The Washington Post

Best images and quotes from ESPN’s ‘Bernie and Ernie’

Last night, ESPN ran its “30 for 30″ documentary on Ernie Grunfeld and Bernard King, cleverly titled “Bernie and Ernie.” It was incredibly well done and gave viewers an inside look into the storied friendship between the two, dating back to their days in the ’70s as teammates at Tennessee. It airs again next Thursday and I highly recommend adding it to your DVR. Seriously, I cannot recommend it enough.

In the meantime, let’s have some fun with vintage basketball attire. The two played at Tennessee together from 1974-77. Since it was the ’70s, oh, the outfits.

This pic was taken in the spring of 1974, during King’s recruiting trip to Tennessee.

“I took him out,” said Grunfeld, of hosting King. “He was a New York guy and I was a New York guy obviously, and we went out and talked about some of the things that we could do and some of the possibilities for us to win. We had a certain kind of chemistry. Maybe it was because we were both from New York. There was a connection there from the very beginning.”


Playing at Tennessee together gave the two the opportunity to wear these amazing pants. These glorious trousers would make a few appearances throughout the film.


Like here, paired with snappy warmup tops. I really hope Grunfeld still has these pants somewhere in his closet.


Here’s the full-length version, courtesy of SIVault.


Another fresh-faced Grunfeld photo, complete with awesomely feathered hair. King explained how they fit into Tennessee’s system.

“The system was very simple,” said King. “Give the ball to Ernie. If he’s not open, give the ball to Bernard. If Bernard’s not open, go give the ball to Ernie. That’s our system.”


This footage came with this amusing anecdote from longtime Tennessee Sports Information Director Bud Ford.

“We used to have cutouts of our players – life-sized cutouts – that we placed in the lobby of Stokely Center,” Ford said. “One time Ernie’s was missing. We couldn’t fine Ernie’s picture. We finally located it. It was at the sorority house.”


The birth of the Grunfeld ‘stache!


There was about 20 seconds of Bullets footage in the film. Here’s a still, because Bullets.




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Dan Steinberg · November 6, 2013