris -- and hear from actor Beau Bridges, who managed to have a brief Bruins basketball career as a walk-on to the freshman team.

The old basketball footage is marvelous to see again, to be reminded of the grace of UCLA's fast breaks, the intensity of its zone press, the shortness of its basketball shorts.

Wooden still has a twinkle in his eye recalling his past teams and players. And when he speaks of the audacious Sidney Wicks, you get the sense of a father still shaking his head over a son who couldn't help but try his patience but who, in the end, turned out just fine.

Listening to his players speak about Wooden provided quite the contrast to the recent Costas Now on HBO, which featured a one-on-one session with Bob Costas and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski. Remembering his days playing under Bob Knight at West Point, Krzyzewski recounted how Knight would unload on him with words that included being called a "dumb Polack." Meanwhile, former UCLA players remember being able to tell Wooden was really angry when he'd say, "Goodness gracious, sakes alive."

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